Last Minute Gender Neutral Christmas Gift Guide

Hey y’all how have you all been? It’s been a hot minute. How did we get to December 2020 so quickly? This time I felt i needed to record my thought process as I’ve had a few really lovely corkers fall into my lap. So without further ado, lockdown or no lockdown, let’s talk about Christmas.

It’s that time of the year and we are all scrambling around LAST MINUTE to get something nice, meaningful, thoughtful, and still aspirational without ripping a huge Christmas shaped hole in our budget. So then let’s talk gender neutral Christmas presents AKA Christmas pressies for everyone! .

We are in 2020- pink is not just for girls however erring on the side of caution is wise. These are perfect for those people who just refuse to be boxed in- AND TOO DAMN RIGHT TOO!

My top gender neutral picks-

Nereus Full Body and haircare set *- Ever had an item that ticked all boxes- ethical? Sustainable? Luxurious? Beautiful? Thoughtful? … you get the drift. Look no further. It was born of the need for truly luxurious sustainable beauty products. And How- with essential oils and truly thoughtful design and packaging, including black plastic free bottles, high performing natural ingredients which ethically sourced and vegan too. It contains-

Madagascan Pink Pepper body wash- This insanely divine smelling viscous body wash is especially suitbale for dry skin and makes one instantly think of tropical holidays and luxe spas.

Australian Buddha Wood and bergamot Shampoo and conditioner duo- The fragrance can instantly transport one to an italian riviera and the sunny australian outback. And in these days when travel is limited this is such a cherished experience. My dry as sahara hair feels softer and nourished and knowing that my beauty picks do not damage the precious environmemt is the icing on the cake. Or the angel on the tree!

Buy Nereus from here £75 for the full set- spenny? Sure- but I can confidently say that this is worth it if only for the smile on their face when they open their pressies under the tree.

JimBag **- I’ve got to say. they had me just at the name. I love quirky presents and the wordplay on this got my attention. Beautifully unisex and proudly made in Britain, these are sturdy and their build quality is really good. My son and daughter both fought over who wanted it the most and in the end- the husband won. 🙂

If you wish to peruse their entire catalogue ( and at prices starting at £20 you’d be daft not to!) I’ll leave a link here and I think there is one in there for every budget and taste. The barrel bag featured here is £34.99 and there are a variety of colour options. It maybe a tad too big for my teeny gymnasium lockers, but it is perfect for an overnight stay. What? Your girl likes to have options okay?

Potion Paris**- One vial, Seven perfumes. return, refill, repeat- this is Potion’s tagline. And I must say I’m here for it. It is recommended that one starts off with the Collection set. This comes in an elegant Box 7X10ml phials of their entire collection 1. And a beautiful gift display box. This would set you back by £129, but it is a one time investment. As once you figure out what you love- you can just buy refills. They also have a really cool recycling program. The Elegant perfume comes in an elegant leather case and the bottle itself looks like a Guerlain dagger shaped glass bottle. These are vegan, and made to the highest quality using classic methods employed by old world perfumers. I love the Oud and sandalwood Scent aptly called Sensations, or you could buy the starter set for £119 and pick four variations of scents to start you off. Either way- this is a really cool, stylish way of buying and choosing perfume. Don’t let me hold you back. Available via their site.

From 1st December 2020 to 20th December 2020 you can get 15% sitewide (excluding Discovery Sets so full size items only) using the code RUNNING15 ( not an affiliate code)

Oxfam Gift card– Oxfam needs no introduction and thus whether you buy a pack of super seeds (£5) to a pile of poo (£10), and even safe water for an entire community (£50), Oxfam Unwrapped is the perfect gift for those wanting to give back this festive season, and the person who has everything! Giving back is the best kind of giving this season.

Masterclass Subscription– In keeping with the times, online classes and learning portals have really boomed. Masterclass leads the way in paid learning portals with classes from world renowned educators, auteurs, thespians, artists , authors and many more.( classes on writing by Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, and chess classes by Gary Kasparov, tennis by Serena Williams! ) An annual membership sets you back by £170 but they are running a buy a membership and get one free at the moment. So by gifting a membership to someone in your life, you also get one for yourself? Where do I sign up?

I have really enjoyed compiling this list, and I’d really love to know your thoughts, what are you buying for you and yours? Do let me know in comments- love Lav xx

Disclosure Information- Please see my disclosure and PR policy here. * Paid advertorial with brand. ** Press samples with no obligation to review.

The Ultimate lockdown Travel Beauty Videos

So we are in the 5th week of lockdown and it seems like we will be staying put for the forseeable. The only thing that helps me atm is dreaming of travel and a long session of really chilling with YouTube / Netflix. Since we can only afford to dream of luxe and sunny destinations… I’m really bingeing on and this imho is the ultimate lockdown travel beauty video collection.

I’ve rounded some of the best and greatest around. ( I’m looking at you Naomi Campbell!) You can’t have missed this! You just have to type Naomi + Fly and this iconic, slightly OTT, but quintessentially divaeseque , totally Naomi Campbell video pops up.

This is the OG of flying Beauty videos . Actually, this is the OG of videos. End of.

I love it, its excessive, and something I can’t quite pull off myself. However these videos are some ones I enjoy watching on repeat and can relate to( with some OTT one’s thrown in there, cos we EXTRA baby!)

  • Lisa Eldridge. Ok This OG ( Original Goddess ) is a makeup and beauty legend who’s a Beauty Boss with her own beauty line and those who don’t know her should stop reading this, and press search in Google. You’re welcome. Anyway, Lisa has some sound, practical and non sheet mask-ey advice. Calm, soothing and totally cool- Lisa doesn’t disappoint. Lockdown viewing sorted.
  • Arshia Moorjani Arshia is an American content creator of Indian Origin who has quite an impact with her list videos. Do please watch her top 5 mac red lipsticks for brown girl vids etc. Her travel beauty video is both boujee and extra, without becoming OTT and annoying.
  • Jonathon Van Ness. Because he slays it like the absolute Queen that he is. This inflight routine is OG, yet relatable. Boujee, yet not OTT. Cool and sassy. Please hit subscribe faster than you can type. And maybe one day, when lockdown is over- we can emulate this travel routine.
  • Matilda Matilda is an Aussie blogger who has made it big with stop motion style videos of her edits. Her travel bag contents read like a dream. And I’d not only hit subscribe faster than you can say Joey. But also save this to your travel beauty collection. ( wait, i sincerely hope you save your vids).
  • Huda of Huda beauty needs no introduction. Apart from being a trailblazer in the blogging world and launching her own beauty line to enormous success. The latest video is a treat and an aspiration. She flew her family, and team First Class. (I’d love to be in her team. A girl can dream!)
  • Jamie Genevieve. I love an accent and an intelligent person in an accent is lovelier still. Her extra AF beauty routine before and during a transatlantic flight and her humour is so relatable. She packs an extra pair of knickers in her carry-on… just in case. LOL right?

My Top 3 in flight must haves

  1. Hand Sanitiser
  2. Lip Balm
  3. Moisturiser

Everything else is optional, and totally acceptable. Most fellow passengers are side eyeing the free booze to pay you any mind anyway. And since we are probably only travelling from our bathroom to our bedrooms atm. We can aspire to and dream of luxury beauty, travel beauty routines and flying to exotic locations.

Do you like this #lockdown roundup of Inflight beauty routines ? Which one of these was your favourite? Do you have any others you like that I haven’t listed? Please let me know more in comments below~~ Lav xx

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">(OK confession time- please don't judge me! I have this thing for inflight beauty. By this I mean, I pack a travel beauty bag, which i decant and use up every two weeks. And I don't travel much at all. I do it for the fun of it. So this Lockdown period is just enabling me to keep changing the combo, adding and deleting beauty products. Repacking a travel beauty case. Because- you never know ;))(OK confession time- please don’t judge me! I have this thing for inflight beauty. By this I mean, I pack a travel beauty bag, which i decant and use up every two weeks. And I don’t travel much at all. I do it for the fun of it. So this Lockdown period is just enabling me to keep changing the combo, adding and deleting beauty products. Repacking a travel beauty case. Because- you never know ;))

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">If you liked this list, have a gander at my other<strong> <a href="https://runninginredlipstick.com/2018/01/05/my-work-makeup-bag/&quot; target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">post</a></strong> ( bit oTT now I think, but have a laugh…) or this one which talks about exfoliating powders I<strong> <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://3-powder-exfoliators-i-love/&quot; target="_blank">love</a></strong> (no liquid, yayy!) If you liked this list, have a gander at my other post ( bit oTT now I think, but have a laugh…) or this one which talks about exfoliating powders I love (no liquid, yayy!)

3 Beauty Podcasts you can catch up with while WFH

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Corona has got us at home, and working from home WFH. We can sweeten the deal by listening to a few our our favourite things. In my case it's beauty chat. So without further ado, my top 3 beauty Podcasts that you can listen to while WFH.Corona has got us at home, and working from home WFH. We can sweeten the deal by listening to a few our our favourite things. In my case it’s beauty chat. So without further ado, my top 3 beauty Podcasts that you can listen to while WFH.

  1. Breaking Beauty Podcast: Hosted by Canadian beauty insiders Jill Dunne and Carlene Higgins, this funny and informative podcast is full of a beauty junkies treasure. Origin stories, Tips and tricks and lots of new product launch details. This has it all. It is also resassuringly long. But not too tedious. Download it and subscribe, its a beauty lover’s nirvana.

2) Naked Beauty : Brooke DeVard hosts this podcast which has nothing to do with being in the buff, but all about buffing, and with a great deal of realism thrown in. I really enjoy the guests that Brooke interviews. Whilst Brooke herself is a woman of colour, and sure the podcast is peppered with topics relevant to WOC. The podcast isnt limited to the BME demographic. There are lots of natural recipes- DIY face masks, Face oils, Cleansing oils etc. And prepare for some effing and jeffing.

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">3) <strong>Outspoken Beauty by Nicola Bonn</strong>: Nicola is funny, a bit clueless but really engaging and has a lovely conversational style. She's English too, and that wonderful self deprecating British humour comes through. Nicola also has the most wonderful guests, topics- stories, brand introductions and a great dose of realism- expect a bit of swearing, talk about sagging boobs and a great deal about red lipstick too. 3) Outspoken Beauty by Nicola Bonn: Nicola is funny, a bit clueless but really engaging and has a lovely conversational style. She’s English too, and that wonderful self deprecating British humour comes through. Nicola also has the most wonderful guests, topics- stories, brand introductions and a great dose of realism- expect a bit of swearing, talk about sagging boobs and a great deal about red lipstick too.

I really miss the work commute and my podcast ” quality time”. The ones I’ve listed above is how I connect to the “old me”. These are my three podcast reccos, but I’d to hear yours. ~love Lav xx

If you liked the list above you might like this one too.

Love in the time of Corona- my top 3 Nourishing Face Masks

( Items marked * are gifted/ unpaid PR and for more details please read the Disclosure /PR policy here)

Ok I take a ” break ” and what has happened to the world? This Corona virus has really taken 2020 by a storm, erm pandemic. I am taking this time “off” to do some long drawn out beauty rituals. These calm my corona-stressed skin, and show it some much deserved love. My face has been enjoying the attention, and going foundation free is making me glow! All this indoor air is drying me out a touch- and I’ve been using nourishing masks to help hydrate and replenish my parched skin. My top 3, that I’m enjoying at the moment are:

A sample of the Bioderma Hydrabio Range

Bioderma Hydrabio Masque*

What it promises:

Bioderma’s Patent, aquagenium which Intensely moisturises, Provides lasting comfort and Restores the skin’s suppleness and radiance

How to use it:

Use Daily in the first week for an optimum result, then as follow-up, once or twice a week.

  • STEP 1: Apply a thick layer of Hydrabio Masque on your face and neck, after cleansing with Hydrabio H2O or Hydrabio Milk (Cleansing milk) and toning with Hydrabio Tonique (Toner).
  • STEP 2: Leave on for 10 minutes.
  • STEP 3: Then remove any excess product with a cotton pad.

Suitable for:

Dehydrated Sensitive Skin

Ingredients:

Water (aqua), Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dimethicone, Xylitol, Glycol Palmitate, Corn Starch Modified, Arachidyl Alcohol, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Niacinamide, Pyrus Malus (apple) Fruit Extract, Rhamnose, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Titanium Dioxide, Arachidyl Glucoside, Fructooligosaccharides, Disodium Edta, Mannitol, Xanthan Gum, Hexyldecanol, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Alumina, Stearic Acid, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (parfum).

Fragranced formula. Non-comedogenic. Hypoallergenic.

Jane Scrivner Intense De-Stress Face Masque*

What it promises:

Jane Scrivner’s Masquerade is an anti-wrinkle face mask that also melts stress away. This intense facial treatment calms dry skin and balances pigmentation to promote a beautiful, noticeably even complexion. Infused with rosehip oil, the anti-ageing masque soothes and repairs the skin to help fade sun damage and fine lines with every application. Formulated as a decongestant for stressed skin and rich in antioxidants, the anti-aging face mask includes an abundance of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. A touch of French clay draws toxins from the pores, calendula calms irritation, pure argan oil conditions skin and jojoba gives it a more youthful, beautifully even tone.
● Recommended for for all skin types 
● Apply to clean skin, let it sit for 10-15 mins and then rinse and pat dry

What it does:

● Repairs mature skin to precent dullness, wrinkles and lines
● Gentle, pregnancy safe, gluten free, organic and nut free 
● Refreshing natural scent of neroli and Ylang Ylang 

Suitable for:

  • Gluten free
  • Nut free
  • Plant based
  • Pregnancy safe
  • Vegan

Ingredients:

Aqua, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Kaolin, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (o), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (o) Prunus Armeniaca Kernel (Apricot) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Coco-Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Phytate, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Pelargonium Graveolens Roseum Oil, Rosa Centifolia Bud Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Citrus Sinensis Peel Extract, Vanilla Plantifolia Fruit Extract, Styrax Benzoin Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol, *citral, *eugenol, *farnesol, *linalool, *limonene, *geraniol, *citronellol, * benzyl benzoate, * benzyl cinnamate,

*naturally occurring in essential oils.   (O) Organic 

Beauty of Joseon Revitalise Sleeping Mask*

What it promises:

This is an anti-aging and moisturizing sleeping mask enriched with Hanbang (traditional Korean herbal medicine) ingredients. It contains elasticity-boosting soybean and ginseng extract. It leaves your skin extraordinary smooth and silky during the night. It has a pudding-like texture and then turns into thin film-like layer. This locks all the beneficial ingredients from your skincare products without any heavy or greasy feeling.

How to use it:

Apply this sleeping mask at the last step of your night time skincare routine. Sleeping with mask overnight and rinse off with lukewarm water in the morning. Recommended to use 3-4 times a week when you need extra care.

It says for all skin types. And it is probably suitable for most as it contains Niacinamide. ( More on this in a post soon)

To sum it up:

These nourishing masks do different things, that’s not a bad thing. Do you need all? No! should you have them all? Oh yes if the price is right. I appreciate that in this hard times, with job layoffs and uncertainties. (Thank you Corona) buying three masks may not be on the top of your list. But should you choose to look after no 1, I hope this review helps. I’ve given a breakdown of the ingredients so you can decide if ingredients are right for you. I’ll also leave links for ingredient checkers here and here, by and large these are suitable for all but the most sensitive. But if you have sensitised skin, you know to stay away from common sensitisers.

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