Beauty Christmas crackers to glam up your festive face game

'Tis the season to obsess over skincare and make-up minis

Crackers of old used to be cringe-worthy, packed full of awful dad jokes and plastic toys destined to end up in the bin within the hour. But the new generation of beauty Christmas crackers brings a whole extra level of excitement to our festive celebrations.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a host of festive treats pop up in the beauty halls with everything from beauty advent calendars, baubles and now – in what is probably our favourite incarnation of the merry theme – there are beauty Christmas crackers too.

Adding a touch of modern luxury to the tradition, these are sure to set your dinner party off with a bang, so take a browse through our pick of this year’s beauty Christmas crackers and stock up before party season hits…

Philip Kingsley Let it Shine Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Philip Kingsley

The Elasticizer alone makes this the perfect Philip Kingsley gift, but the addition of the Daily Damage Defence gives you a hit of protection against heat, damage and breakage every single day. Truly the dream duo.

How much is it?

£10

When is it available?

Now!

Aveda Style On The Go Cracker

Perfect for touching up hair on-the-go or taking away for a weekend city break, this features some of Aveda’s bestselling styling essentials, from the Thickening Tonic to the new Blow Dry Accelerator.

How much is it?

£18

When is it available?

Now!

Birchbox skincare & make-up crackers

beauty Christmas crackers

This festive season Birchbox are selling not one, but two beauty crackers. With skincare and make-up options, each is packed with four mini treats from sell-out brands including Benefit and Sand & Sky.

How much is it?

£15 each

When is it available?

Now!

Too Faced Limited Edition Beauty Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Too Faced

Featuring everybody’s favourite mascara, Better Than Sex and a highly pigmented liquid lipstick, this is all you’ll need for a season of festive partying.

How much is it?

£14

When is it available?

Now!

Caudalie Vinosource Christmas Hydration Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers

Skincare addicts will go wild for this little trio of goodies, which will save your complexion from a season of over-indulging. Just look at that packaging, too!

How much is it?

£10

When is it available?

Now!

Jo Malone Christmas Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Jo Malone

What’s better than a Christmas gift from Jo Malone’s always-amazing festive collection? We can’t think of a thing. This year the brand is offering a ready-made cracker for £32, as well as customisable options. Fancy.

How much is it?

£32

When is it available?

Now!

Perricone MD No Make-Up Lipstick Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Perricone MD

Famous for their ‘No make-up make-up line’, Perricone MD’s festive lipstick and mascara crackers will both make lovely beauty treats this Christmas.

How much is it?

£25

When is it available?

Now!

Invisibobble Duo Cracker Hair Tie Gift

beauty Christmas crackers Invisibobble

Give the gift of snag-free hair ties this Christmas with six of Invisibobble’s iconic ties in both bronze and holographic white.

How much is it?

£7.99

When is it available?

Now!

The Liberty Beauty Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Liberty

Liberty has teamed up with iconic brands Omorovicza and Susanne Kaufmann to bring you this dreamy aromatherapy treat to calm both body and mind this winter.

How much is it?

£12

When is it available?

Now!

ELEMIS Frangipani Monoi Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers

Snap up two of ELEMIS’ hero products from the Frangipani line to nourish your skin this winter time, all wrapped up in a seriously beautiful cracker.

How much is it?

£15

When is it available?

Now!

Nuxe Beauty Christmas Cracker

beauty Christmas cracker Nuxe

Containing skincare treats for the face, body and hands – including the iconic Huile Prodigieuse oil – you’d be hard pushed to find someone who wouldn’t love this cracker.

How much is it?

£10

When is it available?

Now!

BBB London Eye Wonder Collection

beauty Christmas crackers

This is the ultimate little gift for the party girl in your life. It includes the brand’s lengthening and volumising Iconic Lash Mascara and an Eye Wonder Colour Stick.

How much is it?

£25

When is it available?

Now!

Jo Loves Christmas Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers

With a semi-customisable concept (you can choose to include a Fragrance Paint Brush or a Body Spray), these offer a personal twist. Also, we challenge you to find a cracker with more beautiful packaging.

How much is it?

£40

When is it available?

Now!

Clarins Festive Treats for Eyes & Lips Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Clarins

Clarins’ crackers are a real ‘treat’ for the festive season (the clue’s in the name). As well as the above there’s a Face & Lips version, if you’re more of a skincare person, and a men’s grooming option too.

How much is it?

£10

When is it available?

Now!

Cowshed Hand Care Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers

Our hands go through the wringer at Christmastime, so restore them back to their best with this lovely hand cream and cuticle oil duo.

How much is it?

£12

When is it available?

Now!

Marc Jacobs Anything Go-Gos Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Marc Jacobs

Filled with their best-selling Velvet Noir volumising mascara and one of their long wear Le Marc Lip Cremes, which promise 10 hours wear, this is a great addition to any beauty arsenal.

How much is it?

£18

When is it available?

Now!

Eyeko Christmas Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Eyeko

Containing an impactful black mascara and liquid eyeliner inside, this Eyeko cracker has everything you need for standout lashes on Christmas day.

How much is it?

£15

When is it available?

Now!

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Gift Set

beauty Christmas crackers

This glittery offering from Givenchy is pretty much your Christmas party look all wrapped up – we love it.

How much is it?

£25.50

When is it available?

Now!

Molton Brown Exquisite Treats Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers Molton Brown

With four mini versions of Molton’s bestselling shower gels, this’ll have you smelling delicious and feeling fresh all festive season… and beyond. Beauty Christmas crackers truly are the gift that keeps on giving.

How much is it?

£20

When is it available?

Now!

This Works The Big Bang Cracker

beauty Christmas crackers This Works

There’s nothing quite like the OG This Works Pillow Spray, and this little beauty features the roller ball (perfect for festive travel) as well as the softest eye mask you will ever lay your hands on.

How much is it?

£13

When is it available?

Now!

M&S Beauty Ragdale Hall Spa Large Cracker

Christmas crackers beauty M&S

Like a spa in a packet, this bumper cracker is great for a little TLC over the holiday period or makes a lovely gift for under the tree.

When is it available?

Now!

Kat Von D Signature Eye and Lip Set

beauty Christmas crackers Kat Von D

Featuring the iconic Tatoo Liner and Studded Kiss lipstick, this Kat Von D set is the perfect gift for a fan of her eponymous brand.

How much is it?

£17

When is it available?

Now!

Words by Rebecca Fearn and Lucy Abbersteen

Easy Christmas make-up tutorial

Embrace old school glamour with a dark red lip and put a twist on the classic smokey eye by mixing an array of golds and bronzes.

Words by Charlotte Clark

1. Prep your skin with primer

Give your make-up an even base by applying primer. Spread it evenly over your hands and then pat and roll into your skin. Make sure you apply primer wherever your foundation will be going – so don’t forget places like your neck.

2. Apply your foundation

Use the back of your hand as a make-up palette and then dab your foundation where you need most coverage – so your nose, forehead, cheeks and chin.

3. Blend your foundation

Using a sponge or brush, blend your foundation from the centre outwards for a natural finish. Make sure you blend all the way up to your hairline and along your jaw line.

4. Shape your eyebrows

Using a brow pencil, draw short hair-like strokes to fill in sparse areas, focusing on your arch first. Work out whether you need to elongate your brows by placing your pencil on a diagonal angle from the outer corner of your eye. The end of your brow should stop at the tip of your pencil.

Now, fill in the centre of your brows, but go lightly. The start of your brow shouldn’t be as dark as the rest.

5. Prime your eyelids

Take a small amount of eyeshadow primer and apply over your whole lid – right up to your brow. This will stop your eyeshadow from dropping or fading throughout the night.

6. Apply your darkest shade of eyeshadow to the outer corner of your eyelids

Using a small, fine eyeshadow brush, work the powder along the socket of your eye. Then, create a V by taking your brush down to your lash line on a 45 degree angle. This will give you a nice flick at the outer corners of your eyes. Keep blending until the edges are softened. Then, create definition on your lower lash line by brushing your eyeshadow underneath your eyes.

7. Apply your blending shade

When creating a smokey eye, you need to have a middle shade to bring the darkest and lightest shades together. Take your middle shade of eyeshadow – in this case, a rich gold – and blend it from the inner corner of your eye over your lid.

8. Add a pop of shimmer

Using a very small eyeshadow brush, apply your lightest shade of eyeshadow to the inner corner of your eye and blend outwards to the centre of your eyelid. This will really open up your eyes and make them sparkle.

9. Define your eyes

Using a liquid eyeliner, draw along your top lash line. Start from the centre of your lash line and draw outwards towards the outer corner of your eye, before filling in the inner corner. Follow the natural curve of your lash line to create a flick at the end.

10. Brighten up your eyes

Use a white or nude eye pencil to draw along your lower waterline.

11. Add mascara

Apply at least two coats of mascara to your top and bottom lashes.

12. Conceal under your eye

Using a concealer in a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone, draw a triangle under your eyes from the inner corner of your eye, down to your cheek and back up to the outer corner of your eye. This will brighten up the whole area. Then, blend with your brush or sponge.

13. Define your cheekbones and contour

Starting from your ear, lightly sweep your bronzer or blush back and forth, underneath your cheekbones. Then dust the excess powder along your hairline and jawline to create definition.

14. Highlight

Using a cream or powder highlighter, gently dab the top of your cheekbones to give your skin a radiant glow. Also highlight the bridge of your nose and the tip of your nose for extra radiance.

15. Define your lips

Follow your natural lip line with pencil and fill in. This will stop your lipstick from smudging at the edges.

16. Finish with lipstick or gloss

Smooth your lipstick or lip gloss over your lips to add extra depth.

And there you have it. Christmas inspired red and gold festive make-up.

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