Cara Delevingne photographed for YSL's Wildly Gold Christmas Collection.
Apart from, maybe, fragrances, nothing says Christmas beauty self-gifting or gift-giving more than a gorgeously-packaged palette that houses all sorts of delectable make-up treats.
The great thing about Christmas palettes is that they tend to be designed with the party season in mind, both in the colours they offer and the size of the packaging. YSL's limited edition Palette Collector "Wild" Edition, which is like a slim mobile phone in size, will fit in even the smallest of clutch handbags. Such is the designer feel of this palette that it will look good in your bag too.
Bobbi Brown's Mini Eye and Lip Palette is equally space-efficient. And because all the products are designed to work together, you'll need to bring little else out with you, apart from maybe some cover-up.
Another thing I love about palettes, particularly at Christmas time, is that they tend to be great value for money. It's like the brands are also in a giving mood. Take Benefit's Sexy and Scrumptious: you're getting their cult Coralista blusher, a mini High Beam, a mini Posietint, a lip gloss, a mini They're Real mascara, and five neutral eyeshadows with a double-ended brush - all for €43, which translates to half its value.
Sometimes, when a palette offers quantity, it suffers in quality, but thankfully that's not the case with NYX's Butt Naked palette, as the colour payoffs and durability of all the products are superb. And despite the number of products, it's a nice-sized palette, definitely travel-friendly.
Clarins' Mineral Eye Make-up Palette isn't your typical Christmas palette in that it's not exactly handbag-friendly and, on first inspection, is a more daytime palette, but having played with it for weeks now, it has become one my favourites. The colours are so rich and easily buildable that a night-time look is easy to achieve. Also, the mineral-based shades don't feel at all heavy on the eyes, even though they're made to last. The accompanying brush isn't its greatest asset but will work for minor touch-ups. This is a palette I will use all year round. Not just for Christmas.
Mineral Eye Make-up Palette, €43
Clarins, available in selected department stores and pharmacies nationwide. Ten mineral-based, powerfully-pigmented colours. Not a single weak link among them.
Palette Collector "Wild" Edition, €85
YSL, available in selected department stores nationwide. YSL emblazoned case housing party-appropriate colours for eyes, cheeks and lips.
Butt Naked Palette, €29.99
NYX, available in selected pharmacies nationwide. 15 eye-colours, four blushers, two cheek illuminators and one bronzer. All for under €30! Yes, really!
Mini Lip & Eye Palette, €31.50
Bobbi Brown, available in selected department stores nationwide. Neat and nifty, all the products in the palette are designed to complement each other for a sultry but subtle party look. Classic Bobbi Brown.
Sexy & Scrumptious, €43
Benefit, available in selected department stores nationwide for a limited period. A heap of Benefit's most popular products in a seriously pretty case. You're getting €88 worth of beauty booty for €43. Result.