What do you get when you cross two beauty bloggers, an excess of beauty products and Christmas around the corner?
A CHRISTMAS ADVENT BEAUTY SWAP, that’s what!
A few months ago, I caught up with that awesome beauty blogger, Cindy of the Cindy’s Planet Blog, and amid all our usual banter about beauty products over coffee we arrived at the topic of how we both have so many beauty products in our respective stashes that we simply haven’t used or don’t know what to do with.
As it were, Cindy is a veteran on the international beauty swapping circuit and while she was giving me advice about swapping beauty goods overseas, we both came to the conclusion that we could try a little local beauty swap between ourselves and hopefully barter away something we don’t need for something useful or at least interesting in return.
So, the original intention of our swap was to rid our stashes of the product excesses by swapping these forgotten and unused items with each other.
After all, one beauty blogger’s trash is another girl’s treasure but then you know how these things are – it kind of took on a life of its own over the course of two months and we both ended up buying each other a few more beauty products for this swap, in addition to sample swapping our deluxe beauty odds and ends.
Which was awesome and crazy at the same time but this is what happens when beauty addicts deal in beauty products – we just unwittingly amass more product madness lol
Cindy and I made this a pretty epic 25 Day Advent Swap allowing for a gift for each day to open until Christmas Day inclusive because who doesn’t like opening presents but about a week after this meeting it actually dawned on me that 25 is a H-U-G-E number of items and I was panicking about this swap but heck, I kind of felt the fear but did it anyway!
In all honesty, I’m not sure that I would recommend this volume of parcels to someone new to swapping but if you plan ahead and pace yourself – it can be done because I’ve never done a formal swap before but I managed to get a handle of it despite my initial reservations.
It was a bit overwhelming for me because 25 individually-wrapped items can be quite a challenging amount of gifts to find and wrap for a first-timer like me but this being a local swap, I was able to save on shipping fees that would normally be associated with an international swap so I didn’t have to be concerned with weight or package bulk.
Cindy and I also began preparation for this Advent swap about two months before the handover deadline of December 1 so that gave us plenty of time to plan and wrap the gifts. I had to pace myself out by wrapping two or three items a week and this was manageable.
The only thing we neglected to discuss was a SWAP BUDGET and it’s probably advisable that you discuss this with a swap partner before you commence your swap preparations as you really don’t want any bad feeling to result if there is a huge discrepancy between how much one party in the swap did or didn’t spend.
Actually, Cindy and I had planned to do this swap with only samples and bits and pieces we forgot to talk about this part. Our bad.
Anyway, as challenging as it was, we’ve now reached the best part of our swap which is the UNBOXING part and seriously, it is a blast unwrapping a gift each day until Christmas Day and, if you’re reading this Cindy, I am loving everything I’ve opened!
So far, I’ve received items and brands from her that I haven’t tried before and I really feel that doing this swap has revitalised my own stash of beauty products.
I only hope Cindy likes the items I’ve prepared for her.
Anyway, here’s what I’ve received so far from Day 1 – Day 5.
I know Cindy picked this up during one of her jaunts overseas because we don’t have Boots here. This hair treatment smells like just like strawberries and cream. The tub is huge and heavy and Cindy says it’s inexpensive enough to be generous with it too. I love it!
I love Japanese skincare and it’s kind of timely I got this because I’ve just overbaked myself by the seaside last week. I’m really happy that this is a multi-functional product that I can use as a toner/ moisturiser/ priming base apparently.
Wow, this is cool. It’s some kind of fizzy water for the skin. I’ve never tried anything by Laneige before and I know half of Asia is crazy about this brand. This sounds like an amazing product. Love, love, love!
Day Four was a complete skincare trial set by Nature Republic. Yes, the magic word is COLLAGEN! Not going to say no to this.
I opened this today and it’s a lip cream and I love it because I use a lot of lip balm. Will definitely use this. No waste here.
So there you have it, Day 1 – Day 5 of my Christmas Advent Swap with Cindy of Cindy’s Planet.
I still have 20 more gifts to unwrap and so does Cindy at her end. I have to admit, I can’t even remember what I’ve gifted her because it’s a huge number of parcels to keep track of and I have to ask her daily to be reminded of what I wrapped a month or more ago.
Have you ever done an Advent Beauty Swap before and what did you think of it?
If you haven’t, it’s something you could consider with a friend locally or overseas but if 25 gifts is too overwhelming, you could always do a gift every second day or a gift a week.
The other alternative is to do a Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle) gifting activity where you swap gifts anonymously between several friends or colleagues.
Of course, you can set up your own rules about type of gift and budget. The key is to make it fun!
Would you like to see the rest of the gifts from my swap with Cindy? Do let me know if you want me to post about the remaining parcels.