Despite all best intentions, my usual gift guide extravaganza didn’t quite happen this year (you can find last year’s for Her, for Him and stocking fillers, and previous years plus some DIY ideas here if you’re looking for inspiration), but there were still a few finds I wanted to share. There’s a bit of a beauty-loving, feminine lean on this one as it’s really a round up of a few of my favourite things, which also make rather lovely gifts.
Kiss The Moon Bath and Facial Oils, from £34
I was lucky enough to test these out in the particularly plush surrounds of the Charlotte Street hotel, but I can confirm they’re just as lovely and efficient in my rather less luxurious bathroom at home, when the hot water is on the blink and the neighbours are having a mid-week party. The brand has clearly been created with a lot of love and thought; all of the scents are beautiful, well-rounded and blended with fantastic quality base oils, but I particularly love ‘Calm’ (both as the bath and facial oil), which smells like a cup of steamy jasmine tea and is a refreshing change from the slew of lavender-based sleep products.
They make a particularly lovely gift for anyone who has had a bit of a rough year, or tends to put themselves last. If you’re very quick, 15HELLO will knock 15% off at the checkout (ends November 30th).
Zara Faux Fur Clutch, £19.99
A bit of a ‘I never thought I’d buy…’ purchase, but the compliments I’ve received on this suggest surprisingly mass appeal. The faux fur is the perfect minky-pink to team with just about everything without looking too eccentric, and it feels a lot more luxurious than the price tag would suggest.
Becca Spotlights Kit, £20
Perfect for those obsessed with sporting a healthy glow, Becca’s highlighters are some of the best. The kit contains favourites, Pearl and Opal, plus a limited edition Champagne Gold shade all in travel-friendly sizes (which last for ages). Great as a gift alone, but even better split between friends.
REN Radiance Gift Set, £30
I’m on about my fifth tube of REN Glycolactic mask, and have given several as gifts to both ladies and guys. The result is a reliably excitable text message a few weeks later to say ‘My skin looks amazing! Thank you!’. This year REN have a Radiance Set including a full sized Glycolactic Mask priced at £30, the same as the mask alone, housed in a Japanese crane-inspired tin (which, refreshingly, is neither too feminine or Christmassy in design) with samples of the Micropolish cleanser, BB Cream and AHA concentrate.
‘Pretty Honest’ by Sali Hughes, £11
From one of my favourite beauty journalists, Pretty Honest is packed with no-bull titbits gleaned from quite a few years immersed in the beauty industry. Written in Sali’s usual engaging and whip-smart style, it covers all bases from dandruff to date night makeup.
Bobbi Brown Deluxe Lip and Eye Palette, £59
Bobbi Brown have hit a home run for no-brainer beauty gifts this year with an extensive collection of gorgeous tortoiseshell-clad palettes. The Mini Eyeshadow Palette wins on cute points alone, but the Deluxe Lip and Eye Palette has a great selection which should flatter most skin tones and appeal to everyone, from the ardent beauty superfan to those who fancy trying colour cosmetics for the first time.
The Lipstick Diaries ‘Karma’ Ring, £25
One of my current favourite pieces of everyday jewellery, the ‘Karma’ ring is crafted from gold fill by London-based jewellery designer, Maria (you can also find her stall at Portobello Market at the weekends if you’re nearby). The design is simple enough to compliment all styles, but has a little meaning and love behind it too.
‘The Art of Eating Well’ by Hemsley and Hemsley, £25
The Hemsley sisters have been all over the press lately; it helps that they’re always impeccably dressed, but their recipes always hit the spot and I’m a big fan of their realistic nutritional approach. Healthy but still hearty (FYI: around a third of the recipes contain meat or eggs and most are low gluten) and not requiring a cupboard full of bizarre ingredients, it will inspire and satisfy most palates.
Agent Provocateur Chiki Set, from £125
I feel a bit sorry for boys on the receiving end of novelty boxers and socks at Christmas time. Girls, on the other hand, have the potential delight of a tell-tale pink box from AP – and their Chiki set, inspired by the 1970s, is seriously flattering. For a slightly more affordable (and tamer) version, try their diffusion line, L’Agent, which is now stocked on ASOS.
L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil, £17.50
L’Occitane’s Almond range is a reliable fall back gift for me. Slightly sweet, but without leaving you smelling like a Stollen, it appeals to just about everyone and the Shower Oil feels amazing on the skin, particularly during winter. It’s also a nice way to dodge bath-based pampering gifts for those with more petite bathrooms.