“Bah humbug” column alert. Christmas shopping is rarely a joy. It’s mostly awful. We end up harried and confused in spangly department stores, to a backdrop of Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody, wondering if our sibling would appreciate a novelty bath bomb. Giving gifts is lovely, of course – it’s just the finding them that’s a bit stressy, so I suggest you give a list of the following beauties to anyone who is interested in buying you something this year. They’ll be delighted (and relieved) and you’ll have some very nice present booty come Christmas morning. Winners all round!
Many beauty companies have started to package their hero products especially for Christmas in decorations and crackers, or in calendars, with varying success. Aromatherapy Associates do it the best and I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like their therapeutic oils. The Star, in a sturdy Father Christmas-coat red box, containing the glorious Revive Morning oil (the one that near-instantly perks up even the hungover and fatigued), is great value at £10, and perfect stocking-filler material.
Sticking in the seasonal vein, candles and Christmas go together like Brussel sprouts and turkey. If you covet scented candles (the kind it always feels too ostentatious to buy for yourself), Diptyque and Cire Trudon are top asks (and, if you do give one as a gift and it isn’t joyously received, you should phase this crazy person out your life). The newest, coolest candle brand on the shelf is No.22, a pared-back stroke of genius. There are just three scents –Woodstove, Bookshelf and Centrepiece – each emitting comforting, enveloping gorgeousness and they look TOTALLY beautiful (which is, of course, as important as the fragrance). So, ask for all three. (I have.) There’s no harm in asking, is there?
Now is a good time to ask your nearest and dearest for a beauty investment piece. Lots of glitzy limited-edition packaging at this time of year looks promising, but falls short. However, Hourglass, which is the under-the-radar beauty aficionados’ brand, has recently launched an Ambient Lighting Edit Palette that cleverly contains all the brand’s best-selling powders – and it is AMAZING. Hourglass is known and respected for its lighting and strobing expertise and this palette contains six – count ’em – different highlighting, bronzing, blush, strobing, all-over glowing powders, which are the most obsessed-over by make-up artists and beauty editors. You’ll be glowing (with great skin and gratitude well into summer).
On the subject of premium make-up, Chanel beauty is a no-brainer. A little piece of double-C action is as cheering as a Christmas morning Buck’s Fizz. The varnishes are iconic, but even more thoughtful is the limited-edition Chanel Les Beiges Health Glow Hydrating Lip Balm, which is peachy, flattering perfection in a tube.
Other tubes of beauty perfection include Becca Beach Tints for lips and cheeks, which are sheer, buildable and brilliant, basically, and Dr.Hauschka Rose Day Cream, an epically good organic, restorative face cream, which doubles as a sheeny highlighter on cheekbones and a dry lips cure. So, merry nearly-Christmas, everybody!