WORDS EMILIE LOUIZIDES
If my Christmas-related anxiety is tied to one thing, it’s the clutter that the Holiday brings. Pardon my tone, but every year when friends and family ask me what I want for Christmas, my answer is always the same: something practical and no useless crap. Advent Calendars and Twelve Days of Christmas themed gifts might look nice in their boxes but as soon as you unwrap each sample sized gift, you’re left with a lot of junk that’s only going to collect dust and eventually go in the bin.
As my Christmas gift to you, I’ve rounded up a collection of presents that anyone would be grateful to receive and excited to use. From luxurious experience-based gifts for feeling pampered to cult favourites, and full-sized beauty products that you actually need (think body wash and sustainable toothbrushes), this list will be your holiday shopping guide – or you could just call it your Christmas wish list and email it to your mom.
Along with keeping your friends and families’ homes clutter free this holiday season, I also don’t want any of you breaking the bank, so these gifts start at only £4.25. Most importantly, every single gift is cruelty-free, so no animals had to suffer for you to be merry! Happy shopping – let me know what you get.
Oh My Cream !
Oh My Cream ! – originally born in Paris – is the clean beauty concept-store that gives you access to what is best for your skin through products and facials. I recently paid a visit to the brand’s London store in Notting Hill, and I was blown away by the range of products stocked and the treatments offered. Oh My Cream believes in efficacy and results above everything else which is refreshing, especially in an industry that is oversaturated with products and treatments that just don’t work. While you can never go wrong with gifting skincare, Oh My Cream’s gift cards can be applied to products or treatments, giving your friends and family the gift of choice.
£30 - £150
Revitalizing Night Balm
Duck & Dry
London’s blow dry bar Duck & Dry celebrates the natural beauty of everyone’s hair and elevates it with their professional touch and expert-led styling products that are stocked across their four locations. Yulia Rorstrom, the brand’s founder, created Duck & Dry from the client perspective, on a mission to make beautiful hair accessible for all. The brand’s sustainability efforts are diverse and impressive, so supporting them is a no brainer. Pick up a Blow Dry and Prosecco gift card or, if you know your giftee’s hair type, surprise them with one of Duck & Dry’s Hair Care Collections.
Pimple patches might not be the most obvious Christmas present, but we’re going to change that. This is the product that your friends and family always see and often think about adding to their skincare arsenal, but never get around to purchasing. These patches from COSRX protect wounded or troubled areas from getting worse while maintaining the humidity of skin to prevent further breakouts, which is essential in wintertime! Whether you need a secret Santa gift under £10 or a small gift to stuff in a stocking, you can’t go wrong.
In all my years browsing shelves and scrolling through the internet looking at skincare, I’ve never seen a brand as popular, fun and adorable as Glow Recipe. The Hey You, Glow Kit features full sizes of the brand’s bestselling Watermelon Glow Toner and Niacinamide Dew Drops. The viral duo provides extra hydration and visibly reduces the look of hyperpigmentation for a dewy, reflective glow, without mica, glitter or grey cast – win, win, win!
This gift is perfect for the skincare buff in your life or the friend or family member who knows nothing about skincare and needs a solid routine to begin with. The Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner reduces the look of dark circles and smooths texture, while the Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturizer instantly hydrates and strengthens skin. The Banana Bright+ Eye Crème instantly brightens under eyes and visibly reduces crow’s feet, completing the renewing trifecta.
This wouldn’t be a gift guide without Glossier. High on the list of my favourite brands of all time, not a single makeup job of mine goes by without a solid handful of Glossier products being used. Each of their Christmas gift sets feature full-size, essential products that will make any newbie fall in love with Glossier or beef up the Glossier afficionado’s already teeming collection. So whether you have a friend who needs to restock their touch up kit, pack up some travel essentials, or play up their eye makeup for New Year’s eve, Glossier has you more than covered.
HUDA Beauty’s new EM[POWER]ED collection has impressed me so much that I had to include two options from the brand. The EM[POWER]ED 18W Eyeshadow Palette houses the most glorious range of neutral shadows I think I've ever seen in my entire life. From warm, to mid-tone, to cool shades, both matte and shimmery, this palette will work for someone who owns zero makeup or all the makeup. To complement the endless eye looks that can be created with this palette, the EM[POWER]ED Lip Trio includes a Lip Contour 2.0 in Pinky Brown, a Power Bullet Matte Lipstick in Interview, and a Silk Balm in Bold Gold. Give these gifts and you’ll basically be handing over a full makeup look.
Want to add even more to your friend’s makeup collection? Or do you have someone in your life who wears the perfect cat eye, or wants to start? Look no further than KVD Beauty’s Tattoo Liner Duo Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Set. This set comes with two full-sized liquid liners in black and brown with tattoo-bold pigment and a needle-precise brush tip for a perfect wing every time.
Blink Brow Bar
Okay, not to brag at all but I often get compliments on my eyebrows and eyelashes and it’s because I’m always wearing products from Blink Brow Bar, specifically the Clear Brow Gloss and Iconic Tubing Mascara. These products make me look and feel my best and both can be found in Blink’s Christmas Sets. I’m consistently gifting BBB products to my family and myself and I think you should do the same.
Under £5, Dr. PAWPAW’s festive Multipurpose Shimmer Balm uses eco foil and is 100% recyclable. Each balm features a story from a young person with cancer who is currently receiving help from Dr. PAWPAW’s charity partner, Teenage Cancer Trust. A portion of each sale is donated to the charity, making this gift one that you can feel really good about giving. The balm’s soothing formula is created with Papaya Fruit, Aloe Vera, and Olive Oil and can be used on the lips alone or as a lipstick topper, on the eyes, on cheeks as a highlighter or anywhere on the body for some extra shimmer.
BATH + BODY
Neal’s Yard Remedies
Combine luxury and practicality and the result will be Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Bath and Shower Collections. I’ve received these gifts myself and it’s afforded me the opportunity to cross bath and body wash off the shopping list for a few months. The Neal’s Yard products keep me looking clean, smelling fresh, and feeling relaxed. My bathroom also looks like a hotel with the products proudly displayed on the tub. The shower set includes glorious scents like lavender, geranium and orange while the essential oil-based bath set includes seaweed and arnica and a blend for sleep.
Serene Body Health
Admittedly, I’m the beauty editor who doesn’t know much about perfume, but I love essential oils so Serene Body Health really piqued my interest. The brand’s roll-on perfumes offer the healing benefits of essential oils in a diverse range of fragrances. Formulated in Melbourne Australia, powerful aromatherapy products are carefully constructed using natural botanicals and high-grade essential oils. If you have a friend or family member and you know how they like to smell, the Sample Scent Bundle allows you to choose three out of five of the brand’s scents, making this a personal and complete gift.
You may have never thought to give the gift of period products but as people with periods are increasingly turning to reusable and sustainable solutions, DAME’s pad and applicator sets really do make the perfect gift. DAME has reimagined period products and created comfortable, toxin-free, and carbon negative alternatives. The majority of their customers even report improved period symptoms such as less pain and cramping, lighter periods, and less irritation when using the brand’s tampons and pads. Gifting period products from DAME will simultaneously make your loved ones’ lives better and reduce the overall stigma around periods – what could be better than that?
Did I mention that I love Glossier? The same scent as the brand’s mega successful fragrance, the Glossier You candle has notes of pink pepper, fresh iris and woody ambrette. On the fruitier side, the Orange Blossom Neroli Candle features neroli and pear, citrus and cypress. The candles can be purchased individually, making a great gift, or as a set, making a phenomenal gift.
With a bit of humour and Poo-Pourri’s festive range of toilet-freshening scents, you can give the gift of transforming your friends and family’s bathrooms into a winter wonderland – which is essential when you’re having lots of people over for the holidays, just saying. Frosty Flush has a clean combination of scents like eucalyptus and grapefruit while Oh Spritzmas Tree is more on the woodsy side with a blend of cypress, balsam, and cedar wood. Spritzmas Spice, possibly the most Christmassy of all, blends traditional spices like cinnamon, clove and ginger.
From fitting into Christmas stockings, or as a sustainable secret Santa gift, F.E.T.E’s (from earth to earth) cute and colourful products will make a perfect Christmas gift for anyone interested in living a more eco-friendly life. The Bamboo Family Starter Pack contains a set of four bamboo toothbrushes and stands, a pack of bamboo cotton buds and a small bamboo hairbrush, setting your Christmas cuties up for an extra sustainable 2023.