My sister and I used to take the bus to Brent Cross every year to buy our Christmas presents. We went armed only with a list of recipients and a wad of saved pocket money and, come the end of the day, would go home laden with bags. We would then put on a mixed tape of Christmas classics and wrap for hours on end. It was a simpler time.
Now we have the internet – excellent for alleviating back pain from carrying bags, not so great for the sensory element of shopping. There also seems to be a huge premium placed on extreme organisation and an air of smugness rife in those who complete their shopping before December. It has all become a little systematic and strategic for my liking, and it is for this reason that I have left my shopping guide until now, because December is the proper time for Christmas shopping and, along with putting up the tree, really helps you get in the mood.
So, if you’re a diehard proponent of internet shopping and will be buying online, I’ve tested all the below to so that you needn’t worry that a pressie that looked promising online is disappointing upon receiving. Please humour me while you’re clicking away and listen to Last Christmas at least once…
– Nars Super Orgasm Lip Gloss. The cult orgasm range has delivered some corkers and none better than this lipgloss, which would suit anyone.
– Barefoot Botanicals Rosa Fina Facial Spritz. I’ve featured this spritz oh-so-many times. It’s excellent stuff.
– Shea Mooti Mama’s Shea Butter Soap. Soap is having something of a comeback, and this one’s always a pleasure to use. It is organic and delicately scented (an unscented option is also available), but leaves none of that dreadful ‘squeak’ of old school soaps.
– Ellis Faas Mascara. A creamy mascara which is equally good at creating natural or voluptuous lashes, Ellis Faas have created the perfect luxury mascara in their signature silver bullet.
– Nars Cheek Palette Foreplay. A set containing four of Nars’ best cheek colours, this is another Nars winner.
– Jurlique Rose Hand Cream. This is a natural, beautifully scented cream every woman should have.
– Dr. Alkaitis Organic Day Cream. This light and yet deeply moisturising cream from one of the best skin specialists around is ideal for anyone who tends to find wintery climes a little taxing on the skin.
– Aromatherapy Associates Renew Rose Massage & Body Oil. If anyone in your life is in real need of a pamper, this will fit the bill. It smells, feels and softens like a dream.
– Blossom & Jasmine Lavender & Basil & Jasmine Candle. The mobile beautifiers have just come up with these soy and vegetable wax candles. Get this fresh scented one for anyone who likes their luxury candles.
– Celtic Sheepskin Toscana Gilet. This gilet screams winter luxe and the Toscana wool lining won’t let in any cold.
– Knot Only Becksondergaard Scarf. 50% silk and 50% wool, this scarf is lightweight and yet big enough to wrap around chilly necks twice. The scattered stars print sold it to me.
– New CID i-polish in Eton Mess. The light on the brush of this makes easy work of applying varnish neatly and this pink shade is universally flattering.
– Jonathan Ward Orange Opium Artisan Diffuser. Anything Jonathan Ward makes for a great present for tricky customers. This diffuser is a beauty.
– Tweezerman Lighted Mirror. Another lighting feat, this magnifying mirror is a godsend for tweezing and applying make-up.
– Ila Body Lotion for Nurturing Skin. Ila is an excellent brand and this dark blue tube contains one of my favourite moisturisers.
– BeautyWorksWest Body Luxurious Anti-Ageing Body Treatment. With a name that says it all, there isn’t too much for me to add aside from that the claims the name makes are true – this is decadence in a pot.
– Christian Dior Grand Bal Collection Night Golds Eyeshadows. Dior eyeshadows are all so well made and makes a really nice gift, especially for older women for whom quality shadows are important so creases aren’t emphasised.
– Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream. The gold standard of eye creams comprising of 3 patented and a host of other eye-smoothing and firming ingredients.
– Aromatherapy Associates Overnight Repair Mask. I cannot think of anyone who wouldn’t be happy to receive this mask, but it’s particularly good for anyone who’s had a tough year.
– Luxtural Facial Deep Moisturizing Anti-Aging Lotion. The fusion of luxury and nature, this groundbreaking moisturiser is seriously worth the astronomical cost if you’re going all out.
– 4711 Original Eau De Cologne 800ml. A perfume that’s been popular for over 200 years has got to be good. This mega bottle doubles as a perfume and ornament in the bathroom.
– Ted Baker Totally Twinkie & Golden Girl. This duo can be worn separately or together for equally pleasing results.
– Kiehl’s Lip Balm. An iconic balm for a reason, this will be squeezed out until the last lip-saving drop is expended.
– Stila Girl Travel Palette Haute in the Hamptons. Four shadows, a blush and a bronzer in wearable hues, this is exceptional value for a tenner.
– Butter London Lips & Tips – Fiddlesticks. A bang on trend set – slightly goth and subtly glittery.
– Liz Earle Natural Glow Bronzer. You can’t go wrong with a good bronzer and this colour is hugely flattering on pale wintery skin.
– Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. Another cult, another perfect present. This oil can be used as a highlighter, hair oil, leg shimmer and moisturiser.
– Celtic Sheepskin Cashmere Hottie Cover. Cashmere is always received with delight. This hot water bottle cover just makes cold nights that bit more comfortable and its snow white cover is beautiful.
– Falke socks. I love seeing men wear brightly coloured socks under their sober suits. The quality of Falke is unparalleled and they make some mighty fine colours to jazz up his ankles.
– Liz Earle Men’s Kit. All men ought to be acquainted with good skincare, and there is no better time than Christmas for these luxury minis in a handy hanging travel bag.
– Urban Ears Plattan Earphones. Aside from appealing to me because they come in many colours, these are genuinely a hit with men too as the sound quality is superb. There is also an option for a second set of earphones to plug in, ladies.
– The Balvenie 30 Year Old Whiskey. An ultimate for men who like their whiskey, I have been vehemently assured by my husband that this whiskey would be appreciated by any discerning gentleman.
– Native Union Honeycomb Bt iDock. A phone dock, speaker and handset in one, get this for the man who has it all.