We know, we know. Christmas has come around even sooner this year. It was only yesterday that we were devouring that mountain of mince pies, in July. Good Fortnum times.
Yet you won't find a trace of reluctance at Gold Flamingo HQ when it comes to embracing the sparkle and wonder in the crisp air. The fairy lights have been ceremoniously strung, and the wine has been magnificently mulled (and consumed, and mulled again several times). While the first door of our advent calendars anticipates our eager knock, our elves have been busy assembling an inspired list of the best gifts and ideas. Before the chorus of Fairytale of New York kicks in and has us singing wildly into the night, let's dive in.
The Special - Not Your Everyday Gifts
Morphée (£79.95) - Falling asleep quickly, deeply, and restfully is just about the greatest gift you could give a loved one (including yourself!). We genuinely adore this. It harnesses the benefits of meditation and sophrology and really helps recharge your batteries.
Onaie Slippers (from £25.00) - This gift is a sure way to warm hearts - and of course feet. Sure, they may seem a little whacky at first glance, but these handcrafted sheepskin wonders are the definition of comfort with their special moulded sole and fine materials. This stylish take on cosy slippers will bring joy and warmth long after you ring in the New Year.
Indie (Duo Set) (£25.00) - We are big supporters of gifts that go the extra mile to save the world but don't cost the earth. Using 99% less plastic than traditional shampoo and conditioner, the refillable aluminium bottles come with UK-based vegan hair product that you can mix and match, and refill simply with an order. With creative scents and names (featuring "TEA TREE 'EM MEAN" and "FLATTERY WALNUT GET YOU ANYWHERE", this is a perfect gift for both unwrapping potential and accessible sustainable habit building.
Green & Spring (from £60.00) - If you can't gift the actual British countryside, this might just be the next best thing. The natural, cruelty-free bath and body products are created from sustainably foraged ingredients, and are wrapped in divine packaging that represents a different aspect of British nature. In fact, we love it so much that we've done a whole feature on it here.
The best part? Each Christmas purchase includes a complimentary handpainted glass bauble for that extra sparkle.
Emma Hardie (£60.00) - Natural, radiant, and brilliant, this is one for the beauty and skincare junkies. The Moringa Bath & Body Duo of luxury bath & shower oil and luxury body butter is gorgeously decadent with fruity scents and essential oils. What's more, currently if you purchase the set, you can choose between a Daily Essentials Collection Cracker or a Midas Touch Collection Cracker as a free gift.
Feather & Down (sets as low as £6) – This is our winner when it comes to an affordably luxurious gift. It's all about giving the "Gift of Sleep" - and we can vouch for that! There are many combinations of products in the sets on offer, to cater to the recipient. The outcome, however, will be one - a calming spa feel that invokes a peaceful, refreshing sleep!
Humble (from £10.50) - From soaps and bath salts to hand care and creams, Humble proudly create clean beauty products that artfully bridge the gap between luxury and sustainability. The unique element for us is the variety of scents - we have been adoring the Sweet Pea & Verbena sets!
Latest in Beauty (varies) - Why have one item when you can have a whole set? What we love about Latest in Beauty is that they do all the legwork to gather all the best products in one bundle, ready to share with your favourite people. Currently priced at £38 but worth a whopping £192, we're loving the Haul of Fame - The Heroes 2021 collection, that we think is perfect to wrap up the year, or the Advent Calendar. With a Retail value of over £360 it is priced at £70 but on offer for our readers at £60 (for £10 off use code ADVENT10), giving you a saving of £300 for 24 products/brands, 15 being full-size and a hero product being QMS, worth £150.
UP COSMETICS - A grand gesture from Up cosmetics collection is the perfect Christmas gift of all for those partial to a little makeover.
Nine Yards (vaires) - It's not just skin that needs the attention! Lockdown done a number on your hair? Us too. Luckily, Nine Yards brings the Nordic essence back into it with gorgeous packaging and 5 years of ingredient optimisation, ready to gift with some excellent set options including the Repair Duo and the Volume Duo.
The "I'd love to have" (aka - gifts for you)
Made of Stories (Laptop cases from £50.00) - The concept of 'travel inspired fashion' has truly captured us, and we think that most pieces on the site would make a wonderful gift for anybody that is looking to uproot routine, or indeed jump start their travelling selves on this side of tough times. Made of Stories endeavours to make the ordinary extraordinary, and the everyday timeless. The laptop cases (and their matching luggage pieces!) are top of our picks.
Magnitone (£90.00) + Wrinkless Schminkles (£15.00)- Perhaps less traditional (and possibly a little controversial if not for you!) in the gifting world. We sometimes recognise somebody in the mirror who is determined to start the new year with that motivation for self-care and revitalised energy! These are great both as an actual aid and as an incentive to see that resolution through.
Alpha H (£varies)- Other than the quiet, casual luxury the products offer, it's the 'build your routine' element that we love about Alpha H. It's about building good habits around skincare, rather than the post-problem remedy. For anybody with an appetite to kickstart that self-care towards resilient, supple, and hydrated skin, a browse through the 'Build Your Routine' section should give you what you need.
Also in the same spirit of self-care, Derm Insititute is also worth checking out with their wonderfully effective 'Youth Alchemy" range, to remind you that even though the calendar says a year has passed, your skin doesn't need to!
Hair Gain (varies) - After the year we have all faced, we are all deserving of a little gift from here. Hair Gain has meticulously studied the science behind loss and inbalance of the hair growth process, and has proven results backed up by immense numbers (78% increase in growth, with 86% of users reporting a noticeable difference). Vitality and shine, here we come!
Call this bias, but we love this section of the gift guide. We could go on - we have Skimono, offering high performance beauty masks with a touch of Christmas luxury, Sensory Retreat to melt that stress away with self-heating masks for sleep and relaxation,
Sockshop (from £9.99, advent calendars from £36.99) - Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a hint of socks in under the tree. Luckily, it's Sockshop to the rescue yet again. Cosiness, colour, and style is what it's all about, and the question isn't "which one do I buy?" - it's "how many should I buy?". Can one really have too many socks? Stay tuned to find out, after Christmas.
Nivea Gift Set (varies) - We love to feature Nivea in our gift recommendations - it's universally beloved for good reason. It is the core of essential beauty for so many in the UK, and the brand turns selfcare into an everyday lifestyle and pampering indulgence rather than a chore. It's a safe but forever appreciated option.
And, if you haven't quite spotted the one that rings 'Hallelujah' in your ears, we're big fans of Buy A Gift and Find Me A Gift, both which provide marvellous and unique options from spa weekends and afternoon teas to tickets for magical London events and handpicked treats like hampers and other goodies.
Happy shopping - only 29 more sleeps to go!
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