I think most of us would agree that the perfect gift is that that comes from the heart. It’s thoughtful, caring and unconditional. It’s the gift that says how much someone means to you, how you feel about them and how much you appreciate everything they do. I’ve never done a gift guide here on the blog, mostly as I share the belief that the perfect gift is not about material products, but rather experiences you create for others. More on that in a previous post here. However, I really enjoy giving someone a gift because I know they need it, they will use it often and it might mean something to them. If you’re still looking for last-minute gift ideas or planning to take advantage of post-holiday discounts, here’s what you should check out and why …
Pre- and Post- Holiday Recommendations
1). Elemis Holiday Sets – Elemis, one of my all-time favorite skincare brands, has some incredible deals (read: steals) this year. Their gift sets are desirable, spirited, sensorial! Featuring some of the brand’s bestselling products exquisitely wrapped in elegant festive packaging, the Elemis gift sets are ready to delight!
One of the sets I have is the Elemis Biotec Energizing Skin Secrets comprised of a cleanser and day cream. Scientifically proven to help increase cell energy, the Elemis Biotec range harnesses a complex of Zinc and Copper. This range is new to me so the gift set is an excellent opportunity to try these products out. Stay tuned for a thorough review once I’ve used them a little longer.
The Elemis candles are old favorites. Their aromas are comforting to the senses, bringing a soft welcoming glow to your home all year round. I simply adore the Soothing Glow Candle (with notes of eucalyptus, lavender and geranium) and Joyful Glow (vanilla, orange and cinnamon). There are no synthetic or artificial notes that I detect, so every now and then during a sale I allow myself to splurge on these.
Some other Elemis favorites that I recommend to everyone who crosses my path are: the Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm (it’s Holy Grail for me and I explained why here), their Lime&Ginger Salt Scrub, Frangipani Body Oil (more on this in a previous post here), the Elemis Pro Collagen Serum, Peptide Nighttime Cream-to-Oil, and the Elemis Superfood Facial Oil (how I use this here)!
2). Molton Brown Holiday Sets – Molton Brown holds the Royal Warrant for the supply of toiletries to Queen Elizabeth II and for a good reason! The Molton Brown gift sets are definitely something you should check out! I have been a fan of the brand for as long as I can remember. What I love most about their products is that they nourish my skin and delight my senses! Because let’s face it: life is too short to waste on products that don’t bring us joy! This year the Molton Brown Holiday Collection features some of the brand’s most iconic luxuries, stars of Molton Brown, charmingly wrapped with their signature finishing touch in some of the most exquisite festive boxes!
The Bauble Gift Set, a personal favorite, includes an irresistible trio of the brand’s most cheerful bath and shower gels: Vintage Elderflower, Fabled Juniper Berries & Lapp Pine and Mesmerizing Oud Accord. I wish you could just give these a whiff!!
Another great set is their Embracing Hand Cream Trio. Infused with white truffle, this is the perfect take-everywhere, perfect for any occasion kind of gift. The Molton Brown hand creams are luxurious, incredibly hydrating and absorb quickly without leaving any stickiness residue behind.
All Molton Brown products are made in England using the world’s finest ingredients.
3). L’Occitane Holiday Gifts – L’Occitane sets are always some of my favorite gifts to give and receive! They usually come in cute pouches that can be used to store your cosmetics and for traveling. I really enjoy their L’Immortelle skincare range, Lavender Hand Cream (review here) and Almond Body Oil.
4). Christophe Robin Haircare Set – This brand will probably come as no surprise to loyal readers as I have previously raved about their line here and here. Formulated almost 100% with natural-origin ingredients, these are some of THE best haircare products I’ve ever tried, making my hair visibly healthier and remarkably shinier! I have already recommended or gifted the Christophe Robin haircare line to countless friends and family members. The feedback is always the same! I have yet to meet someone who has not enjoyed these products!
One of their best-sellers is the Christophe Robin Regenerating Range featuring Prickly Pear Seed Oil, a natural treasure with powerful regenerating, antioxidant and repairing virtues for all hair types. For the holidays this year, the brand curated a beautiful box comprised of a selection of 3 exceptional treatments enriched with Prickly Pear Seed Oil: a shampoo, regenerating mask and multi-purpose regenerating balm for hair and body. The perfect gift whether you’re buying for yourself or others.
5). A Game-Changing Hairbrush – I never thought I would recommend giving a hair brush as a gift, but let me just say that not all hair brushes are created equal. Today’s hair brushes are designed to soothe and comfort the scalp, imparting incredible shine and luster to your locks. It is the kind of gift that will be used every single day, most likely a few times a day.
A hair brush that has completely changed the game for me is the Tangle Teezer. I had previously tried some cheaper alternatives I found at TJ Maxx, but found them rough and abrasive on the scalp. Then someone gifted me a Tangle Teezer! The Tangle Teezer brushes work wonders at detangling without pulling and breaking the hair. The material they’re made of is not too soft and not too hard, but adds just the right dose of stimulation to the scalp, making them ideal on wet and dry hair. I have two Tangle Teezer brushes. The mini on-the-go detangling brush fits perfectly in the palm of my hand and features an adorale flamingo design. I like to carry it in my bag at all times and I’m never without it. They do offer a wide selection of cute and elegant designs, definitely check them out. I also have one of their full-size blow-styling brushes which I use on wet and dry hair to detangle and while blow drying. It has a revolutionary teeth configuration which flows thru the hair free of tension, allowing it to dry with volume and natural movement.
6). Slip Silk Pillowcase – Another gift that keeps on giving and that I cannot recommend enough! I have previously raved about these 100% silk pillowcases, how they’re made and where to buy them at a discount here.
7). Mind-Enriching Reading Material – A good book, magazine or audio subscription will never go out of style when it comes to a great gift. Some of the books I am gifting this year are:
- Personal Development Books – Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself (by Dr. Joe Dispenza) – I read this book 3 times! It’s the book I recommend to everyone looking to learn about effective ways to cope with stress, regain control of their thoughts and create the life of their dreams. I have been thinking about doing an in-depth review here on the blog, so stay tuned.
- Beauty/Coffee Table Books – A light read is always entertaining. Some favorites are: Capture Your Style by Aimee Song reviewed in great detail here, Love x Style x Life by Garance Dore, Pretty Honest and Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes.
- Magazine or Audio Subscription – Since becoming a mom, Audibles has been my main resource for reading books. They have such a wide selection of books, any book you can think of is now on Audibles. The app is super easy to use and the monthly subscription is quite reasonably priced. While it might seem as if magazines are going out of style with more and more people getting their info online, I’m still enjoying Porter and Architectural Digest. Their articles are captivating, while their photography is mesmerizing and inspiring.
8). Fragrance – Fragrances are actually not an easy gift. Scents are so personal and typically smell differently depending on the person. Some of the perfumes that I have gifted in the past and seem to always be well received are Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede, Chanel Gabrielle and Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia reviewed in great detail here. Cologne recommendations include Chanel Blue, YSL L’Homme, and Dior Homme. For detailed fragrance reviews and recommendations, I suggest checking out the channel Perfumes En Vogue on YouTube. They film their videos in the most beautiful locations and have impartial, thorough reviews of every fragrance you can think of!
9). Pajamas – This is the gift I enjoyed receiving as a kid and I still enjoy receiving now! I typically select PJs that are made from 100% cotton or 100% silk, as the fabric we sleep in has the ability to enhance our sleeping experience. More on that here. Some of the pajamas I will be gifting this year are this 100% silk one here , this flannel one here and kid’s pajamas from 100% organic cotton here.
10). Makeup Recommendations – One of my most asked questions, on Instagram and in real life, is: what beauty products do I recommend for gifts? I typically steer clear of gifting makeup as people have different preferences. But some fail-safe gifts are good makeup brushes, such as the Artis Foundation Brush I reviewed in great length here. Other makeup brushes I recommend can be found in a previous post here. Some other posts you might find helpful are Luxury Makeup Worth the Splurge where I discuss and swatch some of the most luxe products I’ve ever tried and What to Buy at Sephora which features skincare/makeup/haircare/bodycare and fragrance recommendations.
11). Watercolors and Illustrations – This is such a special gift, especially for those loving the Fine Arts. One of my favorite artists is Wayne Smith, someone I came across on Instagram ( @SmithandFritzy ) a few years ago. He is a photographer and a painter with a keen eye for beauty. One of my most cherished gifts is a watercolor that Wayne painted of me with my King Charles Cavalier puppy, Bella. Wayne has his own website here and Instagram page here.
This year on my trip to NYC (see photos here), I discovered a beautiful illustration shop in the Bryant Park Christmas market, Melsy’s Illustrations. She also has an Etsy Store and Instagram page. Her illustrations are so elegant and tasteful. I purchased one for myself and several others for gifts.
So now you know what I’ll be gifting this year. What about you? What are some of your favorite gifts to give and receive? Will you be doing some post-holiday shopping this year? What’s on your list?
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