Christmas is an amazing time for beauty lovers with virtually every brand bringing out exciting special editions, make-up palettes worth collecting, and handy gift sets that are perfect as presents for friends and family. From bath and body products to high-end lipsticks, we guide you through the most attractive of this festive season’s beauty gift ideas.
Find more gifts and decorations on our dedicated Christmas hub page.
1. Give an indulgent bath oil
There’s no better opportunity than Christmas for spending a bit of extra time in the bath, pampering limbs tired from work – yes, preparing Christmas dinner is work, too.
Aromatherapy Associates has been a firm favourite with beauty lovers for many years, and no wonder. The strength and effectiveness of its bath oils is second to none with many different essential oil blends available depending on your needs.
The Clear Mind Bath Oil blend is available exclusively at Liberty.
2. Choose a hand-pampering set
Everyone loves a manicure, which makes Christmas a great time to splash out on a fabulous handcare set. If you’re after something cute and playful, the Alpacas Hand Cream Trio by Cath Kidston is as cute and festive as presents get.
Manicure sets make great Christmas gifts – always useful, and there are lots of excellent options out there. We like the Alice Scott Manicure Set, available at John Lewis.
3. Never too many make-up brushes
A make-up brush set makes sense: make-up brushes do wear and lose their shape, so it’s a delight to get a brand new set every once in a while. From budget but good-looking options to professional kits, there is a great deal of choice out there.
If you are on a budget, the Make Me Up brush set (above) from Asda’s George Home range is hard to beat for value for money: it’s pretty, and it has all the brushes anyone needs.
If you feel like splashing out on something luxurious, then look no further than mini makeup brushes by Charlotte Tilbury (below). The brushes are supremely soft and precise (as you would expect from Tilbury, who is a professional make-up artist), and the design is just delectable.
- Love this? You might like to indulge in a makeup storage solution, too.
4. Go for metallic make-up
The metallic make-up trend shows no signs of going away, and the festive season is particularly accommodating of gold eyeshadows and shimmery highlighters. Fortunately, gone are the days of crazy glitter that will travel all over your face, and most festive shimmery offerings now create more of a subtle glow than full-on sparkle.
Our pick of the festive highlighters is the gorgeous Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder. It comes in either a rosy or golden shade and instantly refreshes the complexion.
Chantecaille has been making understated, top-quality make-up for decades, and the Mermaid Eye Colour range is no exception. The dense metallic eyeshadows create a beautiful foil-like effect on the lid – you’ll definitely want to keep using these well after Christmas. Shown below in Triton and available at Liberty.
5. No Christmas party is complete without red lippy
There’s a red lipstick shade out there for everyone. Heard that one before? And is it true? Well, yes and no. We think it’s more of a case of not all red lipsticks being created equal.
The Velvet Matte Lip Pencil by Nars (below) is a failsafe option, offering very different red-based shades from a soft coral to a very purple berry shade. They are super easy to apply, too, with a velvety texture that’s impossible not to love.
If you had to choose just one red, though, aim for something with the best balance of orange and purple – not too warm and not too cool. We think the Girl Lip Stylo in Lover by Hourglass (below) is pretty close to the perfect red. Available at Liberty.
6. Go for a blockbuster gift set
The Weekender Set by Cowshed (below) has everything you need for a weekend of self care, including a lovely cherry red nail varnish. It’s affordable and the perfect Christmas gift for a beauty lover.
7. Get them some serious skincare
As a rule of thumb, when choosing skincare as a gift, go for tried and tested over niche and unheard-of. The products that are around years (in some cases decades) after they launched are still there because they work and have a loyal following.
You can’t go wrong with the Double Serum Collection from Clarins (below), which includes the brand’s bestselling Beauty Flash Balm and the lip-transforming oil. Available at Debenhams.
The Elemis skincare range is equally reliable. The festive Pro Collagen Perfect Duo Set (below) includes its bestselling Pro-Collagen cleansing balm, a marine cream and a luxury cleansing cloth.
8. Pick a perfume
Perfume is lovely to receive as a gift. We love the joyful and summery Terre de Lumiere from L’Occitane (below). It smells of honey, lavender and almonds, and will remind your recipient of afternoons in the sun.
9. A glass perfume bottle for decanting their favourite
If your recipient already has all the perfume they need, and especially if they have a signature scent you know they buy in large volumes, why not give them a fancy glass stopper bottle to decant some of their perfume? This gift works especially well if they don’t like sprays, and it looks amazing on the dressing table, too.
Our pick is the elegant Clear Glass Bottle with Gold Ribs from Maisons du Monde.
10. A beautifully printed cosmetic bag
Not all cosmetic storage bags are created equal, so give them a bag that is high quality and pretty enough to display on a vanity unit. The Blackbird and Bramble Cosmetic Bag from Thornback & Peel is just the ticket. It's 100 per cent cotton, and costs £22.
11. Give a luxurious body scrub, minus the packaging
A perfect gift for someone in need of the indulgence of a body scrub, but who dislikes messing around with tubes or jars, the Kiehl's - 'Ultimate Man' Body Scrub Soap comes in bar format, just like a soap, is easy to use, and smells amazing.
12. And how about a lip exfoliant, too?
Yes, lip exfoliants really are a thing. They’re actually the best way to sort out dry, chapped lips, and much more effective than chapsticks and balms which can make things worse. Our favourite is the gorgeous Nordic Berries Lip Exfoliator by Henne Organics. It works wonders and smells wonderful.
13. A massage candle for relaxation and pampering
The perfect choice for someone you know who really needs to relax and unwind over Christmas? A massage candle. A relatively new idea, a massage candle is a candle, scented body oil, or massage oil in one product.
The Rose de Mai Massage Candle by Oskia is our firm favourite. Its aroma is out of this world and it’s deeply nourishing and relaxing for the skin (the wax is completely natural and coconut oil-based). Simply light it, let a bit of the wax melt, and massage in. No need to worry about it burning skin, either, as the low melting point of the wax prevents it from getting too hot.
14. A quartz face roller to sit on top of a vanity
Now, the verdict is still out on semi-precious stone face rollers, and we fully understand that they’re a bit too Gwyneth Paltrow for some. But... they look beautiful in the bathroom, they feel pleasantly cool against the skin, and they just seem like they were made to be given as gifts. So, why not? Mind, though, that not all are created equal (ie, if it’s under a tenner, it’s probably not worth it).