itting that sweet spot between practicality and luxury, it’s hard to go wrong with a good beauty or grooming Christmas gift. Be warned, however, today’s savvy skincare fan or make-up aficionado knows their stuff – so a hastily purchased high street gift set isn’t going to cut it. From the latest must-have brands to seriously premium upgrades on everyday essentials, here’s our guide to the best beauty, grooming and fragrance gifts for Christmas 2021.
The best skincare gifts
Unless you consider yourself clued up on the latest Vitamin C innovations or the benefits of hyaluronic acid vs retinol, when it comes to skincare it’s best to turn to the experts. In this case, that comes in the form of high-end beauty department store Space NK and its best-selling Beauty Heroes set. The fourth in the series is set to be another sell out and includes powerful skincare products by the likes of Dr Dennis Gross, Sunday Riley, Tan-Luxe and Paula’s Choice.
Founded by Yannis Alexandrides, a Harley Street cosmetic surgeon with more than two decades of experience, 111Skin packs effective antioxidant ingredients into cruelty-free formulas that promise brilliant results for more mature skin. Utilising fine diamond particles, the Intensive range may not come cheap but its visible brightening, smoothing and restorative results speak for themselves.
A witty person once referred to the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve as the ‘Five Sunday of Christmas’ – an apt moniker for a period of downtime mostly reserved for Netflix, leftovers and the occasional winter walk. From many beauty fans, however, Sunday evening is a time for multi-step facial rituals designed to prepare them for the week ahead. Upgrade their routine with Omorovicza’s Evening Facial set, which includes the brand’s much-lauded cleansing balm, renewal serum, night cream and evening mist.
The best make-up gifts
First the beauty industry came for your advent calendars and now it's invading the hamper world too. And, while Cadbury may be quaking in its boots, we couldn’t be happier about it. Brimming with luxurious make-up and skincare products from the likes of 111Skin, Stila, Fenty, Marc Jacobs, Nars and La Mer, Harvey Nichols has even popped a bottle of champagne in its Beauty Lovers hamper for good measure. Well, it is Christmas after all.
Know someone who would never be seen without a perfect crimson pout? Make their year with this show-stopping lipstick set from Dior. Housed in an elegant velvet case featuring the French fashion house’s Cannage motif, inside they’ll find the full Rouge Dior range, spanning from blush pink to deep plum.
Aspinal of London
Of course, now they’re all kitted out, they’ll need something equally stylish to store their new make-up collection in. Available in four hues, including classic black, forest green, burgundy and this highly seasonal gold, Aspinal of London’s timeless cosmetics bag is crafted in fine full grain leather and finished with a grosgrain lining.
The best haircare gifts
While perhaps best known for its skincare and make-up, Parisian brand Sisley also does a stellar range of Hair Rituel products catering to every type of mane. Particularly impressive are its barrel blow dry brushes. Available in two versions, one for dry or damaged hair and another for thick, curly hair, the wild boar bristles leave hair bouncy and healthy. Gift alongside Sisley’s essential hair protection fluid for the ultimate at-home blow dry experience.
Holidays are, thankfully, back on the menu and if you know a glamorous frequent flyer who’s already planning next year’s getaways, ghd’s clever travel set makes for a brilliant luxury gift. Containing a travel hair dryer and Unplugged straightener (which, brilliantly, can be charged via USB), alongside a mini heat protection spray and paddle brush, everything is stored neatly in a smart travel bag for seamless packing.
London-based hairdresser to the stars Larry King, whose clients include Gigi Hadid, Chris Hemsworth and Jared Leto, is a man who takes the business of washing hair seriously. Not merely a necessary formality before your cut and colour, King’s Wash Cycle set treats shampooing the same way as skincare, with specific formulas for volume, moisture and cleansing, served alongside his Liquid Hairbrush conditioner to keep locks silky smooth.
The best men’s grooming gifts
Czech & Speake
It is our humble opinion that no well-groomed man should be without a Czech & Speake manicure set. Yes, it’s pricey – but just look at it. It oozes old-world glamour, boasts award-winning German design and speaks to a man so refined and sophisticated that even his nails get the VIP treatment. Gift it once and reap the aesthetic benefits of a lifetime of manicures.
Truefitt & Hill
If his morning shave is something he usually rushes through with a months-old disposable razor in hand, open his eyes to the pleasures of a truly luxurious shaving experience this Christmas. London barber Truefitt & Hill has been smoothing stubble and taming unkempt beards in St James’s since 1805 and now you can buy its most loved products to recreate the experience at home. Go all out with the Premier gift set, which includes a Wellington Mach III razor, badger shaving brush and shaving cream bowl, as well as cologne and aftershave balm in a choice of fragrances.
We firmly maintain that no man ‘doesn’t do’ grooming, he simply hasn’t been introduced to the right products yet – which is where Patrick’s comes in. Its range of hair and skin treatments are approachable while delivering visible results (and looking great on your bathroom shelf). Ease him in with the Deep Clean pack, featuring Patrick’s signature shampoo, conditioner and body wash. We guarantee he’ll be investing in the rest of the range in no time.
The best fragrance gifts
2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Chanel No5 fragrance and, to conclude a year of special events, pop-ups and celebrations, the house is offering a limited edition version of the scent for Christmas. Housed for the first time in a recycled glass bottle, Chanel has worked with Pochet du Courval to design a unique box made from biodegradable paper pulp which closely hugs the lines of the iconic No5 bottle. A true collector’s item.
Sure, you could buy one or two, or even three, bottles of perfume for a beloved fragrance fan but why stop there when Cartier offers six of its most popular scents in one elegant gift set? Curated by master nose Mathilde Laurent, Les Collection de Parfums takes the wearer on a journey through the Cartier olfactory offering, with scents running the gamut from the clean, savoury notes of L’Heure Promise through the gentle florals and fruits of L’Heure Diaphane and the romance and heady opulence of L'Heure Mystérieuse.
Jo Malone London
For men, meanwhile, this set of collaborative scents brings together two of London’s finest luxury exports: perfumer Jo Malone and Savile Row tailor Huntsman. The four scents in the collection, which draw on bold masculine aromas such as whisky and cedarwood, birch and black pepper and amber and patchouli, are available to buy individually. Purchase the full set, however, and they’ll come boxed in a leather trousseau lined with Huntsman tweed. Infinitely chicer, wouldn’t you agree?