Sumptuous gifts for skincare, fragrance and beauty lovers 

Mhairi Mann

4 December 2020

Discover the cult creams, shimmering oils and fragrant pleasures to place beneath the Christmas tree this festive season 

4 December 2020 | Mhairi Mann

All products featured on our website have been impartially chosen by our editors. If you purchase something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Dr. Sebagh

Strike gold this Christmas with Dr Sebagh's breakthrough Shimmering Body Oil, which glides on like silk for an enviable, sunkissed sparkle. This hardworking hybrid product also deeply nourishes the skin through a generous concoction of strengthening Vitamin E, hydrating rapeseed and luxurious mother-of-pearl, for a beautifully bronzed and wonderfully uplifting winter glow. Top up with Dr Sebagh's much-celebrated Self Tanning Drops, which also protect against the damaging effects caused by HEV light (think smartphones and laptops) – just the tonic during these Zoom-friendly holidays. 

£55, drsebagh.com

From left: Supreme Maintenance Youth Serum, £125, Serum Repair, £69, Self-Tanning Drops, £35, Deep Exfoliating Mask, £59, Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream, £195, drsebagh.com

A revered master in his field, Dr Sebagh was one of the first to champion vitamin C as a topically applied, potent antioxidant, to protect against free radicals and damage caused by sun exposure and pollution. It is now considered a cornerstone of any good skincare routine, lauded for its brightening and protective properties, particularly during winter. Dr Sebagh's Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream, presented in a travel-friendly vial, is made using the purest and highest concentration of vitamin C available. The versatile powder becomes a lightweight cream when pressed into the skin, or it can also be combined with your favourite serum or moisturiser to leave your face feeling incredibly soft and glowing.

Further Dr Sebagh bestsellers include the Supreme Maintainace Youth Serum and the award-winning Deep Exfoliating Mask, which clears pores and smoothes skin through a clever combination of azelaic and lactic acid. As with all Dr Sebagh products, a small scoop goes a very long way, meaning that Christmas gifts will last through winter and then some.

Shiseido 

From left: Vital Protection Uplifting and Firming Eye Cream, £67;Ultimune Holiday Kit, £95, Ultimune Limited Edition Holiday Power Infusing Concentrate, £120, Benefiance Overnight Wrinkle Resisting Cream, £87, shiseido.com  

Founded back in 1872, Shiseido is the undisputed darling of Japanese beauty, combining scientific credentials with time-honoured rituals and natural ingredients. Efficiency and elegance are in the brand's DNA. A bottle of the Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate sells every nine seconds, thanks to its award-winning formula of no less than 30 strengthening and patented ingredients, to smooth, soften and protect against environmental stressors. Also in the Ultimune collection, the eye concentrate promises a 30 per cent improvement in just one week.

The new Vital Protection collection dramatically lifts, tightens and firms ageing skin while the bestselling Benefiance collection is designed for those in their thirties, to fend off the early signs of ageing.

Clé de Peau Beauté

From left: Lipstick, £55, Luminzer Face Enhancer, £75; La Crème, £520, Concealer, £55, harrods.com

Clé de Peau Beauté is the most exclusive brand within the Shiseido portfolio and has long been Japan’s bestselling luxury skincare line. It arrived in the UK in 2019 to a fanfare reception at Harrods, where it remains exclusively stocked.

Beautifully packaged skincare and beauty products are loaded with active botanicals and backed by the latest science, hence the high price tag. The Foundation (£250), as it is simply known, is a much-fêted make-up/skincare hybrid that acts as a dramatic filter for the skin, while its deeply hydrating lipsticks plump and nourish, while offering eye-catching colour and shine. La Crème (£520) is an extraordinary, near magic overnight cream, which you can read more about here.

Barbara Sturm

From left: Balancing Toner, £45; Lip Balm, £40, Face Cream Rich, £145, Anti-Ageing Hand Cream, £50, Night Serum, £245, Face Cream, £135, net-a-porter.com

German cosmetic doctor Barbara Sturm has built up a phalanx of A-list fans, including Bella Hadid, Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow. They all praise her anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing creams and serums, created at her cutting-edge clinic in Düsseldorf using powerful plant-based ingredients. The mother-of-two also boasts a luxurious Baby & Kids line, created using the safest, most nourishing formulations for little ones.

Hand and body lotion

From left: Susanne Kaufmann body lotion, libertylondon.co.uk; Jo Malone handwash, £32, net-a-porter.com; Bamford hand and body wash, £24, net-a-porter.com; Augustus Bader Body Cream, net-a-porter.com, Aesop Body Balm, £70, libertylondon.com; Byredo hand wash, £38, net-a-porter.com

Luxurious hand and body lotions are a perennial favourite at Christmastime and with good reason – who doesn't appreciate a velvety soft serum by Susanne Kaufmann, sustainably produced in the foothills of Austria’s Bregenz Forest Mountains, or a firming cream by skincare supremo Augustinus Bader. Also highly recommended: an aromatic hand cream by Aesop is a failsafe staple of any modern bathroom, while Bamford's organic beauty line is concocted using nontoxic botanical oils and pure ingredients, housed in lovely green glass bottles. 

Fragrance

From left: Penhaligon's Artemisia, £144, penhaligons.com; Floris A Rose For..., £160, florislondon.com Chanel No.5, £57, chanel.com; Sisley Soir de Lune Eau de Parfum, £194, sisley-paris.com 

Choose bright Sisley and Jo Malone for mum; Chanel No.5 because you can't go wrong with an exquisite classic and Floris for rose-loving romantics. The perfumer's A Rose For... scent mixes floral notes with warm spice, oud and orris, underpinned by sweet amber. Each bottle is accompanied by a gold pen to personalise the festive red label, making it an ideal Christmas gift.

Haircare

From left: Ouai thick hair shampoo, £22, net-a-porter.com; Davines Love Shampoo, £17.50, libertylondon.com; Larry King Social Life shampoo, £40, net-a-porter.com Rahua hydrating conditioner, £22, net-a-porter.com

For hair like spun gold this Christmas, reach for Rahua. The brand takes its name from the oil derived from the rare Ungurahua nut, found in the Amazonian rainforest – regarded by women of the local Quechua-Shuar tribe as the secret to thick, lustrous hair. Also on our festive wish list this year: Davines' supremely nourishing and beautifully packaged, plant-based products; a plush, pastel-hued hairbrush by Mason Pearson and Larry King's volumising Social Life Shampoo.