If you're anything like me you'll be running behind with your Christmas prep. I bought my first gift two days ago, so I still have a long way to go, especially if I take into account all of the baking and decorating. I don't know how I'm going to get it all done. So, in order to try and help you out a touch I've put together a gift guide for the last minute shoppers out there. There's a bit of everything here from beauty to food, so hopefully you'll find something you like.
My Top 5
Aromatherapy is something that I hadn't really explored until recently, but with a huge improvement in my mood and the realisation that my sense of smell is the one sense that I always overlook, I started looking into ways to add some beautiful, and even helpful, smells to my life. As much as I love a good scented candle, sometimes I want something tailored to my specific taste or needs at the time, and for that reason the Aromatherapy Oils* from Essence of Arcadia are perfect. There are two sets available; One contains six oils and the larger one in the image above contains a whopping fourteen so you're able to make your own scents to match your mood. My current favourite combination is orange, grapefruit and frankincense. It smells just like the chocolate liqueurs I used to have at Christmas, so it's a perfect scent for this time of year.
Botanicals is a new brand to me, but one that I'm really impressed with from my limited experience. I've been using the Cleansing Melt* for the last month and I'm in love! I've been looking for a good cleansing balm for a while now, but none have impressed me until now. With the heavenly scents of rose and camellia and the moisturising and cleansing properties of the butters and oils it contains, you can be sure that not only will you love using it, but your skin will thank you for it too. I'm really tempted to buy the gift set for myself as it not only contains the Cleansing Melt, but also features a serum, moisturiser and a muslin face cloth. The entire collection is suitable for those with normal, dry or ageing skin, so this would make a great gift for a wide range of people.
I'm sure it's no surprise to see a gift set from Lush on my list. I, along with the majority of the world it would seem, have somewhat of an obsession with Lush for their amazingly scented products, wacky product designs and their stance on animal testing. It wasn't easy deciding which gift set to add to my list, but I was totally won over with the packaging of this one. There are five products in the set for bath, body and shower which are contained in a reusable tin with an adorable image of a deer on the lid. I'd be tempted to buy this for that alone! If I still had a bath I'd be snapping one of these up for myself, but as it happens I'd be unable to use three of the five products so it just wouldn't make sense for me.
If you're a regular reader here (thank you if that's you) you'll have seen my posts about The Vegan Kind Beauty Boxes, but did you know that they also do lifestyle boxes? The lifestyle boxes are monthly rather than quarterly like the beauty ones, and contain a mixture of snacks, products and lifestyle bits and bobs. If you have a vegan or cruelty-free person in your life who is difficult to buy for one of these options would be ideal.
As I mentioned in my review of Eden Perfumes, finding beautiful vegan perfumes isn't always an easy task. The majority of high-end or celebrity perfumes are made by companies who test on animals, so what's a girl to do when she runs out of her beloved Chanel? Go to Eden of course! For just £15 you can get your hands on a myriad of vegan dupes for high-end scents, both current and discontinued. I now own six perfumes from Eden so I think it's safe to say that I'm a fan. They smell exactly like the scents I used to love so much and they're made with animal and people friendly ingredients right here in the UK. I really cannot recommend them high enough, so if you have a man, woman or dog (they sell dog perfume too) in your life who misses their signature scent you need to look into Eden. They'll love you for it.
I've tried two products from Valley Mill so far, the Passion Fruit candle that I reviewed a few months ago and the newly released wax melt. Both have seriously impressed me. I'll be picking up the Mince Pie Scented candle next week as a treat to myself so that'll be my Christmas scent this year.
As a self-confessed Netflix addict, I can't think of many gifts better than a subscription to the service. For just £6 a month (which is a great way of spreading the cost of Christmas as well as giving an excellent gift) you have access to thousands of films, box sets, documentaries and more. I'd be lost without Netflix, how did we ever manage before?
There's little more in life than makes a vegan happier than spreading the word, so what better way to help the compassionate person in your life do that than with a funky new t-shirt? Redbubble has thousands of designs, colours and styles to suit almost everyone, so I'd be surprised if you didn't find the perfect item of clothing.
While this may seem like an odd thing to put on a gift guide, it's something that a lot of people would really appreciate. A couple of years ago I opened a present from my brother to find that he'd donated in my name, and to a charity he knows I love and support, and it meant the world to me. For someone to know you so well and listen when you tell them that there's nothing you need is a wonderful feeling. That's the first time I've cried opening a Christmas present since I was a child, and I'll never forget how close I felt to him.
The thought of spending the better part of £90 on nail polish may send some people into a bit of a cold sweat, but for the manicure addicts out there this is pretty much as good as it gets. Containing thirty of the brand's top-selling shades, you'll be spoiled for choice with a mixture of textures and finishes. Although I have a fair few Barry M Nail Paints already, I'd still be thrilled to get this off Santa.
I really hope that you've found something worthwhile on this gift guide, there should be a little something for everyone. If you're all set for Christmas, why not treat yourself to a little something as a "well done to me for being so organised"? You deserve it!