The Beauty Buyers’ Top 20 Christmas Gifts
Is that sleigh bells ringing? The holidays are fast approaching – so, you’ve got some serious gift shopping to do. And who better to turn to than the experts? It’s safe to say Harrods beauty buyers Valerie Waite, Eve Fuller, Federica Sinisi and Lilly Perkins know a thing or two about which Christmas gifts make people smile. They’re constantly seeking out the very best in the industry and trying out the offerings within The Beauty Halls and H beauty is all part of the job – so you know the items that make it to their wish list are going to be special.
From the best serums and skincare saviours to make-up must-haves and moisturisers, they’ve shared their top recommendations for seasonal gifting. There’s a platinum-infused skincare set containing literal platinum that plumps up the complexion, and deep-cleansing haircare heroes to bring the Harrods salon experience straight to their homes (sometimes it’s just too tough to part from the sofa). We know the beauty lover in your life will be overjoyed when they find these tempting treats underneath the Christmas tree.
The Best Skincare Gifts
1. Best Skincare Gift Set for Sensitive Skin: Evidens de Beauté The Special Collection Gift Set, £295
Skincare buyer Eve Fuller is thinking ahead to ‘between-mas’ (that special quiet time in the middle of Christmas and New Year’s Eve) with this soothing kit for hypersensitive skin. “It includes all my favourite products from Evidens de Beauté. It has everything you need for your winter skincare routine – it's a gift of relaxation,” says Eve. Tell the lucky recipient to start with The Special Mask, it’s a super gentle formula infused with Triple Collagen to nourish and perk up the skin.
2. Best Skincare Gift Set for Treating Oneself: La Mer The Genaissance de la Mer Discovery Collection, £590
“This is the perfect gift set for someone who loves luxury skincare,” says Eve – probably, because each serum, cream and balm is refined with 24-karat gold which has peptides to stimulate collagen and firm up the skin. It’s also infused with rare red algae, proteins and antioxidants that clarify and plump up the skin.
La Mer's star ingredient, Miracle Broth, is a secret blend of sea kelp and minerals. Sea kelp grows up to three feet per day, so just imagine how it can help the skin!
3. Best Skincare Gift Set for Spa Goers: Elemis A Tale of Two Creams Gift Set, £130
Stocked in spas all over the world, Elemis’ deliciously scented products are renowned for their velvety textures and radiance-boosting effects. “Including two iconic products, you can gift yourself or a loved one that spa-at-home experience this season. Encased in beautiful book-style packaging, this set tells the perfect story this Christmas,” says Eve. By day, advise your loved one to apply the lightweight yet hydrating Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, which is infused with a Mediterranean brown algae called padina pavonica to replenish the skin’s moisture levels, plus rose and gingko biloba to protect skin against free radicals. The gel texture makes it ideal for oily skin types, and those with dry skin might prefer to apply a bigger dollop for extra nourishment. Follow with the sesame and avocado oil-infused Pro-Collagen Night Cream in the evening, the antioxidants will boost collagen production to firm up skin.
4. Best Luxury Skincare Gift Set: La Prairie Platinum Rare Holiday Ritual Gift Set, £3,198
Know someone who loves the finer things in life? La Prairie’s Platinum Rare products are infused with platinum, as the precious metal is known to replenish our skin's moisture levels. Plus, it’s packed with peptides to soften skin and boost collagen production. “The La Prairie gift sets are the pinnacle of luxury and, this year, you’ll find the La Prairie products are presented in a beautiful case to keep them in, which will look aesthetically pleasing on any dressing table or in the bathroom,” says Eve. The mauve case is so suave that loved ones can keep it and fill it up with more of their favourite La Prairie skincare stars as the years go by.
The Best Haircare Gifts
5. Best Haircare Gift Set for Heat Styling: GHD Deluxe Gift Set, £419
Eve advises to “enjoy the iconic Helios Dryer and Platinum+ Straighteners in opulent gold, they’re even encased in the most luxurious red velvet travel case.” The ultimate fuss-free blow dryer, the ultra-powerful GHD Helios Dryer is easy to use and swiftly dries hair. Likewise, the crowd favourite GHD Platinum+ Straighteners heat up in just 20 seconds. The straighteners are even made with special infinity sensors that monitor hair strands 250 times per second to ensure the heat stays at a safer temperature 185 degrees. It’s no wonder two million GHD stylers are sold every year.
6. Best Haircare Gift Set for Hair in Need of Hydration: Gisou Prime & Shine Gift Set, £43
We welcomed Gisou to the Harrods family earlier this year, and according to Lilly Perkins, Assistant Buyer for Skincare, the Honey Infused Hair Oil has been “one of the brand’s bestselling products this year.” The hero ingredient? Honey, which is jam-packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and has emollient and humectant properties which make the liquid gold a great natural moisturiser. Use the hair oil on wet or dry hair, before styling, overnight, or as a finishing touch to hydrate those strands. This gift set also includes the Propolis Infused Polishing Primer, made from – you guessed it – propolis, which is used by bees to build strong beehives, and is packed with plenty of oils, vitamins and minerals to protect hair for styling.
7. Best Haircare Gift Set for Hair Repair: Oribe Gold Lust Collection Gift Set, £100
“Discover Oribe’s cult classics this season by gifting yourself or your loved one with this complete Gold Lust routine, which is guaranteed to leave hair feeling deeply nourished and restored”, says Lilly. Yes, this collection of Oribe favourites includes the brand’s Gold Lust shampoo, conditioner, and hair oil, and all are infused with an expertly curated blend of oils and extracts. A special nod to the ingredients of plant collagen, cypress extract and caffeine, which smooth the cuticles (your hair’s protective layer) to defend tresses from friction, heat damage and harsh chemical treatments.
8. Best Haircare Gift Set for Busy Loved Ones: Living Proof Brilliantly the Best Gift Set, £34
Is there a busybody in your life who’s constantly on the go? We’re talking about the one who’s always hurrying to the office, zipping in between Christmas parties and trying to balance a hectic lifestyle in between hair washes. Lilly Perkins tells us that if your loved one is “rushing from one festive soirée to the next, Living Proof has them covered. This dynamic duo is a fast-track route to a great hair day.” They might have skipped hair wash day, but this sulfate-free, cruelty-free dry shampoo and texture spray combo will draw excess oil away from hair to give tresses a quick refresh in no time.
9. Best Haircare Gift Set for At-Home Blow Dries: Christophe Robin Hair Detox Ritual Set, £44
There’s something about that fresh-from-a-blow-dry feeling, but long, lazy days on the sofa may call for an at-home equivalent. This is where Christophe Robin’s Hair Detox Ritual Set steps in, “it’s designed to thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp, leaving you refreshed and ready to embrace the New Year,” says Lilly. Tell recipients to start by gently massaging the sea salt crystal scrub into the scalp to draw away impurities such as dirt, pollution and oil. And to follow with Purifying Shampoo, its red sea algae will smooth the cuticles and extend the time between washes. Finish with the detangling Gelée Conditioner, brassica oil will increase shine. And, if they’re using a blow-dryer, they should never forget to apply Heat Protectant Spray to create a barrier between heat and hair strands, otherwise tresses might split. Pop the Ouai Heat protection Spray in their stocking – it can shield hair from up to 450-degree heat.
The Best Make-up Gifts
10. Best Red Lipstick Make-up Gift: Hermès Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick in Shade Rouge Feu Matte, £62
Know someone who doesn’t leave the house with their trademark red lip? According to Federica, Hermès offers “the chicest, limited-edition lipsticks for the holiday period. My personal favourite is Rouge Feu, a vivid warm red shade that’s versatile and extremely flattering on all skin tones.” Created especially for Autumn/Winter 2022, this lava red hue offers maximum colour in one swipe. Plus, it has excellent staying power – which means one mustn’t worry about lipstick smudging between sips of red wine and nibbles of mince pies.
11. Best Make-up Gift for Make-up Obsessives: Huda Beauty Empowered Eyeshadow Palette, £58
The year of 2022 has been all about embracing bold, colourful eyes. Fans of Euphoria can replicate the show’s TikTok-trending bold looks with Huda Beauty’s brand-new Empowered Eyeshadow Palette. “Possibly my favourite Huda Beauty palette of all time, it’s a perfect mix of metallic, bronze and gold tones – it's your best friend for all the party looks, and can be worn both day and night,” says Federica. There are 18 rich shades to choose from, and this beauty is bound to inspire the lucky recipient to dress up their eyes for festivities.
To create a halo eye look, use a round eyeshadow brush to pat the darker, matte shades straight to the eyelid. Then, use the ring finger to apply a metallic shade to the centre of the lid.
12. Best Make-up Gift for Kardashian Fans: Kylie Cosmetics Twelve Days of Kylie Advent Calendar, £165
Know someone who follows The Kardashian’s every move? They’ll be very excited about Kylie Jenner’s brand Kylie Cosmetics’ first Advent calendar. “Exclusive to Harrods, the new 12 days of Christmas Advent Calendar is the perfect gift for yourself and all your friends. Including a mix of the brand best-selling skincare and make-up lines, this is one to grab quickly before it sells out!” says Federica. Snap it up ASAP – it includes Kylie's cult-favourite liquid lipsticks and nourishing facial oils.
13. Best Make-up Gift Set for Glamorous Types: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Dreams Come True Set, £300
Charlotte Tilbury has painted the faces of your favourite A-listers including Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Penelope Cruz, and her make-up line has a loyal following of celebrities and make-up mavens alike. According to Federica, the Pillow Talk Dreams Come True Set is “the ultimate gift for the make-up lover in your life. It includes the full Pillow Talk range such as the signature Eyeshadow Quad, Push Up Lashes! Mascara, Matte Revolution Lipstick and Cheek to Chic Blusher.” Just make sure the lucky recipient tries the Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk, it’s warm-toned pink shade makes lips appear fuller and plumper. Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Olivia Palermo love it, so you just know it’s a treasure.
14. Best Make-up Gift for Foundation Fans: YSL All Hours Foundation, £36
A diary packed with Christmas parties call for an easy-to-apply, skin-loving foundation that stays on the skin for – well – all hours. And if you have a friend who is constantly searching for their dream cream base, the YSL All Hours Foundation might just do the trick. Let’s hear from Federica – “it’s the ultimate long-wear base for your holiday parties. The newly reformulated YSL All Hours Foundation comes in a gorgeous new bottle and the formula is packed with skincare benefits for a luminous matte finish that lasts all day (and night).” Available in 40 shades, this oil-free, 24-hour perfector is infused with hyaluronic acid, which adds extra hydration, while preventing patching and cracking throughout the day and evening.
The Best Fragrance Gifts
15. Best Fragrance Advent Calendar: Penhaligon’s Advent Calendar, £375
The phrase ‘something for everyone’ gets thrown around a lot these days, but Penhaligon’s red-and-white Christmas Advent calendar might just be the ultimate crowd pleaser. “This beautiful Advent calendar consists of a mix of fragrance, soaps and candles. It’s an incredible gift for someone who can immerse themselves in the world of one brand. The packaging is beautiful and really encapsulates the ‘world of Penhaligon’s,” says Valerie. Scent lovers aren’t just drawn to perfume, and this Christmas countdown also contains soaps, candles, and creams with myriad aromas, including the rose and oud Halfeti hand wash and the powdery iris-musk The Favourite fragrance.
16. Best Fragrance Gifts for Candle Connoisseurs: Acqua di Parma Bosco Candle (500g) and Bosco Diffuser (500ml), £176 each
If it was possible to bottle Christmas, Acqua di Parma has nailed the brief with its limited-edition Bosco scented candle and diffuser. Both smell like festive magic – think rich pine trees and spicy-warm cloves. This year, you can go big or go home, as Valerie tells us that “Acqua di Parma has created jumbo sizes of our beautiful Christmas Bosco Candle and Diffuser. These are perfect to scent your home for the season. The packaging is absolutely beautiful, and really makes you want to start making your home feel festive.” Consider us sold. Please note: the 500ml Bosco diffuser is available in-store only.
Shop Acqua di Parma Bosco Candle (500g)
Shop Acqua di Parma Bosco Diffuser (180ml)
17. Best Fragrance Gift Set for Sweet Tooths: Parfums de Marly Festive Delina Gift Set, £285
“This is the ultimate gift for her at Christmas time, this is the first year that Parfums de Marly has released any Christmas gift sets and this Delina edition certainly doesn’t disappoint. The set includes a Delina perfume, body lotion, shower gel and a miniature candle.” Have you tried Delina? The aroma is composed by perfumer Quentin Bisch, and is a symphony of cashmere wood, musk, Turkish rose, rhubarb and lychee. A firm favourite for those who adore sweet scents – and it's a regular sell-out here at Harrods.
18. Best Fragrance Gift Set for Men: Creed Men’s Discovery Set, £200
“A great gift for the male fragrance lover in your family, who is looking to discover something new”, is how Valerie describes Creed’s five-piece set of cologne miniatures. Indecisive types will enjoy this collection of scents, where they can switch between sprays of sandalwood, juniper berries and fresh peppermint. Our recommendation? Tell them to try the Aventus cologne first, it’s an earthy aroma of musk and oak moss peppered with bergamot, blackberries and pineapple.
19. Best TikTok-Trending Scent: Maison Francis Kurkjian Baccarat Rouge 540, £215
If you’re on social media, you’ll know that Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum is an internet-breaking hit (one quick search of the hashtag #BaccaratRouge540 on TikTok racks up over 186.5million views), and Valerie agrees, “it’s the ultimate winter fragrance for loved ones and friends.” Need more convincing? It’s a comforting hug of cedar, amber and saffron that makes you feel warm inside.
Take it from Rihanna that this woody, yet delicately floral spritz smells fantastic. After all, it was once the superstar's signature scent.
20. Best Comforting Fragrance Gift Set: Maison Margiela Lazy Sunday Morning Fragrance and Body Lotion Set, £135
The olfactory equivalent to diving into clean bed sheets, Maison Margiela’s much-loved Lazy Sunday Morning scent smells like fresh laundry with white musk, patchouli oil and lily of the valley. Valerie recommends it as a top ‘suits-all winter gift”, as the gentle aroma is a strong choice when gifting for someone you don’t know as well. Top tip: tell the recipient to layer with the accompanying body lotion, it will prolong the scent and help distribute the aroma more evenly.
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