So this year I have decided to do two different gift guides: one for females and one for males, so you will see the one for males shortly after this one :). There will be something to suit all budgets and ages. I hope you like my gift ideas, I do try to look for gifts that are a little different, personal and of course all time favourites from brands that I know you guys love. Enjoy...and please please comment and let me know if you like any of my ideas and if you are going to or have bought any of the items that I feature. I love receiving your comments :).
Up to £20...
Animal, the UK sports adventure brand has launched a new beauty and accessories range which would make great gifts for females who like a bit of adventure in their life! They have items ranging from nail files, lip balms, nail polishes and even some cool pink headphones. The Colour Blast Nail Polish Collection (£10 see picture below) is one of my faves as it has four gorgeous metallic colours which will be perfect for the Christmas period and beyond. It has a burgundy, silver, gold and gorgeous blue included, aswell as two nail files. You can take a look at the Animal range at Boots online or in store.
Also from Boots and exclusive to Boots for Christmas is the new limited edition Wild Party trio set (£4.99 see picture below) from Batiste. I'm a huge fan of Batiste and always recommend it to people, so I think this set or a can or two of Batiste would make a great gift. The set includes three limited edition fragrance minis of extrovert and bold Savannah, sassy and daring Wild (a bestseller) and sassy and striking Mamba. The trio comes in a handy see-through bag which can be re-used and is always ideal as you can see right through it, so you know where everything is! There is also a chance within each pack to win a £300 wardrobe from Motel Rocks and you can get 20% discount with your first order. They don't seem to be on the Boots website at the mo, but keep checking or if you're interested pop down to your local Boots :).
I had to include a 'perfect for Christmas' nail polish set from Nails Inc, I couldn't resist! They are perfect colours for the Christmas season. The After Party nail trio (see picture below) consists of a black holographic effect polish, a party glitter polish and a full coverage glitter polish. Disco Lane, Soho Street and Covent Garden Market are the three beauties that make up this trio set. Absolutely perfect for Christmas, parties and feeling all festive! This set is £25 and you can buy it from Asos.
Picture courtesy of Boots. Picture courtesy of Batiste.
Picture courtesy of Asos.
Most people associate Aveda with skincare, haircare and make-up. Well I found a lovely alternative to a traditional Aveda gift...their holiday warmth candle (see picture below). The candle has the most amazing Christ-massy smell and consists of ginger, ginger lily and clove. I have one of these myself and can't wait for Christmas time, all snuggled up, warm and cosy with this burning...bliss. It's £20 and burns for over 40 hours! You can buy it from Aveda salons, spas, stores (find your nearest) and online from November 2012. I have checked today (2/11/12) and it isn't online yet, but just keep your eyes peeled if you're interested :).
Another idea along the same lines is a massage candle from Laughing Donkey (see picture below) for£14.99. Candles to me and I imagine most people means chilling out and relaxing. Being at a spa and having a massage also means the same to me. This product combines both (you will need to find the masseuse yourself mind ha!), you allow the candle to burn for up to ten minutes, extinguish the candle and check that the oil it has created is an ideal temp. Then you can find your masseuse, or massage the oil in yourself as a moisturising treatment. There is a little lip on the candle holder, which will make it easy to pour the oil out :). The candle is made from ecological shea butter, scented with lavender, which means it is really moisturising for the skin and will relax you beyond belief...lavender is a god send to me!
Talking of lavender, I sometimes have to rely on this scent to get me to drift off at night. I have cushions filled with lavender and essential oils that I use most nights. If you have the same problem as me, I would definitely recommend trying out lavender oil or products filled with the scent as it can really help and will save you having to go to the doctors for sleeping tablets. Celia Lindsell sells some lovely items filled with lavender, such as her large Lavender Bags (see picture below), which are £15 each and you can get them in lots of different designs. It will sit nicely on your bed and then just lying by it at night should naturally relax your body and mind so you can drift soundly off to sleep :). Highly recommended!
Picture courtesy of Aveda. Picture courtesy of Laughing Donkey.
Picture courtesy of Celia Lindsell.
Moving onto something a bit more personalised now...a his & hers calender. When I first saw this I thought it was so sweet and could imagine buying it for couples I know and seeing them smile/laugh at the different pictures for each month. The 12 month calendar is from Getting Personal and is £9.99. You can enter the names of the couple and choose a start month. You can also preview it before you purchase. The pictures are so adorable, there's a gingerbread man and woman page, his n hers pillows, two bears with their arms around each other and each name printed on their backs, rubber ducks, cheese on toast and much more! Each picture has both names featured. *Links removed June 2015 by request.
Picture courtesy of Getting Personal.
Lastly in this section, I'd like to show you some jewellery from a couple of online jewellery sites that I've found recently. I love the style of the jewellery the companies sell and I think they would appeal to a lot of people. First up is a company that sell wrap bracelets. They come in many different designs and layers (3 wrap, 4 wrap, 5 wrap etc). The bracelets are created using leather, beads, semi-precious stones and pearls, to make stylish, on-trend bracelets. The company is called 345 wrap and their items are sold through independent websites such as Reba Boutique. One of my favourite bracelets and one I actually have is the 345 wrap purple bracelet for £12 (see picture below), I love how it sparkles and shines when it catches the light and it definitely jazzes up an outfit, perfect for Christmas party season I think! There are lots of designs to choose from so take a look at that website, or take a look at Not On The High Street, Treasure Box or John Greed, where they are also sold.
The next site is one I have mentioned in a previous blog post of mine...Celliana. I think they have so much on-trend, stylish jewellery to offer, that it would be a shame to miss them out. They have recently had a new A/W collection launch so it's definitely worth a look if you know people who are into their stylish costume jewellery. A couple of my favourites are the Smooth Torq (£8 see picture below) and the Statement Collars (from £2.75-£30 see picture below) that they sell. I especially love the statement collars as gifts, as I think buying someone a couple of them, so that they can swap and change with simple black dresses/tops is a great idea!
Lastly, sticking with fashion, I'd also like to share a watch gift idea with you, but this is a watch with a difference. Ever worn a watch and thought it didn't go with your outfit, so taken it off and gone without? Well now there is a chance you might not have to do that. Find Me A Gift are selling a watch called a Ribbon Watch (see picture below). It's £12.99 and comes with 11 differently designed and coloured straps. You simply choose which one you want, loop through the watch face and tie into a bow! Such a unique way of wearing a watch and something a little bit different. I have seen watches like this in Primark before where you can tie them into a bow, but they didn't come with 11 different strap designs! I think this would make an amazing gift for any fashionista and would jazz up any outfit, making a change from that standard coloured strap.
Picture courtesy of Reba Boutique.
Pictures courtesy of Celliana.
Picture courtesy of Find Me A Gift.
£20 to £50...
The first thing I want to share with you is a company/concept called U Star Novels. The basic concept is that they sell books which you can personalise with your own name, your loved ones name, your families names, your friends names etc...depending on the book and how many characters there are in the book, you can personalise it :). I think it's a really clever and interesting idea that could appeal to a lot of people and it is something a little different. Imagine receiving a book at Christmas (which I don't mind, but some people might) and thinking it's just another book, then reading it and finding out all the character names are of those that you know. If you choose a classic book, it will be clear straight away that it's personalised, as most people will be familiar with the characters in classic books, but with the romance novels, it might not click straight away until you read further into the book and realise there are more and more names that you know. Like I said you can choose from classic books such as Romeo and Juliet or you can choose a romance/vampire novel. They start from £16.95 for a classic novel and go up to £24.95 for other novels. Take a look, you'll have fun typing in names of people you know and reading a preview...I know I did!
Picture courtesy of U Star Novels.
Next is another item I think a lot of people will be interested in...something called a 'Shlomper'. Now this concept is very similar to a onesie but it doesn't fit you all over, it's best described as a house-coat/dressing gown without the tie as it is zipped. It's perfect for lazy mornings or just being cosied up and chilling at night. You can choose from a kimono or kaftan style and prices start from £25. I have one of these myself and it is seriously as comfy as my onesie. These, onesies and snuggies all have the same kind of idea, but they each have their own USP!
Pictures courtesy of Shlomper.
I'm not sure how widely advertised the next items are, I suppose it depends on whether you go into certain shops, but I only found out about them from a press release. Hasbro...the game company, has partnered with the social gaming giant Zynga to launch physical versions of games played online or on mobile phones. Games such as Cityville, Farmville and Draw Something (see pictures below) have been launched along with others. I know of a few people who are always playing Cityville and Farmville on Facebook as I'm always receiving requests from them to play...too many requests ha, but I have had a go on Draw Something on Si's I-phone (couldn't upload it on mine as it's too old ha ha) and I can see the hype as it can get quite addictive. I can imagine these kind of games are going to go like hot cakes once people know about them enough. You can purchase them from stores such as Argos, Tesco, The Entertainer, Play.com, Toys R Us and Smyths. Draw Something is priced at £19.99, Cityville is £21.99 and Farmville is £19.99 - the prices may be different in each of the before mentioned stores, but those are the approx prices. Take a look at the range, I'm sure you can think of a few people that will like these games :).
Pictures courtesy of Hasbro.
Lush is an all time favourite shop of mine and I love how at different occasions they have products to suit that occasion, so of course they have plenty of Christmas products and gift sets! They have soooo many Christmas gift sets to choose from aswell as individual Christmas items, but all are fabulous and it'll be good if you have a budget as it will be easier for you to choose :). One of my favourite gift sets is 'Merry Christmas' for £23.95, which is an uplifting box of luxury and sparkle featuring: Sunnyside Bubble Bar, Golden Wonder Bath Bomb, which spits out stars! Creme Anglaise, Snowcake Soap and It's Raining Men Shower Gel...such gorgeous products and a gorgeous box for it all to come in!
Picture courtesy of Lush.
Next is a haircare set/range for those that need a little bit of TLC when it comes to their hair. Macadamia Natural Oil products are great to enrich, nourish and rejuvenate the hair. They have many sets that are suited to different hair types/styles, but my favourite gift set is the Macadamia Canteen/Maintenance Set, which is best suited to dry/damaged hair and when you use styling appliances a lot, this can happen and I know a lot of people that do, so if you have a higher budget or want to treat a female to something really nice...this is an ideal gift. The Macadamia Canteen/Maintenance Set comes with 1 x 4.2 oz Healing Oil Treatment, 1 x 3.3 oz Rejuvenating Shampoo, 1 x 3.3 oz Deep Repair Mask and 1 Oil Infused Comb. All of these products are presented in a carry case with a carry strap. This gift is £49.99, so your budget would need to be slightly higher, but I can guarantee the recipient will be thoroughly happy with her gift and will thank you even more when she sees the results! They do have other gift sets available at lower prices, so take a look at their range. If you're wondering why Macadamia Natural Oil is different from other oils, here is what the company said about this on their website...
'Macadamia Natural Oil is extremely light weight and highly absorbent. The oil's unique composition is remarkably similar to our body's own natural oil. It also has an extremely high concentration of Omega 7 acid, which is our body's own natural moisturiser. These two factors enable Macadamia Natural Oil to promote healthy hair growth, not just healthy hair maintenance'.
Picture courtesy of Lavish Soul.
The only gift idea that I thought was worthy of being in my over £50 section this year is what I can imagine to be most girls dream. A website that allows you to design and purchase your own shoes! You could give the gift of letting someone design their own shoes or design a pair yourself to give as a gift, knowing how unique and special such pair of shoes are. Shoes of Prey is a website that allows you to choose the shape, colour, design and height of a pair of shoes. Prices start from £100 for sandals up to £210 for ankle boots, so there are going to be some people who want to use this site but can't (like me for example ha!) as their budget isn't big enough. However, if you do have the budget, can you imagine being able to design an original pair of shoes for someone you think a lot of! They do a range of sizes aswell from a tiny child's 12.5 to a much much larger, ladies size 13.5. They can also make one shoe bigger than the other, adjust widths and much more! They also do gift certificates, so if you don't want the pressure of making a unique pair of shoes for someone, give a gift certificate and let your loved one have a field day designing their own shoes.
Picture courtesy of Shoes of Prey.
I hope there is something that catches your eye within my gift guide for females. I'd love to know if you go ahead and buy anything for any of your loves ones :). Many of the companies mentioned/linked above ship to other countries aswell as the UK, so take a look at the websites linked and see what options they have available :). Bring on the Christmas cheer, celebrations, Christmas markets, cosy nights and hopefully fingers crossed...a Christmas morning full of snow!
I hope you all have a fab run up to Christmas and an even better Christmas and New Year :). Look out for my male Christmas gift guide and Christmas food/drink guide coming soon...