Words: Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Buying the perfect Christmas gift takes a ridiculous amount of effort. It’s difficult enough to get just one right, let alone hit the nail on the head for every single loved-one in your life. It’s a universal experience, that panic that hits around the end of November to get everything bought and wrapped with the utmost efficiency. Whether it was exactly that nervousness and wish for it to be over, or a misplaced thought over a certain gift, last year, people in the UK spent over £1.2 billion on unwanted holiday presents. Now that’s an insane amount of money. But this year, with a little help from up & coming brands, buying the right gift, even for the cool friend who seems to have it all, will be a breeze. As such we have rounded up our favourite places to purchase a variety of fashion & beauty Christmas gifts that will leave your loved ones with truly unique presents.
Photo: BRAK Clothing
Launched in 2020, BRAK have spent their time attempting, pretty successfully if you consult social media, to revive an unfairly abandoned accessory - the balaclava. The winter accessory has quickly become somewhat of a staple for Instagram's unattainably fashionable elite over the past year-or-so, with many fashion houses and dupe-creating brands releasing their own take on the classic design. But the up and coming brand BRAK has their own unique approach to the accessory.
Not only are BRAK’s balaclavas stylish and statement making, making them the perfect gift, they are also incredibly practical and wearable for everyday events from walking the dog to attending a particularly chilly mid-morning brunch. Made in the south of France using the finest responsibly sourced merino wool, BRAK’s balaclavas boast the thinnest fibres they can get their hands on, preventing any uncomfortable itchiness and promising ultimate warming properties. Oh, and their designs all feature a ponytail cut-out in the back - can we ask for any more?
Photo: LIHA Beauty
LIHA Beauty is a brand as unique as they are brilliant. Their beauty products, born from the traditional Yoruba tradition of hand-making your own beauty products and given a twist with inspiration from british aromatherapy, are nothing if not the perfect gift for anyone in your life. Plus, with all of LIHA’s products being handmade in the UK, each one feels special and high-quality in a way that Christmas ‘smellies’ can never quite reach.
The majority of their products are multipurpose, negating the worry that whoever you’re buying for won’t have a need for their present. Even better, they have done most of the work for you by grouping certain products together to make their own gifting sets. From the Glow Duo Set, featuring their Osé Gidi Black Soap to cleanse and nourish skin alongside the Oju Omi Mud Cleanser to purify and exfoliate, to the Selfcare Set with their generously sized Queen Idia Candle and their Idan Oil for the most luxurious post-bath massage, your not just gifting a product, but an experience.
Tom Foolery Jewellery
Photo: Tom Foolery Jewellery
Described as London’s hidden gem, it’s baffling that more people don’t know about Tom Foolery Jewellery. The family-run boutique is home to a stunning array of curated jewellery pieces by designers from all across the world, catering to everyone whether they’re a fan of contemporary fine jewels, or traditional, one-of-a-kind accessories.
With high-end fine jewellery pieces mixed in with stunning craft designs and costume jewellery, there is a piece for every price range, each equally as stunning as the next. For the fashion-forward friend who seems to have it all, the Rainbow Eye Teardrop Charm Necklace, made by Northern Irish designer Grainne Morton, will make the perfect gift - if you can bear to part with it that is. A similarly bold, though more subtly daring, piece is the Emerald Darya Ring by Fenomena. This unique design, handmade in Columbia using gold-plated bronze, manages to perfectly tread that line between being both impossibly on-trend and uniquely timeless, the perfect gift for that person who has it all.
Katie France London
Photo: Katie France
For the handbag lover in your life, Katie France London is about to become your new best friend. The company is the ultimate cool girl brand, endorsed by the coolest of cool girls, author-cum-influencer Florence Given. The heart shaped Love Bomb Bags Katie and her small UK-based team create boast top craftsmanship, dopamine-inducing fabric prints, and, even better, stylish practicality, with all the tote-style bags featuring large dimensions, zip closings, and comfortable long, over-the-shoulder straps.
While the company is still up and coming, so you can trust that your giftee likely doesn’t own one of their pieces already, the style is instantly recognisable thanks to the online hubbub around the heart-shaped designs, so whoever receives one is bound to be excited by the new addition to their collection.
Gen See Beauty
Photo: Gen See
Gifting makeup never seems like a great idea. There are too many variables, too many individual tastes and preferences, to ever really get it right. That was all true, until now. Gen See Beauty, a clean, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable and ethical makeup brand (wow), is home to some of the most exciting makeup we’ve seen released for a while. Rather than focusing on makeup as a cover-up, ‘problem-fixing’ entity, they’ve released a whole host of products intended to excite and spark joy - making their products the perfect gift for Christmas.
With both an award-winning lipstick and mascara under their belt, you can trust in the high-quality and planet-friendly formulas. And with a range of gift sets available, and with each one letting you customise the exact contents of the bundle, your giftee is sure to be blown away.