Buying presents for your loved ones is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of online delivery giants, all that we desire is now accessible by the click of a mouse and delivered the next day. But this year we have all been made well aware of the importance of small businesses and the value of buying something unique. So this year I’ve tried and tested some unique gifts, some from small businesses, some from brands you know, but a selection that will surely please everyone in your life for our 2020 Christmas gift guide.
First of all, a gift for the lady in your life. Whether she’s a teenage girl wanting to stand out from the crowd or an aunt who always likes to outshine her peers, every woman likes her nails to look good. As someone who has never had a set of acrylics and likes to do their own nails, I have tried hundreds of nail varnishes over the years. I was given a beautiful gift bag of festive shades from black-owned business Télle Moi. What started out as a dilemma finding the right shade for owner Natel Allen, has now become an inclusive and diverse brand with over 72 vegan, handcrafted and cruelty-free products. Télle Moi specialise in creating and stocking a range of nude nail polishes, colourful nail polishes, nail lacquers and nail care products handcrafted to suit all skin tones.
First of all I was happy to support a brand that shared my values but I was absolutely thrilled with the product itself. After two coats of polish and an hour sat with them drying while I watched TV, the colour stayed on for over a week. No chips, no lumps or scratches, just perfect nails. Even while washing up, baking, gardening, wrestling with the Christmas lights, my nails stay beautiful. I say stay because I’ve not stopped wearing them since I got them!
My next recommendation comes from leather good experts ASALI. Asali was founded in May 2016 by Mindy Arora when she and her husband, a Typhoon Display Pilot, realised there was a gap in the market for luxurious aviation inspired goods. If you know a beauty lover or grooming guru, the oversized leather wash bags for him and her by ASALI are roomy enough for your skincare and makeup products as well as shavers and other essential electricals.
For me personally this really is the perfect size as I often take 2 bags full of beauty products if I travel away from home. I can fit all my makeup essentials plus my hair brush, toothbrush and everything I need into one bag. What’s also great is that the lining is wipeable, meaning if you happen to have an exploding foundation (we’ve all been there!) then you can easily wipe it clean without having to sacrifice your bag.
ASALI products are made using a combination of both hand and machine based techniques. The hand made nature and of course the leather itself means that each item is unique and variations in colour and finish are natural, without deviating from the highest quality. Certain items can also be personalised for a truly memorable gift idea this Christmas.
Next, I’ve chosen something that helps with what many people struggle with, a good night’s sleep. Weighted blankets have shown positive results for several conditions, including autism, ADHD, and anxiety. They can help calm a restless body, reduce feelings of anxiety, and improve sleep troubles. After trying the 9kg, king size option from Silent Night, I am fully converted.
The blanket is made from soft quilted microfibre that is so lovely and soft to the touch that you could use it as a duvet if you really wanted to. The blanket is filled with tiny glass beads that offer comforting pressure to your body, and are virtually undetectable, all you will feel of them is their reassuring weight.
The true test however came when my partner (who works nights and ever changing shift patterns) needed a few hours sleep in the middle of the day. Usually sleep can be a struggle for him but under this blanket he was asleep within minutes and slept for three hours. He was actually annoyed that I didn’t wake him earlier but that’s beside the point…
Finally I have chosen something for the woman who has to have all the latest gadgets that make her feel beautiful. It’s easy to find a moisturiser or an eyeshadow palette for the lucky lady in your life, so why not impress her by buying her a tool that helps define cheekbones and jawlines without a contour in sight?
The Glitz Tech Sculpting Roller from Glitz Toy help the skin’s appearance as well as draining any fluids that makes your face look puffy. Using the roller helps skincare products to penetrate the skin and can produce smoother skin and a tightened jawline. The diamond shaped ends give a deep massage to the face and neck and all this takes less than a couple of minutes. I used it for two weeks and noticed such a difference I’ve made it part of my skincare routine.
If you are still struggling after all these suggestions (I doubt it, these are all ideal) then you could also give the gift of a tipple or two with my handy drinks guide. Or perhaps a subscription service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime? Or if all else fails you could send them a meal kit voucher and support a local restaurant?
Whatever you choose to give this year, give it with love. Merry Christmas!