I like to think that I’m typically a good gift giver and I do put a bit of effort into it. Buying gifts can be so hard, especially for that person that has everything and especially at Christmas when we’re often buying quiet a few gifts and are on a budget so here are my tips…

Start now
You don’t have to actually start buying the gifts now but you should at least start planning. Write a list of everything that you want to buy a gift for, from your boyfriend to the postman and everyone in-between. It’s also worth working out a budget for everyone so you don’t over spend.

Make notes
This is my top tip as simply going out and buying a gift for someone on a whim is very tricky, especially if you want to make it special. Write down any ideas which pop into your head for each individual person and look out for hints or mentions of items or stores from that person. For example, if your friend mentions she’s been looking for the perfect purse add it to your list of potential gifts for her. I recently saw a few little girls wearing the cutest faux fur coats which I think my younger cousin would look adorable in so I’ve added that to my list of what to buy for her.

Buy at the right time
It’s Black Friday in just a few days, look out for great offers- I’ll be writing a blog post all about it!
Personalised Gifts
There’s something super special about a personalised gift, I think it’s because it (typically) proves it wasn’t bought last minute. Also, personalisation no longer has to cost a lot of money, in fact a lot of stores offer it free of charge during the Christmas period. Alternatively I always find that notonthehighstreet.com offer some beautiful affordable pieces, from jewellery to wall art.

Go luxury
I’m not saying spend lots of money and this idea doesn’t apply to everyone but it’s perfect for the person that has everything. Buy a smaller but more luxurious gift and this works even on a smaller budget. If you’re spending looking to spend £25 often a Chanel lipstick can be a little more of a special gift than a £25 pair of shoes.

Put some effort in
This one is tricky and it’s so easy to just buy something the person will kind-of-like but that defeats the purpose. If you want to buy them a gift for someone it’s probably because they’re someone special so put in the effort and get them something they’ll really like.

My favourite stores to look in for gift ideas are:
Oliver Bonas, NotOnTheHighstreet.com and good old Amazon.

I’d love to hear your tips in the comments! Have you started, or even finished, your Christmas shopping?

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It’s Christmas Eve tomorrow! Can you tell I’m excited?

I’ve finally completed my Christmas shopping but if you haven’t I thought I would share a very last minute gift guide. You’ll have to buy them in-store as they may not (probably won’t) arrive on time if ordered online.
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I mentioned in my recent blog post that I think hand creams are a great present for almost everyone. This Yardley Hand Cream Collection comes with four different scents and is only £10, which is such a bargain!

Olay is such a popular brand in my family and I love this little Regenerist Gift set, which comes with an Olay Regenerist 3 Point Age-Defying Night Cream and two free trial sized samples of Olay Regenerist 3 Point Day Cream SPF30, but is the same price as the night cream alone!

Candles always do great at Christmas and I have quite a few to give away this year. The Origins Feel Good Candle is a really beautiful pine-scented festive candle but I also love the Rodial Mary Katrantzou  as it’s more of a fresh citrus scent.

For skincare lovers there’s the Liz Earle The Botanical Collection Nourishing Borage, which includes an Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask, Sheer Skin Tint SPF 15 and 2 Muslin Cloths. The set is designed to brighten and hydrate the skin, which sounds like exactly what I need post Christmas.

If you’re after a set of nail polishes, which will get you through every occasion, then this Deborah Lippmann Her Majesty Set is perfect. It has 10 nail polishes enriched with biotin; there are 8 colours as well as a base and top coat.
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I love makeup gift sets but sometimes they can be a little hard to get right. However, I think Makeup Forever have done a great job with this Artistic Essentials Makeup Favourites set. Inside there is a primer, powder, mascara, eye pencil and gloss – all essentials for any makeup wearer’s makeup bag.

I love the sleep products from This Works and will be keeping this Sleep Together set for myself, but again, it’s great for anyone that loves their sleep or needs a little extra sleep.

I love Juicy Couture fragrances and the House of Juicy Couture Deluxe Minis Gift set is great for people that are always on the go as they’re a great travel size, or for someone that wants to try JC fragrances before committing to a bigger bottle. The packaging is beautiful and you don’t often see fragrance sets with a variety of scents.

I honestly love the Zoella range this year and think this Let’s Go Places set is extra special, especially for a teen girl. Inside is a shower gel, body cream and hand cream, which all smell great and come beautifully packaged in this mini suitcase.

All the Molton Brown gift sets are fab, I love this Body Gift set which smells of Ylang-ylang and has a body wash, fragrance, body polisher and body lotion. It’s a nice, luxurious gift for a couple or any Molton Brown fan – I would love to have this lining my bath tub.
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Hope this helped with any last minute gifts you still need.

Merry Christmas!

stocking-fillers
I think I have finally finished my Christmas shopping and I am just after a couple of extra bits and stocking fillers but thought I would share some ideas I’ve had so far.

I’ve been very impressed by Superdrug’s Christmas Stocking offerings this year for both men and women, and actually looking at the photo above now, a lot of it did come from Superdrug. They have great makeup bags, pom poms, affordable MUA palettes, affordable bath bits from Sweet Snuggles and Zoella, as well as the Sweet Shop Jars which I have made my way through rather quickly.

Onto hand creams, I honestly think hand creams are Christmas essentials, most women use hand creams, they’re perfect for any age and affordable. They work as great stocking fillers or smaller gifts for people you don’t know too well. Patisserie de Bain have great affordable hand & body lotions but if you’re looking for something a little fancier, then the tinned hand creams are great. The Body Shop tin comes with a nail file or alternatively the Vintage & Co hand cream is affordable but a really good size.

Another great option that every girl needs are hair accessories, hair clips and hair ties. Kitsch do some really cute options but my whole family are loving Invisibobbles and they’re much cooler than normal boring old hair bands so I’ll definitely be throwing some in for them.

Other great affordable options are lip balms like the Dr. Lipp one, The Body Shop Body Butters and face masks such as the Starskin sheet masks- great for some post-Christmas pampering.

Then you have the obvious socks and chocolates, I personally like my stocking to always have a few useful/must have bits like socks as well as fun beauty bits.

What do you most look forward to finding in your stocking on Christmas day?

With Christmas next week (I’m so excited!), it’s time to finish the Christmas Shopping and with fragrance sales increasing every Christmas I thought I would dedicate a whole post to my favourite picks.
perfume-for-her For her:
I’m going to write a post with all my favourite fragrances soon but recent additions to my collection which I would highly recommend checking out are Stella McCartney Pop, Chloe Fleur DE Parfum and Jimmy Choo. I really love floral fragrances at the moment and Chloe is a great one with hints of citrus and rose, it’s a great

I really love floral fragrances at the moment and Chloe is a great one with hints of citrus and rose, it’s a great daytime fragrance. Jimmy Choo is a sweet, warm, fruity scent which can be worn both day and night. Stella McCartney Pop is great for a younger woman/older teen looking for the perfect day time fragrance, it’s isn’t too strong and is a younger floral scent.

I hadn’t previously tried much from Van Cleef & Arpels but I love the idea behind So First as the perfumer believed every woman deserved to be first. It’s a classic sweet floral scent, quite universal and pretty. I also love how classic and understated the bottle is, perfect for mum.

If you’re looking for something with a wow-factor then this Burberry Fragrance is perfect! Admittedly it’s fairly pricey but even with my overflowing perfume collection, I’m going to find space for this gem. It’s a beautiful floral scent perfect for any woman, that likes luxury fragrances. I was also very happy to discover that the glitter stays in the bottle, it looks beautiful in the bottle but I wouldn’t want it all over me.
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For him:
So, admittedly I have picked some rather obvious ones but I love them.

For any older teen-younger man, I love Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct and Hollister Wave. The Abercrombie is quite a musky aquatic scent, great everyday fragrance, as is Hollister Wave. However, Wave is more citrusy and I think particularly nice for a teenage boy but versatile enough as a spring fragrance for a man.

A classic one that you can’t go wrong with for any age is Hugo Boss, I love them all and so do all the men I know. Have a sniff of a few different ones but you’ll love them all, I’ll admit that I even wear it sometimes and have got two for my boyfriend!

Another one I love but which I know not everyone loves is Roberto Cavalli Uomo, I’ve read some pretty average/bad reviews of this online but I really like it. I think it’s a really sexy evening fragrance for a young man with beautiful floral and woody notes. It’s one I would recommend smelling if you know the persons tastes quite well, I really like it so I couldn’t not recommend it but be a little cautious as it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
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For them:

Do people buy perfumes ‘for them’? Maybe it’s super cheesy but I thought it was quite cute!

As I mentioned above I don’t think you can go wrong with a Hugo Boss Fragrance for him and luckily Hugo Boss The Scent for Her is just as good.

For a couple that do not like anything too strong and that prefer something more wearable, then Lacoste Pour Elle Natural For women and Lacoste White For men is a great pick. I love the sportier packaging and you can find them in some great gift sets too.

Gucci Guilty will always have a special place in my heart, both Pour Homme and Platinum (for her) are Patchouli based and very versatile, great all day and all year round.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir is a great unisex fragrance, I love Jo Malone as a brand but this fragrance, in particular, is my favourite for both him and her. It’s a little more complex then the other fragrances I have spoken about but I love the clove, pink pepper and pomegranate mix. It’s definitely an evening winter fragrance and one I love to gift my boyfriend just so that I could steal it too.

What perfume is on your wishlist

mens-giftsAdmittedly, this post is a little later than expected but I’m sure I can’t be the only one that hasn’t finished their Christmas shopping so I thought I’d still share! I always struggle when buying men gifts, most of my girl friends I know would love a new MAC lipstick or an Urban Decay Palette but what do you buy the boys?

I’m going to start by pointing out the blog post is pretty beauty heavy, head to the end of this post if the men in your life aren’t too into beauty as I have some more ideas.

One of my favourite brand for men is Neal’s Yard as I find most of their packaging to be very luxe and unisex, I love the navy glass bottles! The Men’s Everyday Essentials Gift Set has a moisturiser, body wash and face wash, all essential items men will actually use.

If you’re on a bit of a budget Next and The Body Shop have some great gifts. My boyfriend loves The Body Shop shaving items and uses them almost daily so they’re always something I pick up for him but there are also other great sets from them. If you’re looking for a skincare and fragrance set then Next have it covered. Although Next fragrances aren’t the most expensive I personally really like them and are often very reminiscent of other fragrances. This signature set comes with a shaving gel, fragrance, post-shaving moisturiser and a really lovely toiletry bag!

If the man you are buying for is quite into skincare, then Clinique have a few different options to choose from. The Clinique Great Skin for Him would probably be my top pick as I love the toiletry bag and it’s very reasonably priced too! If you’re looking to get him a facial brush then I can’t recommend the Clinique one enough, in my opinion, it’s the best value for money and the one I recommend every time someone asks.

I’m going to be doing a whole post on Christmas fragrance but I have picked out Aramis Voyager and Joop! Homme Sport. Aramis Voyager is a great spicy fragrance, it’s not too strong and a quite a safe bet, especially if you don’t know the man’s fragrance taste too well. Joop! Homme Sport is a great scent for a younger man going into spring especially if he’s a fan of the original Joop!

If you’re looking for secret santa or stocking filler ideas then I’d head to Superdrug, not only do they have affordable pamper sets like the Man’s Stuff one which is photographed above but they also have great novelty gifts. I’m going to pick some up myself for my boyfriend as they’re so inexpensive that you can’t go wrong!

If your dad/partner likes beer then I can’t recommend the Brew Barrel enough. My dad rarely gets excited about gifts but I gave him one for fathers day and he really liked it. I ended up helping him make it and he was surprised about just how good the beer was. They’re reasonably priced, you can pick the sort of beer they like and it’s really quick and east to make. I really regret not picking up a few more of these as I know so many men that would have really appreciated it!

If you’re still in need of idea’s I always find Urban Outfitters have a good gift section, I’m buying my Boyfriend a good coat this year (which I am yet to find) but have previously bought watches, scarves, Playstation Games and shoes which have all gone down quite well.

If you have any other ideas leave them down below and be sure to come back tomorrow for another gift guide.