It may seem a tad early to start pulling names out of hats, but when the Christmas rush comes around you’ll regret having only bought Sally from accounts a packet of crisps. Plan ahead and make sure that your blissfully unaware Secret Santa recipient gets something fragrant, or simply, fun, come their way. Raiding the stationery cupboard at the last minute never impressed anyone.
If your office or friend circle are beauty fans, get your covert Christmas companion something a little fresher than a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Soap & Glory Eau La La Gift Set , £16, will wash away festive fatigue and yuletide hangovers thanks to its zippy (not sickly) citrus scented Orangeasm Body Wash, Orangeasm Body Butter and reviving Orangeasm Super Tonic Fragrance Spray. Forget an apple a day; it’ll be just what the doctor ordered when your giftee is flagging somewhat on the ninth day of Christmas. Just looking at the orange and pink packaging is enough to boost energy levels, and the wash and butter hydrate parched, partied out winter skin. Besides, who would turn down an orangeasm when offered? Eau, matron.
Got a particularly desk-proud or discerning colleague? Florence Anne Blackcurrant & Fig Scented Candle , £12, is chic, classy and not a bit cloying, guaranteeing that it won’t end up out with the bins come Boxing Day. The candle has a lovely British backstory, as it’s named after Jesse Boot’s wife Florence Anne Boot, who happened to have a penchant for fine fragrance and made it her mission to bring affordable luxury to the Boots customer. We think that this wintery scent would pass muster with Florence and her 19th century clientele; it’s actually surprisingly subtle considering it boasts such rich, full bodied notes. Its botanical bouquet will add a touch of cosy decadence to living rooms without knocking the socks off festive guests. It’s a lovely accompaniment to a hot bath too, just add bubbles (of the soapy and/or wine-y variety).
Manicures can be high-maintenance, a bit costly and generally difficult to squeeze into Christmas shopping schedules at this time of year, so if you know a nail nut do them a favour and pick out some slick stick-ons instead. Not just for teens, slick nail art experts WAH London have launched a range of graphic, witty and neat press-on nails for just £9 a set. Designs range from the mathematical to the minimalist (we’re especially loving Going Up/Going Down ), they’re a doddle to apply and you can dash out of the door as soon as they’re done with zero drying time, which in our book is often a priceless commodity.
Halloween may have been and gone, but that’s no reason to curb your creative side; the merriment of Christmas parties mean that almost anything goes. If you have a friend who’s playful with their hair, give the gift of cool, commitment-free colour with a BLEACH London Hair Crayon , £4. The shade range varies from washed out to vibrant and allows Secret Santees to achieve model-worthy streaks and dappled ends in seconds. Effects are boldest on blondes but still discernible on redheads and lighter brunettes (our tester managed to add flashes of colour to auburn ends). Think of it as colouring in for grown-ups; encourage co-workers and chums to put the biro down and have some fun.
A Not So Secret Santa... for yourself
You’ve got to look after number one at times like this. If you haven’t already bagged yourself an Advent calendar, now is the time, before all of the bumper beauty offerings sell out (Ciaté have also once again created an advent masterpiece with the brand’s Mini Mani Manor , £49). If you want to ensure that you don’t end up with nail clippers and shoehorns at the festive table, smuggle No7 Christmas Cracker Collection , £14 into your basket. Anticipating a particularly hectic yuletide? This Works Breathe Cracker , £6, will help you to do just that; taking a breather at this time of year is seriously underrated.
This article was produced in partnership with Boots