O.K. So you left things a bit late this year. You could have been busy with work (pretty normal during year end); or sick; or just overwhelmed with life. It is TOTALLY normal.
No Worries WHATSOEVER! I've put together an action plan and a few recommendations that will get you through the gifting season.
Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide
Plan of Action
1. Do not panic. Remember, it is the thought that counts. Most people just give gift cards these days. So you actually making the effort to buy and wrap presents is kinda a big deal these day.
2. Make a list of gifts you want to buy according to:
particular requirements like luxe, vegan, cruelty-free, tech, charitable causes.
3. Make sure you have enough on credit cards (I prefer cards as they also give you bonus points like frequent flyers points)
4. Confirm store opening times - you want to get there roughly 20 mins before store opening (car parking etc). A lot of malls now have extended shopping hours (some even do 36 hours shopping).
5. Head to the nearest Mall which has Sephora, Mecca Stores; Priceline and Target/Kmart (if you are overseas, replace Mecca with Nordstrom/any department store and Ulta). Make Target/Kmart your last stop - this is for gift wrapping supplies (unless you are like me and have a fetish for gift wrapping (hence loads of supplies at home).
6. Map out where you want to go first. Then stick to that map.
7. Time yourself - I would say depending on crowds 3-4 hours is more than sufficient.
8. Get home and then rest for a bit.
9. Start wrapping!
10. If all else fails - you do have the option of purchasing online gift cards (not my preference).
SO IN THIS GUIDE, I'VE SET IT OUT BY LUXE GIFTS, CRUELTY-FREE/VEGAN, BUDGET FRIENDLY AND TECH. AS MOST MEN NOW ALSO APPRECIATE BEAUTY GIFTS, I'M SURE SOME OF THESE WILL APPEAL TO THEM AS WELL. IF NOT THE TECH GIFTS ARE YOUR BEST BET.
For each gift idea, I've included where you can purchase it.
Luxe Gift Inspo
Sephora always has these "Sephora Favourites" kits which are the perfect way for one to try out different products. They are pretty affordable too.
I love Givenchy's makeup. In fact, I collect them. The holiday collection is just screams luxe. These are exclusive to Sephora in Australia. If anything, get the eyeshadow palette "Red Line Edition Quatuor Face and Eye Palette" (on the right).
Guerlain has this special Christmas set with its iconic bronzer and mascara. A really luxurious gift. (Available in Department Stores and Sephora)
One of my favourite perfume releases for the year is Coach's Floral Bloom. I did a review of it which you can read here (click here). (Available in Department Stores)
No Christmas is "Christmas" without Bobbi Brown. This year's luxe collection comes with a beautiful eyeshadow palette with very wearable shades for everyday as well as shades that are "party-worthy". Also the single luxe eyeshadows are fabulous worn dry or wet. The Lipstick in the middle with the sparkles is called "Ruby Slippers". Perfect for Christmas. (Available in Department Stores)
Can you see the sparkles in the lipstick "Ruby Slippers"? They make your lips look plumper with a subtle shine. It is very wearable and you can't feel the sparkles/glitter at all.
Another brand that screams luxe is Charlotte Tilbury. This year, she released a limited edition version of the "Sculpt and Highlight" palette - I have the original plus the version that comes with a blush highlight. Trust me, this is the best purchase ever, I wear the palette almost every time I apply makeup and the shades are universal.
Another limited edition release is the highlighter "Magic Star". The embossing is gorgeous and the highlighter is a light gold. It is fairly creamy and quite pigmented.
This year, Napolean Perdis has really done an amazing job with its limited edition gift sets. All of them are priced quite reasonably and yet still scream luxe. The collection is called "No Panic".
There are so many sets to choose from. There is even a skin care set that includes a natural jade roller.
My pick of the bunch is the brush set. It is so clever! The packaging incorporates this metal frame and each brush has a magnet in it so that the metal frame works as a brush holder. You get 10 brushes which covers pretty much all you need. (Available in department stores, stand alone Napolean Perdis boutiques and Priceline)
By Terry is another one of my fave luxe brands. This year, there is limited edition compact and also quite a few gift sets of cult By Terry Products. (Exclusive to Mecca)
I always collect NARS Limited Edition collections and this year's holiday release is just as collectible. The collection is called "Studio 54" and is inspired by the disco-era. Get it, simply because NARS is so good in quality and the packaging is gorgeous! (NARS is exclusive to Mecca)
Laura Mercier is another one of those brands that you can count on to wow people with. My pick of the holiday collection are these two palettes. On the left is the "Paint With Light Radiant Face Illuminator Trio", with an exclusive shade in the middle called "Obsession" (pink shade). On the right is the "Paint With Light Golden Face Illuminator Trio". This palette has an exclusive shade called "Sensation" on the right (a slightly red shade). The cover of each palette is also very beautiful. (You can get this at Mecca)
This is the "Metropolis Eyeshadow Palette". It is fairly pricey (RRP205) but so worth it. It is available at Sephora.
Drunk Elephant is a hugely popular skincare brand that is also cruelty-free. The packaging is fun and the formulas work. This year, they came out with two "shelfies" The one on the left is for day time and the one of the right is for your night time regime. (Available at Mecca)
Tatcha's packaging and formula also screams luxe. I can't imagine anyone not loving these sets. (Available at Mecca)
Who wouldn't appreciate a silk eye mask or silk pillow. The beauty benefits are well known and I personally feel that Slip's versions are the best in the market.
They also have silk hair ties (which you see in the Christmas Bauble). Slip is available at both Sephora and Mecca.
I have this kit. It came out last year and is still available. It is quite a good one to get. The shades are warm and wearable and what's good is that it comes with a matching liquid lipstick and lip pencil (I've used the pencil as an eyeliner and that works well too).
This rose gold brush kit is value for money. The bag that it comes in is a soft faux leather. Zoeva brushes are really quite good.
You might be more familiar with Louvelle's shower caps (available at Mecca and Sephora). There is also a bath and body care range. (Available in department stores).
This year, Diptyque's three limited-edition Holiday collection is inspired by fairytales from around the World. They always smell so good and this three piece set is sure to impress. (Available at Mecca)
Another luxurious set from Diptyque is the roller ball set of their more popular fragrances.
This trio of Omorovicza's Queen of Hungary Mist is definitely as a "jaw dropper". When I saw it the shiny shiny look of them really sealed the deal for me. (Available at Mecca)
Fornasetti's candles come in these beautiful ceramic jars with interesting and intriguing illustrations. I have a few and very much prize them amongst my candle collection. (Available at Mecca)
CRUELTY-FREE and/or VEGAN
Ellis Brooklyn's fragrances come with skin care benefits as well. This story set is the perfect way to experience her cruelty-free fragrances. (Available at Mecca)
There are so many cute sets from Too Faced! Just pick any one and they will be sure to please. On the right is the Too Spicy palette (a sister to the Spice palette) and it smells like ginger bread. (Available at Mecca)