May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness, and tied with love – L. O. Baird.
Memories of waking up in the middle of the night to see if my stocking had been filled are imminent in my mind, just as running across the landing to my parents’ bedroom with said stocking and gasping “Santa’s been! Santa’s been!” at God-forsaken hours during the morning, which is around the time I roll into bed on Christmas morning these days – although perhaps not this year. Even now, I still receive a stocking full of presents, simply because it’s tradition, and maybe because I’m an only child and therefore slightly spoilt during the festive season. Grabbing my Christmas stocking in the morning catapults the entire day of festivities for me. Nowadays if I sleep in (hungover), I’ll still pick up my stocking and head to wherever my parents are in the house and open those presents first and foremost. If they are still in bed, I’ll wake them up and open them right there above the duvet like the big kid that I am.
“Stocking fillers” generally refers to the smaller gifts for some reason. Some years I love to buy lots of little things for people because it’s fun to watch loved ones unwrap lots of presents, whereas other years I prefer to buy one or two things that are more expensive; the latter is becoming more and more apparent the older I get. Nevertheless, I’m a person who loves presents of all sizes – who doesn’t? – and so I thought today’s Blogmas post could reflect some ideas that I would personally love myself (they’re all pieces of my own possessions) and things I think other women, travellers, organisers, beauty lovers and more would love too. As they are from my own bedroom, these items aren’t necessarily gifts to buy for some men, however ideas only lead to more ideas in one way or another.
Beauty & Skincare
Skincare from The Body Shop is a beauty favourite right now. They have upped their game ten-fold in the past year with everything from scrubs, masks, creams, makeup, moisturisers and even fragrances. What’s even better is that many of the products have a smaller volume making them perfect size for stocking fillers, travel sizes and throwing in your handbag whilst you’re out and about. Particular items I’ve been loving recently are the Mango Whipped Lotion in a 60ml bottle alongside the Vitamin E Moisture Cream which lasts up to 48 hours.
Another skincare company to invest in is Malée who use 100% natural ingredients sourced from Africa. Ingredients include cera alba (white beeswax), avocado oil, sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil, shea butter, coconut oil and olive fruit oil. It smells so refreshing on the skin and reminds me of a scent between fresh grass and fresh sea air. The 200ml tube will last an awfully long time because you really don’t need any more than a small blob for each area, otherwise it becomes too thick and refuses to rub in smoothly, especially on areas such as your arms where there are longer hairs (and legs for when you don’t shave during the winter months!).
Whether you’re saving or splurging this year, there’s lots of great makeup brands to choose from. Personally, my absolute favourite mascara is my YSL Babydoll mascara which is just the best, in my opinion. It really accentuates my longer lashes. Nevertheless, I love the brush on this Rimmel Extra 3D Lash accentuating both volume and length. Both are in shades Black and Extra Black for full lash definition.
Sticking with lash talk, false lashes are an ultimate party accessory and these ones from Funky Lash are incredibly fluffy and fluttery with a wispy effect, elongating the lashes for an understated full volume effect. They are faux mink which is what makeup artists love to work with too. I love these Kourtney ones because they are not OTT, and they’re surprisingly comfortable to wear! – even for a lash newbie like me.
I love to wear really autumnal and warm colours during the winter months, especially during the festive season that turns into celebrating the new year. The Burgundy Bar by Maybelline New York is perfect for creating beautiful smoky eyes that isn’t the classic brown or black. My favourite colours are the sparkly copper and all of the burgundy and mauve colours. I’ve been wearing all of those colours most for something a little bit different to my normal look, when I actually bother to get a little glammed up!
A classic red for Christmas never goes amiss. This beautiful Chanel one in Rouge Allure Velvet 56 was a lovely surprise gift that made its way from the UK down under. It really is soft like velvet as it is brushed across your lips. The high pigmentation means it’ll last a lot longer than other brands, and the colour oozes Christmas feels all round.
I love getting nail varnishes for Christmas and I always vow to wear them but never get round to actually polishing my own nails; my subconscious tells me I’m hideous at painting nails and so I think that has something to do with it. However, these colours are gorgeous for winter time. Both Rimmel in 500 Desert Disguise and 801 Blackout, these varnishes are as fab in quality as any other high end drugstore nail varnish.
For those people who love their hair accessories and styling way more than their beauty regimes, why not try a definer such as this one by Andrew Collinge. From his latest collection, Co by Andrew Collinge, this Finishing Gel Serum Definer is the product to use once you’ve styled your party hair. When I think of gel serums in pots like this, I just think of short hair. However, I have used it after curling my hair to make it stick that little bit longer. The smell is gorgeous, so much more fragrant than any other wax-styled or thicker serum I’ve used. Plus, if you’re a fellow NW guy or gal, this is made by local hair stylist who proudly has salons across the Wirral and Liverpool.
Mini cleansers are always a good add-on present because you can never have too much cleanser, in my opinion! The Garner Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water is extremely popular, bordering on beauty trend, because it is affordable and actually works. This size of 125ml is great for travel lovers who don’t want to cart the 300ml bottle around with them and it is very handy to pop in your handbag if you need it outside of the house for any reason at all.
You’re probably sick of my mentioning perfume, however it really is a fab gift to give and to receive during Christmas time. During the festive season, many high street stores including The Perfume Shop, Boots and Debenhams sell exclusive sizes of popular fragrances such as Marc Jacobs Daisy and Decadence – similar to this Swarovski Aura which is, heartbreakingly, discontinued now – because travel sizes of perfumes are more sought out than ever these days.
For those who need a little push to become a savvy saver for their upcoming travels, buy them a money pot with some kind of map or holiday image to influence them to pop those coins in. This one is on the smaller side to coincide with the stocking filler description, but it can probably hold quite a lot. From Sass & Belle, it’s in a cute shape of a suitcase with the world map adorning all sides. There is a tab at the bottom where someone can get the money they’ve put in if they really, really, need it.
Sometimes a small reminder of an incredible trip can be the best kind of gift a person can give. With this cute photo frame from Paperchase, it would fit in any nook or cranny of a household and be a constant reminder of happy times spent having adventures, preferably by the ocean.
A little boost of adventure confidence whilst providing something useful for a trip – or multiple – is a great way to show your loved one that you think they can do absolutely anything. I love this Be Wild & Wander travel pouch from H&M. It came with me to Australia, Bali and Singapore this year and it’s so bright that you cannot miss it in your hand luggage. It’s a perfect place to put important documents such as passports, visas and tickets so nothing can be lost in the dark pit of a backpack or handbag again.
Being compact is a must during travelling; despite looking our best not being top of the list, it’s always good to have a handy mirror on the go, just in case there’s anything in our teeth. This compact mirror by Jan Constantine is great because it looks as though there are two mirrors due to the dual design on each side of the piece. A little reminder of having British heritage is a great aspect too
Smaller books can be used to stuff Christmas stockings up, or even as part of them providing you have a bigger stocking to fill. Books such as The Goddess Guide by Gisèle Scanlon are stunning Christmas gifts which you can buy from Amazon, eBay, or even River Island. Full of gorgeous imagery including photographs and illustrations, this book is a perfect bible to women everywhere. There are interviews with the likes of Christian Louboutin and Alice Temperley and mini travel guides alongside making your house and garden homely whilst throwing fun parties too.
A diary/planner might seem like a mediocre gift but get it right and you could have given your loved one exactly what they needed. Organisers come in so many different styles and sizes these days with special ones geared towards your dreams, or everyday life and even blogging!
There are so many trinkets, beauty essentials, fashion accessories and books that you can buy which could and would fit into a physical Christmas stocking as well as bits and bobs that you can put together into a mini hamper for the person, or persons, you are buying for. Christmas is not always about the present aspect of the day – although it is always a welcome excitement – and sometimes we do all get a little carried away with the gift aspect of the holiday rather than the underlying notion of spending time with friends and family. Whatever your budget, I hope this post gave some kind of inspiration, especially if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet!
Do you buy stocking fillers, or smaller gifts? What kinds of presents do you love to buy for people?
Love, Faye xo