Beauty gifts are kind of a tricky present to give. It’s such a matter of personal choice as to what you put on your skin, it’s easy to get it wrong. And yet, if you’re buying for someone you know to be an aficionado of the smelly face goop, you want to get it right, right?
All in all, if you are buying a beauty gift, either go for the recipient’s favourite brand, or go for something more obscure. Skincare geeks will squeal like a five-year-old on candy floss when presented with a new brand they haven’t tried yet.
On the high street, the Marks and Spencer beauty department has totally reinvented itself in recent years and now has a well-edited range of cool brands. Plus the assistants are generally very knowledgeable and a lot friendlier than many places (looking at you Space NK).
Online, there is a great selection of brands, exclusive offers and discounts at Feel Unique, or Dermacare Direct have a great range and will ship within the UK for free and worldwide for a small charge.
So here’s my gift guide which brings together lots of the skincare I’ve reviewed this year. Where there is a full review available I’ve linked through to it. Price-wise it goes from £6 to £180 so all bases are covered, with lots of options under £30. You can sort of see a theme here, in that I like pretty packaging, unusual ingredients, decent value for money and a product that does what it promises.
Serums and facial oils
Liz Earle Superskin Face Serum – I only tried a little sample of this so I haven’t got a full review but my word, it smelt delicious and felt amazing. And so it should do with Pomegranate Flower, Persian Silk Tree and Rhubarb Extracts in there. The good thing about ordering from Liz Earle is that they ship out pretty fast and gift wrap beautifully. They’ll even send an extra free sample to whoever placed the order.
Inner Soul Organics Barefaced Beauty Natural Serum – I reviewed this in the Spring, used it til the last drop then mourned its passing. Developed by an aromatherapist, this serum is a pleasure to use. Smoosh it all over your skin when it needs rehydrating.
Revive Face Oil with Lavender and Frankincense by Ermana – Similar to the Inner Soul product but lighter in texture, the frankincense makes this an eminently Christmassy gift.
Stratum C Menopause Skin Repair Serum – High quality skincare that works from this brand which specialises in women in their forties and fifties. See also the Stratum C Hand Cream and Eye Serum.
Tru Face Essence Ultra by Nu Skin – A luxury product for the person you really, really want to treat (or suck up to).
Avon Anew Essential Youth Maximising Serum – A great product, really elegantly packaged. Gets top reviews from many Avon customers.
Other beauty gifts
Optimum PhytoDeluxe by Superdrug – A day and night cream that punches well above its price in terms of ingredients and effectiveness. Currently on half price offer so you could buy it for you and a friend and both purchases would probably cancel each other out or something.
Roger et Gallet Christmas crackers – A lovely small gift or stocking filler. For only £6 you get a great quality hand cream plus a little squirty of perfume.
Jan Marini Holiday Exfoliator in Sugar Plum – Deliciously scented limited edition Christmas skincare wrapped in purple
William Morris Skincare box – I am still using all the stuff I got in this box, plus I’m keeping the box to store stuff. Anybody who gets this is pretty lucky. No you can’t have mine.
Home Microdermabrasion System by DermatX – This is a great set, it’s so versatile. You can do at-home dermabrasion, cleansing or a bit of both. Since I reviewed this, it won the Silver Award for Best New Premium Skin Care Product at the Pure Beauty Awards 2015.
So I hope you find some useful ideas in this Christmas beauty gift guide for over forties. I’m happy to answer any questions, since I’ve used all these products. And by the way there’s nothing to say you can’t buy or use these products if you are under 40. It’s just that that’s the age of the face I tested ’em on.
And if the over-stretched fortysomething in need of a treat is you – well – go for it. Heck, you’re worth it.
This post includes PR samples sent for the purposes of review