Here I am to offer my blunt two cents’ worth on what to buy someone for Christmas, especially if you’ve only got a few days left to do so. Chop, chop!
1. Sephora anything.
The Urban Decay Naked Palette ($78 at Sephora) has practically attained Holy Grail status among make up junkies. There’s also the Midnight Emergency Kit which is a smaller all-in-one glitzy night out kind of set. I fell in love with the Rollergirl Palette while I was at Sephora one day. The bright pink totally caught my eye. Prices for Urban Decay sets and palettes start from about $50 here at Sephora.
Too Faced also has a few sweet sets with pretty packaging. Almost bought the Beautiful Dreamer set but I only wanted the eyeshadow quad.
2 cool skincare/bath/body brands to check out would be Soap & Glory and Bliss. They both have pretty kitschy packaging, more so for the former than the latter. Glow job, anyone?
This Caudalíe Paris lip balm and hand cream set ($24) is what I bought for my office Secret Santa gift exchange. The sales assistant at Sephora (Ngee Ann City) recommended this as a lesser known but high quality brand. It was great value for money, too. The exchange takes place tomorrow! Hope my giftee likes it.
Q bought me this adorable kitty from Topshop ($19). It comes stuffed with a lavender scented wheat bag, and you heat the bag up in the microwave before stuffing back in. Provides some hot-bodied relief for those pesky monthly pains, or just some basic warmth if you happen to live in a temperate country.
There were other animals like a buck-tooth bunny and a curly haired sheep, but only the cat comes with the adorable cape. The choice is obvious.
3. MOR handcream
So in my previous post, I raved about Luxola.com. Well, Luxola is offering free delivery even on Christmas eve so you have no excuse to not get at least some MOR hand cream ($19) for your gal pal. If your budget permits, you could consider the other products available too. I’m purely going by packaging here. Never tried MOR products, but hey, even if they smell bad, at least they look hella posh.
Don’t forget that every minimum purchase of $50 in December entitles you to their complimentary gift, and you also qualify for 35% off till midnight of 25th December when you enter FACEBOOK35 at the checkout!
Please excuse the sorry state of my pair of Westone 1s. Q bought these for my birthday last year and they have lasted more than a year! That’s got to be a record for any pair of earphones I’ve ever owned.
The wires of my Westones actually wrap around your ears like that (crappy self-taken-at-the-bus-stop picture, I know). I believe Ultimate Ears makes them like that too. Good if you don’t like the wires hanging in front of your chest cos you can place the wires down the back of your neck instead (am I making sense?), but bad if you’re carrying your cat in your arms while wearing them, she struggles, and ends up yanking your ears with the wire. Ouch.
Generally, in-ears like these easily cost more than $100. If you’re willing to splurge and your friend really likes listening to music on portable music players, you might want to get him these. Not recommended as a gift for audiophiles unless you know what they specifically want though. They would want to try the ‘phones on for themselves before committing to a pair. Anyhoo, check out Jaben at Odeon Towers [edit: ADELPHI. NOT ODEON. Why didn’t anyone tell me ): ] for a relatively good deal.
2. Nerf Guns
This is probably the only gift that I don’t personally own, but I can assure you that my guy friends have absolutely loved their gifts when in the form of Nerf Guns. ‘Nuff said. Get yours at Toys’R’Us or departmental stores or something. Prices should be $20 and up depending on your weapon of choice.
On a similar vein to Nerf Guns, why not get your guy friend some Lego? Especially these Lego men. Q bought mine from Planerds by Harris (ION Orchard level 4, outside HMV). They sell these Lego men in those foil packages where you only know which one you’ve got after you’ve bought and opened it. You could always be like my friends and feel up every pack to figure out which is which. Anyway, they’re around 5 bucks a pop. Find them by the counter.
Gift Exchange (what NOT to get)
1. The Body Shop anything
Much as I love the brand, please be more imaginative.
Get anything else that doesn’t suggest that you’re uninformed/cheapo/lazy (this does not apply to nice aunties who mean well). Go to Lush, Crabtree & Evelyn, L’occitane, Kiehls, or refer to the Sephora suggestions above. For example:
Pictured above: Lush bath bombs, bath melts, anything that requires a bath tub. Prices generally average $4-6 each. Just make sure your recipient actually has a bath tub. If not, the Cupcake fresh face mask ($21) is a useful, chocolate-y mud mask for acne prone friends, and doesn’t tell them outright that they have a crappy complexion. Ahem.
2. Gift vouchers that have stupid T&Cs like minimum spend of $50 but are only worth $20
You’re obviously re-gifting something your credit card company gave you. Actually purchasing a gift card makes it more sincere. You waited in line to put stored value into the card. Make sure your vouchers are from a reputable store, have a reasonable value, and a sufficiently long validity period (at least 3 months is good). The only exception I’ll make is for the $100 Topshop gift card with bonus $20 value. Expires on 2nd Jan 2012.
Unless it’s some atas (high-class/posh) shit, refrain from putting snacks into the gift exchange pile. The gift will be gone very soon, while everyone else gets to leave with a little novelty item.
On the flip side, if everyone else’s gifts were shitty and will only collect dust, I guess you could be thankful for drawing that box of Ferrero Rocher out of the goddamn pile.
And that’s about it for gift ideas! I have one last suggestion that will make for a generally well-liked gift, and that is the A Very She & Him Christmas album ($21.90 at HMV). Zooey Deschanel’s timeless voice will please indie lovers and geriatric audiences alike. It gets me in a relaxed, holiday mood instantly. Goes best with a warm, festive Starbucks coffee.
Here’s what I would personally like to receive this Christmas (but am not allowed to): Festive Sprockitty Gift Bag
Disclaimer: All items mentioned were either bought with my own money, a gift from Q, or just stuff that I’ve seen around. I was not paid by any company to include their products.