Christmas is so close! If you’re looking for presents from small business, British businesses or black-owned businesses, look no further! I’ve included some luxury gift ideas too so that should be all bases covered.
Pat McGrath Labs
I love everything I have bought from the original Pat McGrath Labs range. She has now stopped doing the lab kits which is a shame because I loved the experimental vibe they had. The focus was on the product rather than the packaging and the products did not disappoint.
For a friend who loves dramatic eye makeup, try the Dark Star 006 kit in UltraViolet Blue. I didn’t buy the UltraSude Brown option but it looks more wearable for a recipient who prefers everyday glam. The pigments are intense and very versatile and the kits include an eye gloss and brush. Both kits are currently on sale on net-a-porter for £84.
Also on sale are the Metalmorphosis 005 kits which have been reduced to £39 each. They come in copper, bronze, silver and gold. The only one I don’t have is bronze because I wanted to be adventurous and I think bronze is fairly sensible! Although there is now a Metalmorphosis palette, that’s just powder pigment. The individual kits come with a cream shadow to really make the colours pop, Mehron mixing liquid to further intensify the powder shadow and a double sided eyeliner. I’ve even used the copper pigment as a blush so it’s bound to make a beauty lover happy.
I think you can never have too many lipsticks and if you agree, the Lust 004 everything kit would be perfect. It contains 6 lip colours – two reds, two vampy shades and two nude shades plus three glitters, very finely milled gold dust and the best clear lipgloss I have used. It makes ombre lips easy, even for amateurs like me. It costs £135 from net-a-porter.
All of the Lab kits come in special sequin-filled packaging, perfect for gifting! (Fun fact: the sequins are hand-painted).
Finally, the BlitzTrance lipsticks are perfect to take you or your lucky recipient from Christmas to the new year and beyond. I haven’t pictured them because I didn’t realise they were available from a UK stockist until I started writing (and I had packed away my set-up) but the outer box and the packaging are covered in a stunning glitter and the lipsticks themselves have an amazing shine to them. You can see Rebel Red and Cyber Orchid on my Instagram profile and both are available from net-a-porter for £35 each.
Malee Natural Science
Fragrance is a personal thing so it’s usually best to get a fragrance that has been asked for however if your loved ones like to discover new things I would recommend the Verdure range from Malee. I have sampled most of the products and own a few and the Verdure scent reminds me of summer and freshly cut grass. The scents are inspired by Africa and I recall that the founder, Zeze, wanted to capture the scent of the morning in rural South Africa with Verdure. I love the other scents so if you’re not sure which to get, you could give a candle trio although I don’t own the candles myself (yet).
I love wearing the Verdure fragrance (£28) and it’s a handbag friendly size at 12ml. I also have the room mist (£34). I have a couple of the hand moisturiser samples and the full size (£16) is next on my shopping list. I think any of these would make a great gift for anyone because they are unisex and (at least the fragrances) come in high-quality boxes and frosted glass bottles which is a pleasure to hold so the whole experience of opening the Malee products will be memorable. The brand is luxurious but affordable and is available at maleeonline.com.
Thea Smartt Henry
Thea Smartt Henry is a London-based jeweller who makes her pieces out of polymer clay. Due to the nature of the material, no two pieces are the same so this jewellery would be perfect for the friend who loves to stand out or the loved one who seems to have everything. The pieces I own not only look beautiful, they feel beautiful too because they are full of texture. She also has some pieces with gorgeous wirework. Prices range from £10-£40 at theasmartthenry.co.uk.
I’ve just started using Huda Beauty products after reviewing some for Brown Beauty Talk and I’m hooked! The reviews will be published soon (the Overachiever Concealer review is here) but as you can see from my Instagram page it’s no secret that I love the Demi Matte lip colours. I purchased some more shades and I love them! In a nutshell, they perform like a lipstick/gloss/stain hybrid and can be blotted down and worn matte. The shades come up lighter on me than shown in the swatches online so if in doubt, go darker. They are available from Harrods and cost £18.
Here’s something for the kids! Naomi C Robinson is an illustrator and designer who creates adorable greetings cards and other stationery products. I purchased her 2019 calendar (£12.99) for my son which has 12 beautifully uplifting illustrations of characters that my son is sure to identify with. It’s made from lovely, soft paper and I can’t wait for him to use it! A little one might also appreciate one of her prints (£19.50) or sketchbooks (£9 for three) although I haven’t yet tried these. Her stationery is available from her Etsy store.
You’ll need cards and wrapping paper to go with the gifts you’ve picked and Kitsch Noir is irresistibly fun! I have a little shopping list of things including the Black Santa wrapping paper and Dutty Mulled Wine card but I can’t say too much about what I want and what I have bought because my recipients might (and should!) be reading this guide! I will say that I purchased the Christmas At Home from generaliste.co.uk card as a decoration for my home because it beautifully captures what Christmas is about for me – family time. I’ve put it in a 6×4″ photo frame and it will live on my Christmas shelf as long as the decorations are up. The wrapping paper costs from £2.00 per sheet and the cards are £3.20, both from kitschnoir.com.
I hope you have found this helpful. Let me know what you get!