We're officially closing in on the end of the year and you know what that means – it's open season on festive cheer.
Some people don't like getting into the Christmas spirit too early, and to those people I say "Hope you like the heat because you're living in my version of actual Hell".
I love everything about Christmas and one of the things I love most about this time of year is specially packaged-up seasonal beauty and homeware items. If it's a lipstick inside a bonbon or a hand cream inside a bauble, I want it. Pine-scented candle? Spark it up. Spicy room fragrance? Spritz me.
At $78 a pop, you're probably not going to have one of Jo Malone's divine Christmas crackers at every single person's place setting this year. But as a very posh stocking filler, it's a winner. Inside, there's a whole mini body-care gift set with Blackberry & Bay Cologne (9mL), Basil & Neroli Body Wash (15mL) and English Pear & Freesia Body Crème (15mL).
If you want to go all out, there's the Jo Malone London Ultimate Christmas Cracker with up to four full-sized products stashed inside. It's $455, so this one's quite the serious treat-yo'self statement piece.
Beauty advent calendars are the gift (to yourself) that keeps on giving, for obvious reasons. 25 little presents in one! The only challenge is ensuring you have the self-restraint to open a single door every day instead of just tearing into the whole lot in one go.
The Body Shop's advent calendars sell out every year, and with good reason: they're gorgeous, and good value.
The entry-level "24 Days of Beauty" calendar is $100. Pretty easily justified as a present from you to yourself, considering how many miniature products are inside. Everything from British Rose Body Butter to Coconut Hand Cream.
Then there's their mid-tier offering, the $140 Advent-Ure calendar, which has bigger, more luxe items from Camomile Eye Make-Up Remover to iconic Body Butters.
Or really push the boat out with the $200 Ultimate Advent Calendar, featuring everything from Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask to Iconic Drops of Youth Concentrate and Matte Liquid Lip.
The Molton Brown annual calendar is always worth waiting for, and it does not disappoint this year. Yes, it's $399 but for that price you get an entire month's worth of little gifts. The 2017 Molton Brown Cabinet of Scented Luxuries Advent Calendar includes four body lotions (50mL) in Pink Pepperpod, Rosa Absolute, Ylang Ylang and Coco & Sandalwood; White Truffle Hand Cream (40mL); White Truffle Hand Exfoliator (40mL); two mini candles in Rosa Absolute and Pink Pepperpod; two 50g scrubs in Pink Pepperpod and Ylang Ylang; Purifying Shampoo with Indian Cress (50mL), Hair Mask (50g), two eau de toilettes in Tobacco Absolute and Rosa Absolute; and Vintage 2017 with an Elderflower Festive Bauble.
And for a real showstopper, grab the Jo Malone London advent calendar for $670. It's filled with a range of luxe scented products, from Cologne to Body Crème in a range of different fragrances.
Something a little bit easier on the bank balance is the Crabtree & Evelyn 12 Days of Christmas calendar. It's smaller, but it packs quite a punch, with 12 mini tubes of Hand Therapy hand cream for $85.
Looking for something to hang on your tree? There are so many options from the world of beauty.
Burt's Bees has released a series of adorable baubles with lovely lip balms and hand creams inside pretty, resuable tree decorations.
Or ghd's perfect purple spheres, containing split-end therapy potions to sort your hair out, are a snip at $22 each.
The MOR "Sweety" bauble, $9.99, has two mini Marshmallow Soapettes inside a keepsake decoration.
And the A'kin tree bauble, $22.95, is a gorgeous golden orb with Hydrating Antioxidant Day Cream and Cleansing Micellar Water stashed inside.
The Real Techniques Dawn Mini Miracle Complexion Sponge, $15.99, is a limited-edition, latex-free make-up sponge that can be used to create the perfect base and build coverage where needed. And it'll look cute hanging on your tree.
To start creating a holiday-scented atmosphere as early as possible, light up Crabtree & Evelyn's cute wee trio of candles. The "Christmas Candle Trilogy", $65, is a limited-edition candle gift set in festive fragrances: Frosted Spicewood, Red Berry & Fir, and White Cardamom.
Incidentally, for some reason, candles always show up on those lists of "What not to buy your friend/kid's teacher/boss/neighbour" because apparently people find them boring. Maybe I'm alone here, but I love getting candles. They're pretty, they make the house smell nice, you can use the leftover jars as stylish pen holders on your desk.
Anyway, a Christmas-scented candle is key to making your home or office space really embody the spirit of the season, and Ecoya have brought out their annual festive range, in stores from November 1.
While the desserty ones with apple, vanilla and raspberry notes are nice, our pick is Fresh Pine, with the smell of fresh pine needles, newly sawn forest woods, citrus and rosewood. For major luxe effect, go the $99 "Grand Madison" size, with three wicks.
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