33 Chic Last Minute Gift Ideas That You’ll Want To Keep For Yourself

Photo courtesy of Fiele Fragrances

Christmas Gift Guide


33 Chic Gift Ideas That You’ll Want To Keep For YOURSELF


Whether you’re purchasing a last minute gift for a friend or loved one or simply want to treat yourself to a little something special you’re sure to find something in our edit that will spark a little joy.


By Abisoye Odugbesan

This year has been challenging to say the least but if there is one thing that we’ve learned over the past 12 months is the importance of being present, taking nothing for granted and making time for our friends, families, communities and ourselves. During lock down as you may have seen in our Instagram series ‘BASEics’ we asked members of our community what their basic essentials were, the items that were getting them through self-isolation and social-distancing. What was clear from the responses was that we really don’t need very much (outside of  being safe and the overall wellbeing of ourselves and loved ones) to be happy or to feel content. Taking the time to fully appreciate life’s simple pleasures can be enough to lift our moods and so, our Christmas gift guide is inspired by the basic every day  essentials, a carefully curated edit of artisanal skincare products, wellness goodies and beauty treats, the simple necessities that have been elevated by beautiful craftsmanship, made with love and superior ingredients or just a delight to look at as well as use and are guaranteed to make the receiver of the gift feel good. Products so good that you might be tempted to keep for yourself.

All the items in our list are created by women founders and you’ll find many brands by women of colour to support.  From Nanushka’s chic Vegan Leather Hair Scrunchies to Maison Commune’s Silk Sleep Mask sustainably made from recycled silk scarves to Fiele Fragrance a niche perfume brand that uses organic essential oils and carefully chosen botanical ingredients. Whether you’re purchasing a last-minute gift for a friend, loved one or simply want to treat yourself to a little something special you’re sure to find something in our edit that will spark a little joy.

Olfactory Delights

Christmas at home is likely to look very different for so many of us, a much smaller affair than previous years and some of us may be spending the festive period alone. A scented candle is the perfect remedy to help lift the mood in any room or spirit. Our favourites: the earthy blend of cedarwood, jasmine and thyme of the ‘One Evening’ candle by Our Lovely Goods a family run business created by husband and wife Ebi and Emmanuel Sinteh. The uplifting notes of fresh citrusy grapefruit with hints of sweetness in the ‘Grapefruit & Sugarcane’ candle by Oré mi Candles which means ‘my friend’ in Yoruba. An independent London based company, founded by Karen Olla is sure to keep spirits high. And although not scented Lit by Lucys’s candles look great and make the perfect stylish gift plus her ‘Nude Collection’ was launched during lock down specifically to support organisations that focus on combating racial injustice.

Uncommon Scents

Our edit of fragrances are all brands created by women of colour, starting with D.S. & Drugsa founded by Kavi Ahuja and her husband David Seth. The brand is named after Moltz’s initials and his nickname for Ahuja (‘Durga’ means Hindu goddess). A memory of orange flower water in a market somewhere in Morocco is what inspired Crystal Pistil a scent that can be worn alone or layered with another perfume, essence or oil to give it a little “je ne sais quoi”. If you’re after something crips and light then ‘Juniperus’ created by perfumer Linda Rae Sivrican for her brand Fiele Fragrances is a clean and light scent infused with juniperus recurva, a native Himalayan shrub cultivated in Nepal should do the trick. The uplifting scent is paired with invigorating fir and blooming ylang ylang to create a balanced fragrance that evokes alpine air and promotes inner harmony. The perfect winter fragrance comes in the form of ‘Tobak’ by Maya Njie. A dark and comforting scent composed of sweet smoky notes of tobacco leaf, vetiver, and warm hints of cinnamon.

Mane Attraction 

Who doesn’t love a great hair product or accessory? Elevate wash day to a dreamy pamper session with our edit of luxury brands. Charlotte Mensah’s Manketti Oil Pomade is a deliciously rich and creamy hairdress packed with nourishing shea moisture and the brands star ingredient manketti oil that will leave your tresses moisturised and looking glorious. Or treat someone (or yourself) to Rahua’s Classic Shampoo and Conditioner formulated Amazonian nut oils and healing Quinoa to boost moisture retention for stronger more luscious hair. They are also available in travel size which makes for a great stocking filler. Then there is Nuture, Flow, Awaken, Bloom, Rebirth and Flourish all waiting to be explored in the The Afro Hair & Skin Co Minis Discovery Set. The travel sized products are packed with the brands plant powered goodies of award-winning hair and skincare. ‘Bloom’ is an omega rich oil powered by a carefully selected blend of nourishing plant oils and botanicals like camelina seed, sweet almond and organic thistle oils that work harmoniously to provide extra intensive care to your hair.

Crown Jewels

Everyday hair essentials elevated through beautiful design are Nanushka’s ‘Lou’ scrunchie made from their signature vegan leather also available in black and baby blue. We are also currently lusting after ALL the handmade combs from Crown Affair, especially these tortoiseshell creations. Or how about pretty hair claw from Torte because ‘life’s too short to have boring hair’.

Self-Care Moments

For the people in your life that love a self-care Sunday. These gift sets will help them re-create the ultimate spa day experience at home. Starting with an at-home D.I.Y facial courtesy of Dr.Barbara Sturm Drops Discovery Kit which includes three 10ml bottles of the ‘Sun’, ‘Glow’ and ‘Anti-Pollution’ formulas that promise to ‘hydrate, protect, and rejuvenate your complexion in an instant’. For a fully immersive spa experience transform your space with the earthy, exotic notes of Hibiscus, Geranium and Frankincense from Liha’s ‘Queen Idia Candle’ whilst cleansing your skin with the handmade ‘Ose Gidi Black Soap’ followed by the shea butter cream and the cold-pressed Coconut Oil of the brands ‘Idan Oil’ a sensory get away wrapped up in one discovery set. And for the skincare connoisseurs you can’t go wrong with Susanne Kaufmann Home Spa Box which has everything anyone needs for a luxurious pampering session in the privacy of their bathroom.

Beauty Works

And for your loved ones who are serious about their skincare (we’re talking about those with 5-steps or more in their routine), Angela Caglia’s Rosebud Eye Treatment Set is a must-have. These rose quartz rosebuds help to revitalise the skin by helping to expel excess water retention and toxins and reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles whilst also helping to relieve facial muscle tension. 
Gua Sha is a natural, alternative therapy that involves scraping skin with a massage tool to improve circulation. This ancient Chinese healing technique is believed to promote firmer facial contours and reduce the appearance of wrinkles but you won’t need to explain any of this to your skincare obsessed friends. This version from Odacite is made of Green Aventurine which is said to be conducive to the power of prosperity and good luck which we’re hoping to receive in abundance in 2021. Also hoping for facials and all the amazing beauty treatments that we’ve missed out on in this year but in the meantime the deep kneading action of Skin Gym’s Face Sculptor mimics the effect of a professional massage, the beauty roller fits the contour of the face perfectly leaving skin with a radiant glow.

Handy Treats

They say good things come in small packages and 79 Lux Intensely Restorative Protective Hand Cream is no exception. Packed with rose geranium, frankincense, avocado, zinc, chia seed and vitamin C this collagen boosting skin brightening and plumping hand cream is the perfect little stocking filler. We love the nail colours and minimalist packaging of J.Hannah’s nail polishes, plus all polishes are non-toxic and cruelty-free. All the soaps by Soapsmith are handmade in London using traditional cold process methods. Their bar soaps are created with rich natural ingredients such as shea and coconut butters infused with essential oils like bergamot and geranium making those 20 seconds of hand washing an absolute delight.

For The Beauty Junkie

A little shimmer and a little sparkle is a must at Christmas even if it’s not in the form of a sequin dress or heels. Make-up is a great mood-booster especially when its housed in this very festive case by Huda Beauty, the Gold Obessions Palette is filled with earthy neutrals as well as metallic tones an opulent gift for make-up fans. Speaking of fans no-one has a following like the Mother of make-up Pat Mcgrath and her Sublime Skin Highlighter is a golden champagne-hue silk powder that does not disappoint. Emolyne Cosmetic ‘The Complete Kit’ is a great gift for those who like to co-ordinate their make-up look. And the ‘shade finder’ on the site is a very helpful tool for helping to find the perfect shade.

Health Is Wealth

2020 has highlighted with razor sharp focus the importance of our health and wellbeing. The things we’ve taken for granted in the past we now must prioritise, ensuring that we look after our physical and mental health as well as caring for our loved ones. Organic African Wellness Superpower from A Complexion Co aims to just that, their single-source powder made from Moringa Oleifera leaf has been used for centuries in traditional medicine by the Kalahari Khoi/San tribes for its anti-fungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. ‘One of the most powerful natural multi-vitamin and antioxidant plants on Earth it contains over 92 nutrients, 46 types of antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories, 18 Amino Acids, and 9 essential Amino Acids. Includes essential vitamins; Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E, and micro-nutrients essential for immune health; Iron, Magnesium, and Zinc’ basically health in a jar.

If you’ve suffered from anxiety or have had trouble sleeping try Bodha’s Linen Aromatherapy Eye Pillow to help release facial tension and calm your mind. It’s filled with a blend of relaxing lavender & chamomile flowers to help you breathe more deeply.  A great aid for meditation, incorporate into your sleep ritual or use as part of a treatment to help ease stress.
We cannot underestimate the power of sleep in helping our bodies to function properly. Lack of sleep can result in reduced concentration, poor memory, mood changes and even a weakened immune system. Nue.co Sleep Drops tincture to the rescue with their non-habit-forming formula of Valerian root + passionflower which induce a sense of tranquillity while catnip + chamomile work together to aid sleep and help you drift off naturally.

Night Time Treats

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant and is used in products like oils and patches ‘to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm – making it great for stress and anxiety. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s not psychoactive – it won’t get you high’. Disciples Skincare Miracle Drops is a versatile oil that can be used orally or topically on the skin. Slumber Pillow Spray by Therapie is a dreamy concoction of calming lavender, sweet orange, stress-reducing bergamot, chamomile, hemp oil, neroli, patchouli that ‘will lull even the most agitated mind to a deep, blissful sleep’. Give the gift of uninterrupted beauty sleep (well.. protection from light disturbances) with Maison Commune’s handmade Silk Eye Mask made from 100% recycled silk scarves. Sleep soundly knowing that you’re shopping suitably, supporting small business and local artisans.

Essential Reading

Good Hair: The Essential Guide to Afro, Textured and Curly Hair is the debut book by the Queen of Afro Hair Charlotte Mensah. Learn everything from how to identify and understand your curl texture(s) to finding the right products to promote hair growth. “Charlotte is not only the most influential expert on black hair, but an inspiring entrepreneur whose Notting Hill salon is part beauty destination, part cultural hub with its cross-section of powerful, dynamic clients” says Kenya Hunt, Fashion Editor at Grazia who coincidently is the author of our next book selection GIRL: Essays on Black Womanhood. ‘A provocative, heart-breaking and frequently hilarious collection of original essays on what it means to be black, a woman, a mother and a global citizen in today’s ever-changing world’.
Reverie is the fourth issue from the cultural anthology Postscript. In this issue you will find ‘stories of introspective realities, transcendental liberation and escapism. Featuring artists, academics and activists from the UK, US and across Africa, the issue questions the ways in which we can find hope in a chaotic world and considers the bridging of different realities to create new narratives about ourselves, as well as our communities. Covering a host of topics on the multiplicity of self, the politics of pleasure and Afro-surrealist storytelling.

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