Last-Minute Gift Guide #2

A Book for You

Moving on from beauty, when you find yourself in a situation when you really can't decide what to get to a person, a book is probably the way to go. 

I always find them to be such a quality present. Nothing can beat a good book, be it coffee-table or a simple, humble paperback. Plus, it's easily wrapped so what more is there to say?

So, get to your local bookshop and get your friends and families some books. It's also really nice to support the local businesses in your area. You can uncover many hidden gems if only you look for them. 

Just a few words of advice before you buy anything (though you probably already know all these in which case, please ignore me.)
book gifts fiction

book gifts non-fiction

  • Think of the interests of the person for whom you're buying the book for. There's a book for everyone. Honest.
  • If they're avid readers' of literature, at least, try to get them some fiction. They can always exchange it if they've already got it.
  • In my opinion, children's books (like Harry Potter or His Dark Materials) are not just for children anymore, especially for those of us who grew up with them. Find a beautiful edition and bring them the gift of nostalgia, this holiday season. Perhaps give them a pack of tissues as well.
  • Cookbooks for the foodies is an easy idea to come up with. Trying to find one they haven't got already is a much more complicated task.
  • Also, graphic novels can be great presents. On my wishlist are "Maus" and "Persepolis".
  • Here's a site that has all sorts of literary presents.
  • And this one for all sorts of students. 
  • A good thriller or detective novel is a great option for anyone who craves some good fast-paced action and suspense. Jo Nesbo's novels are loved by many people and I've also heard that Robert Galbraith's (aka J.K. Rowling) novels are brilliant too.

Last Minute Beauty Gift Guide

The Beauty Junkie:

If you're anything like me you've left the largest amount of your Christmas shopping for the last-minute. As much as I love creating lists of what to get to each of my beloved ones, unfortunately, they never come to fruition.What really happens is I end up running around the streets on those few stressful days before the big day, trying to juggle present buying and food buying. Oh and I've got a  New Year's Eve outfit to find as well (cue panic attack). Where's a paper bag? I need some air over here!
So I've been thinking a lot about presents these days, I guess, and I realised that at this point it's much less stressful to get someone a gift that you know will work. Don't experiment too much. Go with the safest choice. I mean you're supposed to have fun over the holidays, too! (However, being the perfectionist that I am, I might end up brushing away my own advice at the end. Although, I'll try not to because I know that if I do I'll end up giving everyone I know a sad, last-minute present or rushed and ugly DIY gift.)
I'm starting then this series with some present ideas for those people around us who are obsessed with beauty, are avid Youtube beauty vlogs watchers and beauty blog readers. Let's hope the below will do the trick.
  • A lipstick is always a good idea. Think about what they like, if they've ever mentioned something they would love to have (this goes for all other gifts as well). A luxurious one that they'd hesitate to buy themselves will leave them extremely grateful. I mean what better suits the holiday season than a beautifully packaged Tom Ford lipstick? If you're uncertain on which one to choose, a classic, matte red Mac lipstick like Ruby Woo will be surely appreciated and used, even from day one.
  • A perfume. This one's a bit more tricky. I guess you have to know the person and find the one that suits their tastes best. I love (and have purchased myself) the new Black Opium EDT by YSL. It's sweet, but not too much, musky and slightly fruity and I just love the coffee notes on its base. Another one I've been hearing great things about and which comes in a festive packaging as well, is "My Burberry". This one's more fresh and florally. Just go take a whiff of those and other scents at your local perfumery and I'm sure you'll leave with a significantly shorter "presents-I've-still-got-to-buy-kill-me-now" list.
  • Some people, of course, prefer other sorts of beauty. They like to do as the French and pay more attention to the skin that's underneath than what you put on top of it. For those, a set of quality skincare products whatever the price-point, is sure to make them smile. I always do some research online beforehand on sites like this to make sure I know what I'm buying.
  • But what about the girls, women and anyone really who is all about the eyes? Well then, help them enhance them! Get them the latest cult mascara, a set for creating the perfect smoky eye, an envy-inducing eyeshadow palette. This category is honestly the easiest for any budget. 
  • I myself, however, would love to indulge in something like this Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette . I mean, it's so beautiful I drool over my laptop anytime I look at it. But alas, its price is not for the faint-hearted. Blushes (I love this one) and shimmery highlighters aside, a great contour palette is a great option (for anyone really) especially for those who love a pair of nicely chiseled cheekbones. 
  • And if someone is just starting to get into makeup, a good set of brushes will make a great present. They'll be thinking of you every time they'll be buffing in their foundation.

Winter Essentials: 2015

I’m pretty sure you’re bored to death by now of hearing or reading about what you’re going to need to buy for this winter season. I mean, I’m fairly positive that like myself, you don’t need someone telling you, you need a bloody coat. “Do I? Really?” “Oh, in red! Well, that changes everything!” No, it doesn’t.
Each season it seems everyone is trying to reinvent themselves, their wardrobe included. But isn’t what we’re really doing, spending more money for something we don't really need? I know I don’t need another coat but that doesn’t stop me from wanting another one: a new, slightly different one to add to my collection.

Are they essentials then? Probably not. All of us who love fashion, who love thinking and reading about it, have without a doubt all our “winter essentials” sitting in our wardrobes, waiting to be taken out for a spin.
Hence, I won’t be using the word essentials for those sartorial items I really want to get my hands on this winter. I know I  have most of them in previous editions already.

 Like an app that needs to be updated, I’m also programmed to be in need of an update each year. I’ve got to look brand new. Of course, I’ m never new. I’ll never be truly updated. All I am is older. My memory is fuller. I’m changed but not new. As a society, we tend to worship anything new. Bright, new and shiny is what we want our things to be. Maybe that’s because we know we’ll never be new. One could go on and on about why we’re so fixated in the idea of newness. But that’s not what I want to talk about.
Going back to clothing then, those “winter essentials” are not really necessary. I don’t think, however, that anyone reads that word in its literal sense. Additions could take its place. Adding new things in your already existing wardrobe is not wrong at all. It only follows that we want something different each year. Change is part of being human and it would be scary if we remained stagnant in any facet of our lives- wardrobe included. That doesn’t have anything to do with our personal style. I find, that people who pay attention to their style, manage to keep the narrative of that style cohesive despite the changes that occur with each season.

In the same way, we add things, it’s equally important to throw things away. Clothes (or anything really) that don’t inspire us, or express us in any way, don’t have to be kept just because. Getting rid of them can be a cathartic experience. It also allows you to add those new things. It’s worth noting that something old can be “new” too. That’s why I love vintage finds. There’s just something quite poetic about bringing new life into something old. Many times I find myself wondering about what my "new" vintage blouse has seen. I’ll never know, but I feel stupidly proud for wearing an experienced garment. (That's the point where I start to wonder for my own sanity.)
Winter additions then. Oh, I have so many that I want! I’m sure I won’t get to buy half of them, but that doesn’t stop me from adding more each day. Greedy you say? Oh yes! Definitely!

So here are my top winter 2015 Winter Additions! Please tell me yours as well. I’m really curious in general and I want to make sure I’m not missing out on anything.

  1. A black velvet blazer is all I dream of these days. The luxurious fabric can dress up any outfit and I'd love to wear in the day with a pair of jeans and for the party season with a glamorous jumpsuit underneath.
  2. A humongous scarf to cover my neck, shoulders and my ginormous head hopefully. Winter is here and I need to not get sick.
  3. I love these flats! They're from Vagabond which is a brand I know makes really comfortable shoes. Every shoe I've ever tried from them is so light you wouldn't believe it from looking at the picture. 
  4. A pair of off-white trainers. The classic white ones are on everyone's feet right now so I thought I'd be (ever so slightly) different.
  5. I've been wanting a bomber jacket for ages and this one isn't too expensive. Longer is always better for me during the winter.
  6. Turtleneck with a metallic shimmer running through it. Need I say more? Perfect for the holiday (day and night) season.
  7. Here we've got another one roll neck. Can't tell I'm obsessed? The funny thing is my parents hate them because it's all they've been wearing throughout the 70's. Wonder if we'll feel the same way...
  8. Leather trousers. This one's a big one. I've been wanting a pair for a long time, but I never liked any of the faux versions. This one's expensive so it needs to be thought out very carefully before committing.
  9. Black skinny jeans. Nothing more to say. I seem to buy a pair every year.
  10. A punchy red sweatshirt for when I want to look cool, embrace athleisure and brighten my mood. It has the added benefit of keeping me warm.
  11. Ok, so can we talk about these booties? If there's one thing I'd buy without a second thought, that's the one. They're so chic and modern and can be worn in any occasion, plus they offer some  much-needed height. Oh, and that contrasting, bone heel? Love.
  12. A short fur coat. I've been wanting one of these since last year. I was watching all those cool girls on their bikes covered with warm furs while I was trembling on the sidewalk, daydreaming how I could achieve their perfect nonchalance. A fur coat was the answer. If I manage to get one before Christmas, you can rest assured that it'll be worn on every single holiday party. And I do not exaggerate.

Now all I have to do is wait for my Christmas presents. Family and friends take note! 
And don't forget to come back. There will be gift guides for all us late-shoppers.