The ultimate beauty gift guide for 2021

The Christmas countdown is on – and this year, party season is back in full swing. To match that mood, outrageously decadent beauty gifts for your inner circle (your wish list included) abound this season, with every luxurious brand under the sun offering a host of perfect presents. Whether it’s a festive fragrance, the latest makeup products or skincare to last throughout the seasons, trust this special curation of our favourite products – the kinds of covetable gifts that cause gushing gratitude – to guide you to the very best options. It may be the season of giving, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a dash of that generous holiday spirit too, right? Have yourself a high-end holiday in 2021. 

SPLURGE-WORTHY GIFTS 

These lavish Christmas gift ideas, just waiting to be unwrapped by your fanciest beauty friend, are worthy of a shelfie. You’re sure to enter high-end heaven soon – your favourite beauty queen won’t be disappointed.

Diptyque Advent Calendar 2021 

For anyone whose life motto is ‘treat yourself’ 

Luxe beauty lovers, this one’s for you. Forget gifting – treat yourself to this gift that keeps on giving. Diptyque’s exquisite this year doesn’t just build excitement for a joyous holiday season to come. The thrill of 25 days’ worth of robust fragrances, candles, skincare and even limited-edition holiday ornaments – all in cheery, holiday-friendly packaging – will undoubtedly bring the magic this year. From the brand’s best-selling Baies (berries) and limited-edition Flocon (snowflake) candles to its new Orphéon eau de parfum and The Art of Skincare products that smell just as heavenly as the candles, there’s so much to discover here. We won’t judge if you decide to open all the boxes at once. While this covetable treasure trove doesn’t come cheap, the savings are a little shocking once you add up the value for each mystery gift. So, take this as a sign that you’ll actually be saving if you do decide to splurge.

R13,905 from Skins Cosmetics 

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Holiday Gift Set 

For the luxury lover who adores Viktor & Rolf 

Flowers, candles and perfume are three gifts that are always sure to impress. If the long-adored, can’t-go-wrong Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb has been your giftee’s signature scent since forever, now you can give her four different ways to wear her go-to: A regular and travel-sized version, the Bomblicious Voluptuous Body Cream and the Bomblicious Perfumed Body Lotion that will radiate for hours. Sweet but not too sweet, floral without being overwhelming – Flowerbomb hits that sweet spot with notes of centifolia rose, sambac jasmine, Cattleya orchid, Indian Osmanthus, patchouli and vanilla. This lavish gift set is for those who deserve the crème de la crème. The luxurious collection of fragranced treasures are packaged in the most delightful way – the Santa-approved box in the prettiest shade of pink is decked out in silver stars and Christmas trees, finished with a shimmering red bow. Next stop, Tinseltown! 

R2,720 from select Edgars and Truworths stores 

Glasshouse Fragrances Night Before Christmas Soy Candle & Fragrance Diffuser 

For the person who never wants Christmas to end 

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without chestnuts roasting by the open fire, the scent of freshly cut pine as you walk in the door and, of course, a festive candle and diffuser to get you into the spirit of the season. Glasshouse Fragrances has become known for their atmospheric Christmas candles and diffusers in the past, and this year is no different. If the traditional warming cinnamon scents or blends of cloves and fir trees aren’t your thing, why not opt for something a little more floral? To create a lush atmosphere for those lavish holiday parties, spark this ‘dancing sugar plums’ stunner in a decorative glass you can keep for the rest of the year. Made from soy wax, it has notes of blackcurrant, plum, lemon and lavender for a unique take on the Christmas candle blend. Plum pudding, festive fruits, flowers – the diffuser is the best way to keep the good smells (and feelings) going on a consistent basis. 

R1,299 and R999 respectively from select Woolworths stores 

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Fragrance Wardrobe for Her 

For the beauty maximalist with a bougie olfactory 

We can’t get enough of Maison Francis Kurkdjian aromas. They’re completely intoxicating and earn us so many compliments, which is why we think this Fragrance Wardrobe for Her will be a smash hit for whomever you give it to. An opulent offer for those who deserve the crème de la crème, inside this set you’ll find eight 11ml perfumes: Aqua Universalis Cologne Forte, Aqua Celestia Cologne Forte, Aqua Vitae Cologne Forte, Amyris Femme, Gentle Fluidity Gold, Oud Satin Mood, Baccarat Rouge 540 Extrait de Parfum and the unique Baccarat Rouge 540 – one of the most coveted eaus that’s neither too sweet nor too sophisticated with notes of amber, jasmine, saffron and cedarwood. It’s the epitome of luxury in a bottle. This fragrance gift set allows your giftee to sample the best at an affordable price. It’s also perfect for the traveller who doesn’t want to fill their suitcase with giant bottles of pricey perfume. 

R3,865 from Skins Cosmetics 

Susanne Kaufmann Home Spa Box 

For the spa snob 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we’ve had a stressful year. Because of this, we deserve the finer things in life … now more than ever. Treat a special someone to Susanne Kaufmann’s Home Spa Box, which comes filled with miniature-size relaxation treats. This expansive, pampering holiday treasure is filled with six of the luxe brand’s bestsellers, and each is guaranteed to kick your lucky recipient’s current bath-time routine to the curb. Pampering body products – the St John’s Wort Bath Calming, Foot Cream Warming, Hand Cream Nourishing, Body Butter and Firming Oil – and the Moisturising Mask nourish the skin and bring it safely through the festive season. And they come in a cuttle little box, too, because who has time to wrap things these days? We’re especially partial to the calming bath soak and ultra-rich foot cream that bring the Susanne Kaufmann Spa experience straight to your bathroom. 

R1,190 from Skins Cosmetics 

Giorgio Armani My Way Holiday Gift Set 

For the gift recipient who always smells scent-sational 

It’s hard to envisage Christmas without a little Giorgio Armani scent, so we’re making a bid for My Way. This, plus a flirty frock, is our dream party glam get-up. It’s sophisticated and sweet, just like the holidays should be. You’ll be enticed by this unashamedly feminine blend of orange blossom, bergamot, tuberose, Indian jasmine, Madagascan vanilla, white musk and Virginian cedar. The pink-tinged scent is completely intoxicating and earns us so many compliments, why is why we think this gift set – housed in a gorgeous red and gold box – will be a smash hit for whomever you give it to. There’s nothing more fabulous than a gift set that includes a delicious eau de parfum for your dresser, one mini for throwing in your suitcase or handbag and a matching body lotion for your bathroom. Plus, with responsibly sourced extracts inside and a bottle that can be refilled, this white floral fragrance marks a shift in the industry. 

R2,320 from select Edgars, Foschini and Truworths stores 

Lamelle Glow Bright Festive Promotion 

For the skincare junkie you send all of your questions to 

There are some seriously good-value skincare gift sets waiting to be snapped up from Lamelle this season. Skincare might seem very personal, but when it comes to a range as iconic as Lamelle’s Luminesce, you can’t go wrong. This set is a stellar (and money-saving) way to try four of the brand’s game-changing products to combat hyperpigmentation. The Luminesce Brightening Cleanse and Luminesce Brighter Day help to heal hyperpigmentation – whether it shows in the form of dark marks and patches on the skin or pesky scars that never seem to fade – while simultaneously enhancing glow. The Correctives Brighter Serum and Correctives Vita C Lipid Serum, which likely need little introduction, tackle dark spots without causing irritation to sensitive skin types. Just ensure that you’re consistent with using these products every day and you’ll see gradual results in as little as a month. 

R2,040 from www.dermastore.co.za and participating stockists 

Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile Gift Set 

For your friend who keeps a stash of Acqua di Parma in her purse 

Count on Acqua di Palma to bless us with gorgeous scents. For those who count this floral-fruity extravaganza amongst their favourites, there’s this three-piece set, featuring an equally dazzling designed box by Emilio Pucci, to add to your collection. Bright, zesty top notes of citron, lemon and bergamot give this its citrus vibe, while magnolia, tuberose and vanilla mellow it out, making it feel more comfortable and inviting. This gift set includes a 100ml eau de parfum, 75ml shower gel and 75ml body cream. Fragrance gift sets like this are great for anyone who likes to smell like their favourite perfume all the time – whether the scent is sprayed on or rubbed into their skin. The bottle looks fabulous wherever you choose to display it, so you’re also getting beautiful eye candy for your vanity. For those who miss out on this collectible gift set, don’t worry – there’s still plenty more Acqua di Palma gift sets to shop. 

R3,199 from Skins Cosmetics 

Africology Bath Time Rituals 

For the tub-selfie taker who thinks bath time is the best time of the day 

Warm, frothy water and the refreshing aroma of salts and bubbles alone is enough to make your body recline in comfort. But what way to shamelessly make your bathing ritual all the more pleasurable – and to enhance those beautiful bathroom vibes – than to invest in a chic bath-and-body set? Africology has built a reputation for leaving you clear-headed while transforming any bathroom into an ultra-relaxing getaway. If the lovely-looking packaging with botanical prints in painterly pastels doesn’t make you feel a boost of energy, the curated selection of the brand’s best-sellers will be sure to awaken your body so you’re feeling rested and recharged for what lies ahead. Each whimsical kit comes with a miniature (25ml) Bath & Body Soak, Magnesium Bath Blend, Bath Salts, Body Scrub, Detox Mud and Muscle Ease Rub infused with essential oils, making for an impossibly luxe bathing session that will be hard to wrap up. 

R370 from www.africologyspa.com 

SMALL WONDERS 

Don’t be deceived by the size – these mini beauty treats will bring just as many smiles as the presents under the tree. Friendly word of advice: You may also want to consider snagging one or two for yourself! 

Molton Brown Stocking Filler Collection  

For the anglophile whose watchword is ‘luxury’ 

You can’t go wrong with Molton Brown at Christmas time. Whether your preferred scent is light and floral, or warm and woody, this curated selection of 10 50ml bath and shower gels is the ultimate indulgence. Try out fan favourites like the Re-charge Black Pepper Bath & Shower Gel for a more glamorous cleansing ritual, along with Fiery Pink Pepper, Orange & Bergamot, Neon Amber, Jasmine & Sun Rose, Geranium Nefertum, Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel, Heavenly Gingerlily, Tobacco Absolute and Delicious Rhubarb & Rose. Keep the whole set for yourself, or split it up and gift a few lucky friends. 

R960 from Skins Cosmetics 

Environ Deluxe Super Moisturiser 100ml Gift Set 

For the beauty lover who doesn’t believe in ‘sample size’ 

The best gifts come in small, often sparkly packages. Environ’s 2021 Holiday Gifting Collection is fantastic for trying out new products and scoring limited-edition deals on fan favourites. Celebs and skincare experts love Environ products, and this gift-worthy Super Moisturiser 100ml – full of vitamins and antioxidants – is a bargain for the friend who’s serious about their hydration. This luxe cream is our skincare stalwart: It layers well and has a lightweight, fast-absorbing texture that feels cool to the touch. The kind of White Elephant gift you buy knowing you’ll steal it right back when your number comes up. 

R455 from select salons 

Laura Mercier Shimmer & Glow Caviar Stick Trio 

For your gal pal who’s been talking about holiday party season since July 

If you don’t already have at least one Caviar Stick in your makeup mag – our favourite being Sugar Frost, with a beautiful champagne sheen – you’re missing out. Put a gleam in any friend’s eye with this boîte inspired by a grand ball, which carries three of the water-resistant, universally flattering cream shadow sticks in shades Copper, Amethyst and Cocoa. This limited edition is perfect for those who love silky formulas that glide on easily. Packaged in retractable tubes, apply directly to the lash line or smudge all over for a dramatic look and you’re ready for any festive fête. It’s a total steal for the price. 

R825 from Skins Cosmetics 

Redken All Soft Holiday Set 

For your sister who swears by All Soft 

We all have that friend who’s obsessed with hair care and makes every day a good hair day. Fans of Redken’s cult All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner for dry, brittle hair will love receiving this three-piece set that also includes the brand’s ultimate multitasker – the One United Multi-Benefit Treatment, which moisturises, defrizzes, acts as a heat protectant, protects split ends and helps seal your cuticle. The creamy shampoo and conditioner, with a comforting honey and almond scent, is ideal for those with damaged and fine hair, leaving it undeniably silky. The same amazing results, with a pretty holiday makeover. 

R885 from www.retailbox.co.za and select salons 

Molton Brown Jubilant Pine & Patchouli Festive Bauble 

For the woman who lives for sparkle and shine 

Know someone who loves a little sparkle? Look no further than this ultra-luxurious shimmering bath and shower gel ornament from Molton Brown. This emerald gel works into a foamy lather and leaves behind no residue. Yes, it smells as good as it looks – think a seasonal, woody-aromatic fragrance with top notes of fresh pine, spicy cinnamon and crisp juniper berry; a heart of red fruits, amber and suede; and a base of patchouli, vanilla and musk. Celebratory and nostalgic, the scent has a unisex appeal, so don’t be surprised if your guy starts ‘borrowing it’. It will instantly have you and your bathroom smelling like a spa. 

R320 from Skins Cosmetics 

SOiL Advent Calendar 

For your mom whose bathroom is stocked with every essential oil imaginable

Gone are the days when a substandard chocolate treat that would disappear in a single bite was a good enough surprise to count down to Christmas. Now, SOiL’s organic oils are hiding behind those little paper doors – and we’re 100% here for them. What better way to celebrate than with 24 days of tiny treasures to get your zen on? The lucky gift recipient will unwrap pure essential oils, pure carrier oils and blended aromatherapy oils, from soothing lavender and mood-boosting peppermint to everything in between. This nice-but-niche treat is the gift that keeps on giving … literally. Small in size, big in fun. 

R299 from www.soil.co.zawww.faithful-to-nature.co.za, Dis-Chem and Wellness Warehouse 

Real Techniques Everyday Essentials 

For the person whose routine could use a revamp 

Your makeup is only as good as the tools you use to blend, sweep and swirl it into place. The Miracle Complexion Sponge is already a pretty perfect stocking stuffer, but this well-rounded set is the best money you’ll ever spend. The top-rated, vanity-friendly brush kit features the 200 Expert Face with superior densely packed bristles, 300 Deluxe Crease for blending your cut crease like an expert, 400 Blush that works with both loose and pressed powder and 402 Setting, which makes applying pigmented highlighter or well-placed bronzer a total breeze – plus a bonus angled sponge for optimal blending. 

R599.99 from Clicks 

Lulu & Marula Calming Bath & Body Kit 

For your most frazzled friend 

This holiday season, encourage your busiest friend to count ‘me time’ as a regular with a long bath. This bath-and-body duo is made with plant-based ingredients including neroli, geranium and ylang ylang that work together to help you drift off. The perfect pairing for peace of mind. As the water is running, add a few drops of the Calming Bath Oil – a sweet almond oil concoction with an escapist fragrance. Soak long enough, and it helps to ease body tension as well as purify and soften skin. The pampering doesn’t stop when you step out of the tub, either: Lather yourself in the Calming Body Balm for moisture that lingers. 

R435 from www.luluandmarula.co.za 

Real Techniques Miracle Cleanse Sponge+ 

For every member of your girl squad 

Move over, sonic cleansing brushes – there’s a new limited-edition tool in town for your best skin ever. In short, it’s a more effective alternative to a washcloth to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Drizzle your tried-and-true cleanser over the squishy, teardrop-shaped sponge and gently massage your face in circular motions until your skin is clean and your makeup is removed. Once cleansed and satisfied, rinse out the sponge and hang it to air-dry overnight. Infused with probiotics to reduce redness and soften skin, this extremely gentle exfoliant is fabulous for rosacea-ridden and sensitive skin ladies. 

R179.95 from Clicks 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s