10 Last Minute Stocking Fillers

I had good intentions this year to start my Christmas shopping early, but like every year it got forgotten about until now. If, like me, you are frantically buying online, here’s some great independent British brands to support.

Stocking fillers

Heather Evelyn – Heather is based in South London, an artist who creates charming and beautiful stationery and gifts. Buy someone you love a set of personalised cards for letter writing or up your gift wrapping game with the brilliant ‘fa la la la la la la’ gift tags.

Stocking fillers

Tortware – The ultimate hair accessories, ideal for adding a touch of luxury to a stocking. The brand was founded in 2019 in London by Mona Ghafoori, and the clip collection are named after powerful women in the Mona’s life. Use ‘welcometorty’ for 10% off your first order.

Stocking fillers

Novel Mart – Food and drink lovers will delight in the fun Novel Mart range. Pick up a Dim Sum t-shirt or a Negroni Cap, depending on your favourite dish or drink. I’m a massive fan of the croissant tops.

Stocking fillers

Superga – I live in Supergas and with an ever-expanding range of stylish and comfy shoes this Italian shoe brand has a pair to suit every member of the family. I’m lusting after their new Organic Collection. Find great deals on their website now.

Stocking fillers

Summer Fridays – A great addition to a Sunday night pampering routine, the Summer Fridays mask with exfoliate, moisturise and hydrate tired winter worn skin. One use of this Overtime mask will get you looking and feeling festive ready.

stocking filler

Volcano Coffee – This award-winning small batch coffee company has been a lifesaver for me during lock down, when it hasn’t been so easy to visit my favourite coffee shops. Bringing the best speciality coffee to your home, available as whole beans or ground and ready to use. Find a range of beans and coffee inspired presents on their website here.

stocking filler

Nolii – Simple, stylish technology products to ensure you always have a full battery at home and on the move. Nolii products all work together and are available in a range of eye-catching colours.

stocking filler

Wes Anderson Book – A beautiful book to add colour and interest to your coffee table or book shelf. The recently released Wes Anderson book by Wally Koval features stylish photographs of some of the world’s most wonderfully designed buildings and destinations.

White Mausu

White Mausu – I’ve fallen in love with these condiments. Started up by Katie and Jasper in Ireland White Mausu sauces are a brilliant addition to the larder and add flavour and excitement to even the most bland of home cooked dishes! Buy a pack of six from their website here, or for individual jars find a list of 90+ stockists here.

Stocking filler

Stalf – For something more substantial head to the Stalf website, this small independent brand designs and sews colourful comfort wear, perfect for lounging around at home during lock down.

Blog post contains some gifted items.

Winter Beauty Essentials

As the skies darken and the rain falls incessantly, I look to beauty products to bring me some comfort and luxury, especially while we are all spending much more time at home. Here are my favourite skincare and haircare pick-me-ups to make you feel sparkly and healthy this season.

Beauty essentials

Honest Beauty – This 100% cruelty-free beauty brand was launched by Jessica Alba, a ‘green beauty’ concept that aims to deliver easy to use skincare that promises a natural glow. I’ve been trying the matte primer and everyday radiance moisturiser, quick and simple products that give my face a fresh appearance each morning. You only need a small pump of the moisturiser to give a luminous glow that lasts throughout the day.

Beauty essentials

typology – The minimalist branding of the Parisian typology won me over instantly. Their cleansing oil is a perfect fragrance-free formula for even the most sensitive skin. Follow it with the 9-ingredient moisturiser with a light, non-greasy texture that makes it a great option year round. I love the silver tube of the moisturiser too, and have found it to be the ideal handbag companion.

Beauty essentials

Beauty Pie – My hair despairs when the weather gets bad, drying out and getting tangled every morning. Beauty Pie’s super healthy hair repair treatment is best used after conditioner, left in for 3-5 minutes and then rinsed out. It smoothed my split ends and added shine to my dulled colour. After the success of this product I’m now desperate to try the rest of the Beauty Pie range!

Beauty essentials

Organic Apoteke – Organic Apoteke prides itself on producing high quality, organic products, that have a strong basis of scientific research behind them. Their buttermilk cleanser and rejuvenating face cream are a luxurious duo that will add a touch of indulgence to your winter morning routine. This face cream is great for any skin type; toning and firming your winter-worn skin.

Beauty essentials

Mádara – Mádara is the name of a flowering green plant found in Latvia, which symbolises the naturally curated ingredients that goes into each product this brand carefully produces. In winter I like to add a serum or oil to my daily skincare routine… the Mádara range is perfect for adding some extra hydration to a cold weather skincare ritual. Try the deep moisture vitamin oil, a lovely citrusy scented oil that will make your skin extra supple and soft. I also loved the rich hydra-barrier SOS cream, perfect for stressed and dehydrated skin, I find it is particularly nice on my cheeks, which get extra dry in winter.

Beauty essentials

Nimue – These everyday products from Nimue are multi-functional… after using the gentle cleanser, massage the day cream generously onto your face and neck, helping to restore and protect your skin for the whole day.

Beauty essentials

SachaJuan – The SachaJuan overnight hair repair is a magical product… leave the product in overnight and there’s no need to wash out in the morning. My hair was glossier and strengthened after just one use of this product, especially when accompanied by the Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner.

Beauty essentials

Drunk Elephant – Drunk Elephant is my new favourite beauty brand… the eye-catching neon branding won me over before I even tried the products! The Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser has become my go to cleanser, so easy to use and gentle on the skin, I now use it religiously day and night. I’m also getting to know the Micellar water, a cleansing water made with wild melon seed oil and marula oil, which gently removes makeup and leaves skin looking and feeling fresh.

Beauty essentials

ila apothecary – I think of ila apothecary as a spa brand, but you can also buy the products for home use and they will make your daily routine feel extra special and indulgent. The SOS body balm has been the ultimate treat for my skin after soothing winter baths. For an extra pick-me-up use the Feminine Happy Oil, a nourishing product made with a mood-balancing blend of fragrant essential oils to lift stress and fatigue.

Beauty essentials

MZ Skin – MZ Skin is a doctor-led brand made by women for women. Their Hydrate and Nourish range is perfect for winter skincare nourishment. The Age Defence Retinol Day Moisturiser is rich in vitamins (crucial in gloomy winter months) but also has 30 SPF to protect your skin whatever the weather. For an extra moisture boost, use the moisturiser with the vitamin C corrective serum.

Beauty essentials

Summer Fridays – I have added the Summer Fridays overtime mask to my Sunday evening routine. This vitamin rich mask will gently exfoliate the skin, while also brightening and hydrating the skin. After using the mask I immediately noticed my skin feeling softer, with a more even skin tone. The perfect product to add to a stocking this Christmas.

Beauty essentials

AHC – When I visited South Korea last year I loved discovering some of their best beauty brands. AHC is just one of the many brilliant South Korean skincare brands worth getting to know. Their products are unfussy but effective, particularly lovely on the skin in winter. Try the Aqualuronic cleanser which works wonders on dehydrated skin. The AHC natural essential masks are also a treat for neglected winter skin.

Note: This beauty round-up includes some gifted products.

Best beauty products for home pampering

The last month of lock-down has provided me with the opportunity to scrap make-up routines and look after my skin, face and hair a bit more. With no opportunities for eyebrow threading, bikini waxing or blow-drying… I’ll never felt more of a need to pamper myself at home. With this in mind I have round up some of the products which are making me feel glamorous at home.

Face

Chantecaille

Chantecaille Hibiscus Soothing Mask – This indulgent face mask is the ultimate pick-me-up. I like to apply a mask on Sunday night to revitalise and relax my skin before the new week. The Chantecaille Hibiscus mask feels and smells delicious thanks to the grapefruit extract it contains. The cream is rich in Vitamin C (which we all need lots of at the moment) and only needs to be left on the skin for 3-10 minutes to see the effects and improvement in complexion.

Murad

Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 & Night Fix Enzyme Treatment – With all the sunshine we’ve been experiencing recently, I’ve been on the lookout for a great moisturiser which incorporates a good SPF protection. This nourishing cream has a blissfully light texture and a lovely citrusy scent. For an extra hit of hydration massage the Night Fix Enzyme Treatment into your skin before bed. Not only does this magical product repair the skin, it also helps you have a more restful sleep.

Paula's Choice

Paula’s Choice Super Hydrate Overnight Mask – For no fuss pampering try Paula’s Choice super hydrate mask. Apply a generous layer before bed and let it work its magic overnight (you can wash off or leave on). This mask is gentle and great for all skin types, promoting healthy skin and hydrating damaged skin. Ingredients include Cloudberry and Reishi Mushroom, a lovely selection of Nordic ingredients that are meant to be particularly good for sensitive skin.

REN

REN Perfect Canvas Cleanser – I’ve always liked REN products for their simple and effective approach to skincare. The tri-phase formula is a all-in-one cleanser that gently removes dirt, make-up (including waterproof) and SPF. Great for all skin types, the product is made with sunflower, meadowfoam and grape seed oils and extracts which helps combat dryness and replenish the skin’s protective barrier. It’s a jelly texture which transforms to a milky oil when used with water. When using before bed I recommend following with the indulgent Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream… you’ll wake up with a dewy, glowing complexion.

Body

rabot 1745

Rabot 1745 Three Shell Scrub – Rabot 1745 products are made in the UK, but offer the tropical essence of St Lucia. Since 1745, the Rabot Estate has farmed cacao on the Caribbean paradise of Saint Lucia. In 2018 they launched their range of cacao-infused products. I fell instantly in love with the Three Shell Scrub. Needless to say all the products smell wonderful, this scrub has a marzipan scent which reminds you instantly of summer. The scrub is made from scoops of island shells and it will gently exfoliate your skin, so you feel transformed after every shower. Try the whole range and find a scrub that suits you the best.

Decorté AQ Hand Cream – With all this essential hand washing my skin has been really suffering, so the Decorté AQ moisturisers have been a life-saver. This hand cream is light and absorbs quickly into the skin, avoiding any sticky residue. The cream improves elasticity and luminosity but it also good for visibly reducing wrinkles and age spots. I’ve also been enjoying the Revitalizing Body Cream which has been nourishing after stints in the sun.

Hair

leonor greyl

Leonor Greyl Masque à L’Orchidée – For thick, dry or frizzy hair these Leonor Greyl hair products are a saviour. This mask was my favourite of the products I’ve tried – the mask is formulated with plant ceramides that strengthen the hair, film-forming silk proteins for unparalleled shine and botanical oils to increase hair flexibility. I found that after use my hair felt extra soft and was much more manageable for blow-drying and styling. I also recommend trying the Shampoo Crème moelle de bambou to pair with the mask if your hair is extremely dry.

SachaJuan Over night hair repair – My hair is highlighted and fine so I am prone to bad split ends… as a trip to the hairdresser is not possible I have been trying hard to take care of my hair with masks and treatments. The SachaJuan Over Night Hair Repair is one of my favourite recent discoveries. This popular product from the cult Swedish brand and should be applied in the evening through the lengths of the hair and left on all night. In the morning it can be, but does not need to be washed off… making it a blissfully easy product to incorporate into your beauty routine. The hair repair has a lovely floral scent and uses sea algae and minerals to ensure the hair is left silky smooth and extra strong. For coloured hair I also recommend trying the Colour Protect Shampoo and Conditioner, even after one wash my hair felt like I’d been to a professional salon.

Living Proof

Living Proof Triple Detox Shampoo & Whipped Glaze Color Care – Living Proof offer everyday luxury haircare. Use the Triple Detox Shampoo in place of your normal shampoo, and try to leave on the hair for 1-2 minutes before rinsing out for the best results. This product will remove a build-up from hard water (a real issue in London), styling products and pollution. I promise your hair will feel super soft and shiny after. I’m also enjoying using the new Whipped Glaze Color Care, this styling product is ideal for those with highlights who feel the colour is beginning to look dull. Apply to damp hair after every other hair wash and leave in the lengths of the hair.

hair products

Schwarzkopf Root Retoucher – Four weeks of lock-down in and I already feel massively self conscious of my speckled grey roots. The Schwarzkopf is a quick and easy fix… a temporary root spray that will cover any unwanted greys and washes out after one wash (I may never need to have my roots dyed properly again!) If like me you are trying to wash your hair less while staying in try the Schwarzkopf got2b Dry Shampoo, it gives an instant (but long-lasting) refresh and has a lovely clean fresh fragrance.

Nails

CND – A monthly manicure has always felt like the biggest treat to me and it’s one of the small pleasures I’m missing the most at the moment. So I was very excited to receive these CND nail supplies to try at home. The vinylux range is like a 7-day shellac, without the need for UV light or salon equipment. The colours are creamy and rich and the varnish lasts incredibly well. For the ultimate nail care, invest in the CND treatment essentials – RidgeFx nail surface enhancer smooths the surface of your nails instantly, while the award-winning SolarOil hydrates your nails and cuticles, ensuring stronger healthier nails.