20 pandemic-appropriate gifts for Christmas

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF AESOP, COURTESY OF SUNDAY BEDDING, MR PORTER, COURTESY OF GUCCI BEAUTY

SINGAPORE - There is nothing like giving and receiving Christmas presents to end this strange year on a good note.

Retailers such as Sephora, Escentials and Net-a-porter report strong consumer demand for gift sets, fragrance and eye make-up, as well as loungewear and home and body products, as shoppers seek to make their homes more comfortable.

The Straits Times picks some of the most worthwhile gifts this year.

FRAGRANCE

A spokesman from Sephora crowned fragrance "the new lipstick", as people find new ways to assert their individuality from behind the mask.

Chloe Atelier des Fleurs, $175 for 50ml


PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHLOE

In October, the House of Chloe launched a collection of nine fragrances, each inspired by and evoking the favourite flower of the perfumer who created it. Easily pick a fragrance for your giftee based on her favourite flower.

Available at Takashimaya, Sephora Ion Orchard and Ngee Ann City and sephora.sg 

Narciso Rodriguez Narciso EDP Ambree, $161 for 50ml


PHOTO: COURTESY OF NARCISO RODRIGUEZ

Going by the amber glass bottle alone, it will be hard to turn down the newest perfume from designer Narciso Rodriguez. The new unisex scent is a light but potent mix of vanilla, floral notes from Madagascar and musky cedarwood.

Available at Metro Paragon, BHG Bugis Junction, Tangs and Takashimaya.

Gucci Bloom Profumo di Fiori, $168 for 50ml


PHOTO: COURTESY OF GUCCI BEAUTY

The fifth addition to Gucci Beauty's iconic Bloom pillar of perfumes blends jasmine sambac, tuberose, ylang ylang and bottom-heavy notes of rich sandalwood and musk. It comes in a striking honey yellow bottle.

Available at BHG Bugis Junction, Tangs, Takashimaya and sephora.sg

Jo Malone London Cologne Collection, $159 for 5 x 9ml


PHOTO: COURTESY OF JO MALONE LONDON

Afraid of picking the wrong scent for your giftee? Play it safe with this nifty set that combines five of the brand's bestsellers, including its cult favourites English Pear & Freesia and Wood Sage & Sea Salt.

Alternatively, divide them up into small but luxe gifts if you happen to have a phase two-approved party of five.

Available at Jo Malone London boutiques.

VALUE SETS

There is demand for value - be it in "sets, samples or buy-one-get-one deals", says a Sephora spokesman, and festive gift sets are the surest way to get the most bang for your buck. Gift a friend a full routine with the following kits.

Drunk Elephant Glowy: The Night Kit, $138 (worth $209)


PHOTO: COURTESY OF DRUNK ELEPHANT

The brand's Christmas sets are always hotly anticipated and this year's trio of kits is no less exciting.

The Glowy kit comes with a full-sized 30ml T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (usually $128) - almost the price of the set - along with deluxe sizes of its newer releases, E-Rase Milki Micellar Water and F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial; plus a compact mirror.

Available at selected Sephora stores including Ion Orchard and sephora.sg 

Glow Recipe Glowing Skin Trio, $64


PHOTO: COURTESY OF GLOW RECIPE

Fans of cult skincare will love this three-step set from fruit-themed Glow Recipe. It includes a full-sized Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask (usually $64 for 15ml) and deluxe sizes of the Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser and Banana Souffle Moisture Cream.

Available at Sephora stores and sephora.sg

Hanz de Fuko Deluxe Mini Kit, $21


PHOTO: DECKOUT

When in doubt, buy hair wax for the men in your life. This deluxe set lets you try four different

styling products (7ml each) from Hanz de Fuko - the Sponge Wax, Gravity Paste, Modify Pomade and crowd-favourite Claymation.

Available at deckout.sg, Sephora stores and lazada.sg

Clarins V Shaping Facial Lift Holiday Collection, $122


PHOTO: METRO

Facial tools are one of those little luxuries people do not usually get for themselves - so be the better friend and gift it. This limited-edition V Shaping Facial Lift Massage Tool (which cannot be purchased) is a dual-ended saviour for tired skin, combining a facial roller and gua sha tool.

Best of all, it comes with a full-sized V Shaping Facial Lift full-sized ($122 for 50ml), travel sizes of the Enhancing Eye Lift and V-Facial Intensive Wrap and a festive pouch.

Available at Metro stores and metro.com.sg

Caudalie Vinoperfect Christmas Set "The Cult Anti-Dark Spot Routine", $100


PHOTO: COURTESY OF CAUDALIE

Try French brand Caudalie's best-selling Vinoperfect range via this kit, which includes its Dark Spot Correcting Moisturiser (15ml), Dark Spot Correcting Glycolic Night Cream (15ml) and a full-sized Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (usually $98 for 30ml).

Available at Sephora stores and sephora.sg

EYE MAKE-UP

It has been all about the eyes this mask-wearing year. Gift a beauty lover something they can actually use.

Charlotte Tilbury Bejewelled Eyes To Hypnotise Eyeshadow Palette, $130


PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHARLOTTE TILBURY

This year's Charlotte Tilbury holiday palette is eyeshadow amateur-proof, with 12 shades thoughtfully arranged by colour story into easy trios - one to pop in the crease, one to darken the outer corners and one shimmering shade to accent.

The sleek silver palette also looks gorgeous on any vanity.

Available at selected Sephora stores including Ion Orchard and sephora.sg

Anastasia Beverly Hills Palette Vault, $98


PHOTO: COURTESY OF ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS

Best value goes to this palette vault that comes with ABH's limited-edition Sultry eyeshadow palette (usually $81), full-size Lash Brag Volumising Mascara ($42) and Liquid Liner ($33) and Mini-Mini Eye Primer. A one-and-done kit for all your eye make-up needs.

Available at Sephora stores.

Milani Most Wanted Eye Palettes, $20.40


PHOTO: MILANI

For those on a budget, drugstore brand Milani offers eyeshadow palettes that are just as pigmented in colour payoff. Available in three colour stories,

the Most Wanted Eye Palettes feature six velvety shades perfect for everyday use.

Available at selected Watsons stores and watsons.com.sg

Fenty Beauty Holo'daze Snap Shadows Eyeshadow Palette + Mini Mascara Set, $44


PHOTO: COURTESY OF FENTY BEAUTY

For the bold wearers of colour in your life, snap up this limited-edition festive set from Fenty Beauty. It is a good way to try the brand's Snap Shadows, which are usually $39 each.

Available at Sephora stores and sephora.sg

BATH & BODY

Multi-label beauty retailer Escentials noticed a hike in sales of haircare, bath and body pampering products this year.

A spokesman says: "As people are staying and working from home more, they also want to pamper themselves at home (with products that) clean effectively with a thoroughly immersive sensorial experience."

Aesop The Lore Collector Gift Kit, $143


PHOTO: AESOP

A bathroom decked out in Aesop is sure to be the envy of visiting guests.

This year's Christmas kits are inspired by lesser-known works of literature such as The Dream Of Akinosuke, a Japanese folktale about a farmer who falls asleep under a cedar tree. This story accompanies The Lore Collector kit.

Pamper your body and over-sanitised hands with this quartet of products, which includes a Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser (100ml), Geranium Leaf Body Balm (100ml), Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash (500ml) and Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm (75ml).

Available at all Aesop stores.

Briogeo Merry Multi-Masking Kit, $55


PHOTO: SEPHORA

Everyone could do with a nourishing hair mask - take your pick of Briogeo's best-selling Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask (59ml), Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfood Mask (59ml) and limited-edition Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask (236ml) in an adorable bear-shaped container.

Available at Sephora stores and sephora.sg

Lush Oh Christmas Tree, $65


PHOTO: COURTESY OF LUSH

Of Lush's wide-ranging Christmas collection, this set is the perfect gift for anyone with a bathtub. The quirkily packaged Christmas tree trades baubles for bath bombs - five of Lush's best-selling ones in miniature sizes and one full-sized.

Available at all Lush stores and sg.lush.com

The Body Shop Lather & Smooth Snow Globe Gift Dome, $35


PHOTO: THE BODY SHOP

If you would rather not splash out on The Body Shop's annual advent calendars (starting at $89), the go-to Christmas brand has a wide range of gifts for all budgets.

Our pick is this comprehensive set with a strawberry shower gel (60ml) and body butter (50ml), banana shampoo and conditioner (60ml each) and strawberry lip butter (10ml).

Until Dec 31, the brand will donate 10 cents from every transaction made in stores and online to local charity Daughters Of Tomorrow.

Available at all The Body Shop stores and lazada.sg

LOUNGEWEAR

This year, the cliched Christmas gift of pyjamas will actually be welcome.

After all, as a spokesman for Net-a-porter puts it: "There's never been a more fitting time to perfect the art of nesting."

Marks & Spencer Women's Family Christmas Checked Nightshirt, $49.90


PHOTO: MARKS & SPENCER

The British retailer remains a go-to for gift-worthy pyjamas. This nightdress in a festive plaid print is the perfect cosy staple that is still presentable enough for Zoom calls.

Available at marksandspencer.com/sg and Marks & Spencer stores.

Hanro Leano Camp-Collar Piped Cotton-Jacquard Pyjama Set, £187.50 (S$335)


PHOTO: MR PORTER

You cannot go wrong with a matching pyjama set - especially one in timeless colours such as navy and burgundy. Just in time for the year-end colder weather too.

Available at mrporter.com

Esse x Sunday Bedding


PHOTO: COURTESY OF SUNDAY BEDDING

Two local labels have collaborated to launch an unlikely loungewear capsule - bedding goods brand Sunday Bedding and sustainable womenswear label Esse.

The four-piece Repose collection turns fabric offcuts from Sunday Bedding's bamboo sateen bedsheets into a romper ($109), cami top ($65), shorts ($79) and eye mask ($30).

Available at sundaybedding.com and essethelabel.com

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