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The cardinal rule of gift shopping for women is to remember - first and foremost - that they’re people. There’s no magical ceremony that happens that means they’re instantaneously interested in nothing but flowers, smellies and aprons for the rest of their life (though there’s nothing wrong with any of those products, well chosen).
How to find a thoughtful present for a woman
Essentially, the key to shopping for your woman is the key to shopping for anyone - think about what they enjoy doing when they’re not busy running their lives. Mothers, sisters, and wives come in every mode: book lovers, bikers, fitness freaks, keen cooks, outdoor explorers, homebodies, all of the above and more.
We’ve rounded up a selection of gifts designed to pamper, entertain and delight - there’s something here to delight every type of mother, wife, or sister this Christmas.
Please note - there are some gifts, such as the White Company PJs and the Vieve red lipstick, that have been kept in from last year’s gift guide for women. Classics are classics, these are our favourite examples of the items we have found, and we feel no need to come up with a newer version for the sake of modishness. They’re brilliant - they deserve continued inclusion.
It’s a crowded market, the world of gym gear, but when it comes to style, comfort, and high performance, we always reach for our Public Rec leggings.
Yes, they’re not the cheapest option, but they’re far and away the best: comfortable, with no roll-up or bunching at the waist. Flattering on every kind of figure. Soft as lambskin to pull on, sweat-wicking, and can withstand a HIIT workout as easily as heavy weights session. If she’s a gym rat, she’ll adore these.
Know a lady who loves music, or tuning out to a great podcast? Be it for commuting or a trip to the gym, these noise-cancelling wiresless earbuds from sound experts Sennheiser will provide her with excellent sound - and block out unwanted noise.
Your options are endless when it comes to wireless earbuds, but Sennheiser is marked out by one thing - sound quality. It’s outstanding. Whatever the genre, our tester was blown away by how good everything sounded. Playback is incredibly crisp and balanced. Pump up the volume and there’s markedly little distortion.
Even cooler: Sennheiser Momentum 3’s active noise cancellation is adaptive. The earbuds’ have built-in microphones, which are used to automatically adjust the ANC levels depending on how loud your surroundings are. An impressive set of earbuds.
A gift card, you say? How revolutionary. But look, sometimes there are people - a sister-in-law you don’t know well yet, a colleague - you want to get a little something for without having a fair idea what.
The reason the One4All Gift Card warrants inclusion is that it can be spent in over 50,000 outlets, and by over 130 high street brands. That means whatever her tastes or interests she’ll be able to find something to tickle her - from the likes of Boots, John Lewis, H&M or Argos. The amount on the card can be checked online and you can load it up with between £10 or £120.
Google trends shows that the Dyson Airwrap continues to be THE hotly hunted after hair tool - but let us let you in on a secret, having tried the Dyson Airwrap: the Shark FlexStyler is cheaper - and better.
Yes, you heard it. Quieter, lighter, and with more reliable results, we adore our FlexStyler. It comes with five attachments - to dry, straighten, curl and boost volume. First and foremost, it’s a high-tech, fast working hairdryer - impressively fast at drying our long tresses - but with a press of a button it transforms it into a hot brush, curler or diffuser. And it packs neatly into a compact box. What’s included? In detail:
- The base styling wand (which converts into a hair dryer)
- Auto-wrap curlers
- Oval brush
- Paddle brush
- Concentrated nozzle (for drying)
- Diffuser (for defining curls)
As a hairstyling idiot, it took precisely 10 minutes for us to figure out - the curling barrels take a little knack. But once you master it, it’s as easy and reliable as can be. Luxurious, beautiful, lightweight, multi-tasking, quiet, reliable - it may look pricy, but this a very, very sound investment.
If she adores literatures, these lovingly rendered annotated manscripts will delight. Independent publisher SP Books produces luxury manuscript editions of classic texts - so she can read her favourite work of fiction in the author’s own handwriting, with gorgeous illustrations and notations. SP Books’ extensive back catalogue of literary classics, including Mrs Dalloway, Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Great Gatsby, and Oliver Twist.
Don’t let anyone away with the Angel’s Share - grab the Angel’s Envy, instead.
This delicious wee bourbon is a smooth supping drink - finished in Port casks, it’s lightly sweet, with a hint of vanilla, and lingering Port on the tongue. Rich and easy to drink, it’s ideal for slowly savouring on a winter’s night.
Huda Beauty’s Eyeshadow Palettes have rapidly become the stuff of beauty-loving legend, for just cause. Though not cheap, they represent incredible value for money - the Empowered Palette, for example, has 18 different shades (thats £3.20 a pop), no dud colours, and a fantastic blend of 18-pan neutrals, foiled chrome metallics and deep browns. That makes them ideal for doing casual, day to day looks, and then amping things up when occassion hits for some fashion forward LEWKS. Plus, the colour pay off is rich and true, and the powder formulation is soft as vellum. A winner. As always.
Know a musicophile? this will tickle her fancy - one of Britain’s most beloved, celebrated troubadours tells the story of his life via the astonishing lyrics he’s written.
Paul McCartney’s life and art is captured through 154 songs from every stage of his career: boyhood compositions, a decade with The Beatles, to Wings and his solo albums to the present.
It’s presented with a selection of never-seen-before material from McCartney’s personal archive - drafts, letters, photographs which make this also a unique visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
There are red lipstick, and then there are red lipsticks, and this is the latter. In fact, the tester of this product has in excess of 100 red lipsticks crowding her dresser - and this is her absolute favourite.
Why? It’s a brilliant, true red, guaranteed to make teeth look whiter, complexions more clear. It smooths on easily and feels cushiony soft, with impressive staying power (even when eating).
The leather-texture packaging is ultra-cool and distinctive. In a word - perfect.
Comfortable, stylish, classic, she’ll adore wearing these on languid weekends reading the newspapers.
If she suffers from night sweats (hello, menopause), the breathable cotton will keep you cool and temperature regulated.
These aren’t toasty jammies, but a set she can wear year-round and feel collected and classy.
If your mum ever watches Nigella Lawson use her magnificent food mixer while baking and covets the machinery, this will make her happy. The Nigella option - a Kitchenaid - will set you back around £500, but this very stylish Smeg hand mixer won’t cost you as dearly.
It works like a dream though. A retro-styled 250W mix, it can operate at nine different speeds. It comes with wire whisks, beaters and dough hooks, plus a storage bag in which to keep them when not in use.
A decadent, fizz-laden day out in on of the most exciting cities in the world. Perfect for treating mum or a best friend.
- Served in the opulent Palm Court restaurant
- A selection of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and scones
- A glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV each
- All served on Wedgwood speciality teas and teaware
Elegant, understated, classic. Rendered in recycled silver and gold and natural green onyx. Beautiful.
We’re skeptical of beauty gadgets - our gua sha tool and LED face mask have long since being handed onto charity shops, not worth the faff involved - so we were pleasantly surprised by our trial of the Foreo UFO device.
It’s a fabulous bit of kit, offering a 90 second facial. Chose the skin complaint - the mask to solve it - attach, and use your phone to press start. It’ll alternately heat and cool the skin, vibrate, and help work the mask’s serum into your face. Relaxing, rejuvinating - the cooling function is particularly delectable. It left our skin glowing - refreshed and revived.
One word of caution though - we’d advise you to keep use to 2-3 times a week. We got a bit over keen and our skin got agitated. As soon as we scaled back use, our skin looked - and felt - Just Lovely.
Fragrance family: Floral. Key notes: jasmine, saffron, amberwood, fir resin, cedar.
The most googled perfume in the UK for 2022 - and we can see why.
Eye-wateringly expensive, yes. Cost of living crisis, yes. Chances of you buying? We’re guessing slim to none. Nevertheless, we persist, because - this is our favourite scent of all time.
Imagine the perfectly crystalised burnished caramel atop a creme brulee - that’s your first inhalation. It’s seductively creamy and sweet, but not sickly. It’s heady and sexy but not in a blousy, obvious way. There’s nothing else we’ve smelt quite like it, and we will be bereft when our ludicrously expensive bottle runs out.
If you want to buy a perfume to truly wow the love of your life - this is it.
If you know a lady who loved everything her Majesty, this is the definitive picture book, from powerhouse art publishers Taschen. 368 full colour pages of QEII featuring the photographs of David Bailey, Yousuf Karsh, Harry Benson.
Constantly crying out “Pivot! Pivot!” or putting entirely too much emphasis on the word be? She’ll adore these Friends-themed socks. Cosy, too.
Key specs – Weight: 3.9kg; Capacity: 79-83 litres; Colour options: 8
Know a lady who loves to travel? The Antler’s Clifton suitcase is the luggage of her dreams. Having recently reviewed a suitcase that broke open in the hold mid-Atlantic (not naming names) we’re doubly impressed and charmed by the fanastic Antler Clifton. This is a classic suitcase, beautifully rendered.
The hard shell is sturdy and knockproof, and the four swivelling wheels make moving with this bag effortless - you’ll barely know you’re pulling it along, even when it’s chock-full.
The Clifton sports a solid retractable handle with a swivelling grip, a built-in lock, an internal divider and zipped pockets, plus nice extra touches included a name tag and a storage bag.
A wide range of colours and three sizes are available, ideal for anyone who dreams of matchy-matchy luggage - we reviewed the medium and reckon it’s the perfect size, holding a few weeks’ worth of belongings, but not too much to lug around.
Stylish, solid and well worth the spend.
This is a classic watch, from Mondaine - aptly titled ‘Simply Elegant.’ Made with a super flat case and specially designed lugs, it’s a timeless timepiece - it’ll look as chic today as it will in a decade’s time. Designed with a 6.2-mm-high and 36-mm-wide polished stainless steel case. It features a premium Swiss quartz movement and the iconic Swiss railway clock dial. A red leather strap provides for a trendy splash of color that will go well at the office or a party.
If you can’t afford to purchase in a oner, finance options are available via Klarna.
We love this. Unreservedly. The instant gratification of a polaroid camera crossed with the flexibility of a digital. Take a photo - love it? Print it instantly, and it’ll develop before your eyes. Don’t love it? Don’t print. With a host of clever filters and zooms, as well, it’s ideal for capturing a holiday, wedding pics, a big day out - anything. So fun.
This is as stunning a brolly as we’ve seen seen, from premium British umbrella brand Fulton. Fulton are brilliant for making sturdy brollies that can withstand the worst of the inclements- gale force winds and driving rain. With an elegant double canopy, concealed ribs, the outer is plain and respectable, the inner a gorgeous panoply of roses.