Everyone loves a bit of pampering and everyone deserves a bit of pampering! This year I've had the oh so hard task of testing some gorgeous products, which have left me feeling more snoozled than my Christmas Bailey's on ice. Actually that's not exactly true…. the reality has been something like this.
Close bedroom door, run warm water and enthusiastically throw in half a bottle of bubbly (sadly not Prosecco), light a candle or two, grab my trash magazine to make me feel better about yo-yo weight gaining celebs and then just as I'm about to dip in it's……'Mum can you put on Horrid Henry', 'Mum can I have some crisps', 'Mum can you help me with my homework - it's equations (snigger)', 'Mum Rory's chewing the cushions', 'Mum what time is dinner'? Yes all thoughts of relaxation have laughably gone out of the window, whilst the bubbles just dispersed into nothingness.
So the biggest indulgence for me this year would be time, an hour, just me to own that bathtub and to lie back and just think of well nothingness. If you know someone who deserves some me time, pour her a large glass of bubbly then spoil her with one of these great gifts:-
TED BAKER RESIDENCE CANDLE £28 www.tedbaker.com
With a candle for each of Ted's favourite cities across the world, it was only apt that I tested 'London'. This beautiful candle is infused with Wild Rose and English Leather, making it a unisex scent perfect for creating a homely ambiance and evoking uplifting emotions as well as calm. The candle aromas were strong enough to fill the whole of the downstairs, without being too 'heady'.
BABOR BALANCING CASHMERE SOOTHING BODY OIL £39 www.babor.co.uk
This luxurious body oil contains stem cells extracts from champagne pear, which help strengthen skin cells making this oil not just a feel-good treatment but one that promotes skin health. The oil has been created by Babor Spa, famous for their high quality products that focus on skin wellness. This particular oil contains almond, Abyssinian and argan oil and nourishes not only the skin but also the hair shaft, making for a great deep conditioner. The unisex fragrance is soft, unassuming but earthy and so suitable for both men and women and of course is ideal for massage.
DERMALOGICA SKIN PERFECTING SET £67.60 www.dermalogica.co.uk
Every year Dermalogica treat us to an abundance of gift sets suited to every skin type, but with extra value for money. This skin perfecting set contains a full sized primer from the 'AGE Smart' range alongside an overnight repair serum. Both work in conjunction with each other to make the skin look and feel amazing, smoothing out lines and fighting the effects of ageing. The primer can be worn alone or under make-up and contains an Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30, and gives the skin a smooth base diffusing fine lines. The overnight repair contains argan and rose oils, known for giving radiance to the skin as well as extra comfort to dehydrated skin types.
DERMALOGICA CLEAR START GIFT SET £13.70
The 'Clear Skin Day In, Day Out' gift set is ideal for teen skin, especially those who suffer with hormonal outbreaks. It contains travel sizes to introduce your teen to a skincare regime, which is formulated to help cope with spots, acne and blackheads. The 3 step regime comprises of a foaming wash, to rid skin of excess oils and dead skin cells; daytime treatment to help prevent skin from breaking out and overnight treatment, which contains Salicylic Acid known to be the sword and shield for fighting against congestion and breakouts. The products are suitable for sensitive skin, calming inflammation, which often goes hand in hand with hormonal issues (sadly doesn't work on tantrums!)
BRONNLEY HAND CARE GIFT SET £18 www.bronnley.co.uk
Working alongside the Royal Horticultural Society, Bronnley have released the Poppy Meadow range just in time for Christmas. Included in this set is the Hand Wash, Hand & Nail Cream and a Glass Nail File (will last for ages), perfect for those cold, chapped hands and dry nails. As I'm writing this now, I'm looking at the state of my dry hands, with calluses from every day wear and my nails are so rigged they resemble a griddle pan! This set is beautifully scented with red poppy, violet and vanilla making it an absolute pleasure to use.
FENJAL CLASSIC BODY PRODUCTS prices from under £5 www.boots.com
My mother has exquisite taste in all things clothes and beauty and one of her favourite brands is Fenjal. With prices starting from just £3.52 for the Body Spray, this year I'm treating her to the whole range. The classic smell is reminiscent of a spa, refreshing, uplifting and rejuvenating, whilst the products themselves are enriched with ingredients such as Soy Oil to cleanse, nourish and leave the skin feeling utterly pampered.
HEAVEN BY DEBORAH MITCHELL BEAUTIFUL DREAM GIFT SET £46 www.heavenskincare.com
Containing everything you need for a complete spa treatment, this is the ideal antidote for anyone feeling the pressure of time and contains all you need to escape into oblivion. With products to help heal, nourish, soothe and relax both your body, mind and spirit, this really evokes total well-being. The products contain an Essential Dream Moisturiser, Dream Body Wash, Afternoon Tea Hand Cream, Afternoon Tea Hand Cream & Body Wash and an Emergency Organic Skincare Set. Each product brings it's own special qualities such as the Afternoon Tea Hand Cream, which takes away food odours. The Dream Body Wash helps relax the mind and body with ingredients that prepare for a goods night sleep. The value is unbelievable as all the products are of extremely high quality, as Deborah Mitchell only uses only the finest organic essential oils and vitamins. It's a little bit of Heaven.
PATISSERIE DE BAIN prices from £3.99 www.rose-apothecary.co.uk
This delightful brand is like stepping back in time to a vintage sweet shop and emulates all things utterly gorgeous, girly and sweet. I love the kitsch packaging that will look great on the bathroom shelf, but most of all I love the sugary sweet smell of Cherry Pie that's left lingering on my hands - it's like having the real deal baking in the oven and is making me feel rather hungry! The products are so reasonably priced and make fantastic stocking fillers for anyone who loves a bit of retro! I'm keeping this hand cream in my car - as the fragrance delicately lingers and just about disguises unwanted doggie smells!
PINK O' CLOCK PRISMOLOGIE BODY BALM £55 www.prismologie.com
It's expensive but this body balm is pure decadence and once applied to your skin feels like you're wearing a veil of fine-spun pure silk. The beautiful iridescent balm contains rose quartz micro-crystals that gently blankets the skin offering comfort to the driest of skin types. With an abundance of ingredients to help soothe and nourish such as Passion Flower Seed Oil and Rosehip Seed Oil, both rich in fatty acids your skin will be wrapped in comfort. The delicate rose scent just sits lightly on the skin, whilst the subtle shimmering rose quartz gives limbs the look of wearing the finest denier silk stockings. The product comes with a soft sponge to layer the balm with one sweep across the skin.
CRABTREE & EVELUYN LONDON TAROCCO ORANGE, EUCALYPTUS & SAGE £40 www.crabtree-eveyln.co.uk
I would never normally go for a gift just on it's packaging alone but this cannot fail to impress the eye, with the festive berry design etched in gold gilt. Aside from the box, which I will use each Christmas to give out baked goodies to guests, it contains a full sized Skin Invigorating Bath & Shower Gel, Skin Refreshing Body Lotion, Hand Therapy and an exquisite Porcelain Bird Ornament (for my tree). Each product is scented with the uplifting and revitalising scent of orange, eucalyptus and sage. Whilst the nose is encouraged to pick out the light scent of zingy orange above the others, there is unmistakably a base of refreshing eucalyptus and sage in the background. A wonderful pampering gift that will make you feel all warm inside.