23 November 2011

Bex's Christmas Gift Guide: Stockings and Secret Santas

This is the third and final part of my Christmas and holiday gift guide for this year (part one is here and the second part is here). All of the items listed below cost £10 or under (with one exception) and should suit a range of different people, including Secret Santa recipients.

Food and drink
1. Vosges bacon candy bars (available from Selfridges). $7.50 (about £5). Chocolate is great! And really crispy smoked bacon is great! So, of course chocolate with salt and tiny bacon bits is amazing! As they say on their website, "Welcome to the bacon revolution."

2. Gold and turquoise tin plate from the Wallace Collection. £4.99. This plate is almost too pretty to use. But not quite!

3. Kitchen magic whisk from Anthropologie. £4. This is probably the most stylish kitchen product you can find with a £5 price-limit. You could even buy some eggs to give with it: perfect for a Christmas breakfast (although possibly a little fragile).

4. Shot glasses for chemists from Urban Outfitters. £10. I think these are a little over-priced but it is still the International Year of Chemistry so if not now, when? Besides, what else are you going to buy for your favourite chemistry geek? An autographed crystal structure?

5. Mavala mini nail varnishes. About £3.50-£4.25. I'm a bit of an OPI and Essie junkie when it comes to nail varnish but those brands cost £10 in the UK (they are much cheaper in the US) and usually, they start to go sticky long before the bottle is finished. I recently discovered Mavala's mini nail varnishes, which are cheap and come in small bottles but which are pretty good quality. Minsk, a dark grey with a hint of purple, is my current favourite.

6. Vaseline Lip Therapy in crème brûlée. £2.99 from Boots and Superdrug (not all stores have it in stock, however). My favourite lip balm is Fresh's SPF tinted lip treatment in rosé, which is the only lip product I've ever finished, but it costs about £14. Vaseline's Lip Therapy range are much cheaper — even the yummy crème brûlée limited edition is only £2.99 and if you are on a £5 Secret Santa budget, you could even throw in the cocoa butter version.

7. London Walks book from the Tate Modern shop. £8.99. Quirky London walking guide meets graphic novel, this is definitely more fun than a regular guide book.

8. Love message in a bottle from Liberty. £10.50. This bottle contains three blank scrolls for you to write your own love letters—or cries for help. This is currently out of stock at Liberty, but you could easily make your own version, which would probably be cheaper too.

9. 'Paper tweet' notepad from Liberty. £4.95. Everyone knows a Luddite, who insists they will never start tweeting but this notepad should ease the transition. On a related note, I am planning to give the 'social media citations' version to my Secret Santa recipient at work; I don't know which person I am buying for yet but it would be relevant for most of my colleagues.

10. Metal hook with coloured ball from Little Yellow Birds. £4. Simple idea but very cute.

Finally, Selfridges have released their annual Christmas shopping voucher so from 24 to 27 November, you can get 10% off beauty, fragrance and wine (in store and online) and 20% off most other products. Woo hoo!

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