Do your bit for the planet this year by buying gifts for family and friends with strong green creds.
BEAUTY gets its eco-chic on this Christmas, with a great selection of gifts that offer an alternative to the traditional “coffret”. If you like organic products, need to find something for a vegan, or just like beauty with a gentler approach to the world, then we’ve got something for you.
Lucy Annabella Organics
I don’t like scented candles. Or at least, I didn’t, until I tried Lucy Annabella’s Organic scented candles, €30. These babies are a cut above the rest. Made in Co Tyrone, they’re elegant to look at and smell truly gorgeous, with none of the tacky, cloying horrors you generally get with scented candles. Pop them in a bathroom, hall, bedroom or sitting room (anywhere there isn’t food cooking). I really love the delicate Spearmint and Lemongrass (smells like a sorbet, says my little boy). If you’d prefer something more “festival” then go for the aptly named Festive Spice Aromatic Candle, €25, with orange, cinnamon and clove. Light the fire, pour yourself a mulled wine and you’re in Christmas heaven. ¦ lucyannabella.com
Certified organic and using hand-harvested seaweed, this top Irish brand keeps it simple with products that don’t make a fuss, but quietly get on with the job. If you’re looking for a special present for someone then go for the Treatment Gift Set, €99, with My Little Hero Facial Serum, and Bright Eyes Eye Creme. Or why not give someone a €25 gift voucher for the seaweed baths.
Yes, they’d have to make their way to Strandhill, Co Sligo, but what a good excuse for a holiday. ¦ Voya.ie
Elemental Herbology was created by an acupuncturist who travelled the world in search of healing techniques and spa rituals. It uses high-grade ingredients and feels beautiful on the skin, but I’m also drawn to the lovely packaging, which is partly what makes the product such a great present for Christmas. A good bet is the Weekend Facial Kit, €34.80, which contains the Facial Glow Radiance Peel, the Facial Detox Purifying Mask, the Facial Souffle Intense Hydration and Repair Mask, and a muslin cloth. Lovely.
The Organic Pharmacy
When my kids were babies, I was constantly on the lookout for very pure, very gentle moisturisers to help their dry skin – but the very good ones were very expensive. At the time, I would have been thrilled with a present of this Baby Care Gift Set, €45, from the very lovely Organic Pharmacy. There’s a shampoo, conditioner, baby lotion and baby wash — all with the gentlest natural ingredients, including apricot and chamomile. A great gift for a new mum, or a new baby.
Karora Gift Set
I’m not a big fan of the Karora packaging — it doesn’t look like an eco brand at all. But cast your eye beyond the garish purple and gold, and you’ll find an Irish organic range that is really very good indeed. And they’re not too expensive, clocking in at way less than most other fake tan brands. A great present for a fake-tan fan is the Gift Set, €29.99, with a Self-Tan Mist, a Smooth Operator Multi-Action Micro Peel, and a Luminosity Mineral Shimmer Dust. ¦ Karoracosmetics.com
Male grooming goes eco with Organic Homme, a range that’s suitable for vegans and is certified by EcoCert. Don’t bother about the “gift box” here. Instead, spend your money on the Scrub It Exfoliator, a face wash with organic citrus, bamboo and shea butter; or the Shave Now Wash & Shave, €15.45. Great for sensitive types, of all sorts. ¦ greenpeople.ie
Korres Party Survival Kit
Know someone who likes to have a good time? Then they might need this little gem – a post-party skincare booster that’s ideal for the festive season. Greek brand Korres offers excellent natural products and this one contains some of its best, with a Wild Rose Cream, Evening Primrose Eye Cream, Guava Body Butter, Guava Showergel, Milk Proteins Emulsion and Refreshing Gum. Good value, and great products. ¦ Korres.com
Butter London 3 Free Lacquer Saucy Jack
Are nail polishes a good Christmas gift? You betcha. Especially when they’re small, cool brands that don’t have the usual toxic ingredients. Plus, now you don’t have to look too far to get a good eco nail range. Butter is one of the best, and their 3 Free line, €14.95, does without the usual baddies of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP. They come in a great range of shades, and I think a nice red (Saucy Jack) done up with a big bow is the perfect small gift for Christmas. Better than a dodgy coffret any day. ¦ Lovelula.com
Malin + Goetz Mojito Soap Set
Super-cool New York brand Malin + Goetz is pretty much still below the radar in Ireland, which means its products are perfect for anyone buying for a hipster. Natural and modern, with great packaging, the brand covers everything from deconstructed fragrances to hair pomade. I like its Mojito Soap Set, €30, with peppermint, lime and rum scents. Not too personal, and very chic.
Bamford Rosemary Body Oil, €46.96
Soil-association certified, this body oil has very simple, contemporary packaging that looks great on a bathroom shelf. But don’t think that’s all there is to it. Rich, fragrant essential oils of rosemary, cedar, lemon and cinnamon are swirled in a sesame, jojoba, apricot and rosehip base oils.
Perfect for massage, it also makes a high grade moisturiser and is definitely one I’d be happy to find in my stocking.
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