CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2017: FOR A PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING

Rémy Martin XO, £140 (Premium retailers’ stores and online)

Smooth, full-bodied cognac, Rémy Martin XO is an explosion of exquisite and sophisticated flavours. Warm, festive candied orange and cinnamon are perfectly balanced with late summer fruits and floral notes, such as jasmine, and woody tobacco.

Kronaby Steel 38mm Watch, £395

Kronaby, a smart watch brand from Sweden, knows how to make modern yet traditional watches. This beautiful stainless steel one from their latest Sekel collection, when used with the Kronaby app, can count your steps, gently wake you, control music and much more.

 

Jarre AeroBull Nano Speakers, £89 each

Standing at a tiny nine centimeters high, the AeroBull Nano easily connects to any smartphone, computer, or audio source with Bluetooth 4.0 or 3.5mm line-in adaptor – it is the ultimate nomadic speaker.

 

Dropmix Music Gaming System, £119.99 

DROPMIX is the Music Mixing Game, from the creators of Rock Band, that blends physical and digital play to combine music from your most loved artists and genres in ways you have never heard before. Featuring the biggest hits in Pop, R&B, Country, Rock and more, DROPMIX will put Grandad’s Country Classics over Top 4o  beats to give them a fresh new sound.

Homedics Ellia Gather Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser, £109.99 (now on sale for £89.99!)

Take your wellness to a new level with this perfect addition to your home this Christmas. Ellia Diffusers and Essential Oils help you reduce stress, boost mental clarity, and soothe your body and mind.

The Ellia Gather Ultrasonic Diffuser features a beautiful basketweave design that complements almost any decor. Consciously crafted from ceramic and wood, it gently lifts the scent of your favorite essential oils into the air. The diffuser comes with a convenient remote and delivers up to 10 hours of continuous runtime. It also features a color-changing light, a library of relaxing and uplifting sounds, and an Essential Oil Starter Kit with two samples.

Eau Good water bottle, Box Appetit by Black + Blum, £19.95

The Eau Good is a  reusable, refillable and BPA-free bottle designed for on the go hydration. It uses active Binchotan charcoal, which makes your tap water taste great by absorbing unwelcome impurities such as chlorine, then releases minerals – calcium, iron etc. – back into the water.

Choose from 9 colour options. The bottle comes with one Binchotan active charcoal filter, which has a lifespan of six months if used daily.

Suites Hotel & Spa

Suites Hotel & Spa based in Knowsley (Liverpool) has unveiled an eclectic Christmas catalogue featuring entertainment ranging from Soul & Motown Night, All-Inclusive Party Nights and a Boxing Night special; there’s something for everybody to enjoy this December and beyond. More information here: https://www.suiteshotelgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Suites-Hotel-Christmas-Brochure-2017.pdf

 

Our Top Christmas Gifts

Now that we’ve overdosed on sugar for Halloween, and frozen our toes off on bonfire night, we can focus all our energy and excitement on Christmas! And what better way to kick off the season than with a sneaky peek at what Liverpool’s Metquarter has to offer?

I’m going to put it out there right now, I’m a complete and utter jewellery addict, and you will inevitably find me lurking under the spotlights in the likes of Mococo, Olivia Divine and Links of London, making endless Christmas lists for my friends and family (to buy for me, not the other way round!).

At the top of my wish list is Links of London’s pretty little sterling silver snowflake charm. Beautiful set on a delicate chain necklace, or added to a collection on a charm bracelet, at £45 it’s not eye wateringly expensive and would make the perfect gift for your bestie. If asking for this yourself and you have varying degrees of expectations, there is also the silver and diamond pave charm for £195, or the 18K yellow gold charm for £395.

#INSPO’s favourite ChloBo has just launched her Love Revolution collection. Perfectly timed for Christmas, I’m in love with the vast use of smokey quartz and white agate for some wintry wonder. The collection is still ideal for the boho lovers out there – I can’t wait to get stacking the beaded charm bracelets – but there’s been a serious injection of glamour into this 70s-inspired collection, with the Revolution necklace (available in gold or silver) as the hero piece.

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Paperchase never fails to deliver at Christmas, and as ever, they have the most fabulous collection of kitsch, vintage-inspired and quirky decorations. I love the nordic-inspired designs, and have my sights set on these wooden snowflake tree decorations (there seems to be a theme this year) along with these copper cookie-cutter fairy lights. If you want something a bit less traditional, check out the surprisingly vast array of flamingo designs (who knew the bird of the summer would still be going so strong at Christmas?) and pair with fluoro baubles and multicoloured owl lights. As ever, I’ll be spending most of my christmas budget on wrapping, wrapping accessories (bits of string with silver jingle bells and a London bus peg, anyone?) and cards. I always ease my spending guilt by opting for sets of the charity cards.

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LK Bennet, Armani Exchange and Hugo Boss will all be here for your Christmas clothing needs, taking you through from Christmas Eve glam, to Christmas day comfort and New Year’s Eve party attire. I’m already dropping hints to the boyfriend about about L K Bennett’s Starla Mini Star Suede Court shoes. Who doesn’t love a star motif at this time of year? The studded design adds a subtle rock chick edge to a classic design, which will amp up my look on NYE. And I’ll be treating myself to the Holly Glitter Flats for the walk home. I may be in agony but I’m still going to look fabulous!

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Don’t fret boys, Metquarter has an abundance of choice for you too. I’m not going to lie, I came over all a flutter at the sight of the Gieves & Hawkes look book at the press day. I do love a man in a well fitting suit. With the likes of All Saints, Jack Wills, Hugo Boss and Armani Exchange on offer, there’s a style to suit every man. And don’t be afraid to embellish over the Christmas season. I’m loving the selection of ties, pocket squares, bow ties and cravats (oh my, this is why my boyfriend refuses to let me style him!) available at T.M.Lewin, the perfect finishing touches to any self respecting party look.

MAC and Illamasqua are my one-stop shop for stocking fillers. Who can resist the pick and mix choice of eye shadows and lipsticks? Suss out your recipient’s favourite shades, or lead them out of their comfort zone with an exciting new pop of colour. I can spend hours testing out MAC’s Mineralise Eye Shadows and Pigment powders for intensely rich colours (*cough* teal *cough cough*). For myself, I always request a fresh new mascara. This year I’m going to give the Maybelline a rest and try out Illamasqua’s mascara in Raven.

Let’s not forget one of the most important aspects of Christmas… Food! I’ve always loved Harvey Nichol’s food hall, with their iconic grey and vintage-inspired photographic printed packaging. When I worked for the company in my twenties, the almond biscotti was a staple gift for everyone in my family – whether they liked it or not. Looking back, I should have shown a bit more creativity and mixed thing up with the christmas spiced biscuits or some turkish delight, but hey, we live and learn. My sisters, cousin and I chip in together every year to get my grandparents a fancy food hamper from old British favourites – Fortnum and Mason has featured heavily in the past. This year the Harvey Nichols Party Starter Hamper is looking like the winner (no, they won’t be hosting Christmas, they just like a drink. Or 10…). If a pre-prepared hamper doesn’t have quite the personal touch you’re after, then why not hand pick a selection of your favourite products and make your own?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to beat you lot to the shops while everywhere is still fully stocked!

Kerryn Grady

Last-minute Christmas Gifts

There’s only a week left until Christmas, but we are sure that some of you haven’t done your holiday shopping early, or is it just us?! We’ve gathered some of our favourite products for last-minute Christmas gifts.

1. Stardust Blue Double Bracelet, Swarovski at Mococo, £69

2. Iconic Logo Detail Knit Jumper, Moschino at Flannels, £380

3. Midnight Blue Cosmic Stars Ring, Pandora at Mococo, £115.

4. Tortoise iPhone 5 Case, Michael by Michael Kors at Flannels, £30.

5. Lock Leather Shoulder Bag, Valentino at Flannels,  £1375.

6. Leather Studded Gloves, Maison Scotch at Flannels, £85.

#INSPIRED EVENING DENIM

Doesn’t Kylie Minogue look just fabulous at the Stella McCartney Christmas light switch on in this evening denim look? Boyfriend jeans and court shoes will always be a winning match in my eyes, and she dresses the jeans up perfectly with the lingerie-inspired cami and that gorgeous sequinned blazer. Oh God, comfy jeans and sequins, my dream combo!

There are so many beautiful camisoles available, and as Miss Minogue proves, they work just as well with a pair of scruffy boyfriend jeans as they do with smarter eveningwear (think cigarette pants or a leather pencil skirt), so don’t fret about spending a bit more on one, it’ll ensure you get a top quality product that you can wear over and over. The secret is to look out for interesting and beautiful detailing. I love this satin wrap design by 3.1 Phillip Lim. The unembellished fabric is sleek and modern, while the layered wrap around adds a nice bit of swish (yes, that’s the technical term, honest). If you do prefer a more textured finish, then take a look at this lace and washed silk number by CLU. I love the delicate sheer lace eyelash trim at the hem, and the more demure cut of the neckline. On the high street, Zara has done this gorgeous velvet version at a much more purse-friendly price point.

Now, I think it goes without saying that this sequin jacket is something of a hero piece! I love the slouchy oversized cut, and she’s kept it really chilled out by rolling up her sleeves. The first thing that came to mind was this fabulous H&M kimono top. Okay, so it’s not sequinned, but the tinsel fibres are so sparkly and really something a bit special. I snapped mine up the moment I saw it, I don’t think these babies will stick around long. But if you’re a die-hard sequin devotee, then the magpie Mecca does have this little beauty to offer you as well: full on high octane glitz in a shorter, more fitted shape.

Isn’t finding the perfect pair of jeans every woman’s bug bear?? Jeans shopping is probably my least favourite of all the types of shopping, and I’ll be honest with you, I’m always just one pair away of finding that perfect fitting, super flattering pair. Just one pair away… One of my favourite brands is MIH Jeans. They do fantastic cuts in a selection of washes. Alas, my budget just doesn’t stretch that far. If your does, however, then try out their Tomboy Jean. Cut with a flattering slim leg, it’s not a super relaxed design, but definitely appropriate for evening soirees. And as Kylie demonstrates, you don’t even need a particularly dark wash to look suitably done up, so this mid-blue colour (or New Original) is perfect. Of course, Levi’s are the original denim masters, and they have an excellent choice in boyfriend jeans. The best pair I ever owned were actually my BOYFRIEND’S jeans, a pair of shrink to fit 501s that had been naturally faded with some gentle wear and tear, and they look AMAZING! But if you don’t have a minion waiting at the sidelines to commit to shrinking, softening and fading your jeans to perfection, then head straight to the womenswear department for these classic 501 Jeans For Women, in Vintage Indigo. You could cheat, and get a worn in style like those pictured by choosing the Washed Up finish, but wear any jeans long enough and that distressing will come naturally and authentically (can you tell I live with a jeans purist?).

Kerryn Grady

#INSPIRED Party Princess

American singer/song writer, Aubrey O’Day, looks like a glamorous little gothic fairy, or a total party princess. You just can’t go wrong in a tulle midi skirt, and this black number is perfect for the Christmas party season. Topshop’s offering has a lovely mix of the demure midi-length, with the sexy sheer layers exposing a bit of leg for a fun, youthful feel. If you’re more of a print girl, then head over to ASOS for this gorgeous floral design.

The rich tone is perfect for partying all through the winter, and the mixed up florals will look great with a simple plain tee in the summer. This is the definition of an all round investment piece (and it’s a snip at just £65!).

The Northerner in me just loves a good sequin. I’m a magpie for all things shiny, and I’m currently obsessing over this Alice + Olivia sequinned top . Yes, we’ve established I’m not a fan of cropped tops, but paired with a high waisted skirt I might just be able to get away with baring the tiniest slivers of skin. The bracelet sleeves and slash neckline give enough coverage to compensate for the cropped length, and the fitted shape will work perfectly with the fuller tulle skirt. If you’re saving your pennies for Christmas presents and can’t justify spending so much on yourself, ASOS, as always, is here to save the day. If you like to keep your multi-textured looks streamlined, then stick to the same colour palette throughout and go for this beautiful black matt sequinned top.

As Aubrey demonstrates, the pointed court is the most perfect shoe to go with such a statement skirt. But simple doesn’t mean boring – let your footwear shine! Go bold with these neon and black Jimmy Choos , or sparkle in my faves, these gorgeous rose gold textured leather Isabel Marant hotties with cute bow detail.

Kerryn Grady