Buy it now: the best beauty and fashion gifts for Chinese New Year

Beauty and Fashion gifts for Chinese New Year include Giorgio Armani's monkey-themed Illuminating Powder

When is it not gift seaason somewhere in the world? Between Christmas and Valentine’s comes the Lunar New Year, AKA, an opportunity for stores to promote some full price product in festive red and gold. Unsurprisingly, it’s the luxury stores who are pulling out the stops to present enticing, Chinese-friendly gifts, especially with monkey-themed motifs or in editions of lucky number eight.

In truth, I’m not seeing a huge amount of innovation. The beauty brands get my vote for gorgeous jewel-like compacts in lovely packaging – for example this Estee Lauder compact and the Giorgio Armani Illuminating Palette – but for leathergoods brands like Jimmy Choo and Mulberry it’s a case of merchandising all the reds and golds together for a simple (but probably quite effective) pick-n-mix offer.

In China, Burberry is doing what it does best, using social platform WeChat to let users digitally unwrap gifts and create personalised digital Lunar New Year envelopes to send to friends and family. But elsewhere, it’s about slapping a monkey on anything and everything and hoping for the best. Here’s my edit.


WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla

I’m loving it – the Valentine’s edit

Disneyrollergirl Valentine's Gift Guide - Louis Vuitton me & Me initial necklaces, Β£270

Valentine’s gift guide klaxon! Don’t worry it’s a twee-free zone. Here are a few buys that have caught my eye in the fashion and beauty sphere. Well, mainly beauty actually. You know I find smelly candles hard to resist, especially when the containers are as um, love-ly as the scents.

Example: Bella Freud’s new Loving candle is a mix of tuberose and sandalwood in a suitably dreamy etched red glass holder. Definitely her sweetest scent yet. (more…)

Buy it now: Mother’s Day beauty buys

What do you get your mum for Mother’s Day? I don’t always have to worry about this one as my mum lives abroad and is usually pretty happy with a card, flowers and a phone call. But I think you can’t go wrong with something pretty or pampery in lovely packaging. Here are a few beauty ideas that I like in case you’re still stuck… (more…)

Buy it now: Valentine’s self gifting

As you know, I’m a massive fan of self gifting. It doesn’t take a special occasion but hey, it’s Valentine’s week so that’s a good enough excuse. Of this little lot, my favourite piece is the Sarah Chloe bangle, which can be engraved to personalise (although I think it’s fair to say this wouldn’t be ready by the 14th). At Β£100 it’s a fairly affordable gift for someone super-special. The Fornasetti candle is divine and has the added bonus of doubling as a beautiful storage vessel after the wax has burnt down. And I’ve always wanted an apple bag. Impractical as hell but what a joy to behold!

TOP: Each X Other jacket (available at Selfridges); Fornasetti candle; Lena Erziak apple bag
MIDDLE: Chanel blush; Chloe clutch bag; Marni print blouse
BOTTOM: Super Chic book; Hermes key holder; Sarah Chloe engraved bangle