The Ultimate Gift Guide For A Special Occasion

20/08/2019
The Ultimate Gift Guide For A Special Occasion

Photography : Style Icon Nat

The thought of Christmas in July is a paradox in itself. Firstly, summer has only just begun. Secondly, we associate Christmas with winter, snow, Christmas jumpers and pudding. However, the truth of the matter is that many of us stock-up on Christmas gifts months before the festive season. Is the latter a classic example of wishing the year away? No! Planning ahead reduces stress, saves time and money.
Furthermore, take advantage of the mid-season sales while you can or be the “early bird who catches the worm,” meaning the one to have initial access to the top Christmas trends and products.

Xmas In July

Gift-shopping is no easy feat unless you know where to shop for the best buys; hence, I have chosen to compile my very own gift guide based on my attending the third annual Christmas in July Festival at the Business Design Centre. It was my first time at the festival, which showcases a plethora of brands and retailers for the media. Additionally, I had met several brands, some of which I have included in my gift guide vlog.

Christmas in July launched their Experience Zone this year, which consisted of talks, including a presentation by Secret Spa, and workshops. I enjoyed a glass of prosecco while having a manicure from Secret Spa. The latter offer at-home beauty treatments. You’ll receive £20 off your first online booking with the code CIJ20. What better way to treat yourself or somebody else to a pampering session than at home?

  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide

Benefits of Cannabidiol

Why not purchase someone a gift of wellbeing like products that contain cannabidiol (CBD)? Such items have several health benefits which explain their global appeal. Their popularity soared since 2016 when it became legal in the United Kingdom to sell CBD products.

At Green Stem, another brand that I had discovered at the festival, the products are tetrahydrocannabinol-free. THC is a psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, unlike the hemp plant from which CBD grows. Green Stem’s bath bombs have an active CBD content of 100 mg in addition to a relaxing sandalwood, lavender and jasmine scents. CBD is known to reduce anxiety and pain as well as alleviate cancer-related symptoms.

  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide

Cosmetic products make great gifts; thus, I was pleased to find other innovative beauty brands at the Christmas in July Festival, some of which I haven’t heard. HoMedics, for example, combine wellbeing and technology. Their ethos is centred around creating a healthy home environment that helps you relax your body and de-stress. Your home should be your haven, so why not transform it into one of beauty.

Pamper Yo’self

HoMedics offer eye reviving sonic and light therapy to revive tired eyes. The rejuvenating eye treatment would make a lovely gift for somebody. Other benefits include improved blood circulation and the reduction of dark circles or puffiness. Furthermore, the device has a 3-year guarantee.

  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide

Born To Sparkle

Inspired by cartoon characters, such as The Simpsons, and Disney cartoons that children love and adults (like myself) grew-up watching, H&A develop creative cosmetic gift collections. I have the ‘Disney Beauty, Aladdin Cosmetic Brushes’ created exclusively for Boots and available from September. Three brushes – with which to build, blend and define – come in a magic carpet inspired brush roll with a gold tassel tie. The latter would make a beautiful gift for a young adult. Additionally, I have the ‘Beauty Crush, Eyes In 5’ including luxe tweezers, three eyeshadow brushes and a lash curler with a rainbow effect finish.

Blend The Rules

All products are 100% vegan and available exclusively at Tesco from September. We all love to ‘blend the rules’. After all, we were ‘Born to Sparkle’; thus, I would recommend ‘The Collection Eye Palette’ by H&A. The latter includes trendy nude hues, like the highlighter and bronzer palette (which I have) with burnt oranges and dusky purples in both matte and metallic. All products are 100% cruelty-free and available exclusively at Wilko from September.

  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide

Gift Planning

Everything needs a plan of action; gift-shopping – when and where to go, planning a Christmas getaway or setting daily goals. That said, it’s worth investing in a high-quality goal planner for you or somebody else as a gift. Do not settle for an essential planner from Pound Stretcher (the latter offers products at unbeatable prices). However, quality talks like money. Thus, the ‘Power Planner’, which costs £20 from Wild & Wolf, will help you power through daily, weekly and monthly goals. It also includes stickers, daily progress pages, as well as a regular and monthly overview. Stay on track for the rest of the year and plan for 2020.

  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide

The Latest Technology

Why not enhance your digital lifestyle with the latest technology. That said, I came across Kitsound at the Christmas In July festival. Sophisticated and stylish in design, Kitsound has introduced the XDock Qi Charging Bluetooth Speaker Dock. The new XDock Qi features the latest Qi technology in the form of a built-in Qi charge ‘shelf’ at the front of the XDock. The latter allows you to recharge any compatible device wirelessly.
Additionally, the XDock features wireless Bluetooth connectivity, an alarm, a dimmable display and delivers excellent sound. The KitSound XDock Qi Charging Bluetooth Speaker Dock is available for £69.99 from Kitsound and Amazon.

  • Gift Guide
  • Gift Guide

Innovative and lifestyle-enhancing, Kitsound’s new Immerse headphones would also make a wonderful gift, especially for music-lovers. The noise cancellation technology makes it possible for you to listen to your music without external distractions. The foldable and rotatable design has been chosen purposefully for both comfort and style, and the memory foam padding provides extra luxury for those long sessions. With a playtime of up to twelve hours, the extra-long battery life ensures more time to listen to tracks you love. The KitSound Immerse Headphones come with a carry case and other accessories.

  • Gift Guide
  • Gift Guide

Mix ‘n’ Match

The number of brands and retailers at Christmas in July was pretty overwhelming. Nonetheless, more choice allows you to be creative with your gift ideas; thus, I would recommend a bespoke Christmas hamper, including other items I was kindly gifted:

Sass & Belle provides trend-led and affordable gifts.

Prezzy Box personalised a Toblerone chocolate bar with my name. The company’s products are unique, to say the least, and can be personalised beyond your wildest imagination. Gifts include personalised face wrapping paper, socks, prosecco photo labels, customised Cadbury dairy milk bars, and personalised marmite jars, among other weird and wonderful things.

And There’s More…

Arena Flowers sent me a stunning bouquet of ethical flowers. It is the UK’s most ethical florist. For every bouquet one buys, Arena Flowers plants one tree in a country experiencing deforestation. You can get 10% off any purchase online at www.arenaflowers.com. Apply the code xmasnjuly at checkout. I could immediately see the quality of the flowers, including beautiful sunflowers and yellow roses. Arena Flowers works directly with Fair Trade farms, minimalising the environmental impact of its packaging and how its facilities are powered.

Burst Brush is due to launch in the UK soon.

  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide
  • ultimate gift guide

Final Verdict

Overall, I had such a lovely day at the Christmas in July festival. Lunch was prepared by Heck Food, who had sent me vegan sausages that taste more like succulent sausages than processed Quorn. Additionally, I had bottomless Bosco del Merlo prosecco. Fresh on the palate, Bosco del Merlo prosecco is prominent in taste with a fruity scent and dry aftertaste. Christmas in July is the perfect warm-up (pun intended) in preparation for Christmas in December.

Written by @StyleIonNat

S.I.N.RATING

Style Icon Nat

Natalie is a London-based Digital Creator, Style Writer and Personal Shopper. She has a BA (Hons) degree in Social Policy & Politics; PGCE and Creative Writing certification from Central St Martins. Natalie's fashion journey began in Harrods after which she worked in Browns - South Molton Street - as a Fashion Consultant. In 2004, Natalie worked as a personal shopper in Selfridges. She set up Style Icon Ltd (a personal shopping company) in 2005 which led to worldwide travel for private clients; red carpet styling; student mentoring; public speaking at LFW, Clothes Show Live and British Airways corporate events. Natalie launched her blog - The Lifestyle Collective - in 2017 to consolidate her creative skills and support lifestyle, fashion and beauty brands. The end-goal is to inspire, motivate and educate people globally.
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