Style Guide: Secret Santa Edition

Term has finally drawn to an end. We’ve survived the dreaded deadlines and now it’s time to wave goodbye to our beloved Exeter for a few weeks. Oh Firehouse pizza how you will be missed and Arena your renowned smell of feet and too much vodka will linger in our thoughts throughout the festivities. I for one am ready to return home to a heated house and a fridge forever full of food. Catching up with friends and family over mulled wine and canapés is definitely long overdue. Not forgetting of course some exchanging of gifts. Here’s how to add some style to your stocking.

Vogue On 2

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1. Books

Books are a perfect stocking filler. Fashion and beauty books are always illustrated beautifully and a fountain of inspiration and ideas. The Vogue On books are fab and cover a range of fashion designers, including the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Coco Chanel. The books are filled with tales from the lives of acclaimed designers, accompanied with images from the industries finest photographers. These are great for any fashion forward enthusiast who loves to brush up on their knowledge of the industry’s best. Another book I’m lusting after is Pretty Honest. Beauty columnist Sali Hughes has compiled all her beauty sense into an honest handbook for every make up lover. A must have for everyone who indulges in tips and tricks of the trade. The Urban Outfitters home range hosts a number of ‘coffee table books’ including Fashion That Changed the World and Vogue: The Gown which both look trends through the ages. All these books aren’t just good reads but let’s be honest are also quite pretty to look at. These thoughtful gifts dress up a dressing table or nightstand. There’s nothing better than curling up over Christmas and delving through iconography of all your fashion favourites and beauty picks.

Boomf 4

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2. Food

This is an absolute necessity on Christmas morning. All present opening should be accompanied by a candy cane or a chocolate Santa. Lindt is a personal favourite because they always have a great festive range dominated by Santas and reindeers and delicious truffles. Thorntons are also good holiday choices and you can often customise them, which gives them a personal touch. They offer Alphabet Truffles upon which you can have your own message iced onto or pick a scribed snowman or Santa Claus. All make a great addition to a present. If you want to try something a bit different why not try personalised marshmallows from Boomf. If you send the company the images you want to see on your mallows they’ll direct them right to your doorstep. Curl up with your very own creations melting into a cosy cup of hot chocolate. You can even personalise Nutella jars with names in Selfridges this year which is very cute. Customising is so fun – even if it is only on food it shows a little thought has gone into the gift.

Pulp Fiction

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3. Beauty

This is an absolute must-have criteria for stocking stuffers. Every year I fan girl over the Benefit Christmas beauty sets. All the Benefit sets are beautifully packaged as usual. This year the range is branded Benefit’s ‘Sweet Shoppe’, and sweet they are. Amongst their Christmas compilations is Cutie Cravings a fab set due to its range. The set has a few of their bestsellers including; They’re Real! mascara, Hoola bronzer and an eye shadow palette along with a couple of other treats. They also have smaller sets just as gorgeous but created only for lips or eyes. I will never be able to walk past a Benefit counter without ogling at the packaging. I honestly think it’s gift enough but the product definitely meets the marketing. Urban Decay palettes are always a popular choice. At the moment they’re stocking limited edition Pulp Fiction themed products. Recreate Mia’s dark look with the eye shadow palette’s Righteous, Tyranny, Vengeance and Furious/Anger shades and a coat of the blood-red nail varnish. They’re a little different from the ever-popular Naked palettes which are always a loved gift. Whether a Tarantino fan or not the quality of Urban Decay cannot be disputed.

You are spoilt for choice at Christmas. From books to beauty there’s something there’s the perfect gift for all the style savvy. Think innovatively but above all think about what will put a smile on the recipients face when they rip open that wrapping paper. With this in mind there’s no doubt about it you will be the most stylish ‘Secret Santa’.

Hattie Cotmore

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