I’m currently doing my best to wrap up this year’s Christmas present buying (pun intended) without going over my budget or getting something unwanted.
But I’ve found that no matter how (un)organised you are, there’s always that one gift you leave till the last minute, or forget about completely amidst all the festive build-up. Maybe you’re just not sure what to buy for someone, and feel awkward asking them about it — or you tried quizzing them in a subtle way and got nowhere.
If you have a friend who’s into, or looking to get into cruelty-free products, need an ethical Secret Santa gift, or just want to treat yourself because you’ve been working bloody hard, then these gifts are for you.
I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like a nice candle — there’s something so cosy about lighting it, curling up under a blanket (or getting into a warm bath) and relaxing as the room fills with a beautifully blended fragrance.
And is there any scent more festive than warm cinnamon? My mum always has candles like this one burning in December, so the smell reminds me of coming home for Christmas.
PHB’s candle is a mix of cedarwood, cinnamon, clove and orange essential oils, and it’s lovely — warm, sweet and tangy all at once, with a woody, herbal kick. I’ve had mine burning for about three hours now and it’s barely melted (PHB estimate that each candle burns for about 20 hours).
PHB Ethical Beauty’s candles are made from natural soy wax, so you don’t need to worry about animal byproducts or paraffin, and they’re blended and poured by hand. If cinnamon and cloves aren’t your recipient’s thing, there’s also a Peppermint & Rosemary candle available.
Perfume is a really personal thing, but if you know someone who has a favourite scent (regular readers will know I adore anything citrus) then Pacifica’s solid perfumes will make a lovely, handbag-worthy gift.
These are the most long-lasting natural perfumes I’ve tried and they just melt into the skin, lingering there for hours and hours.
- Sweet: Indian Coconut Nectar; Island Vanilla
- Floral: Tahitian Gardenia; Persian Rose; French Lilac; Waikiki Pikake
- Fruity: Tuscan Blood Orange; Mediterranean Fig; Hawaiian Ruby Guava
Joik Citrus Bath Truffles* (v), £10
I tried the white chocolate version of these after receiving one in a LoveLula beauty box and it was one of the most relaxing baths I’ve ever had. My skin was so soft afterwards and the smell is just divine, to the point where Joik stick ‘do not eat’ labels on the box.
Of course, I couldn’t resist this one after finding out it contained orange, lemon, and grapefruit essential oils, as well as plenty of cocoa butter. It didn’t disappoint — the fragrance reminds me of lemon-flavoured ice cream.
Fair warning: half a truffle is more than enough. Any more and you might struggle to climb out of the bath (I speak from experience). The good news is that although there’s six full-size truffles in the box, you or the recipient will get 12 baths out of it.
You won’t get a jazzy, bath bomb-esque spectacle, but you will get an indulgent soak in the tub and extra-smooth skin, which I think is better.
How do you plan your Christmas shopping? Are there any cruelty-free gifts on your wishlist? Let me know in the comments!
(v) = vegan
*Products sent by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
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Beth, 26, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travelling, and gin.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!