A Christmas beauty gift guide from Sali Hughes

With Christmas right around the corner (you’re going to hear that phrase from us a lot in the next few days), we at 4th Estate are about to do some Supermarket Sweep style shopping for our nearest and dearest. Luckily, we have an extract from this bespoke gift guide from Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes to help us out.  We’ve got gift ideas for teenage girls, men of all ages, mum, plus cheap and lovely stocking fillers. Sali has beauty covered, and once again, she’s saved us from buying presents that gather dust in cupboards and under beds.


Skincare basics

All teens, whether male or female, are conscious of their skin. A birthday or Christmas is a great opportunity to get them started on a solid routine of cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising and protecting. Choose a routine that is good quality but not prohibitively expensive or your teen will give up when the tubes run dry. Liz Earle, Body Shop, Elemis, Neutrogena, Benefit and Clarins all make brilliant skincare for classic teen skin types.

Luxury lip gloss

Teens love lip gloss like I love cheese. Certain brands combine gorgeous formulas that look more sophisticated than jammy, and come in pretty, gift-friendly packaging. Pinks and peaches are reliable choices for all ethnicities. Benefit, MAC, Urban Decay and Smashbox are ideal.


Barbershop shave

I’ve never met a man who wasn’t wholly turned on by the idea of a professional shave with hot towels, a tonic splash and carefully applied swirls of velvety shaving cream. Again, few could justify the cost, so the gift of a barbershop shave tends to go down brilliantly. Most towns have a grooming parlour or good barbershop these days. For the Rolls-Royce of shaves, get him a voucher for Geo. F. Trumper, barbers to the royal family (and who are not as horrifically spendy as you might imagine).


I adore great fragrance on a man, and in my experience most are very happy to wear it. Scent is a very personal thing, of course, but some seem to smell wonderful on everyone and can kick start experimentation with other fragrances. My favourites are Chanel Pour Monsieur, Dior’s Eau Sauvage, Guerlain’s Vetiver, Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford, Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne and Hermès Eau d’Terre.

Sali 2


Chanel lipstick

What can I say? This is just a lovely, lovely thing encased in the chicest packaging money can buy. The solid click, the classic monochrome design, the feeling that you’re in a Françoise Sagan novel every time you touch up your lips at a café table. There’s nothing not to love. Red is a good, celebratory and universal option for all skin colours.


I adore candles, but very cheap ones are a false economy. A quality candle will burn much longer and throw scent much further, fragrancing the whole house for days. I love Diptyque, Timothy Dunn, Bella Freud, Roja Dove, Le Labo, Byredo, Jo Malone, Miller Harris and Space NK. Melt are also wonderful and much less expensive.



Everyone needs a handwash, but one that smells lovely, looks nice and leaves hands soft is a rare treat. Compagnie de Provence is not too expensive and makes a beautiful gift. I also love L’Occitane, Molton Brown, Cowshed and Caudalie. All have matching hand creams.

A compact mirror

Every woman needs a magnifying compact mirror, but they become especially useful as we get older, when eyesight may be shorter. Besides, compacts are just chic and glamorous and can be bought blind as they contain no make-up to colour-match. I am never without my Chanel version, but I also love those by Stratton (my grandmother’s favourite), Estée Lauder, Cath Kidston and Lulu Guiness.


A bar of lovely soap. I like Yardley tinned soaps, classic Pears’ bars and Bronnley lemon- and lime-shaped guest soaps.

Barry M glitter pots. So satisfying and fun. Dab on eyes or cheeks, over lip balm for sticking power.

Organic coconut oil from a health shop. A lovely moisturising treatment for skins, nails and hair.

A Kent comb. The best combs, in every shape and size.

A vintage-style lip balm. I like Rosebud salve, Kiehl’s Pear balm, Burt’s Bees and Perfumeria Gal Madrid. All are under £10.

An acrylic nail polish and lipstick caddy. This is one of the best presents I’ve ever received. John Lewis and Muji sell them.


Pretty Honest jacketPretty Honest is out now, if you want to take a look at the full gift guide 

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