Some people are a breeze to buy for, but others have taste so chic that gift-giving can become a stressful endeavour. Thus, our cute, quirky edit of holiday treasures even the most cultured family members will fall in love with. There’s bubble bath from the oldest pharmacy in Florence, lipsticks inspired by the texture of soft, buttery leather and fragrance created from a mood board alone. All so special, they deserve a marble plinth in the finest art gallery. So call off the seasonal search – all the best (and brightest) in peculiar present-giving is right here, folks.

Cire Trudon Ernesto Metallic Candle, $449. shop now 

“Just like roast turkey and Mariah Carey, a Christmas candle is an integral element when it comes to celebrating the festive season. It really doesn’t get more merry than this sumptuous offering from Cire Trudon, either. The fragrance is described as an enchanted Moroccan Souk: coppery accents, warm hanging lights, rich leather, a hint of spice… It’s seasonal without feeling like a gingerbread cliche – rich, warm, delicious but modern. And once you’ve burnt through it, the marbled metallic vessel makes for a beautiful keepsake”. – Emily Algar, Contributing Beauty Editor

Fornasetti L’Ape Diffusing Sphere, $801. shop now 

“Art savants are surely familiar with the whimsical, eclectic aesthetic of the late Italian artist Piero Fornasetti. This piece is from his ‘bee on the nose’ series, inspired by his muse: opera singer Lina Cavalieri. This fragrance diffuser is an elegant fusion of art forms and multigenerational influence worthy of discussion—a staple in the home of the chic creative with an appreciation for details. Made in the United Kingdom, it features a fragrance created by French perfumer Olivier Polge, which comprises notes inspired by the Fornasetti family’s herbal garden: thyme, incense, cedarwood, and lavender. Gift it to an interior minimalist or maximalist with an affinity for decorating with enigmatic faces.” – Marisa Petrarca, US beauty and style editor

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara Very Merry Cherry Edition, $41. shop now 

If there’s one beauty treatment I missed in 2020 throughout the multiple mandated lockdowns, it was my beloved lash lifts. To me, there’s little that can compete with a freshly-curled, impossibly long set of eyelashes. But this year, in lieu of access to my favourite lash technician, I needed to improvise at home by way of mascara. It was a decidedly tall order, and none I’d tried had been quite up to the task – until I met Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. We all know that a good mascara is to one’s beauty arsenal what a crisp rosé is to a sunny afternoon – absolutely imperative – but this one wins on all fronts. The formula, which contains the brand’s signature Flash Volume Complex™ is ace for expanding lashes out to stratospheric lengths and it doesn’t leave behind a single flake or smudge. The festive packaging is so cute, too! – Kate Lancaster, Contributing Beauty Editor

Santa Maria Novella Tobacco Toscano Bubble Bath, $63. SHOP NOW 

If you were lucky enough to have access to one, I’m betting you spent a significant amount of time in your bath in 2020. Before relocating interstate mid-way through this year, I was the proud proprietor of a glorious bath, which I obsessively occupied every single evening. There was something so soothing, so tranquil, about having a hot soak each night before bed that acted as a salve for my mind – which was often awash with worry due to the onset and impact of the pandemic – right up until I moved into a new house that was sadly without a bath. But looking back on that hectic time makes me treasure my bathing rituals even more, which were punctuated by this heady bubble bath. I still use it without a bath, instead subbing it in as a body wash during my showers after a particularly trying day. The scent is addictive! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. – Kate Lancaster, Contributing Beauty Editor

HUDA BEAUTY Naughty Nude Eyeshadow Makeup Palette, $124. shop now

“I’ve seen some makeup palettes in my day, but few have caught my eye quite like this beautiful iteration from Huda Beauty. What’s especially striking is the various textures. There’s standard pressed powders but also jelly-like shadows and incredible marbled foils. It’s super pigmented and applies like a dream, making it an incredible gift for anyone who loves products that are both functional and fun to use. It’s perfect for party season, too (even if it is from home).” – Emily Algar, Contributing Beauty Editor

Versace Dylan Turquoise, $125. shop now 

“I was introduced to this zesty, refreshing and slightly crisp fragrance well before it hit the market in October. World trade and flights had completely halted and without being able to touch anything (or anyone), all we had were our eyes, our ears, our tastebuds and our sense of smell. For Sophie Labbé – the nose at the helm of this beauty biopic by Versace – bottling escapism during a pandemic was exciting, interesting and almost essential. An exotic clash of lemon, mandarin and guava give its user mental flashes of invigorating dips in the ocean and warm sunshine beaming down on white sands. Then there’s this musky undertone which lingers; its very sensual, and very on-brand for Versace. With one spritz, your arty friend will be transported to the paradisiacal isles of Sardinia, and will enjoy the Italian brand’s new take on its traditional insignia too. Win, win.” – Jessica Bailey, editorial director 

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin E Shimmer Body Oil, $82. shop now 

“I’m a huge fan of the Biossance Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum. When my schedule demands I work longer hours and I’m unable to get my preferred eight hours of sleep, my skin can look quite dull and this product has been really essential for me this year. So when our contributing beauty editor Emily suggested I try this Biossance squalane-based shimmer body oil, I was excited. Whether you’re experiencing New York’s icy winter or Sydney’s sweltering summer, it’s so important that our skin is kept hydrated and this featherweight, non-greasy body oil is absorbed into the skin really quickly. Don’t be fooled, it’s got a shimmery finish but is by no means “glittery” and this sheen not only keeps you looking dewy and glowy but blurs out imperfections so that your skin’s texture looks super even. And after the year we’ve all had, we all need a little help!” – Jessica Bailey, editorial director 

BULY 1803 Savon Superfin Soap in Peruvian Heliotrope, $59. shop now 

2020 will be forever immortalised as the year that we became experts at washing our hands. And yes, most of us were probably already across such a simple, everyday concept, but necessity dictated a far greater frequency. We also become well-acquainted with hand sanitiser, which subsequently subjected our hands to even more activity. The result? Dry, over-stimulated mitts that need a little TLC. That’s when I fell hard for this stylish soap slab, which also fits into my new penchant for styling every little element of my home (I also blame COVID for this). It provides a gentle alternative to the other hand soaps I’ve tried and it looks great stored on a soap dish. You can also use it as a body cleanser in the shower! It’s such an easy gift that anyone can get great usage from. – Kate Lancaster, Contributing Beauty Editor

Maison Crivelli Rose Saltifolia, $299. SHOP NOW

“Those who appreciate beauty and story-telling will delight in the Maison Crivelli fragrance house. Founder Thibaud Crivelli set out to create olfactive interpretations of memories and places, briefing various master perfumers with a mood board only to see what they come up with. My personal favourite scent within the family is Rose Saltifolia, a fresh, watery floral with a certain mineral quality – a rose that’s been lashed with salty air, almost. Fragrance is always a crowd pleaser at Christmas, but this feels extra special.” – Emily Algar, Contributing Beauty Editor

Rouge Hermes Lipstick, $94. SHOP NOW

“It’s not often that the worlds of art and lipstick come together to create something poetic—a cherished piece to hold on to for years to come. That’s precisely what luxury fashion house Hermès sought to accomplish with its foray into cosmetics this past March. Its first and only makeup product is refillable lipstick, available in matte and satin finishes with color-blocked casing designed by French fashion designer Pierre Hardy. It’s easy to say that this lipstick doubles as an objet d’art, perfect for the art savant with an affinity for the invaluable. Hardy deems these shades “precious objects” that are “meant to be kept like jewels”—as do we—making this the next best stocking stuffer next to diamonds and gems.” – Marisa Petrarca, US beauty and style editor 
thoughts?