Ready, Set, Go… Last Minute Beauty Gift Ideas From Team Viva

If you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, then you might be starting to panic. Let us help

(Left to right) Aesop Contours of Discovery; Byredo Tree Candle; Eve Lom Cleanser. Photos / Supplied

Here at Viva we see some of the best gift items out there and so our team are armed with plenty of bright ideas when it comes to beauty buys. We asked each team member to nominate a few of their personal favourite or most coveted items, ranging from lust-have sets to single items that are great to give or would be gratefully received. If something catches your eye, it might just save you some time and stress as we all aim to leave the office and the shops behind, so we can finally kick back this Christmas.


Aesop Contours of Discovery is a gorgeous set with Geranium Leaf body cleanser and body scrub, plus the Resurrection Aromatique hand balm and hand wash. I love the green, citrus and woody notes of these products that leave your skin feeling fresh and invigorated — especially after a day in the sun. $145 from Aesop stores and

Eve Lom Cleanser is a cult classic among beauty fans. This cleanser is said to leave your skin as soft as a baby's. It is made up of clove oil to help calm redness, eucalyptus oil to drain toxins, and Egyptian chamomile to soothe the skin. Viva deputy editor Johanna Thornton swears by it. I think I'm just going to have to treat myself. $121 (small size available also), from

Byredo Tree House Candle. I love that this is inspired by a tree house, of all things. Its name evokes childhood memories, but really it is a heavenly and very sophisticated scent with notes of cedar and sandalwood and myrrh. This and its simple elegant packaging makes it the kind of gift that would be appreciated by both men and women. If you love the candle, check out the Byredo fragrances. $107, see

(Left to right) Drunk Elephant Inspector Drunk Night Kit; Tom Ford Lip Color Three Piece Set. Photos / Supplied


Drunk Elephant Inspector Drunk Night Kit. I hope Santa puts this under the tree for me. My skin needs all the help it can get during the festive season and this box of goodies makes an ideal travelling companion too. It features a face wash, moisturising and eye creams and a serum for evening use. $156 from selected Mecca stores, see

Tom Ford Lip Color Three Piece Set. These “clutch-sized” Nude to Mauve lipsticks come in a smart brown case and are plumped full of conditioning colour. $170 from   

(Left to right) George & Edi Liquorice Hand Cream; Karen Murrell Gift Sets; Twenty8 Ultra Sonic Diffuser. Photos / Supplied


Karen Murrell Gift Sets are a great way to introduce colour combined with a moisturising natural formula to those who may be a bit reticent about lippy. Personally, I love the stuff and am forever experimenting with shades, textures and brands. Limited edition lipstick sets have really stood out to me from the holiday makeup collections, with a particular shout out to the beautifully boxed Bobbi Brown Luxe on Luxe Mini Luxe Lip Color Collection, $262, which has 10 minis in a grey velvet case and also to M.A.C’s six-piece full-sized Liptensity set. Locally, Karen Murrell has come up trumps for the summer season with her top-selling red and orange shades in a two-piece set for $56, but better yet has a trio with the everyday favourite Violet Mousse shade added for $78.

(Pre-Christmas you can personalise one of Karen Murrell’s gold canisters by shopping at T Galleria by DFS on Customs St, from Friday to Sunday, 2pm-6pm, where a calligrapher will be in store to inscribe a name of the customer’s choice).

Twenty8 Signature Ultrasonic Diffuser. I’m a convert to enjoying essential oils the easy way — no tealights needed — so this Christmas  I’m sharing the love with a couple of friends. This large capacity diffuser pumps out aromas for hours and can function also as a night light, plus it automatically shuts down when the water levels drop too low. It costs $79, but for $10 more it comes with a special Festive Spirit Synergy Blend.

George & Edi Liquorice Hand Cream is new from the Wanaka home fragrance makers and one of three lightly fragranced choices that hydrate hands, but won’t overwhelm the nose — so all the better to enjoy George & Edi’s subtle candles scents. Liquorice is a trending fragrance note that will appeal to men as well as women, so give someone who likes enticing warm aromas a hands up. There’s also fig and floral, each $25.50 from

(Left to right) Soap and Glory Glammed Total Beauty Set; Bodha Calming Spray; Commes des Garcons Amazingreen EDP. Photos / Supplied


Soap and Glory Glammed Total Beauty Set. I really like this British beauty brand: the packaging is cute, the products actually work (the body scrub is a favourite of mine), the price is right and they don't test on animals. This set would be perfect for your teenage niece for Christmas. $39 from Mecca Maxima stores, or at

Bodha Calm Ritual Spray. This is by a New Zealand-born, LA-based wellness and incense brand. The bottles are a beautiful object in their own right and the spray is a nice calming ritual to use before bed or on any long journey, or indeed in any stressful moment that may arise over the holiday period! $US22 from

Comme des Garcons Amazing Green eau de parfum. I would love to receive this fragrance, both for the smell and the packaging. I am a sucker for any fragrance that includes Vetiver — I think I had a teenage crush who wore Vetiver and the love of this scent has lasted the distance even if the crush didn't. $155 for 50ml at Mecca Maxima stores, or at

Sanceuticals Activator 7 Oil. Photos / Supplied


Sanceuticals Activator 7 Oil. My product pick (chosen by a second Viva team member as well) has been around a while, but I am an avid believer. Having had a few necessary surgeries over the years, I absolutely love this body oil. It has had a remarkable effect on reducing the redness and appearance of my scars, and it smells divine. $59 from


(Left to right) La Mer The Twelve Days of Radiance Collection; YSL Couture Variation Palette; Bobbi Brown Brush Cleaning Spray. Photos / Supplied


La Mer The Twelve Days of Radiance Collection. Yes, I'm aware this set is $610, but this year I'm feeling extra. Although I'm yet to try it, I've always been intrigued by La Mer skincare and whether it lives up to the hype, but have seen enough good things to be convinced. This 12 days of Christmas set is super indulgent, a great way to treat yourself over the holidays and also a good way to try a whole selection of products from the luxury beauty house. See

YSL Couture Variation Palette. My sister always does her eye makeup beautifully, so I'd love to be able to give her a lovely palette like this one with the perfect warm neutral shades. $150, see

Bobbi Brown Brush Cleaning Spray. This is an awfully practical gift, I know, but I'm very vigilant about cleaning my makeup brushes and a fancy brush cleaner like this Bobbi Brown one would be super handy. $40, see

(Left to right) Le Labo Discovery Set; Kiehl’s Musk Bath & Shower Liquid Body Cleanser; Paco Robanne 1 Million Deodorant Stick. Photos / Supplied


Le Labo Discovery Set. A friend of mine introduced me to Le Labo Santal 33 a few years back, and I’d never come remotely close to smelling anything like it before. Scent is so personal and I think Le Labo products really embrace this idea well, so this set of mini eau de parfum vials of the US-French brand’s top sellers would be at the top of my Christmas wish list. $135 from

Kiehl’s Musk Bath & Shower Liquid Body Cleanser. I’ve been using Kiehl’s products for a number of years and I love the simplicity of the ingredients and in particular the range of Original Musk products, including this shower gel. $38 from Kiehl’s counters, including at

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Deodorant Stick. I’ve been trying to make the most of my gym membership recently, sometimes going along with a friend of mine who gets a bit whiffy. He’s definitely aware of it and needs all the help he can get, so this would be a very funny and very helpful present. $51 from selected pharmacies and department stores, including

(Left to right) Raww Cosmetics Wildberry Glow BB Cream; Benefit Cosmetics Precisely My Brow Stocking Stuffer; M.A.C Dazzle Highlighter in Dazzlepink. Photos / Supplied


Raww Cosmetics. I'm one of those cringe girls who watches YouTube videos while I do my makeup every morning, which is how I stumbled upon Raww Cosmetics (shout out to Georgie Stevenson — girl, let's be friends). Raww isn't available in store in New Zealand (yet), but you can buy it online. Its superfood-infused, cruelty-free, certified natural skincare line extends to the usual cleansers, toners and moisturisers, as well as specialised serums, body care and masks. Rumour has it their makeup line is pretty damn good too. From $14, see

M.A.C's new Bling Thing collection. I recently smashed my M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Powder when it fell off my bathroom sink (still haven't fully recovered), so I'm in the market for a new one. I love the new Dazzle Highlighter in the shade Dazzlepink from M.A.C's new Bling Thing collection. It's the perfect shade of sparkling rose gold (and boy do I love rose gold). $66 from M.A.C counters and selected department stores, including

Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil Stocking Stuffer. My sister-in-law never leaves the house without doing her brows, so I'd love to treat her this Christmas by popping one of Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil Stocking Stuffer under the tree. The ultra-fine tip makes replicating hair-like strokes a breeze, while the waterproof formula means you can swim without the worry of it washing off. Plus, the super cute purple packaging means I can save on wrapping paper. $24, from Benefit Cosmetics counters and selected department stores, including

(Left to right) Tata Harper Daily Essentials Set; Hourglass Graphik Eyeshadow Palette; Sanceuticals Activator 7 Oil. Photos / Supplied


Tata’s Daily Essentials Set from rather lavish and natural brand Tata Harper would be an absolute dream to receive. I've so far only tried their body oil which I have made last for over a year — it's that good. $109 from

Hourglass Graphik Eyeshadow Palette is something I wouldn't splash out and buy for myself, but this glitzy gold eye palette is an indulgent prompt to get more into eye makeup. $92 from

Sansceuticals Activator 7 Oil. I use this religiously (and try to keep to sparingly) on body, neck and hair. Smells beautiful and hydrates well with natural ingredients. A winner for anyone to give or to enjoy. $59 from

(Left to right) Sansceuticals 48-Hour Reset Kit; Toothcrush Subscription. Photos / Supplied


Sansceuticals 48-Hour Reset Kit. I will finally be able to find time to do this during the holidays since I never have a free weekend during the year! The Superdose Face Masque that you can't buy separately from the kit is particularly awesome — very active and rehydrating. Inside you’ll find two days of hair, body and skin care, rituals, sustenance recipes and inspirational reading, viewing and listening ideas. $159 from

Sphaera soap dish. I love the beautiful Misma Anaru dishes (and the handmade soaps that go in them). Packaging free beauty is the future. $60 from

Toothcrush subscriptions are something I'd like to give — for sustainable bamboo toothbrushes (in different bristle colours for all the family) by a cool New Zealand company, delivered fresh to your door monthly or bi-monthly.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray Trio. Photo / Supplied


Mario Badescu Facial Spray Trio to spritz, mist and glow. This would make a great Secret Santa or stocking stuffer. The lucky recipient can rip into it straight away for plenty of fresh, dewy misting on Christmas Day and the bottles are the perfect size to take to the beach throughout summer.

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