‘The Next Big Thing’ Christmas gift guide showcases our favourite Escentual newcomers, from early best-sellers to future classics. You’ve probably seen most of these on TV already! If you’re stuck for a gift this Christmas, you can’t go far wrong with one of these much-talked-about gems…
Invictus, the follow-up to Paco Rabanne’s perennial best-seller 1 Million, is arguably the biggest men’s fragrance of the year. The sport-centric fragrance launched with a bang earlier this year (suitably set to the tune of Kanye West’s ‘Power’), and the momentum hasn’t slowed, propelling it to top of our best-sellers list month after month. Chances are he’s already put this on his Christmas list. If he hasn’t, then the abundance of advertising set to take place this Christmas may persuade him. See our review here.
Another popular fragrance launch from earlier this year is this decidedly refined affair from Giorgio Armani. Si is an instant winner, adding some kindling to the mainstream chypre trend with a luxurious, well-proportioned take on the genre. It opens with the rich juiciness of cassis and mandarin oil supported by a truly beautiful medley of rose, neroli and jasmine absolutes – and not forgetting that all-important patchouli chypre note. There’s nothing not to love about this head-turning scent.
This suave new launch from Gucci is a slightly more premium offering, mirroring the tailor-made suit service that the house offers in both its look and the texture of its fragrance. Like Invictus, this fragrance has been a big feature in magazines and on TV, so you may be well acquainted with the wonderful image of James Franco in a bespoke suit. If not, then the finely crafted oriental fragrance of orange blossom, lavender, nutmeg, cinnamon and leather is more than enough to make you want to reach for the statuesque, slate grey bottle.
Marc Jacobs Honey burst onto the fragrance scene this autumn with a seriously effervescent, fruity fragrance, and you all went wild for it. Entirely understandable, of course – that peach, honey and vanilla blend is just so darned cute. Marc Jacobs has very recently launched the Honey Solid Perfume Necklace, which ups the cuteness ante substantially. The perfume is concealed within a golden butterfly charm and set with a golden metal link chain, which lets you wear your favourite perfume at all times. A gorgeous gift for those who’ve always wanted some Marc Jacobs couture.
Though the Real Techniques range isn’t news to many of you, it launched with us earlier this year and we just can’t get enough. Our top pick for the uninitiated is the Real Techniques Travel Essentials Kit, an ideal starting point for those who don’t use make-up brushes, and a handy edit of essentials for those who travel. The set contains a tapered foundation brush, a fluffy multi-tasking brush for blusher, bronzer or powder, and a domed eyeshadow brush to apply and blend your eye colour. Perhaps best of all, the brush roll doesn’t just protect your brushes, it also acts as a stand!
Michael Kors revamped his fragrance offering by launching not one, but three new scents alongside his much anticipated new make-up collection this September. They’re presented in identical bottles, but fragrances Sporty Citrus, Sexy Amber and Glam Jasmine actually represent three distinct aspects of Kors’ fashion designs. Our favourite is Sexy Amber, a sultry white floral fragrance that calls on the warmth of sandalwood and amber to provide depth and intrigue. It’s an instant classic.
Clarins The Essentials Eye Make-Up Palette (Now sold out – see other eyeshadows in the Clarins collection here)
The last couple of years have been big for eye palettes, particularly those of a neutral persuasion. Perfect for make-up newbies and cosmetic gurus alike, these handy palettes of flattering hues are ideal for more subtle daytime looks, or as base colours for a dramatic eye. And just when you thought the do-it-all palette couldn’t be improved upon Clarins offers up this well-edited, limited edition collection of buttery shadows that glide beautifully, last an age and give great colour pay-off. It really is an Essential! See our review and swatches here.
Created for the eponymous See by Chloe diffusion line, this playful fragrance reveals the younger side of Chloe by stepping away from the signature rose of Chloe Eau de Parfum. Instead, See by Chloe explores sweeter and brighter notes, but never strays into frivolity. The key facet here is apple blossom, a soft and ever so slightly tart note that recalls the aroma of a Granny Smith apple, while vanilla and sandalwood introduce a creamy warmth that tempers the crispness. Again, the bottle of this fragrance is noteworthy, borrowing its silhouette from a birdcage.