I thought I’d start this year’s gift posts with ideas for us – let’s put ourselves first for once. Actually I think midlife women are the hardest to buy for so this has been one of my most difficult posts to research. We’re at the stage in life where we know what we like and substitutes won’t do, plus we tend to already have most things we want so unless it’s a great new discovery, we’re not really bothered about presents. However it is nice to have a little something to open on Christmas Day and of course there are other women in our lives to buy for so I’ve done my best to find you things you may not have spotted. I have one guiding principle for Christmas shopping this year, I’m following the great William Morris by only buying things that I know to be either useful or beautiful, ideally both. So without any further ado, let’s get started with thoughtful Christmas gift ideas for women, 2022.
Thoughtful Christmas Gifts For Women – 2022
I’m starting with the little things we might buy for a friend and I know a mug isn’t exactly groundbreaking but I’ve always loved Emma Bridgewater’s Toast range and I think the messaging this year is great. I can imagine this being particularly good for a niece or goddaughter or anyone who has an environmental focus…
I’m including this little mani set because when you apply the polish in thin layers and use it with the base and top coat that are included, your manicure will last for up to two weeks. It’s incredible. Once you’ve discovered this Infinite Shine range you’ll never look back. Only the silver topped ones do this, the black topped bottles are the same as any ordinary nail polish.
OPI long stay gift pack
While we’re on the subject of OPI, I see that the advent calendar hasn’t sold out yet and it’s another one I’d recommend – although they are all ordinary polishes.
OPI advent calendar
Another little beauty giftset that brings real pleasure is this one – miniature bottles of Aromatherapy Associates bath and shower oils. You simply cup the drops in your hands and rub them over your shoulders and chest, breathe them in and then step into a warm bath or shower. You’ll find yourself enveloped in the fragrance and there’s an oil to suit every mood so it’s like having a little library of care. I find I can stretch a tiny bottle over two or three uses and I often taken one away with me in my travel bag.
Miniature bath oils collection
If you have a little more budget, this one will go further.
Ultimate bath and shower oil collection
Another beauty treat is a lipstick that you’re proud to take out of your bag, it’s a small present but one that will bring the giver to mind all year. This time my vote goes to Gucci, I’ve been using this lipstick since early spring and I still love it. It’s a lovely sheer texture, in between a balm and a lipstick – and you just can’t beat the packaging which also makes it easy to spot at the bottom of a bag.
And while we’re on make-up I just want to show you the range that Ciate have just launched with Iris Apfel. I think it’s fantastic that such a young brand have chosen to collaborate with an older icon so I’m holding them up for their approach to ageless style. Here’s the very lovely eye shadow palette but there are lipsticks too as well as a hand mirror – you can see the full range here.
Ciate X Iris Apfel eyeshadow palette
I’ve been using their Dewy Blush since summer and it’s really lovely, you just rub it in with your fingers for a slightly glossy glow.
The last of my recommended beauty gifts is a perfume atomiser, specifically for travel or you can just keep it in your handbag. It makes it easy to always have your signature scent with you.
Travel perfume atomiser
If you have more than one favourite you can buy this set with three flasks – just clip the one that you want into the case.
Travel atomiser set
I’m delighted to announce that John Lewis have started to expand their stunning lingerie range into bigger sizes. I always tell you that they listen to us and this is one of the biggest pieces of feedback you had for them last time I covered it. As I always say, this fits and looks as good as any lingerie from Agent Provocateur but it costs far less – you can see the full range here.
One thing I will just point out is that a bra is a quick way to update your whole look. Over lockdown you’ll remember that there was a move towards bralettes for comfort. That’s on the wane as most people need a little more support now that they’re back in the world but the soft silhouette has remained so if you’re still wearing a push-up t-shirt bra with moulded cups, it will be subtly outdating your look. Try a softer, unpadded bra and you’ll instantly be more on trend.
Bra B-DD; E to G; Matching briefs
A bit of a cliché for Christmas I know – but when I went through my pyjama drawer earlier this season and got rid of everything old, tatty… and oh so comfortable, I replaced them with this great find. It’s a company best known for creating organic cotton basics for children but in response to great demand, they’re now making adult pyjamas too. I’m finding that I’m so fussy these days and in winter I like to wear jersey with legs that have cuffs at the bottom so that they don’t ride up in the night. But then the cuffs can’t be too tight… and the cotton has to be breathable. These are my Goldilocks find – not quite the silk and lace that Mal probably has in mind but he chose to live in an old, draughty house… I have the bottoms in every colour which I wear with a pointelle top but they do full sets too and I see some nice Christmas designs have arrived now – you can see the full collection here. A medium fits perfectly for me.
Striped adult pyjama bottoms
My friend Claudia has created yet another new range of thoughtful jewellery. This time my favourite is the ‘this too will pass’ collection which comes in a necklace and earrings in either silver or gold. I love the fact that the inscription is only on one side so if you want to keep it as a personal, private mantra you can wear it towards your heart. It’s a good gift for all of us right now but particularly appropriate for anyone going through an especially hard time.
This too shall pass necklace (also available in silver)
The earrings have the inscription on the inside, so only you know it’s there.
This too shall pass earrings
And I just have to show you these earrings. Of all of the pieces of Claudia’s that I have, it’s the silver geo earrings that I’ve had for years I wear most. I’ve been asking her for ages to do a gold version and she’s gone one better with an adaptable pair that can be worn with or without a pearl drop. I just think they’re the most beautiful, sculptural shape – and she’s made them in silver too. She’s offering Midlifechic readers 20% off all of her pieces with code NIKKIGIFT20.
Biography pearl earrings
And if you prefer something more intricate, I just want to remind you about another midlifer, Amanda Coleman, who creates her pieces in her Lincoln workshop. I wore the beautiful owl earrings for Toby’s wedding in summer…
Owl in tree earrings
And she has all kinds of handmade pieces that she’s designed, inspired by animals, birds, nature, gardening… you can see them all here. I particularly love these bangles which were originally based on a real twig. Amanda’s also offering a 20% discount to Midlifechic readers with code MIDLIFE20.
Moving away from jewellery now, in my London WhatsApp group everybody is talking about these lunchbags – and what they put in them. It seems that everyone’s taking the opportunity to save money by making their own lunch to take to the office so it’s turning into a competitive and well accessorised sport!
Insulated convertible lunch cooler tote (other designs to choose from here)
So many of you have asked about my tan suede bag which was a Christmas present last year. I’ve found one for you – they’re just so versatile, they go with everything, all year round. There’s a tan leather version here if you prefer it.
And I just have to point out these vintage style clutches with a fine chain strap that will work forever. They look like an heirloom piece but without the price tag.
Vintage style beaded bag
If you have a friend who’s a literature lover, these jigsaw puzzles are just lovely and they come with characters to find from various works which will make them even more absorbing – it’s such a lovely idea. You can see the full range here but I’ve picked out Jane Austen and the Brontes – you know which one I’d choose!