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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
Thoughtful Christmas Gifts For Women – 2022
I’m including this (even though I’m not mad on the word wellness) because I think we’ll all get through the next few months a little better if we look after ourselves. And on that note I’ll just add that there’s no better time to pay a little more attention to your exercise and eating regime than now, if you do, you’ll hit January in a much better frame of mind than you otherwise would, even with a couple of week’s indulgence over Christmas.
Anyway, that’s just a little nudge from me. Back to Christmas presents and I want to point out how good these leggings are – all of the Sweaty Betty style at less than a third of the cost. The only thing they’re lacking is a phone pocket on the leg but there is one in the small of the back. If you’re planning on taking a fresh approach to exercise in January, these will make you feel better about it from the start.
The rest of this range is superb too (although I wish there were more vest tops). If you’re refreshing your activewear or starting from scratch it’s great quality, stylish and cost-effective, regardless of whether you’re going to the gym, Pilates or dog walking – you can find it all here.
Continuing with active wellness, this is a bigger investment but it’s something I’ve been trialling that I really want to tell you about. Every so often I’m sent some sort of new beauty gadget to try. I’ve never noticed any difference after using them so I’ve always ended up sending them back with a note but there have been some over the last few months that I’ve been meaning to tell you about. They come from CurrentBody, a company that specialises in what you could call beauty tech. They take it very seriously and have an external advisory board. They’re also members of the international HUD Working Group which focuses on the safety of home use devices, most of which have previously only been available in Spas. So they had my attention as a credible business from the start.
The first product I’ve been testing is their LED Light Therapy Mask. You’ll have seen versions of these masks around that make you look like a Star Wars Stormtrooper
but this one is different because it’s flexible and so rather than sitting over your face, it moulds to it. This means that it’s more effective because more light can hit the lower layers of the skin. It uses both Red and Near Infrared light.
CurrentBody tell me that the red light repairs skin by regenerating the production of new cells which then leads to the production of new collagen. Collagen evens out the skintone and improves texture and firmness. The infrared light stimulates the wound healing cells so it works on any surface imperfections and helps new skin to form.
For me, the thing about beauty treatments is that I don’t have the time or patience for them. I’m not somebody who finds pleasure in going for a facial, I just end up lying there thinking about all the other things I could be doing with the time. However this makes what I call ‘deep skincare’ really easy. I’ve already got into the habit of popping it on every other night at 9pm which is when I usually sit down to watch TV for an hour. I just leave it one for ten minutes while I’m doing it and yes, it has caused Mal all kinds of amusement but I’m betting it won’t be long before he has a go himself.
CurrentBody say that with consistent use you should see:
- Improved fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduced surface scarring from acne and blemishes
- Fewer broken blood vessels and reduction of redness on the face with a calmer or more even skin tone.
- Improved skin texture from the shrinkage of inflamed areas and better skin healing factors.
I’ve been using it for three weeks now and I think it’s too early to see any real difference in terms of wrinkles. What I am noticing though is an improvement in a cluster of red veins that were starting to show on my lower cheek and also a patch of pigmentation from this summer’s sun exposure. And my skin’s feeling more bouncy and glowy, it’s getting that slightly pampered look that I always spot in friends who have regular facials. It does give you an instant effect too so it’s something I’ll turn to before a night out to add a boost of plumped up freshness to my skin.
There are nearly 900 customer reviews on site along with a number of reviews from beauty journalists and a slew of awards. So, for once it’s a beauty gadget that I’m happy to recommend.
NIKKILED will give you 20% off at checkout. LED Light Therapy Mask.
Smoothskin IPL Hair Removal Device
There’s one other product that I’m currently testing from CurrentBody and it’s something that probably wouldn’t have occurred to me if it hadn’t been for my school reunion last month. As you can imagine for a group of women who have known each other since we were 11 years old, we quickly got on to comparing the nitty gritty of menopause and one of the issues that seemed to be distressing a number of people was hair growth. One in particular told us that she was now having to shave in the mornings alongside her husband because she has a patch on her neck that matches his beard – she’s very funny so she delivered the tale with aplomb but it can’t be easy.
Quite a few of the people who were having real problems weren’t on HRT so maybe that was a factor but they asked me if I knew of anything less painful than waxing as a way of dealing with it. So, when CurrentBody asked if I’d like to test this IPL device I jumped at it.
Smoothskin IPL Hair Removal Device
I’ve always found waxing too painful so I shave my legs and that’s how you start with this – you shave and then run it over your skin. It has three modes so if you’re scared like I was you can start with the gentlest one – there’s also a speed mode for large areas and power mode for the strongest output – I’ve found them all fine.
Once you get used to it, it’s as quick as shaving your legs and certainly doesn’t take any more than ten minutes. There are ten power settings and it adapts to your skintone. There’s also a precision head that you can fit on if you want to use it on a smaller area such as your lip or bikini line. I’ve been testing it on my legs so far and after three weeks regrowth has already slowed down. They say that if you use it once a week, after the first twelve weeks you should only need to top up every 1-2 months.
It’s worth bearing in mind that it only works when there’s a difference in contrast between the colour of your hair and skin – so if you have white skin and blonde or grey hair, you might not get a result. That’s one of the reasons I’m cracking on with it now – I found the first grey hair in my eyebrows this week which was a bit alarming!
Now I haven’t used one of these before so I can’t compare it to other brands but there are lots of good reviews on the site. If you go to a salon regularly for waxing this will soon pay for itself. If you have awkward patches of hair growth like my old friend or would just like to cut down on shaving time in the shower like me, it’s still a good buy.
Once again I have an offer for you: NIKKISS will get you 15% off, you can find the Smoothskin IPL hair removal device here.
I have two more ideas for you and then I really must stop – great for doing with a friend or a loved one. The first is The Big London Bake where you have a Bake Off experience for two.
I have a friend who’s done it and loved it because she’s a huge fan of the TV show – I haven’t watched it so it isn’t a concept I really understand but apparently if you know, you know! You can find vouchers and more information here.
And then there’s this – which I’d dearly love to do and very much hope to next year some time. Abba Voyage, I know some of you have been so perhaps you can tell us what it’s like. I believe it’s a bit of a pain to get to – but worth it when you’re there.
And I haven’t run out of ideas… but I have run out of time so maybe I’ll include some more unisex options when it comes to the next gift posts. If you still need more, the youngest spent hours of his summer holiday updating previous gift posts for me so I’ll list them below and you should be able to find new, relevant suggestions there too if he’s done his job well (I haven’t had chance to check!). I hope this has helped to get you thinking though but remember – beautiful or useful… that’s the best way to go about things this year. Have a great week and I’ll be back on Friday with easy pieces that will party up your existing capsule wardrobe.
Disclosure: ‘Thoughtful Christmas Gifts For Women – 2022’ is not a sponsored post
More Christmas Gift Ideas for women
- Gifts for women 2021
- Gifts for women 2020
- Gifts for women 2019
- Gifts for women 2018
- Gifts for women 2017
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