Stockings are delicious aren’t they? Like lovely palette cleansers before the main course of your actual presents.
Except they’re not. Because the days of a simple Terry’s chocolate orange and a 3 pack of M&S cotton socks are over. Now everyone is a bit older and wiser and likes luxury things, and our favourite fancy brands have cottoned on. You find yourself confusing ‘appropriately priced stocking fillers’ with ‘things that are small that can fit in a stocking but are actually £20 a pop’. Before you know it you’ve got the most expensively filled stockings since Joan Crawford’s in ‘Mildred Pierce’.
Stocking fillers need be the perfect balance of quite cheap & not half-arsed. And, of course, small. See below:
Patchology illuminating mask, £7
A sheet mask would be wonderful thing to pull from a stocking. There are obvs tons to choose from, but I love this one as it does exactly what it says on the tin, is great value for money and only takes 5-7 mins so you can definitely find time for it on Christmas day.
Davines travel size hair mask, £8.50
The best luxury hair care brand out there, for my money. I would be thrilled to receive any of their products but a mask is a lovely treat I always slightly begrudge having to buy myself. I use Minu for coloured hair and it really is brilliant (YES my hair is coloured shut up).
MAC mini lipstick Ruby Woo, £10
An absolute icon, available in teeny-tiny-clutch-bag-friendly form. Everyone looks good in this, and though the texture may not be their cup of tea the price renders it worth a try.
Crystal Head Skull Vodka Miniature, £7.25
& Other Stories Nail polish, £6
Nail colour is much of a muchness really, but & Other Stories have really nailed (!) their colours & it would be difficult to go far wrong. Some proper deep, rich, sophisticated tones. Wear while eating a flake in the bath.
(there’s a much bigger selection in store, FYI)
Neals Yard remedies Goodnight Pillow Mist, £10
It’s essentially the gift of a good night’s sleep, this. You can’t put a price on that really. Other than £10.
Vita Coco coconut oil in 250ml, £5
Because it’s brilliant, multi purpose and this small version is very pleasing. A great way to introduce more reluctant members of the family to a pure product, and ease them off the chemical laden stuff.
Realtechniques Dual-Ended Expert Sponge, £5.99
Personally, I’m not a big believer in buying a knock off product when the original is brilliant (in this instance, it’s the Beauty Blender). Luckily, this one’s just as good and half the price. The jury’s out on whether using blenders does a better job for applying foundation, depends what mood you catch me in. But it’s certainly more hygienic than using fingers and they’re jolly and satisfying to use.
Benefit Minis, from £8.50 or 3 for £25 @ Boots
Take your pick really. High Beam, Benetint & Dandelion are all especially delightful. I actually use this smaller Hoola bronzer as my go to as it’s much less cumbersome than the regular size. The chunky, squat squareness of it also means it’s much less likely to smash into a thousand pieces. Science aside, it’s a fantastic bronzer that I’ve been sneering at and crawling back to since I was about 15.
Tangle Teezer, £11
This is a game/life changer, and though a hairbrush isn’t top of everyone’s list they’ll love you forever for it. It’s also one of my favourite things in the world that this brand was turned down on Dragon’s Den. HAHAHAHAHAHA have that Peter Jones.
Incidentally they do other colours, but my favourite is this ‘Shades of oppressed Disney Princess’.
Jo Malone English Pear & Fresia body & hand wash, £15
Oooooooh you are pushing it at £15 here Jo, but it’s just about worth it for the ‘Rowan Atkinson in Love Actually’ gift wrapping, which they do for every product regardless of price. Most offer a little token for a free hand massage down the line too = yes thankyou.
NYX soft matte lip cream, £6
Easy to apply even sans mirror, they come in mega vibrant colours, are super cheap and last for ages. A great way to encourage someone to go a bit bolder.
The Ordinary Glycolic acid 7% toning solution, £6.80
Glycolic acid at this price should frankly be a crime/burn your face off but this is brilliant. Smoothes the surface of the skin and brightens it up a treat, good for most skin types. The bottle looks lovely on a shelf also, look at that dusky pink.
Monkey Shoulder whisky miniature, £3
‘Rose Kitty’ eye mask, Skinny Dip, £8
Soft and pretty and puffy and comfy and importantly NOT TOO TIGHT. It’s obviously extremely twee, but other less cutesy options are available. The ‘Fuck off’ one, perhaps.
Rimmel 60 Seconds Super Shine, £2.99
Foolproof. Very hard for even the most cack handed to mess up. Dries incredibly quickly, big fat brush for application. Buy for a beginner, or someone who’s been put off by past polishing efforts. It’s the Duplo of Nail Varnish. I like to wear it in ‘Black Cherries’ and pretend I’m Anjelica Huston or something.
Glitter Tits London Glitter Pot, £5
We’re convinced there is a way to wear glitter and not look 19, and Glitter Tits are great at making everything feel slightly more grown up without losing the fun. Choose the ‘Ziggy Stardust’, a tribute to Bowie. Lightning bolt across face optional, but very much encouraged. Also LET’S HEAR IT FOR BIODEGRADABLE GLITTER! Clap clap clap clap.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish 50ml, £10
This size is only available in selected stores, but worth the hunt. Renders scrubbing your face a sensory experience. Deserves a gold sparkly plinth in the Beauty Hall of Fame.
Eyelure eyelashes, £5.49
Pretty & feminine and with a real feel-good factor. Make sure the recipient knows to give them a snip to fit their eye shape (and to take them off at night even when pissed. Put a post-it on the bathroom mirror before you go out). I use Emma Willis’ range because she has probably the best eyes in the whole world.
Unicorn Tears raspberry gin liqueur miniature, £8.99
The Terry’s chocolate orange for millennials, in that no stocking should be without one. There’s a veritable buffet of festive options in Lush at the moment, but the rule still applies: avoid sparkles unless you still want to be hosing your bath down in July. My favourite is the bottle shaped Milky Bath - crumble under running water for bubbles and a ‘Cleopatra bathing in lactose’ vibe. BONUS: You can halve it and use twice.
Yu Ling small Jade Roller, £12
A sort of medieval beauty gadget that just so happens to be in the most gorgeous shade. If you’re a crystally person it also promotes serenity, but if you’re not it still promotes a non-puffy face.
Alternatives are available all over the internet at a much cheaper price. Try etsy.
Get one step closer to Gwyneth. No, not by having your vag steamed, but with these 5 little supplement sachets. It’s not exactly inkeeping with the ‘cut loose at Christmas’ attitude we all favour, but maybe come the New Year they’ll be grateful.
Sol De Janeiro Tiny Travellers, £12
Yep. They’re so tiny the brand even had to call themselves out on it. But this Brazilian Bum Bum cream is an arse firming phenomenon, and the shower cream smells heavenly. Both come in the set.
Lani Tropical Coconut Face Polish, £17.99
I’ve included one pricey item, as I figure if you’re going to splash out it might as well be on something that’s natural, independent, cruelty free, vegan and lovely.
Anyway, my point is this one breaks the rules but it’s our website so we can do what we like.
A really yummy, nourishing exfoliant containing organic coconut milk, rice powder and vitamin C.
Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb & Ginger miniature, £2.99