Image: Net-a-porter

#1 SKINCARE: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
US$106 (around SG$150), available online at

Judging from the amount of glowing reviews the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil has gotten from beauty editors and bloggers over the past year, there’s a good chance that your skincare-obsessed friend (or you) would be wanting it too.

What makes this stand out among the wealth of beauty oils available is the inclusion of a retinol complex in the formula, a “magic” anti-aging ingredient that’s able to reduce the appearance of pores, lines and wrinkles. It doesn’t however, bring about the same dryness and flaking that typical retinol-containing products can sometimes cause. The combination of oils in this night-time treatment – calming blue tansy, german chamomile and avocado seed oil, to name a few – help to soothe and replenish the skin. Think of this as a treatment product rather than the everyday facial oil.

After using this for three weeks, we can attest to its claims of firmer, smoother and clearer skin. It’s a well worth the investment too, since three drops of this blue-tinted oil are all you need for one application; an entire bottle is probably good for about six months.

#2 MAKEUP: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit
US$89 (around SG$130), available online at

There can never be enough limited edition palettes in a makeup lover’s collection. You’ll find however, that it’s common for some colours within palettes to be used all the way until it “hits pan”, while the louder shades still look absolutely new even after a year.

That’s why we find the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit to be such a good gift for the makeup collector. The six colours in this complexion palette flatter all skin tones and is great for any occasion.

The three blushers in tones of plum, rose and bronze are great for adding warmth to the skin, while the three finishing powders help to brighten and blur imperfections such as skin redness and dullness. The result is a natural glow that doesn’t look oily or greasy even in flash photography.

#3, 4 FRAGRANCE: Byredo Leather Travel Case & Travel Kit
Leather travel case: $171, available in three colours; travel kit: $151 for a pack of 3 x 13ml vials, available at escentials

If your friend is fragrance fanatic (like we are), then something from Swedish niche perfume brand Byredo will make the perfect addition to their treasure-trove of unique scents. The brand’s unisex fragrances are inspired by founder Ben Gorham’s varied experiences and travels – the native Swede is of Indian and Canadian heritage.

Our favourites include Gypsy Water – a light woody scent with notes of bergamot, pine needle and sandalwood – and Blanche, a musky floral that reminds us of fresh linen.

While each of these fragrances are available in a luxurious range of minimally packaged perfumes, candles and body care products, we think the travel-friendly vials and cases make the best gifts this holiday season.

#5 HAIRSTYLING: Philips ProCare Auto Curler
$239, available at all leading electrical & electronics stores

The Philips ProCare Auto Curler takes out the hassle in getting perfect curls for the hairstyle aficionado. This sleek device automatically draws in strips of hair into an isolated round chamber that does all the work in rolling, heating and curling strands.  

With a variety of heat, curling direction and time settings, this hairstyling tool can also be used to achieve different types of looks, from beachy waves to glamorous tight curls. And with each cycle being just eight to 12 seconds, a complete hairdo can be done in 15 minutes – a great beauty prep time saver.

#6 BODY CARE: Aesop Cepheus Gift Kit
$115, available at Aesop stores and online at

Nothing is more refreshing than having a warm shower and filling the bathroom with an invigorating scent, which is why we find Aesop’s Cepheus Gift Kit fit for the bodycare lover.

This kit consisting of the brand’s Geranium Leaf Body Collection – a cleanser, a body scrub and a body balm – covers an entire relaxing body care routine. Our favourite piece from this citrusy bunch is the body balm, which feels rich and hydrating on the skin, but never sticky, which is always a plus in humid weather.