Sunday, 10 December 2017

How To Give Better Gifts + A Giveaway Worth over €150 (ft. Urban Decay, Urban Outfitters, Primark and more)

Giving gifts can be tricky. I know a lot of people who hate it and genuinely buckle under the pressure of it. I've seen it damage relationships.

But that's not how things should be.

Gifting is one of my great joys in life. I love spending time, thinking and focusing on people I care about, one by one, and trying to find something that they will love. I don't always spend a lot of money and I don't always buy something at all. Hell, I don't even always get it entirely right but I do think that my gifts, generally, show people that I know them well and that I really thought about and considered them.

As so many struggle with finding the right thing, I thought I'd share some of my tips for getting better gifts, rather than giving specific gift ideas that might not apply at all.


1. Think about the person

I know, I know. This seems so obvious, right? But I don't mean think about them like: "Oh, she's a woman. All women like perfume, right?" (NOTE: Perfume/cologne is never a good idea unless you know the person's favourite scent) or "He likes Star Wars, I'll buy him this Chewbacca mug" (NOTE II: If someone is really a fanatic and they don't have a house full of mugs, this is, actually, a good idea. See below for more discussion on these two examples).

When I say "think about them", I mean think about conversations you've had. Think about things they've said they really wanted or things they keep meaning to get for themselves or little indulgences they can't justify. For example, my friend once bought me a fancy candle for my birthday and I was really touched by it. He'd been around when his girlfriend (my BFF) and I had been discussing our love for the candles and how we couldn't buy them regularly because they were too damn expensive and, when he was buying her one as a treat, he picked one up for me as well. Similarly, I've been talking about buying a hair curler for years, but never got around to it. This year, my sister bought me one for my birthday as a surprise and I was genuinely delighted when I opened it.

2. Do some recon

If you can't think of anything from conversations you've had, can't remember any childhood game they've mentioned or book they keep saying they want to read, go find out. Subtly probe for info or merely pay more attention when you hang out. Or ask people close to them who might know. I always check in with the aforementioned friend when buying for my bestie to make sure she doesn't have things or isn't getting them from someone else. Make use of your sources!

3. Practical gifts aren't boring

Remember the example about the perfume? It's a dangerous gift if you don't know what the person likes but, if you happen to know their favourite one and that they might be running out soon, it is a super useful and thoughtful gift! Similarly, if someone has been complaining that someone in work nicked their mug and you know that they love Chewie, get them that mug!

Practical gifts aren't boring. It is so nice to receive a pricey skincare item that you always repurchase or a new kettle if yours is dying slowly. It means the person pays attention to you, your life and woes, and it saves you having to do it! However, know your audience. You don't want to be one of those cliches that gives someone a vacuum and ends up out on their arse outside on Christmas day. Conversely, if someone has always wanted a Dyson (pricey feckers) and loves to vacuum, it might be the perfect gift. It always depends on the person!

4. Time is the best gift

I always say that getting things isn't always necessary. A voucher to go to the spa together or afternoon tea or the cinema or a gig is a lovely gift. It can be customised to their interests - if they're a foodie, have been dying for the release of a new film, love a band, need a day to relax etc - and it ensures that you get one-on-one, quality time together. Basically, it's two gifts in one!

5. Be sincere (+ always accompany gifts with hand-written notes)

Some of the best things that I have given and received have been the notes that came with things (extra points if they're handmade as well as handwritten). Loving words mean a lot and can be things of great comfort to have around for lonely nights or hard days. Shiny baubles don't do the same for us.

If you're really trying your best, that comes across to most people. Just really consider the person that you are giving a gift to, try and get them something they'd really like, and you'll be alright. It doesn't have to be big or expensive. Wrap it nicely, accompany it with heartfelt words and tell them that they matter to you...

Speaking of which, you guys really matter to me! And I wanted to do a giveaway to thank y'all for reading my stuff throughout the year. Normally, I do "12 Days of Giftmas" or "5 Golden Gifts" with multiple giveaways but my November this year was crazy and those things involve a lot of work. I usually liaise with brands for weeks and weeks and email back and forth loads in advance to organise it. And then there's the photographing, writing and promoting each of those posts and the running and regulating of each of the giveaways. I'm sorry for not being organised enough to do all of that this year but I didn't want to do nothing either. So, instead, I have this one giveaway but it's a good 'un!

Worth over €150, it includes:
A €50 Primark Voucher
A Clarins Beautiful Lip Essentials Gift Set
A Madison Makeup Contour Palette
An Urban Outfitters baseball cap (similar here)
An Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
A Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist
A Sleek Brow Kit (in the shade Light)
A Flormar Long Wearing Lipgloss (in the shade Backstage)
A mini Sumita Eye-liner Pencil (in the shade Black)
A pair of Pieces faux pearl stud earrings
A pair of Kurt Cobain style oval sunglasses (similar here)
A travel-size bottle of Oil Arganic dry oil from Tan Organic












To win all of this, simply leave a comment on any of the social media posts promoting this article (Instagram & Facebook) before the 24th of December 2017. The winner will be chosen at random and notified on the 25th of December 2017 and the prize will be sent out shortly thereafter. Sadly, this is giveaway will only open to readers based in mind, so keep this in mind before entering. Good luck and happy holidays!


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