Monday 22 October 2018

Life's annual gift guide


Christmas is only three weeks away
Christmas is only three weeks away
Chaos range
Paul Costello
Wool blanket
House of Lor
Charlotte Tilbury kit
The Strand Inn
Quilted handbag
Apple Watch series
Lava plate
Crop candles
Adult colouring book
Tom Ford
Kiehl's Disney
Neven Maguire's Perfect Irish Christmas

There are only three weeks left until Christmas, but don't panic. Let Santa's little helpers, Sarah Caden and Liadan Hynes, lead you through Life's annual gift guide - 15 pages packed with gorgeous gift ideas, suiting every pocket, for your nearest and dearest

Snuggle Up

Wool blanket

A classic 100pc wool blanket evokes open fires and invites days in front of the telly. McNutt of Donegal throw, €69.95, Kilkenny Shops


Soap Dish

It looks like a tube of macarons - it's really a selection of sweet little soaps.  They are in the classic scents of Lime, Basil & Mandarin, Red Roses, and English Pear & Freesia. Jo Malone London Christmas Miniature Soap Collection, €42, Arnotts; Brown Thomas


Giving Them The Slip


Slippers can sometimes be something of an ‘I didn’t really bother’ gift — unless, that is, the slippers in question are Ugg.

In which case, you are giving someone a slice of luxury.

Ugg slippers, €110, Arnotts


Get Her Gabrielle

Chanel’s first original fragrance creation in decades comes in the shape of Gabrielle, a rich floral that balances sophistication with a modern edginess. Surely you know someone to fit the bill?

Chanel Gabrielle, €137, Chanel counters nationwide


Call Me

Chaos range

The Chaos range of mobile-phone accessories are the fashion-pack’s choice.Chaos mobile phone cover, €195,

The Marvel Room, Brown Thomas


Strand Special

The Strand Inn

The Strand Inn, Dunmore East,

Co Waterford, is still standing after Ophelia. Be grateful and give someone the gift of a visit to this gorgeous seaside inn with great food.

The Strand Inn, tel: (051) 383-174, or see


Lor Above

House of Lor

House of Lor is the only Irish jewellery designer to use pure Irish gold, mined in Tyrone. This bangle is the standout statement from their Bamboo collection of sterling silver and gold pieces.

Lor Bamboo bangle, €590, jewellers nationwide, or see


Messenger Boy

Paul Costello

For the man who likes his accessories old-school style. Paul Costelloe Living messenger bag, €150,

Dunnes Stores


Grown-up Selection Box

Charlotte Tilbury kit

A selection box of Charlotte Tilbury kit, which includes a mask, a primer, the must-have cosmetic bits

and, of course, some make-up remover.

Charlotte Tilbury Naughty


Get Colouring

Adult colouring book

Let them join the kids at the table with their adult colouring book — very calming, by all accounts. Adult colouring book, 2.99, Lidl


Hygge At Arnotts

Lava plate

There is a wide range of Danish Collective homewares in Arnotts this year, all heaving with hygge.

Danish Collective Muubs lava plate, €36; hazel bowl, €5; salt shaker, €3; various utensils, €3-€5, all Arnotts


Lips Of Luxury

She’s the woman with almost everything and you want to splash out. Head to Tom Ford for this coffret of all 50 of his Boys lipstick line.

Tom Ford Boys 50-piece Lip Colour Set, €1,750, Brown Thomas


Scent Of Ireland

Give your candle fan the gift of a Crop candle. From the nose of Lucy Hagerty of La Bougie, these candles evoke the smells of Ireland, from Earth to Rain to the seasonal Sloe.

Crop candles, €16 each, see


Going Green


This green-glass hurricane lantern is a tall and handsome addition to any home.

Hurricane lantern, €150, Helen Turkington stores, Stillorgan Industrial Park, Co Dublin; 47 Dunville Ave, D6, or see


X Marks The Spot

Quilted handbag

A classic black quilted handbag is a welcome addition to any woman’s wardrobe.

Michael Kors cross-body bag, €295, Arnotts


Watch Wow

All your information, music, workouts and health data in one gorgeous location — it will even survive the Christmas Day sea swim. And it comes in millennial pink.

Apple Watch Series 3, from €379, Compub shops, or see


Capture The Castle

Ashford Castle is the first Irish hotel to launch its own bespoke Monopoly game. Hide a gift voucher for a luxury stay in the Community Chest, and this will be the dream gift.

Ashford Castle Monopoly board, available on the hotel grounds at Mrs Tea’s Boutique & Bakery, or see


Lips Mac

Mac’s festive Snowball collection is all about the glitter and gold, with high-shimmer and even some gold eyelashes. We love this glitterball lipstick.

Mac Shimmer and Shine lipstick, €20, Arnotts; Brown Thomas


Personal Chef

Give them a magic cooking pot that combines pressure cooking and slow cooking and serves up perfect rice, soup, spag bol, stews, desserts and more.

It knows it all, so they don’t have to. Sage The Fast Slow Pro, €269.99, Brown Thomas; Arnotts; Harvey Norman; Currys


Neven Noel

Neven Maguire's Perfect Irish Christmas

You might want to hand over this gift a little early, so the recipient has time to get the tips for cooking the perfect Christmas Day dinner. And to let them know that they’re cooking it, perhaps.

‘Neven Maguire’s Perfect Irish Christmas’ is published by Gill Books


Adorable Disney

Kiehl's Disney

Get their Disney fix at Kiehl’s this year, with Mickey Mouse on the packaging and gorgeous Disney totes and gift bags to fill with their favourite products.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, €54, Kiehl’s shops, 35 Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts; Debenhams

Get Colouring

Let them join the kids at the table with their adult colouring book — very calming, by all accounts. Adult colouring book, 2.99, Lidl


Scarlet Season

Red is a key Christmas colour, and Chanel has the shade not only through its make-up offering, but in its packaging too. Check out this neon nail polish for a red-hot stocking filler.  Chanel nail polish in Scenario, €25, Chanel counters nationwide


Lady Lavery

Women of any age will adore  this Lavery Lovers scarf.  Joanne Hynes scarf, €95, Dunnes Stores


Whiskey Galore

Break him out of his comfort zone with an  Irish whiskey he hasn't tried before. Teeling's, West Cork, Prizefight or the award-winning Dingle - you're spoilt for choice. Dingle Single Malt release whiskey, €65, SuperValu nationwide 


Photo Fix 

For your budding photographer.  Or those who never get their photos printed. Instant pics.  Lots of fun.  Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, €94,  Harvey Norman


Top Travel

Topflight has ski, sun, cruises - something for everyone in one single voucher.  Topflight gift voucher, see


Over The Shoulder

For the architect in your life, or the lover of all-black ensembles. Chances are, she's a big Cos fan. Shoulder bag, €135, Cos 


Live Like The Stars

Newbridge Silverware has just launched a range with American interior decorator to the stars, Carleton Varney. Informed by  his experience of living on a  grand scale, the range of  giftware, homewares, jewellery and accessories features  country-living-inspired motifs. This turtle dish is the ideal thing for after-dinner mints. Turtle dish, €55, Carleton Varney range, Newbridge Silverware,  see 


This dark-green shirt  has a nice hint of Christmas, and is the perfect thing to avoid Himself dressing up in a novelty Christmas jumper. Ralph Lauren shirt, €110, Arnotts 

Hands On

She can dot these mini hand creams around the house, for mindful self-care moments during the day.  L'Occitane Hand Cream Trio, €28, L'Occitane stores, or see 


Healing Honey

Help them to keep their voice limber for the Christmas sing-song. Manuka Health MGO 250+ Manuka Honey, €33, health-food stores and pharmacies nationwide


Cuff ’Em

These wrist warmers will add a touch of Dr Zhivago to any outfit.

Helen Moore wrist warmers, €36, Arnotts


Silk Secrets

Grandmothers have the best beauty secrets. A silk pillow is a favourite: anti-ageing, anti-bed head and anti-sleep crease.

Silk slip pillowcase, €95, The Marvel Room, Brown Thomas


French Fancy

Sharpen up his shave and shower with this kit from Vichy.

Vichy Homme gift set, €29.95, available nationwide


Couture Camping

The gift of a trip to the glamping at Dromquinna, near Kenmare, Co Kerry, was always far from slumming it, but John Brennan’s new Hideaway is a world apart. The tent sits on the edge of the lake, with breathtaking views, an en-suite bathroom, a mini bar and breakfast to the door.

You know they’ll love it.

Dromquinna Hideaway, €350 from May-September, see


Velvet Slippers

Velvet is a huge trend. We like it best in our bedwear.

Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic slippers, €5, Dunnes Stores


Madly Millie

Your young millennial is most likely mad about Millie Mackintosh. Make their Christmas with a gift set of eyeshadows and a pencil, in her trademark pink-to-greige shades.

Millie Mackintosh Beauty Icons set, €13, Boots


Taking The Tablet

Many men still balk at a man bag, but every tablet needs a cover, and this beautiful Irish tablet bag is a stunning piece for the man with a eye for design.

Alison Conneely tablet bag, €150, Design Ireland,  see


Can’t Beat Kellys

Generations of Irish families can’t be wrong. Send the family you love to Kelly’s in Rosslare, Co Wexford.

Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa vouchers, tel: (053) 913-2114, or see


Steam Treat

The L’Oreal Steampod is the straightener for the super-sleek. This limited-edition black-and-gold edition is only gorgeous.

L’Oreal Steampod 2.0 Midnight In Paris limited edition, €200,

L’Oreal salons nationwide


Bag Lady

Ensure you buy local at least once this Christmas.

Ale Walsh box bag, RRP €225, Kildare Village price, €151, So Collective, Kildare Village


Soft Soak

Send them for a long soak with a gift set from Waterford’s

award-winning Wild Oats. Bath milk and soaps in either claret, with neroli and lemongrass; or bone-easing holly, infused with cypress and rosemary.

Wild Oats gift boxes, €24.95, see


Winter Woolly

It has to be done. To him.

Man’s Christmas jumper, €11.99, Aldi


Cashing In

Give your man a touch of luxury for his day-to-day look.

Cashmere scarf, €67, Marks & Spencer


Hola, Mexico

Make Mexico possible this winter with a Tui travel gift voucher. All-inclusive hotels, white beaches, warm seas. They fly direct from Dublin, too!

Dublin-Mexico, 14 nights all-inclusive, June 2018, from €1,779pps. Tui travel gift vouchers are available and redeemable only at Tui holiday stores


Oooh, Atelier

The Brown Thomas Marvel Room has fragrances from French perfumers, Atelier Cologne. Choose the scent to suit their character — from fresh and lively to spicy and exotic — and a leather casing to suit their taste.

Atelier Cologne, from €70, exclusive to The Marvel Room, Brown Thomas Dublin


Charmed Life

Giving someone a charm means you’re giving them a gift they will remember all their life. Not to mention sorting out your gifts to that person for your lifetime, as you build their charm collection.

Pandora charm, €39,


L’Eau, Eau, Eau

This year’s rethink of the classic Chanel No 5 was L’Eau, a zesty, lively affair, available for Christmas in a limited-edition 100ml plus a handy, handbag-sized twist-and-spray 20ml.

Chanel No 5 L’Eau Gift Box, €170, Chanel counters nationwide


Be More VB

Victoria Beckham told LIFE that she wouldn’t leave the house without applying the dewy glow of her Morning Aura. So why should your loved-one?

Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme, €87, Brown Thomas


Armani Magic

This two-tier make-up palette has every bit they might want, from foundation to glittery eyeshadow and lip gloss. Don’t dare call them essentials — these are pure luxuries.

Giorgio Armani The Holiday Palette, €140, Brown Thomas


Bubble Up

For any new homeowners in your life, allow them to celebrate in style with this beautiful set.

Perrier Jouet Grand Brut gift set with two Champagne flutes, €80,

The Marvel Room, Brown Thomas


Do The InterContinental

Afternoon Tea, Sunday brunch, a spa break from the kids: they can do what they will with a gift voucher for the D4 Intercontinental.

InterContinental Hotel gift vouchers, tel: (01) 665-4000, or see


Take Me Home

Give them the taste of home when they’re far from home. Just Like Home hampers ship from Cork to as far as Vietnam, Canada and New Zealand, and can contain anything from the tea-and-biscuit basics to the full cupboard of goodies and essentials.

Just Like Home hamper, €49.99 plus relevant postage, see


Blown Away

For Christmas, LanaiBLO comes in a very limited-edition Electric Candy pink colour, which can be personalised so no one can ‘borrow’ it on you without giving it back.

Personalised LanaiBLO Limited Edition Electric Candy, €114.99. Free delivery nationwide, see


Cheek To Cheek

Your smart young woman knows all about Zoeva, and this palette is all about cheek chic.

Zoeva Spectrum Blush Palette in Coral, €17.99, Arnotts


Long In The Tooth

Bluetooth headphones will impress the young techy in your life, and bring the noise level in your house down. Wins for all.

Bluetooth headphones, €40, Marks & Spencer


Present The Prevage

She swears by this stuff, and she’d love it if you splashed out for it.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Eye Serum Holiday Set, €100, Arnotts


Stylish Slippers

Men are too often victims of the novelty Christmas gift. This classic grey pair of felt mule slippers will make a welcome change.

Paul Galvin slippers, €25, Dunnes Stores


Scent It Like Beckham

He gets you Victoria’s make-up, you buy him David’s scent and shower gel. Seems like a fair trade.

Beckham Instinct Sport set, €17.95, available nationwide


Wick Stick

This elegant candlestick is just the thing to dress up the Christmas dinner table. Candlestick, €125, Newbridge Silverware, see


Caviar For The Lady

Day cream, night cream and two shots of serum for anyone who knows anything about top-notch skincare at a rock-bottom price.

Lacura Caviar Illumination Gift Set, €17.99, Aldi


Chauffeur To The Conrad

The Conrad Hotel on Dublin’s Earlsfort Terrace has a selection of festive afternoon-tea packages, but check out the Ultimate Champagne and Chauffeur option. Collection by chauffeur-driven car from Grafton Street, whisked to the Conrad, afternoon tea with bubbles and then driven home. Bliss.

Ultimate Chauffeur and Champagne Afternoon Tea, from €120pp, Conrad Hotel, D2, tel: (01) 602-8900, or see


Nespresso Goes Big

For the person who always gripes that an espresso just isn’t enough. The Vertuo machine makes full, big cups of coffee from Nespresso pods. It’s what they’ve been waiting for.

Nespresso Vertuo machine, €239, Nespresso boutiques, or see


Paris Chic

A pretty palette of nude eyeshadows for the woman who fancies herself to be a Parisienne at heart.

Bourjois Palettes les Nudes, €14.95, available nationwide


Over The Rainbow

A creamy-white glaze, hints of duck-egg blue and flashes of 24k-carat gold turn this Irish hand-made plate into a work of art.

KAROart rainbows plate, €99, see


Screen Time

Take the guilt out of sticking little ones in front of a screen. French brand Marbotic combines old and new, creating the ideal learning experience for kids, mixing traditional wooden toys with smart tablets.

Marbotic iPad smart letters, €60, The Marvel Room, Brown Thomas


Shine Bright like a Diamond

Nigel O’Reilly was awarded Best Established Jeweller at the RDS Craft Awards this year. This stunning Orion diamond and sapphire double-halo ring, handcrafted from 18-carat rose gold, has a 0.73-carat diamond, 24 sapphires and 30 white round brilliant diamonds. You will never need to buy her another gift.

Nigel O’Reilly ring, €9,000, Cobwebs, 7 Quay Lane, Galway, tel: (091) 564-388, or see


Gin-gle Bells

Give them a new favourite gin from one of the many now distilled in Ireland. Choose from the likes of Boyle’s, Bonac 24, Dingle or Gunpowder, which gets its name from the gunpowder tea in the ingredients list.

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, €42, available nationwide


Tote-tally Terrific

This black leather tote will take him from boardroom to bar.

Cos tote bag, €173, Cos


The Sun Way

Buy them a Sunway gift voucher online and they get to take a break, while you get 10pc off the price.

Sunway Holiday gift voucher, see


Trilogy Trinket

The New Zealand skincare company feted for its Rosehip Oil had its 15th birthday this year, and this collection of travel-sized face oils is a greatest-hits celebration.

Trilogy Celebrate Your Skin Limited Edition Sampler Set, €26.95, available nationwide



For the little lady in your life, the Quarto books series, Little People, Big Dreams, tells stories of female legends; just the thing to set her on the path to greatness.

Coco Chanel book, €12.50, The Marvel Room, Brown Thomas


Choc Faves

Proof that selection boxes are not just for the kids is the Cadbury Christmas collection of firm favourites — in their original wrappers.

Cadbury’s Retro Selection Box, €9.19, available nationwide


Put A Ring On It

If you’re planning on popping the question this Christmas, surprise her with something a little different. Irish jeweller MoMuse’s new collection of fine jewellery has some stunning options.

18-carat yellow-gold ring with sapphire and diamonds, €3,400, MoMuse, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, D2, tel: (01) 707-1763, or see


Magical Merrion

If we’re talking Christmas, we may as well talk New Year’s Eve. The Merrion Hotel offers a five-course dinner for two, a live swing band on the big night, and two nights’ B&B. Celebrate and then chill. Hello, 2018.

Merrion Hotel New Year’s Getaway Celebration, €516.50pps, tel: (01) 603-0600, or see


Softly, Softly

Socks will never fail as a gift — as long as they’re cashmere socks, that is.

Coat, €675; hoodie, €260; leggings, €295; socks, €45, all cashmere, Monaghan’s, 4-5 Royal Hibernian Way, D2, or see


Rachel Bakes

Help them through the dark days of January with some comforting baking from LIFE’s Rachel Allen.

‘Rachel Allen Home Baking’ is published by HarperCollins


Oodles Of Doodles

We love the cute doodle print on this pyjama set for kids.

Print pyjama set, €14, River Island


Washed Up

Classic, timeless, brown leather accessories are always a good bet

for men.

J by Jasper Conran washbag, €57, Debenhams


Y Not?

A crisp, chic, cool YSL fragrance for him. With a bonus man-bag-sized spray.

YSL Y Man Gift Set, €64,

YSL counters nationwide


Very Vichy

The smarter older woman knows about Vichy Neovadiol — and it shows.

Vichy Neovadiol Compensating Complex gift set, €40, available nationwide


All About Arran

Artistic types know all about Arran Street East. Send them there to learn how to throw a pot, or go to the Design Ireland site and pick up some of its cool pottery.

Arran Street East beaker set in lemon, €56, see


Dyson Dries

Wrap up the Dyson hairdryer for the one you love; it is now available housed in a selection of handsome cases, including this smashing silver option.

Dyson hairdryer in silver case, €429,

Harvey Norman; Arnotts, or see


Jolly Eyes

The case is a red-and-gold Christmas delight, and the eyeshadows within are pure glam — including a new-launch hyper-glittery “diamond dust” shade. Bobbi Brown Caviar and Rubies Eye Shadow Palette, €60, Brown Thomas; Arnotts;

House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16


Strike A Pose

For Instagram husbands — now he has no excuse to claim an impromptu photo shoot has been rained off.

Waterproof camera, €90, Debenhams


Woof Woof

A very snuggly pullover for their four-legged friend.

Zoofari dog jumper, €4.99, Lidl


Go Glenlo

Of course, you could send them to stay at Glenlo Abbey in Co Galway, but you could also treat them to a falconry experience on the hotel grounds for €75pp.

Glenlo Abbey vouchers,

Tel: (091) 519-600, or see


Naturally Nude

It’s the perfect nude lipstick. If she asks how you know this, say that Victoria Beckham said so.

Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Matte Lipstick in Victoria, €46, Brown Thomas


Ear, Ear

Apple AirPods reinvent the wireless experience, and will complete their iWardrobe.

Apple Airpods, €179, Compub stores, or see


Duvet Day

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a new pyjama set in the stocking. This pair is almost cute enough to wear out.

Top, €40; bottoms, €40, both Marks & Spencer


Absolue Genius

The radiance-retriever from Lancome. Its Absolue Precious Cells day cream in full size, plus companion travel-sizes.

Lancome Absolue Precious Cells Christmas Gift Set, €179.50, Lancome counters nationwide


Make It Marker

Obviously, an overnight or two would be a bonus, but a trip to the Marker Hotel’s day spa is a treat in  itself. The Head-to-Mistle-toes package includes a massage, foot spa and facial, all 30 minutes, followed by a glass of bubbly in the relaxation room.

Head-to-Mistle-toes package, €140, from now until Jan 31,

The Marker Hotel, D2, see



This felt bedside organiser is a handsome gift with a hint. It securely hangs from under the mattress and is roomy enough for a Kindle, iPad, remotes, their glasses, and all the other stuff you pick up after them.

Bedside Pocket, €25, see


In The Wild

For the hipster in your life.

Men’s Society Festival survival kit, €36, Arnotts


All That Glitters

This gold designer-lookalike handbag is the perfect stocking filler.

Bag, €8, Penneys


No7 Heaven

‘Cleanse, tone and moisturise’ is so 20th Century. Your millennial wants micellar water, exfoliator, mask and moisturiser.

No7 Beautiful Skin set, €20, Boots


Baby Blues

These earrings are the ultimate in elegance. We call this K-Middy blue. Earrings, €69, Pandora


Zoo Time

You can come too, perhaps. And only if you buy them a family pass for Dublin Zoo.

Dublin Zoo Family Pass, €180, see

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