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Tried and Tested: Gift guide for Christmas

It really is easy to buy something that's both useful and lovely

FOR THE TEEN OR THE TWEEN: LUSH

€64.95 *****

You can't beat this brand for the creativity of its packaging. The 12 Days of Christmas box is full of seasonal treats, from bath bombs to body lotion to soap. We love the Snow Angel Bath Melt best.

FOR THE HAIR QUEEN: KEVIN.MURPHY

€44 *****

Heaven Scent is a terrific prezzie for the fine-haired among us. The shampoo and conditioner combo is sulphate free, are full-sized samples, and are accompanied by a fragrant soy candle. That's a very good price!

FOR DAD OR DUDE: BULLDOG

€25.50 *****

This stuff is as good as the stuff the lads try to steal from the ladies. I like the Expert Skincare Set of four full-sized samples which come in a Limited Edition Collectible Tin. The shave balm is super nice - I mean, manly.

FOR THE YUMMY MUMMY: L'OCCITANE

€143 *****

The Divine Skincare Collection is lovingly presented, and there is little that is lovelier than the centrepiece of this gift, the Divine Cream. Skincare mavens have declared this to be a miracle cream, and with addition of eye cream and cleansing foam, it's a great way to take the line for a spin.

FOR THE BEAUTIFULLY ETHICAL: THE BODY SHOP

€23 *****

In a box shaped like a schoolbook, The Body Shop are offering a taster of three of their lines - vanilla, cranberry and glazed apple - and donating to War Child with every sale. Included is a sample of the legendary Body Butter.

FOR THE NATURAL BEAUTY: BURT'S BEES

€24.95 *****

Can beat the Bees for effective skincare without the additives. The Best of Burt comes in a gorgeous tin (we do love a good tin!) that contains the classics, including the Beeswax Lip Balm and the Coconut foot Cream.

FOR THE GAL ABOUT TOWN: BENEFIT

€43 *****

As ever, the offering from this lot are very stylish. For use and value, the Fun-Size Flirt collection is the business: the samples of their bestsellers may be mini, but they go a long way and they are portable.

Don't panic! So many beauty brands have upped their games as regards presentation, as well as what they are presenting. These are five star brands for everyone on your list.


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