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  • Stefan Howarth

Christmas Gift Guide 2020

It's now officially that time of year, where we are all desperately searching the highstreets, and online stores, for the perfect gift. I often spend some time looking around for sweet little gifts that the recipient will love before I actually start buying things, and gift guides are the perfect place to look and gain inspiration, so I have decided to jump on the bandwagon as they say, and create a festive list of my favourite products or brands. All are perfect for gifting, so grab a cup of tea, curl up on the sofa, and lets do some festive shopping together.

Bespoke London Fragrance for Men

There's something lovely about receiving fine fragrance as a gift, discovering a new decadent scent during the festive season which helps create lasting memories for the wearer, not only during the festive season itself but also into the new year. If you are looking for a high quality brand of male fragrance that is unique and not as common as many other brands (lets face it, we don't all want to smell the same!), then I would recommend Bespoke London, which is available at Superdrug. Not only are they absolutely affordable, they have created several blends of fragrance that are unique, distinguished and luxurious. Scents that could easily become a perfect signature scent for that man in your life. I have worn a few of the Bespoke London fragrances, and below are two of my favourites.


Bespoke London Caramel Amber and Cashmere captures a masculine base of soft cashmere, sandalwood and vetiver with warm notes of rose and black pepper. I find this a comforting fragrance, and despite having rose and vetiver, it comes across as a strong masculine yet warm and sultry scent. This is perfect for everyday wear yet it would feel at home being worn on nights out, or date night! This is my favourite scent by Bespoke London, because it makes me feel wrapped up in a comfy scent with a string masculine twist, definitely worth a try!


Bespoke London Black Suede and Fougere is a lot fresher than the previously mention scent, with fruity and aromatic notes with complementing suede and amber scent, a luxurious wood and spicy scent with a cool rosemary, amber and lavender twist. Now this fragrance is definitely for everyday wear, with its clean, fresh, easy fragrance. Perhaps this could be for that man that is not a fan of fussy scents, yet they still with to smell fresh and clean, this could be perfect. I have worn this for work many times, and is the perfect after shower spray. The mix of notes have created a truly refreshing scent with hints of masculine cool spice which any man (and woman!) would love.


Rollasole Footwear

I'm going to start by telling you that Rollasole has already become my new best friend! The idea behind Rollasole, which is a foldable, high quality yet super stylish shoe, was created by Matt Horan after his girlfriend always complained of walking home in High Heels (we've all been there!). When I first heard the concept, I was intrigued, but as soon as the super comfortable, well made and very compact shoes came, I knew I'd needed more!


Rollasole Footwear are the perfect back-up shoe to carry around in your handbag or clutch for those days or evenings when you know you are going to be in sky-high heels. Gone are the days of walking home barefoot or in pain, as with a super quick unfold (honestly, they are so compact!), you can switch shoes to a comfy flat anywhere! They are not only stylish, but they are very light in weight, comfortable, easy to store and carry around as they fold nicely, and they also come with heel inserts so that the shoes fit perfectly and comfortably, as well as with a little dust-bag to store, or carry your shoes. Rollasole have lots of different styles (below are two of my favourites) which will look fabulous no matter what the occasion, from running to the supermarket, or to change into at the end of a day in heels to finish the evening. If you are a heel fan and sometimes struggle to make the day in 5 inches, then these bad-boys are for you. Not a heel fan? I would still recommend these due to comfort, flexibility and style.




Dick on a stick

Now this is the perfect gag gift for that funny friend that likes some D*ck! A fully erect, ready to eat, 6" premium waffle 'dick on a stick', delivered right to your door, or anonymously to your recipients door if desired. Dick On A Stick have different flavours to choose from, and as someone who has tried the D myself, can testify they taste as good as they look, lets face it, dick doesn't always look this tasty, right?!

This is such a funny little gift for that joker in your life, think cheeky best friends, brides to be or fans of yummy treats. Not only will it induce a good giggle, but its a tasty and unusual treat that will create a memory for who ever receives it. Who would you send a dick too?


Potion Paris Fragrance Potion Paris is a magical fragrance company who use natural ingredients to create luxurious fragrances in enchanting vials, oh and they are cruelty, paraben and sulphate free, fabulous! There's definitely something special about receiving fine fragrance as a gift, discovering a new decadent scent, and a gift from Potion Paris would make an unbelievable present for that someone special, whether it's your mum, girlfriend, best friend or colleague.


With decadent fragrance formulations, beautiful jewel like vials that could be classed as intricate fine jewellery and sustainable morals, there's something alluring and special about the Potion Paris brand. I recently tested there Discovery Sample Set where I got to discover all 7 luxurious, cruelty-free and toxin free fragrances, and as soon as I sampled the first little vial I was transported away. The scents are so decadent but not overpowering, they ooze quality and luxury with clever formulations that last all day on my skin. My favourite so far is the Amber, Praline & Wood Seduction, as the name suggests, this is a seductive scent described as a Potion so delightfully intoxicating one falls immediately in love (with the scent of course, still no man in sight for me!). It's seductive, warm, strong and reassuring all at once, the scent, like good fragrance should, seems to just wrap around me as I wear it which shows the quality and powerfully clever formulation. Amber, Praline & Wood Seduction is a powdery fragrance centred on vanilla, surrounded by cedar wood on a background of musk and dry wood (it even sounds passionate and romantic!).


However, not only do Potion Paris create powerful, luxurious and passionate fragrance that would enhance your life, that you'd enjoy wearing, but they have created a stunningly unique vial that can be seen below. Adding to the allure of the fragrance and brand, this vial, along with a selection of fine scent would make a beautiful and unique gift (totally a gift for me as I am in love!).

Meliscents

With COVID19 having us practicing social distancing and self isolation, many of us are finding ways to enhance our home, and give us a little joy during these difficult and uncertain times. One of my favourite tips is to add fragrance into the home using wax melts. My favourite? Vegan Soy Melts by Meliscents.

Wax melts by @meliscents are vegan, eco friendly, 100% handmade and smell absolutely divine The fragrance beautifully fills your home adding comfort and ambience, perfect for while you’re isolating at home yourself or for gifts to family and friends. Perhaps relax with a book next to a melting melt as it fills the room with fine fragrance, or melt a fresh scent as you spring clean your home. Meliscents have a huge selection and also currently have a fabulous range just for Christmas. A perfect little gift for house-proud friends or family into fine fragrance.


Pixi Make-up & Skincare

One of my favourite makeup and beauty brands has to be Pixi Beauty, and if you follow my social media @HOWSTE then you may have seen I am often getting glam and playing with new make-up looks using the brands amazing gift sets. I personally adore receiving, and therefore gifting Pixi Beauty products as I find them extremely high quality, and they do the most beautiful and luxurious collections that make you feel like a child in a candy shop! Pixi Beauty is a cult brand with a huge following which is testament to their quality and whimsical collections. Think ethereal highlighters, natural contours, eyeshadows in an array of shades and glowy, healthy skin, which is a Pixi Beauty staple. If you know a makeup or skincare fan that loves a healthy glow and whimsical products, then perhaps some of the Pixi Beauty Gift Sets would make a perfect treat, its definitely a brand I would recommend. They have helped me look the best I can, and feel fabulous for many years now, and hopefully many years to come.


GenderTag Jewellery

Expressing who I am without using any words with my @gendertag bracelet, a piece of jewellery that helps celebrate our LGBTQ+ Pride with gender defining Swarovski Crystals & handmade, high quality finishings. This is a specific gift for that someone special within the LGBTQ+ family, or perhaps something for yourself in support of the community.


The concept of GenderTag is to communicate who you are, easily, visibly and beautifully without having to tell everyone verbally. The freedom to be YOU and the right of self expression is a human right we all should cherish and never take for granted! GenderTag have a huge array of bracelets and accessories that you can customise to suit you as a personal, yet understated celebration of who you are. I love mine with the orange crystal, it stands for me being gay. It’s personal, it’s subtle, and can help people in the community know who you are, or identify as, without saying a word. Plus I would like to add, they are a small business, and as always, I like to champion smaller companies, helping us all thrive together.



HOWSTE Store

Well my own gift guide naturally had to include my own little store, right? My HowsteFashion on eBay Store has a curated range of on-trend makeup and beauty products added every month, as well as a selection of fashion and accessories from my own closet.


Personally I would definitely recommend some of the makeup items, perfect for gifting this season, as well as the fragrance bargains I have recently added from Jimmy Choo and Sarah Jessica Parker, but be quick, I do notice they sell fast! Don't worry if makeup and fragrance is not what you are looking for however, I do have some fashion available too. Such as two Moschino jumpers, a stunning Vintage Christian Dior jacket and skirt from the 1980s, as well as a few pairs of brand new shoes (Size 8 of course!). I can also source items of interest for you if needed, so if I don't have a beauty item listed, don't worry, drop me a message and I can see what I can do.




*Some products in this post were gifted. Please note that all thoughts and opinions are my own.