Well, friends, it finally happened: I relaunched the blog! It has taken me waaaay longer than I anticipated, but it’s finally exactly what I’ve always wanted it to be. I’m hoping that I can make it a valuable resource for comprehensive reviews across categories (SPF! Acids!!) and will be focusing not just on skincare, but also wellness, makeup and, yes, even the business of beauty. But for my very first post of the New Era of HH I am doing the only thing I can in mid-December: a very special HH Gift Guide.
I imagine that most of you are nothing like me and have already finished your holiday gift shopping. If however, you are still desperately scrambling for ideas or are Russian and don’t need to worry about gifts until December 31, then you’ve come to the right place. Frankly, the reason I wanted to do this gift guide is because I wanted to embrace shopping small, shopping local and buying things that are truly unique and special. Which is why I have compiled this entire guide at Takamichi Beauty Room. If you follow me on Instagram (and at this point I presume that nearly all of you do), you know that my love of Takamichi runs deep. It’s an exquisitely curated, delightfully chic and quirky gem of a shop that sells some of the most exquisite and impossible to find treasures around. If you are local to New York, I strongly suggest visiting it in person, but for the rest of you, make sure you order by Friday for free delivery before Christmas with the code HOLIDAY. And now, let’s get into it!
FOR THE FRIEND WHO HAS IT ALL
Even if you aren’t friends with any of the kids from Succession, all of us have that friend who is utterly impossible to shop for. Maybe they truly have it all or maybe they are simply very difficult to impress. When trying to come up with gifts for these kinds of people, the biggest mistake is trying to get them something they think need. Instead, go for the one thing they never knew they needed.
Nothing fits that bill better than the Lorenzi Toothbrush Protector. Why yes, it is indeed a $180 cover for your toothbrush. Made from tempered glass and gleaming chrome, it looks and feels substantial and expensive. It’s also practical: it will keep your brush safe and clean during travel and will turn dental hygiene into a delight instead of a chore. It’s worth noting that since the Wall Street Journal featured this nifty little gadget in its gift guide, it has been perpetually sold out (like with many of the items on this list, Takamichi is the only place to find it in the US), but you can always keep it in mind for your hard to please dad’s birthday.
Candles can seem like an obvious gift, but not when they also happen to be the exquisite works of art by Patrick Coard Paris. Unscented and incorporating metal inserts, these are candles they’ll never want to burn (although doing so might just be the ultimate luxury). Of course, luxury doesn’t have to be extravagant and expensive. The delightfully chic and minimalist Blackbird Incense will look right at home in the chicest of spaces and will help bring some calming zen into a daily routine. After all, the gift of inner peace might be the greatest luxury of all.
FOR THE ECO WARRIOR
They care about the planet and you care about them. You care about the planet as well, of course, which is why these gifts will make feel as warm and happy as a hug from Greta Thunberg.
I always thought that solid shampoo was too earnest and not likely to work for my hair. The HiBar Solid Shampoo prove me decidedly wrong. It’s chicly (and sustainably) packaged and made my hair delightfully full and bouncy. Add in the fun f.e.t.e. Toothbrush, Weldental Toothpaste tabs (great for travel), Brilliant Black Dental Floss from Terra & Co., the supremely elegant Leaf Razor and the cute f.e.t.e. Cotton swabs and they’ll have the perfectly stocked and perfectly elegant bathroom of their dreams. And if you’re aiming for something a little more elevated, go for the stunning Sophie Masson candles. Not only do they smell divine, once the candle burns down, the beautiful, handmade porcelain vessel can be used as a teacup, brush holder or reused in scores of other ways.
FOR THE HOSTS WITH THE MOST.
They host the best parties. It’s only right that you bring them the best gifts. Soap may seem like too generic a gift for friends that special, but not when it’s a jewel box of stunning glycerine soaps from Ortigia. And if your hosts have a sense of humor and/or an affinity for all things Japanese, they will definitely appreciate the delightfully quirky, artisanal soap-on-a-rope from Tamanohada. For something a little more traditional and butch, but no less chic, go with the gorgeously French Fraternite soap from Le Baigneur and Hibi Incense Matches, which would work perfectly for the guest bathroom.
FOR THE SCENT SENSUALIST
I always thought giving perfume as a gift was a bad idea. The fact is, however, is that if you know the recipient’s taste, the right (niche, interesting) perfume can be the perfect gift. I am utterly obsessed with Takamichi’s selection. The founder makes a point of only stocking the most interesting, unusual and rare scents around, all of which also happen to be absolutely dreamy. And for the true perfume aficionado, they even stock exquisite vintage perfume bottles.
Takamichi only happens to be the only place outside of Paris that sells the utterly divine Iunx perfumes. The brainchild of my favorite nose, the genius Olivia Giacobetti, I first discovered Iunx in 2005 while strolling around St. Germain and instantly fell in love. The shop eventually shuttered and was recently relaunched with the same exquisite aesthetic and divine scents. I know that Takamichi are planning on bringing in a couple more scents and they are truly worth a try.
Takamichi is also where I discovered a couple of thoroughly cool, niche perfume brands. ES-84 Moment Total has a deliciously architectural and cheeky packaging and a sexy, fresh scent. Meanwhile, the German brand Aer creates 100% natural, botanical perfumes with heady, complex scents. My favorite is the sexily smoky Nagarmotha.
FOR THE SKINCARE JUNKIE.
That’s all of us, right? So yes, this might be the gift you get yourself, but Takamichi has a truly unique selection of supremely effective and elegant skincare. I will be doing a proper review of Mary Allan skincare very soon, but if you have been following me on Instagram, you’ll know I’m obsessed. There honestly isn’t a single product of Mary’s I’ve tried that I didn’t love, but a great place to start would be the ultra-nourishing Umi-Budo Phyto Caviar Elixir or the facelift in a jar Beauty Balm Sleeping Mask.
Then there is the incredibly clever, fermentation-based Biophile skincare (review coming as well, but I give my first impressions on Instagram) – a simple, yet sophisticated, 3-step system that creates dramatic results. And finally, if you’re looking for something cool, unusual and inexpensive, the cult Quanta Derm body lotion was developed by homeopathic doctors based on colostrum and is so gentle that it’s used by Italian hospitals.
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