From brilliant stocking fillers to pure luxury, our resident expert is back with her pick of the gifts she'd be thrilled to receive this December...

Slip {Pure Silk Pillowcase} - 20” x 30”, £85

Cult Beauty actually sell two types of silk pillowcase – both are excellent. The only reason I’ve chosen this one is that it comes in so many different colours. Last time, I bought a white silk pillowcase - and as the rest of my bedlinen is white, it was all too easy to bundle it into a 60-degree wash. Not recommended! So why silk? Well, it helps prevent those annoying sleep creases and gives you a good chance of emerging from the sheets with your hairstyle intact. Also, unlike a cotton case, a silk one won’t wick away moisture from the face. What could be better? A luxurious present that reminds your friend/relative daily of you.

Sachajuan {Thickening Shampoo} - 100ml for £10 or 250ml for £20

OK, perhaps not necessarily the most tactful of presents for a friend/relative with thinning hair, but I can guarantee she’ll be very grateful after using it. Who knew a shampoo could make such a difference? Sachajuan, despite its Mediterranean overtones, is a haircare range from Stockholm. The {Thickening Shampoo} – which is sulphate-free - contains algae extracts that give extra whoosh even to normal hair. Also highly recommended: the intensive repair shampoo.

Omorovicza {Rejuvenating Cream} - 50ml for £115

What is it with product labels? I don’t want to be ‘rejuvenated’, thanks very much – just look as good as I can. Oh well. Just think of it as a repair cream. This one isn’t cheap, but you could spend a LOT more and not necessarily find one nearly as good. Suits all skin types, and particularly effective if your friend/relative has been overdoing the retinol. It’s rich but sinks in fast, so no tackiness. Comes with a spatula. Contains wild carrot (to boost collagen), hazelnut peptide (to firm and lift), plum almond oil (to protect against free radicals), apple pectin (to hydrate and retain moisture) plus various vitamins and minerals.

Kate Somerville {Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream} - 50ml for £55

A bit of a cheat, this one, because it suits ALL ages (my 30+ daughter and I are great fans.) Speaking for myself (60+), I’ve never liked gloopy moisturisers – I want something that sinks in fast and leaves my skin feeling soft and almost dry. Surprisingly, the cream is very light, almost watery, but it packs a great wallop when it comes to moisturising, hydration and healthy glow. Comes in a pump-action pot. Contains goat-milk lactose (for moisture), goat-milk polypeptides (to restore the skin’s balance), jojoba and avocado oils (for hydration and smoothness), aloe vera (for calming), grape-seed oil and vitamin C (to defend against free radicals).

Nudestix {Lip and Cheek Pencil} in ‘Blush’ - £20

Dangerous, of course, to buy a lipstick for a friend. But I’ve included this one because – unless your friend/relative is addicted to bright slashes of colour – this shade suits nearly everyone aged 50+, especially those with white, grey or blonde hair. ‘Blush’ is more than a neutral – it’s a kind of pale peachy-pink, and it lights up the face. It comes in a smart metal box, with a sharpener that has its own cap (such a good idea). Unlike some big pencils I’ve tried, this one’s soft, hydrating and super-easy to apply with accuracy. Plus you can use it on your cheeks. Tip: if you blot the first application and reapply, the colour stays on all day.

Simple Human {Sensor Mirror}, with touch control brightness - 8”, £179.99

Why would anyone spend so much on a magnifying mirror? The simplest answer is that once you’ve tried this, you’ll never want to go back to an ordinary one. It’s a revelation: that subtle contouring - which looked so effective in the bathroom - is suddenly exposed as garish Mohican stripes. Thought you’d blended properly under the jawline? Done a good job of camouflaging wrinkles and pores? Think again…

The secret is a number of micro-reflectors, surgical-grade LEDs and a colour-rendering index which - together - closely simulate natural daylight. You also get 5x magnification, and the mirror’s brightness and angle are adjustable. Best of all, it’s cordless - a full charge via the USB cable (included) lasts about 5 weeks – so you can use it anywhere. Anyone over 50 should love this gizmo: looks great (I prefer the silver version) and all but guarantees a flawless make up job. 

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