What should be on your wish list this year…

Hannah Betts’s Better…not younger: What should be on your wish list this year…

  • Hannah Betts shares advice for purchasing a memorable beauty gift this Xmas 
  • UK-based columnist reveals a selection of party hair accessories 
  • Dior’s Lip Glow Colour Reviver Balm is this week’s cosmetic craving 

Christmas would not be Christmas without a bevy of beauty joys — certainly not a Betts Christmas.

My parents had five children, three of them daughters, ensuring that the festive season became a beauteous riot.

At eight, I received my first proper perfume — a demure flacon of Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs — and a hairbrush with my name on it, financed by my Victorian great-grandmother so I could get in my hundred strokes a day.

Later, in the wake of edgily manicured Uma Thurman’s star turn in Pulp Fiction, my academic father queued for Chanel’s Rouge Noir, while my mother picked out No. 5 bath oil.

To this day, I cannot think of a more sublime twin offering.

UK-based beauty columnist Hannah Betts, shares advice for purchasing a memorable beauty gift this Christmas (file image)

For where the unthinking beauty present can be a ghastly platitude — a vat of rash-inducing bubble bath, say, or some biscuit-scented candle — so the truly beautiful one will be remembered for ever.

What should you buy this year for the woman you wish to delight, or what hints might you drop yourself?

Let’s put beauty where it belongs: as your ‘main thing’ (‘main thing’ being a Betts family term for your big-ticket item.)

I know what my choice would be this Christmas, were money, and emotionally blackmailing my boyfriend, no object. Behold, Aromatherapy Associates Moments To Treasure (£225, aromatherapyassociates.com), a ‘chest of self-care’, as the essential oil gurus call it.

Not everybody loves aromatherapy. Those who don’t are wrong.

There’s nothing quite like it for soothing your face, body and brain. And this is the top of the tree: a cornucopia of 20 award-winning potions and tools worth more than £360. I defy you not to weep with pleasure when you see the contents.

Or maybe you’re a high-tech grooming fiend, longing for a piece of state-of-the-art kit: say, a Shani Darden Facial Sculpting Wand (£345, cultbeauty.com) with sound-wave technology to firm muscles and boost circulation?

Or the multi-award-winning The Light Salon Boost LED Face Mask (£395, thelight-salon.com), clinically proven to increase the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid? It reduces wrinkle depth by 36 per cent in four weeks. It doesn’t come cheap, but neither does Botox.

Hair-wise, it’s got to be a Dyson. The Supersonic dryer is both super-speedy and super-protective (£299.99, dyson.co.uk). I’m also intrigued by the sound of the volume-doubling GHD Rise Hot Brush (£169, ghdhair.com). You simply hold it in place in regions you want to lend oomph to, such as the roots.

If you’re buying for a skin obsessive, might I recommend subscription service beautypie.com’s Pie Plus gift membership (£59 for a year, allowing them an unlimited monthly spend)?

Or, hit them with a pot of the ever-luxe Creme de la Mer (£70 for 15ml, cremede lamer.co.uk), or cult brand Augustinus Bader’s serum (£260, augustinusbader.com), eye cream (£150) or hand treatment (£40).

Hannah (pictured) said Guerlain’s heavenly Meteorites illuminating powder balls come in gold this Christmas in terms of make-up

I’d adore a great big bottle of Therapie’s multi-purpose skin soother, Cherish Skin Repair Serum (£68 for 200ml, cultbeauty.co.uk). Votary’s fresh-faced The Glow Kit is a winner, too (reduced from £143 to £95, votary.co.uk).

In terms of make-up, Guerlain’s heavenly Meteorites illuminating powder balls come in gold this Christmas (£49, guerlain.com). Ditto Hermes’s bewitchingly glinting, limited-edition Poudre d’Orfevre Face And Eye Illuminating Powder (£75, hermes.com). And I am yet to encounter any woman who fails to succumb to Hermes’s lipsticks (£58).

Palette lovers should seek out Pat McGrath’s riches. I crave the relatively low-key Pat’s Backstage Kit (£165, patmcgrath.com), but pros should head straight to her six-palette Celestial Odyssey Everything Kit (reduced from £230 to £150).

And Huda boasts so many eyeshadow collections, it fries my tiny mind. Try Mercury Retrograde (£58, hudabeauty.com) with its 18 cosmic shades, or the quieter, but no less beguiling, Rose Quartz Eyeshadow Palette (£58).

If eyeliner floats your boat, you’ll need VB’s Kajal Wardrobe (reduced from £142 to £128, victoriabeckhambeauty.com): seven creamy, highly pigmented pencils that dry down to a waterproof formula, encased in a very Posh black and gold pouch. Merry Christmas!


Boots sold out of Curel Deep Moisture Spray, the world’s first micro-ceramide spray, when it launched this month. One can see why. Ceramide is a moisturising substance that our skin produces less of as we age. Spritz this on over make-up for instant hydration and an improved complexion in the long-term. 




George Clooney (pictured) revealed he has been cutting his Caesar hairstyle himself with a clippers-plus-vacuum device called the Flowbee

Gorgeous George has hit the Big 6-0, stating, ‘Turning 60 is a bummer, but it’s that or dead.’ Last year, Clooney made headlines when he revealed that he has been cutting his Caesar hairstyle himself with a clippers-plus-vacuum device called the Flowbee (£151, flowbee.com), causing the product’s website to crash. The silver fox also champions the soap from Procter & Gamble’s heritage brand Ivory.


I’ve been biting my lips in the cold — never a good look. However, Dior’s ultra-flattering, limited-edition Lip Glow Colour Reviver Balm in Plum and Bronze are just what the doctor ordered,

They render my rather chapped, middle-aged mouth supermodel snoggable. Lip Glow boasts 97 per cent natural ingredients, and can be used as a lip balm, primer or (in my case) sheer lipstick.

The iridescent shine makes lips look fuller, plumper and altogether more luscious. Mine takes 20 years off my pout.



Contains a scarlet velvet bow and faux pearl hair slide (worth £43). I may be 50, but I want one badly.


Pretty, vintage-style, gold clip arrayed with shooting stars.


This jet satin scrunchie is offset by faux pearls — ideal for jazzing up an outfit of an evening.


For a modern take on actress Hedy Lamarr’s silver star headpiece.


Stockpile these in fabulous jewel hues — there are 25 to pick from.


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