Christmas Day Candles and Berry Hues: Your Winter Beauty Guide

Pin It
Courtesy of Hermès
Courtesy of Hermès

This season’s beauty essentials that, while they’d make great gifts, are too good to share

Chromatic Christmas

Winter is officially here – so it’s time for a sleek, sultry manicure. Enter: Les Mains Hermès, quite possibly the ultimate beauty gift but also the French fashion house’s latest launch to trigger widespread adoration. The collection comprises lustrous, nail enamels in Hermès hues alongside a dreamy hand cream, nourishing cuticle oil and tiny orange logo-d emery board, but the new go-to is Rouge H: an elegant, deep burgundy polish veering on the side of chocolate. Another seasonal shade comes by way of Byredo’s Mad Red Lipstick: a velvety matte that’s deliciously comfortable to wear and comes in one of the label’s uber pleasing curved steel bullet.

Light up 

Celine’s first candle collection will summon the nostalgic senses this season is famous for. A “rediscovery of the olfactory imprint of a particular existence in space or time”, this collection features both new and familiar scents, with Celine’s much-loved Nightclubbing coming reimagined in a wax swirl of smoky nicotine and sweet vanilla. The luxurious, sleek black vessels are as delightful as each olfactory offering, designed by Hedi Slimane himself and inspired by an 18th-century silver goblet. 

Also venturing into the world of home fragrance for the first time is Ginori 1735. The homewares label’s new collection, called La Compagnia Di Caterina (The Company of Catherine) stars candles, incense burners, room diffusers and candle snuffers akin to works of art. The exquisite milky porcelain La Dama jars depict beautifully sculpted profiles of those from Caterina De’ Medici’s court, and look far too good to use. La Dama Black Stone is the perfect winter scent, cocktailing nutmeg with cloves, patchouli, amber and heady musk: a delicately smoky and sweet (but not sickly) combination that’s reminiscent of the spices used by 16th-century alchemists. An underlying sharpness is reminiscent of snow days followed by long naps below the radiator.

Along those same lines is Les Senteurs’ Fire Pit Fortune, which blends notes of cherry pip with hay, cedarwood, fir balsam and cypress. Slightly sweet and nutty, the composite strikes an addictive balance. Then there’s the image of weathered church walls and old wooden pews dotted with worn, papery hymn books, coming via Diptyque’s Essence of John Galliano candle. Combining rich amber with leather, the scent is spicy and intense: a sumptuous, smoky, almost holy candle that will transform your space to match the season. 

A Christmas Day candle must be carefully chosen, so look no further than Frédéric Malle’s latest launch, Country Home by perfumer Nicolas Beaulieu. Cool, sweet and woody, it smells like a marble fireplace waiting to be lit; last night’s wood smoke still clinging to its walls. It quakes with the anticipation of Christmas morning. Also try Christmas Trees by Jo Loves. Since most trees are non-drop today they fail to give off that sticky green scent of yore, but thankfully Jo Malone is here to dial it up to 10. Every person that’s smelt it so far comments on how good my tree smells. 

Tressed out?

Just as winter can wreak havoc on your skin – paving the way for flaky patches and dry lips – it can trounce your tresses too, making them dehydrated, brittle and more prone to breakage. In swoops Augustinus Bader’s new line of haircare heroes, each tipped to trigger a complete overhaul on damaged strands by fuelling them with its patented TFC8 technology. (A result of Bader’s 30 years in stem cell research, TFC8 stands for Trigger Factor Complex and supports skin renewal via a blend of amino acids and vitamins.) The Leave-In Hair Treatment is this winter’s Holy Grail – an already sworn-by secret of many an industry insider, at least if Instagram is anything to go by.  

Dr. Barbara Sturm’s new, vegan haircare collection stars another winter must-have: the Balancing Scalp Serum. Perfect for scratchy scalps and those who struggle with dandruff, it gets to the very root of the problem by bringing the scalp’s microbiome back into balance. Then there are its heat-protective, hydrating and soothing properties, which all come wrapped up in a neat, medicinal-looking bottle that will look immediately at home in your bathroom. 

New year skin

Party season calls for aesthetician Marie Reynold’s famous ‘glass skin’ courtesy of her Masterlift Plus facial. Originally named the Masterlift – available at both her Norfolk clinic and at Fortnum & Mason – it now includes two revolutionary treatments that help clear the skin of metabolic waste (perhaps it can help shift some of the last two years, too?). Firstly there’s Lymphatouch: a wand that uses high and low frequency as well as suction to essentially – and very gently – shake the lymph from the tissue and thus kickstart lymphatic drainage. Then you have Deep Oscillation: Marie conducts the client’s own electro-static energy (via an actuator held by said client), which endows her with this near-magical vibrating touch that frees toxic molecules from your adipose tissue. The proceeding skin infusion, 0.5mm microneedling to boost circulation and both collagen and cell renewal and a collagen bio-cellulose mask plus LED light therapy leaves you floating out as light as air. Step into 2022 with one of these – you won’t regret it. 


Imagine the feeling of a brisk winter’s walk: wind-whipped cheeks, delightfully crisp air and the glimmer of the white winter sun. That’s Le Labo’s latest scent, THÉ MATCHA 26, bottled. A fresh blend of creamy fig with soft vetiver, this delicately sweet juice comes through with a subtle, uplifting note of orange. The result is fresh but warm and welcoming, sweet but androgynous, and perfect for winter but warmer seasons too – it’s a sentimental and romantic blend of contradictions.

In contrast to this, Tom Ford’s heady Ébène Fumé is a scent that’s typical of Tom Ford’s olfactory assembly – rich and woody, settling on the skin with smoky notes of African ebony wood. Inspired by Palo Santo – ‘holy wood’ that’s burned as a purifying energy cleanser – this stately scent hits you with warm notes of black pepper and incense upon first sniff, and on a second, fragrant blooms paired with resins and fresh herbs peek through.

THE travel kit 

What do you get the person who has everything? It’s a cliched, impossible-to-answer question but honestly, this might just be it. Celebrity pummeller Joanna Czech, famed for her face-slapping facials and her encyclopaedic knowledge of skincare, has finally launched her own line. While tools have brandished her name and logo for a while now, she’s jumped straight into skincare with an entire travel kit. Inspired by clients who would ask her what to take on jet-set trips (if you remember those), she’s designed an unbelievably luxurious padded travel pouch filled with a pared-back routine that should see you through any eventuality or climate. There are cleansing wipes (“not meant to replace your cleanser”, she practically yells over Zoom, “just for the plane or travel”) and sheet masks (“again, not your cure-all sheet mask but a simple, essential hydration hit for tired skin”). Then there’s a “Heathrow-friendly” clear, zip-up pouch – this is where the crown jewels lay in plain sight: The Toner, a balancing one (“it is essential to rebalance your skin’s PH, wherever you are”); The C+ Serum, a sumptuous vitamin C designed to reduce and prevent sun damage but where some can be a little harsh and let’s say, zingy, this one is packed with nourishing oils and moisturising squalane; The Soothing Serum, anti-inflammatory and pumped with moisturising hyaluronic acid this is the perfect antidote to planes/any extreme weather condition; The Balm, an insanely generous barrier-protecting unctuous ointment; The Cream, an oh-so-giving moisturiser which is full of peptides, ceramides, seed oils and yet more hyaluronic. The beauty is all in the ingredients: Ms Czech knows her stuff.  

Party eyes

Regardless of whether you binged Bridgerton at the beginning of this year, you may still find you’re obsessed with Pat McGrath’s latest collaboration with the Shondaworld production. With packaging so kitsch it’s almost obscene, her Regency Blue eyeshadow in a brand new formula identified as ‘satin-matte’ is enough to win over any sceptics. It is the ultimate new year’s kit – on sale on December 26 – even if you’re home alone. If that sells out before you get your hands on it, try the Eye Pods from Westman Atelier. In a metallic moss green or a shimmering peach, they’re a perfect soiree addition – just be sure to break through that top layer of pigment and get to the pasty deliciousness below.