It's no secret that women can be notoriously difficult to shop for (I'm looking at you, mum).
Between fits, cuts, styles, tastes, scents and ingredients, gift shopping is challenging at the best of times, but with a bit of thought, we can avoid defaulting to a gift voucher for the local mall.
And to be clear, men can be equally troublesome - but let's face it, they'll likely be satisfied with a nice pair of socks and some fresh Jocks.
With a little over a week left until Christmas, here is Newshub Lifestyle's last-minute Christmas gift guide for the ladies in your life. Of course, most, if not all of these gifts would also be great for men or non-binary folks, too.
Emma Lewisham Illuminating Face and Body Oil, RRP$92
As a fake tan aficionado, I'm partial to a slathering of Bondi Sands - but for the ultimate glow, Emma Lewisham's got you covered. Their limited edition illuminating oil is bottled bronze for the entire body, its mineral-enriched formula highlighting the skin with a healthy, post-holiday radiance. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly - I love to dab the oil on my shoulders and collarbones for instantly sun-kissed, shimmery skin. The price point is a little more high-end than other bronzing body oils on the market, but you get what you pay for. The product also offers hydration and antioxidant protection, making it the perfect prezzie for any skincare junkie in your life.
Giapo x De'Longhi Edible Christmas Tiramisu Bauble, RRP$22
For that foodie friend, look no further than Giapo and De'Longhi's Christmas collaboration of dreams: a handcrafted edible bauble of tiramisu and espresso-soaked gingernut biscuits, encased in a bronze-dusted, dark chocolate shell. Mouth watering yet? It's rich, decadent and sure to titillate the taste buds. It also offers a fun and festive eating experience - crack it open with friends or scoff it all on your own (I won't judge). This delectable dessert is also gluten free, making it a great option for those with dietary requirements. Gift it to the sweet-tooth in your life, or include it as a stunning stocking filler.
Fitbit Charge 4, RRP$220
It's likely any fitness fanatic will already have a smartwatch in their arsenal, but for that friend who's just easing themselves onto the exercise wagon, a Fitbit Charge 4 makes a great gift to help them reach their goals. The wearable offers 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, a built-in GPS and Spotify control, while the corresponding app provides important insights into your health, including a tool to track the menstrual cycle. It also continuously counts your steps - it's quite surprising how many you can rack up trudging to and from the kitchen. The sleek design is available in a selection of muted colours to blend seamlessly with everyday 'fits.
For the ultimate gift, pair a Fitbit or other fitness watch with some fresh activewear and watch their New Year's resolution become a reality. Alternatives include the Garmin Vivoactive 4 ($569), Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Bluetooth (from $399) or for a real splurge on a special someone, the Apple Watch Series 7 (from $649).
Dancing Sands Sun-Kissed Gin, RRP$80
There's nothing better than a beverage (or two or three) to bring in the silly season, and as reluctant adults with a raft of responsibilities, alcohol is almost always appreciated. If you're looking for a slightly more sophisticated gift than a $10 bottle of Sav from your local supermarket, Dancing Sands Sun-Kissed Gin is a good bet. Bottling the nostalgic taste of summer, the gin offers a refreshing, aromatic drop of candied strawberry notes, paired with a delicate balance of tart rhubarb. 1919 Distilling also offers gorgeous, New Zealand-made gins in a range of unique flavours, such as Chocolate Fish and Pineapple Bits. Pair with a locally made, premium tonic water from East Imperial for the gin-loving gal. Warning - they say G&T drinkers are more likely to be psychopaths. Do what you will with that information.
The Caker's Pre-Recorded Tiered Cake Masterclass, RRP$40
Virtual experiences make great, pandemic-proof gifts that avoid the stress of shipping delays over the holiday season. Jordan Rondel, the mastermind behind mouth-watering creations at The Caker, is currently offering a pre-recorded, virtual class for baking enthusiasts. In the 90-minute, step-by-step video, Rondel teaches you how to bake, assemble, ice and decorate a tiered cake. Purchasing a ticket will get you a link to the MP4 as well as a PDF of the recipe - a triple berry shortcake with strawberry icing - which can also be adapted for vegans. Gift it to the baking buff in your life, or send it as a hint to that friend who urgently needs to improve their cooking capabilities. Even those who are challenged in the kitchen will be able to cobble together a delicious cake for the Christmas festivities.
Alternatively, Pilates by Amanda offers virtual classes, taught by celebrity trainer Amanda Kassar, who works with clients including Sofia Richie and Whitney Port. Astrologer Kirah Tabourn, the face of The Strology, also offers one-on-one astrology readings, webinars and workshops via Zoom.
Bendon's Conscious Simplicity Range, RRP$35 - $70
In this day and age, more and more people are shifting to sustainable alternatives - and why wouldn't you? There's now a plethora of products on the market that offer the same functionality, but in an environmentally friendly package. Bendon's first recycled range of intimates, Conscious Simplicity, is cute, comfortable and crafted from certified recycled materials, such as recycled nylon and fishing nets. But the sustainability doesn't compromise on style: the four-piece collection, consisting of a contour bra, underwire bra, maternity bra and a boyleg brief, are created with silky fabric in a dreamy soft pink shade and botanical-inspired lace. So if your significant other is looking to minimise their environmental impact, a sexy but sustainable set will make a stunning gift (and let's be honest, it's a gift to yourself too).
Zambesi Espresso Cup Set, RRP$65
For many people, coffee is an integral part of their daily agenda - black coffee to wake up, a late-morning latte, a mid-arvo piccolo pick-me-up. From the roast of the beans to the choice of milk to the latte art, the humble cup of joe has become a linchpin of day-to-day life. For the coffee connoisseur in your circle, how about curating a gift basket themed around their favourite beverage? Zambesi's espresso cup sets, featuring the brand's signature gothic print, make a luxurious centrepiece. Add a voucher for their favourite coffee shop and a bag of beans - or Nespresso's limited edition, festive-flavoured capsules - and you're good to go. Chuck in some coffee-flavoured chocolate, such as Whittaker's Wellington Roasted Coffee Supreme, for extra brownie points.
Sony Noise-Cancelling Wireless Earbuds, RRP$428
In my experience, muso mates are pretty easy to shop for - biographies, concert tickets, an Apple Music gift card, a classic vinyl - the list goes on. For that special someone, the noise-cancelling, wireless Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds offer exceptional sound for an immersive experience and up to 24 hours of battery life, with unique memory-foam earbud tips for a snug and comfortable fit. Real Groovy is also a one-stop-shop for all things music, including an extensive selection of merchandise. Add a band tee, poster, or one of their novelty products (Freddie Mercury air freshener, anyone?) for a thoughtful and thorough gift that isn't too mainstream, man.