The giving season is in full flow. It started, in fact, before Halloween – a fact I was assured of when I nipped into Poundland to buy some fake spiders on October 30 to find the spooky stuff already cleared from the shelves, replaced with tinsel and those creepy Elf-on-the-Shelf characters who look like they come alive at night and will try to suffocate you in your sleep.


As it has been a totally demented, nonsense and frightening year, I am determined to put some meaning into my gift-giving this Christmas. How? I will be shopping for presents for my nearest and dearest that give back to charity. Because it will make me feel good, it will make them feel good, and it will do good too.


Here’s my round-up of great beauty gifts that give back.


Aromatherapy Associates x The Beauty Banks


Disclaimer! I am biased here, as Beauty Banks is the charity I  run with my friend, journalist Sali Hughes. Basically, we’re like foodbanks, but instead of sustenance, we supply charities like refuges and homeless shelters with personal care and hygiene essentials – think deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste.


At Christmas time, we ramp it up a notch by sending our charity partners beauty treats they can gift to the people they serve – individuals, families and children that will get little, if anything, at all this Christmas. One of our most ardent supporters, the luxury wellbeing brand Aromatherapy Associates, is donating 500 of its seasonal gifts sets to Beauty Banks when they sell 500 (which they will in seconds). Any of us would be delighted to receive a present from this brand, but it’s sure to be super-special to someone who is living in poverty.


Prices start at £12.00. Shop the collection here


The Body Shop x End Youth Homelessness


Giving back is in the DNA of The Body Shop– it is what the late founder, Dame Anita Roddick, put at the heart of the brand. This year, Anita’s giving legacy lives on as TBS partners with End Youth Homelessness to shine a light on the housing problem facing the 110,000+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are homeless or at risk of ending up on the streets.


Until December 31, 2p from every single transaction completed at The Body Shop’s stores nationwide will be donated to the charity, with the aim of raising £150k. This cash will fund a dedicated housing team to help young women and mothers move into their own homes, as well as provide bursary and bond schemes to help them overcome the prohibitive costs of securing a tenancy.


All that, and your recipient will smell amazing too. Great, no?


Stocking fillers start from just £4. Shop the collection here


Babyliss Haircare x The Beauty Banks


Yep, it’s another one for us. And no, I’m not sorry.


If it’s a hair appliance you seek, then BaByliss should be your go-to brand. The brand has been donating a percentage of its website profits to Beauty Banks since March this year, and for that, we love them dearly. Quite apart from that though, their tools are the best in the business. I am a particularly big fan of the cordless waving wand – hint, hint.  


Prices for hairdryers start at £23. Shop the collection here


Advent of Change Charity Candle


Advent of Change is a brilliant non-profit that creates a host of easy gifting products as a way of generating revenue for 24 different charities.


A whopping 75 per cent of profits made from the sale of this lush candle will be split between AOC’s partner organisations, ranging from human rights charity Equally Ours to domestic abuse NGO Pathway Project.


While there’s a host of items on offer, from greetings cards to crackers, I’m particularly in love with this advent candle. Light it each day and, as the wick burns down, it’ll reveal one of the 24 charitable recipients – an accompanying booklet will tell you exactly how your donation each day will be spent too. Lovely.


Gifts from £3.95, candle £24.95. Shop the collection here


Avon’s Mystery Beauty Box


Sure, you’re mostly shopping for others right now. But if you need a treat, then this is the gift to give yourself, as you won’t know what you’re getting until you open it – surprise!


Each of these mystery boxes contains five undisclosed Avon beauty classics, including a fragrance, a nail polish and make-up. A quarter of all sales will go towards ending abuse against women and girls, split equally between Refuge and Women’s Aid.


Plus, while each box costs £15, every selection is worth a minimum of £25.00. How’s that for a win win?


Buy the mystery box here


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