So you’ve booked your holidays, scheduled your catch-ups with friends, even invested in a dapper new wardrobe for Chrissy Day and New Year’s Eve. But hang on, you’ve forgotten there’s still half a shopping list to get through… all those pressies for your loved ones.
Fear not, for Cream has once again compiled our trusty annual Last-Minute Christmas Gift Guide for you. Plenty of cool products for you to ponder: be it for your other half, the kids in your life, your folks, or your BFF – rest assured, there’s something here for everyone.
Budget-wise, you’ll note we feature everything from five-dollar stocking-fillers to fabulous furnishings going into the four figures. Something to suit every pocket.
Compiled by Antonino Tati + Lisa Andrews
WHAT: Splosh Lollipops. DESCRIPTION: Speak for themselves, really, though these artisan-crafted lollipops sure beat those flavourless ones from the two-dollar shop! WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The little ones. COST: $4.95 each. AVAILABLE: In a host of names and friendly greetings from www.splosh.com.au.
WHAT: Samsung S2 Smart Watch. DESCRIPTION: With a stunning circular face and sleek design, the Gear S2 (pictured) and Gear S2 Classic are Samsung’s most beautiful smart watches to date. They’re the most intuitive too, boasting a rotating bezel for easy access to notifications and compatible applications. And that means instant notification at a glance when you’re busy multi-tasking, like you do. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The bloke who can’t get enough of his boy’s toys. COST: RRP $599. AVAILABLE: For stockists visit www.samsung.com/au/gear.
WHAT: Oxfam Australia Delightful Tealights. DESCRIPTION: Set the Chrissy dinner table in seasonal mode with these cute tealights made from parrafin wax. And the best bit is all profits go to a great cause, helping those less fortunate. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The family. COST: $19.95. AVAILABLE: From Oxfam Shops and online at www.oxfamshop.org.au.
WHAT: Sonos PLAY:5. DESCRIPTION: You really need to purchase a Sonos speaker, take it out of its box, and have it plugged in and running in a matter of minutes to realise the true beauty of this amp-and-speaker in one product (actually, a nice variety of products). The all-new PLAY:5 combines six smartly synced internal speakers with Trueplay tuning to fill your next music-hungry room with pure, powerful sound, no matter how large or acoustically wonky the space. And the Sonos connection to various streaming services means the music variety is endless! WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The devoted music lover who appreciates simplicity in hardware but likes to be spoilt for choice. COST: RRP $749. AVAILABLE: From quality audio product outlets. For more information and stockists visit www.sonos.com/play5.
WHAT: Heroes & Villains Jewellery. DESCRIPTION: Designed by Australian jewellers Dina Ochwada (of previous One Luv fame) and Anisa Hayati, Heroes & Villains presents a collection of unique silver jewellery pieces that connote boho luxe and the modern nomad. Each piece looks as rustic as the next, putting a little culture in your accessorising. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your BFF (or guys, your special girl). COST: Prices vary. AVAILABLE: From select boutiques Australia-wide; for stockists or to order online visit www.shopheroesandvillains.com.
WHAT: ‘The First Book Of Fashion’ edited by Ulinka Rublack + Maria Hayward. DESCRIPTION: Possibly one of the most beautiful coffee table books you’ll see on the subject of fashion – and there’s not a little black dress in sight! This hefty tome pays tribute to fashion in the earliest sense of the word, presenting primary source documents in the form of splendid illustrations by Renaissance accountant-come-artiste Matthaus Schwarz and his son Veit Konrad. It mightn’t give you tips on what to wear over summer, but it will educate you of where concepts like layering and accessorising stemmed from. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The serious fashionista. COST: $59.99. AVAILABLE: Through Allen & Unwin in quality bookstores, both physical and online.
WHAT: Newport French Provincial Chair. DESCRIPTION: A classic rattan blue and white chair that that lends a Euro sensibility to your living room or study. Available in white teamed with red, black or blue (pictured). Dimensions: 48W x 59Dx 92H cms. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your design-y friend. COST: $216 (minimum order of two chairs). AVAILABLE: From Vavoom Emporium (visit www.vavoom.com.au).
WHAT: KSL Living Mobile Amplifier. DESCRIPTION: This passive amplifier can be used with any mobile phone in the Apple range and some Android devices including Samsung and Huawei. Works wirelessly and without energy, it broadcasts with beaut sound thanks to its simple aerodynamic ceramic design. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: That someone who has everything. COST: $149. AVAILABLE: From www.ksl-living.fr with option of fast shipping.
WHAT: H.O.C.K. Kissen Lemon-Print Cushion. DESCRIPTION: Set the summer tone indoors with a splash of citrus print from Danish designers Design-3000. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your design-y friend (again). COST: $45. AVAILABLE: From www.design-3000.de with option of fast shipping.
WHAT: Les Confidents Wall Bookshelf (Dantes) by Dowsing And Reynolds. DESCRIPTION: Les Confidents wall bookshelf has an intriguing background story… The half-animal, half-human character is inspired by Edmond Dantes, the main protagonist in ‘The Count of Monte Christo’ by French author Alexandre Dumas. The print at the back of the bookshelf will make any home or office library look at that more literary-like! WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The postmodernist interior-decorating type. COST: Appr. $1,325. AVAILABLE: From www.dowsingandreynolds.com with option of fast shipping.
WHAT: Hanako ‘I Am’ Fragrances. DESCRIPTION: These perfumes are the perfect pick-me-up for when you’re feeling a little sluggish. Seriously, one spritz of one of these crystal-infused botanical-enhanced waters and you’re feeling better about life already! It’s magic in a little bottle. Ten fragrances to choose from in their ‘I Am’ range including ‘Balance’, ‘Bold’ and ‘Bliss’. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: A great stocking-filler for your sibling, Mum or Nan. COST: $29.95 per 50ml bottle. AVAILABLE: At www.hanakotherapies.com. Subscribe to their newsletter and get 20% off your first purchase.
WHAT: Upcycle Studio Felt Planter Pods. DESCRIPTION: Showcase your favourite succulent in one of these quirky and unique house planters. Made of 100% recycled felt, the pod-shaped vessels keep plants safe and snug while adding a pop of colour to any room. Size: 16.5cm in diameter, and best suited for plants in 5cm diameter pots. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Nanna, or any friend who reads ‘Frankie’ magazine. COST: $19. AVAILABLE: From www.upcyclestudio.com.au.
WHAT: Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot. DESCRIPTION: Master of style, Tom Ford really has the elements of excellence and minimalism down-pat when it comes to designing clothes, and fragrances. Keeping his parfum bottles clean and simple (and black, of course) and the contents superlatively essence-like, Ford’s ‘Private Blend’ collection is a modern classic. A recent addition is ‘Venetian Bergamot’ which hosts a blend of stunning ingredients: the inedible but deliciously-fragrant bergamot orange, black and pink peppercorn, ginger – and they’re just the top notes! Ultimately, the fragrance has a kind of religious ‘incense’ hint to it. Which of course is very Venetian. Very Bergamot. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The main man in your life, be it your boyfriend, your husband, your bro or your dad. COST: $298 for EDP 50ml spray flacon. AVAILABLE: At selected David Jones stores (www.davidjones.com.au). Stockist information on 1800 061 326.
WHAT: Burroughs Beard Oil from The Prospector Co. DESCRIPTION: A quality oil that dudes can use on whiskers or as an oil-based cologne. Some of the magical ingredients within are Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Juniper Berry, Frankincense and Myrrh (so yes, all very Christmas-y). Great for all skin types. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your hipster buddy, naturally. COST: $45 per 1oz bottle. AVAILABLE: From Somedays boutique in Sydney, Somewhere boutique in Melbourne, or online at www.someplace.com.au.
WHAT: ‘Short Back & Science’ by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. DESCRIPTION: Yet another fascinating read from one of Australia’s better-loved geeks (and, remember, he was geek way before ‘The Big Bang Theory’), this time Dr Karl teaches readers about rodents that don’t get cancer, synthetic shirts that stink, the true benefits (or not) of coconut water, and even the secret behind the hype of that blue-or-white dress debate that went viral this year. Always on topic, always to the point, and, well, practically always right! WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your kid brother or a buddy who likes science more than sports. COST: $32.95 in hardback. AVAILABLE: Through Pan Macmillan Australia at quality bookshops, in-store and online.
WHAT: Al’chemy & A’kin Haircare & Skincare. DESCRIPTION: Vegan-based haircare and skincare products made from rich ingredients, 100% natural and formulated without artificial colours, fragrance or animal ingredients. Select ingredients are synergistic to each hair and skin type. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your big sis who loves a natural eco-friendly regular hair and beauty regime. COST: Varies. AVAILABLE: For stocksits visit www.purist.com.
WHAT: Matrix Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Hair System. DESCRIPTION: An ideal haircare range for someone you know (someone very close, of course) who might be thinning a little up top. This ultimate thickening system is a simple and immediate solution to strengthen and re-densify hair, expertly cocktailed with the fortifying power of Biotin – a vital nutrient for healthy hair. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your big sis or beauty-conscious mum who won’t be offended by the hint but totally appreciative of the concern and quality. COST: Shampoo 400ml RRP $31, Conditioner 400ml RRP $31 Spray Treatment 125ml RRP $31. AVAILABLE: From selected Matrix salons nationwide and for stockists phone 1300 656 247 or visit www.matrixaustralia.com.
WHAT: Jurlique Glow. DESCRIPTION: Each year Jurlique releases a limited edition rose body oil to celebrate the festive season. The pefect complement to Jurlique’s Rose Body Care Lotion. And, no, it has nothing to do with J-Lo’s fragrance line. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your bestie who deserves a little extra sparkle for all the stuff you’ve put her through this year. COST: $88. AVAILABLE: From Jurlique salons and quality beauty outlets, and at www.jurlique.com.au.
WHAT: ‘Brotivation’ Book-In-A-Box. DESCRIPTION: Subtitled ‘inspiration for the man who can’t be stuffed to read a book’ this is a box of postcards containing so-called self-help ‘affirmations’ that veer from the usual goody-goody quotes. A sampling: “Build your own dreams or slave away on some other prick’s” and “Try not to be a dick today”. Comes with a wooden block to prop your daily affirmation card on. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: You guessed it, the bro or buddy who can’t be stuffed reading a book. COST: $19.95. AVAILABLE: At www.brotivation.com.au or through www.affirmations.com.au.
WHAT: EverBlock Systems Modular Furniture. DESCRIPTION: Kind of like Lego for big people, EverBlock Systems offer a modular building system of oversized plastic blocks that when put together make very cool furniture. The big blocks are easy to transport, and snap together as simply as Lego itself. And the sky’s the limit in what you can create with them, like the makeshift study desk, pictured. Goodbye Ikea two-and-a-half hour assembly sessions. Hello quick-and-easy EverBlock. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Someone who appreciates form, function and quirk! COST: Prices start at $7.95 for a standard block (12 x 6 x 6 inches). AVAILABLE: For sale or rental through www.everblocksystems.com.
WHAT: Estée Lauder Color Portfolio. DESCRIPTION: All the colour (well, alright then, color) a girl needs to brighten up her summer even more-so. Containing 30 Pure Color Eyeshadow shades, two Pure Color Lip Glosses, and one Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your girlfriend. And we mean, like, ‘girlfriend’ girlfriend, or even your “girlfriend” girlfriend. COST: $130. AVAILABLE: From Estée Lauder counters nationwide and online at www.esteelauder.com.au. For stockists phone 1800 061 326.
WHAT: ‘Sophia’ Print Dress by Mauricio Alpizar. DESCRIPTION: Inspired by traditional Aboriginal motifs “where the desert meets the sea”, this stunning outfit utters absolute attention-to-detail. Part of Mauricio Alpizar’s Summer 2016 collectoin – which debuted on the runway at New York Fashion Week recently. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Go on, spoil yourself! COST: PoA. AVAILABLE: From select boutiques and online at www.mauricioalpizar.com.au. For stockists, phone 0431 085 848.
WHAT: Everest Binoculars. DESCRIPTION: Keep your eye on the prize with these quality ‘Eye Spy’ binoculars, made of aluminium, rubber and stereoscopic lenses – complete with cleaning cloth. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The adventurous Dad. COST: $44.95. AVAILABLE: From www.optocoonline.com.
WHAT: Zip Hydro Taps. DESCRIPTION: The new design ranges from Zip Hydro Taps incorporate the latest innovative technologies with inspiring designs to provide water of unparalleled purity. These filtered water appliances feature a single under-bench command centre that includes full-colour interactive touchscreen display with pin code protection. They come in two boiling water safety modes, three energy saving modes (including sensor-activated “sleep when its dark” mode). WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The serious kitchen renovator. COST: Each model shown providing filtered, boiling, chilled and sparkling water, RRP $4,900. AVAILABLE: At premium home appliance stores including Liebe + Haus (visit www.liebeandhaus.com.au).
↑ 25. WHAT: Sony ‘h.ear on’ Headphones. DESCRIPTION: The product’s name might be a bitch to Google-search but Sony’s ‘h.ear on’ headband-type headphones are worth tracking down. Oozing style combined with a comfortable fit, high-resolution audio compatibility and accurate bass responses – all complemented by a driver unit that reproduces sounds of up to 60kHz, while lightweight voice coils help deliver high-pitch sounds superbly. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Your DJ mate (and yep, everyone’s got one). COST: $299.95. AVAILABLE: In a broad variety of colours, from Sony specialist stores (or for stockists visit www.sony.com.au).
WHAT: UE Boom 2 Bluetooth Speakers. DESCRIPTION: Designed to get wet, muddy and beat up, UE (or ‘Ultimate Ears’) Boom 2 is a Bluetooth speaker that blasts insanely good sound in every direction – and can be played anywhere you go. The speaker is lightweight, waterproof and drop-proof (from up to five feet high). This beauty may be small but it packs a powerful punch. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: The music lover in the family. COST: $249.95. AVAILABLE: In a host of colours including ‘Yeti White’, ‘Cherrybomb Red’ and ‘Green Machine’ from www.ultimateears.com.
WHAT: ‘Why Does Asparagus Make Your Wee Smell?’ by Andy Brunning. DESCRIPTION: We at Cream kind of fancy ourselves the ‘gourmand’ types but before we open our gobs at the dinner table, we like to be sure we know our facts from our Masterchef-induced afflictions. ‘Why Does Asparagus Make Your Wee Smell?’ might not sound like the right title for a book on food and drink, but it is appropriate as it’s a question we want to know the answer to. The book responds to 57 other firm-lipped Qs like ‘Why Does Garlic Make Your Breath Smell?’ and the somewhat more palatable ‘Why Do Artichokes Make Drinks Taste Sweeter?’ and ‘Should You Keep Chocolate In The Fridge?’. WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Anyone that likes food so, yeah, most of the folks in your life. COST: RRP $29.99 in hardback, or $16.99 in eBook. AVAILABLE: Through Hachette Australia at quality bookshops, in-store and online.
WHAT: Kylie Christmas Album. DESCRIPTION: The 13th studio album from Kylie, and her first ‘holiday’ LP (and why not, if it’s good enough for Mariah?), this a collection of 13, yes, Christmas classics, delivered in typical woozy, schmoozy, oozy Kylie style. Guests on the album include sister Dannii, rock icon Iggy Pop, and a posthumous performance from Frank Sinatra – bizarrely enough. A variety of originals and covers – which is nice for a change. Also includes three bonus tracks – but not telling what! WHO TO BUY IT FOR: Oh go on, get it for the whole family to enjoy at Christmas lunch. COST: RRP $17.99 on CD. AVAILABLE: On CD and limited edition vinyl through Warner Music.