Beauty that gives back
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve signed off a grooming guide with the line, “the gift of beauty really is the gift that keeps on giving”. It’s cheesy, I know, but it’s true: when you receive a present that makes you look or smell nicer – be it make-up, skincare or fragrance – you instantly feel better and, given they’re products we tend to use every day, that’s a feeling that can last way beyond Christmas.
Imagine, then, how much the “gift of beauty” means if you’re someone who’s in desperate need of a confidence boost. Perhaps you’ve lost your hair for medical reasons, or barely have enough money to buy a Christmas dinner, let alone afford beauty treats or bathroom basics.
So, while you’re rushing about finding just the right perfume for your other half or the latest high-tech shaver for a gadget geek, why not give some time, money or some actual products to one of the growing number of beauty charities out there?
Look Good Feel Better, for example, provides confidence-boosting skincare and make-up workshops for people undergoing cancer treatment with the help of donated products and talented volunteers (they’re always on the look-out for beauty therapists, salon staff and make-up artists who can offer their time). Hygiene Bank and Beauty Bank are a bit like food banks but for beauty, tackling the kind of “hygiene poverty” highlighted in Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake. Both accept donations of unopened make-up and toiletries (including men’s stuff) and I can’t think of a better destination for any unwanted beauty gifts.
Or how about treating your pals to Lush’s Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion – the proceeds of which go to environmental, animal and human rights organisations – or some eco-friendly soap from social enterprise brand Beco? Perfect stocking-fillers, each bar helps support their workforce, 80 per cent of whom are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged. I also love the My Trusty skincare range, the profits of which go into the NHS.
Like I said, I always like to sign off festive gift guides by saying that the gift of beauty really is one that keeps on giving and I make no excuses for doing it again. Donate through one of these initiatives and you really will be doing something beautiful this Christmas.