I love you mum, but I haven’t bought your gift yet. Bear with me.
I have this theory that there is an optimum time for git buying, which falls neatly around two weeks ahead of the date. Much earlier than that and you risk forgetting where you stashed it / on over-excited pre-reveal / the recipient stealing your thunder by buying it for themselves. Later, and you’re at the mercy of Royal Mail. So strike now. You’re welcome.
Candles are a gifting fail-safe. Indulgent, pretty, and it’s pretty difficult to go wrong. Bcos from my experience, mums are pretty vocal about the smells they do and don’t like. And even when they’re not, something soft and feminine like rose, lavender, or vanilla will always be a winner. There’s a bonus here, too. My mum loves re-purposing things for seasonal room re-decs in the house, so I go for container candles bcos it means my gift hangs around for years to come. Ideal if you want to lourd your gift-giving prowess over siblings.
Mother’s day is all about celebrating the heroes who gave us all life, so it probably isn’t the time to try and impose your personal olafactory taste on mum. No matter how superior it is. Go with something you know she likes – there’s brownie points in it, since it’ll show you pay attention. If you must go off-piste, many of the classics have limited edition tweaks, like Issy Miake L’eau Dissy Pure.
Whenever I tell mum I’m getting a massage, she gets all wistful and says how much she’d love one. Yet to this day I don’t think I’ve ever known her book one for herself. So I quit reasoning with her about the advantages of self-indulgence and just booked one for her. Use my code OLIVIACOX for £15 off your booking at Secret Spa. I also recently tried out the Wow Facial, which combines six elements of facial into a bespoke 75 min treatment – think peel, massage, LED… Perfect glow-up to get mum feeling her best.
Bath & body
This is the category I remember falling back on the most when I was growing up. Richmond high street had a perfectly located Body Shop, with Molton Brown a few doors down as a back-up. I learned my way around salts, lotions and potions; and mum was my guinea pig. This year, going plastic-free while you indulge is more important that ever, and bath and body brands have heard our cries. Try solid soaps like Heathcoat & Ivory’s soap flowers, or product refits like Keihl’s refil pouches.
The latest gin I’ve been loving is Cantium. The small batch spirit mixes classicly English botanicals (think lavender, blackberry, hops) with bold citrus for a really fresh flavour that seems to unfold as you sip. It’s also the world’s first gin bottled in a reusable thermos flask, too, so it’s practically a guilt-free serve.
Not a drinker? Not problem. CleanCo Clean G Rhubarb is the closest match to the original I’ve tried, bursting with botanical flavours and fruity notes.
Skincare can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to gifting. Anything that screams anti-ageing or wrinkle defying are something I heavily veto. They’re products mum wants but kind of doesn’t want to admit she wants, and the inevitable decline of xx is just a conversation I like to swerve on happy occasions. But that doesn’t mean I skip the face althogether. No no. I just up the luxury factor and go for something indulgent that she wouldn’t buy for herself. There’s usually a load of age defying ingredients in there, anyway. Creme De La Mer, La Prairie, Chanel et al. are the obvious choices, but if you don’t fancy taking out a new mortgage pre-shop, try these.
Guessing a prefered shade is tricky, but the latest gen make-up does that for you, by working with your skin’s own pH to optimise the perfect hue. Trinny London’s BFF Skin Perfector SPF30 is ideal alone or mixed into serum, and lipstick queen has cunning lip palettes and sticks that cleverly result in your perfect lip tone thanks to heat-recognising technology.