OMChristmas 2013: Gifts That Give

I played a game yesterday, unbeknowst to the charity muggers who were also involved. Instead of crossing to the other side of the road to avoid them, I tried to see how close I get to them and avoid eye contact — of course, whilst still saying ‘No thank you’ politely. I got pretty close! Then I felt bad, because they are only trying to do a job; and then I was like, but this whole notion of buttonholing people in the street to give money to help the less fortunate — surely there must be a better way.

Well, the below are a few beautyfull ideas in which to do so. I’m sure — I hope! — there are many, many initiatives that I have missed, as this post is somewhat cursory. Surely there are many big corporations out there who are working with worthy causes to raise finds and awareness. O.o


ELEMIS was something of an inspiration for this post, as they recently reported having been able to donate £36,000 to GAVI (Global Alliance of Vaccines and Immunisations).

The money was raised through the sale of the very special limited edition 10th anniversary edition of their Papaya Enzyme Peel, about which I wrote here.* The donation provides 5-in-1 Pentavalent vaccines to fully inoculate children in Africa against five diseases.

You can still avail of this offer, while supplies last. Equally, the brand have an initiative for breast cancer: Think Pink Beauty Heroes {€42.20;} is a fantastic little zippered pouch of goodness, with travel sizes of five of the best of Elemis: Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm {20g}; Pro-Collagen Marine Cream {15ml}; Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm {15ml}; Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust {15ml}. Elemis pledged to donate £10,000 to the Breast Cancer Care charity to raise money for research.
ELEMIS charity gift


L'OCCITANE Solidarity SoapL’OCCITANE‘s Rose Tenderness Solidarity Soap {50g} is €4, and 100% of profits from the sales of this special edition  will finance eye-health projects run by NGOs in developing countries. The L’Occitane foundation is particularly committed to supporting the blind and visually impaired, which I didn’t know! Learn something new, etc.

It’s a gorgeous wee stocking stuffer, and suits just about every lady and girl on your list. I don’t use much soap that comes in bars these days, but when I do, I am surprised at how long it lasts!


GREEN ANGEL for barnardos
GREEN ANGEL ,the Irish seaweed beauty brand, have long been associated with Barnardos, offer up their Golfer’s Hand Repair Treatment gift set {€29.95} This handy {ha, ha} gift for the golfer in your life will help everyone. Including here are hand scrub, hand cream, and a bar of the especially great lavender soap. A percentage from sales goes to the children’s charity.


LUSH‘s Charity Pot {€16.85/240grms} is extremely transparent: not the pot itself, but the way in which sales of it help fund projects. The guidelines and mission statement are right there on their website, with their specialist areas being the environment, animal protection, and human rights.
In the last financial year, the brand donated £340,000 in those areas.

Hello. That is pretty awesome. Do your bit to help by buying a Charity Pot for a pal. The moisturiser is made from cocoa butter: it smells deliciously chocolatey and so will you. Your pal will. Or your sister, or niece, or mum. Or whomever!


*It’s the Enyzeme Peel in the wee photo that I’m talkin’ ’bout; not sure that the awesome toiletries case is still A Thing.


Put Your Money Where Your, Uh, Face Is: Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

So much going on here.

Elemis is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Papaya Enzyme Peel, and doing it not only in style, but also with social awareness.

Artist Laura Oakes designed the new packaging, inspired by the key ingredients of the beloved Peel, which are papaya {didn’t see that one coming, didja?} and pineapple. It makes a vibrant and interesting change to the normally restrained and minimal Elemis packaging.

Both ingredients are sourced in Africa: in further celebratory style, Elemis are donating to SOCO™ (Socially Conscious) towards providing much needed vaccinations for African Children. One{ish} of your local currency — that is, €1.34/£1.07/$1.75 — covers the cost of a 5-in-1 Pentavalent vaccine. The company hope to vaccinate 50,000 children against diptheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenze type B.

The bright {and dare I say, beautyfull} foliage theme picked up in the sleeve of the Revitalising Skincare Anniversary Collection. Included in it is the Peel, Soothing Apricot Toner, the excellent Melting Cleansing Gel, and Maximum Moisture Cream. It comes in a travel pack, and when I read about it I was like, Oh, okay, a travel pack, but then I received it in the post:

It is one of those foldy, hanging-up thingies! I haven’t had one of these in yonks, and I have forgotten how much I love them. Like, I would use this as my emergency pack in a crisis, like the ones that everyone in New York made up because of that hurricane last year? Only, mine would be full of stuff that was actually useless, unless it was a crisis of grooming.

But loooooook: more of Oakes’ beautiful pattern, zippered sections in which to put stuff, and the contents! Full-sized samples of product! This runs for €61/£45/$85, which seemed steep until I wrapped it in its entirety. Full-sized samples!

Call me crazy, but sort out mums and aunts and godmothers for Christmas now, with one of these. It is so substantial, and even if you spring for the Peel alone, you will be helping to make a substantial difference to the health of some African children.