It feels like the battle of the goody bags again – lots of the beauty retailers seem to be doing high-value gift-with-purchases in the run up to Christmas and everyone seems to want to out-do everybody else. I can’t remember when the last big run of GWP madness was, but I was sure that the whole thing had reached its peak – when Harvey Nichols delivered an absolutely massive tote bag to my door last autumn, weighed down with dozens of beauty samples (free with a £195 spend, if I recall correctly, see pics below) I couldn’t imagine that anyone would top it.
But the gift-with-purchase machine churns on and I can’t imagine it’ll stop very soon. Because who doesn’t like a freebie? Even when I was in my late teens I couldn’t resist the Clinique Bonus Time; I’d hold out for the gift that contained the things that I wanted, usually a mascara and a neutral lipstick and also (weirdly) a mini soap in a mini green plastic sliding case. (I have a thing for perfectly formed miniature beauty products.)
The new breed of GWPs are slightly different in that many of them require quite a phenomenal minimum spend – £250 for the latest Space NK and Harvey Nichols versions – but they often include a list of free things that even at a quick glance add up to way more than the qualifying amount.
Take, for example, Space NK’s Party Piece Gift*, which is available now (see here*) and has a proclaimed value of over £400. Space NK have done things quite differently this year, and I like it: a set of twelve luxury Christmas party crackers, each containing a very high value beauty treat, or selection of treats, depending on the cracker.
In one, a gorgeous Susanne Kaufmann shower gel and luxury Rodin oil – wrapped in the necessary foil party crown!
In another, a mini facial – Eve Lom mask, 111Skin Day Cream and REN 1 Minute Facial. Others contain a mini Diptyque Figuier candle (I’d be shaking them about to make sure I got that one, ha!) or a Sunday Riley Tidal Cream or a hefty-ish glass bottle of Omorovicza moisturiser.
I think it’s a marvellous idea – imagine going to a party and having one of these beauty crackers at your place setting? The party of dreams! Though I’m not sure I could be that generous – you’d probably find me in a pile of cardboard cracker debris, drinking wine and wearing a dozen party hats and testing face masks on the back of my hand.
There’s also a £50 gift card included, which is an instant reward in itself. I mean, if you were doing all of your Christmas shopping anyway, you get fifty quid to spend on more presents, and then a load of posh crackers OR a load of posh beauty stuff just to cram your cabinet with.
You can find the Perfect Party Piece gift at Space NK here* – it’s available to new and existing N.dulge loyalty card holders and if you’re not already signed up you can just do it when you shop. There are a limited number of gifts and the offer runs out on the 3rd November.
The Harvey Nichols gift reckons to be worth over £700 in value – you can get a full list of the products included on their website here*.
There’s a full size eye cream worth £150 alone, and there are so many things packed into the bag, so I can see how it all adds up, though I’m afraid I don’t have the time or the energy at the moment to work out and write down the equivalent values of each product! (I think I did this once, it took hours but was actually quite satisfying. Those were the days.)
Again, there’s a bit of a sign-up mission going on again here – the gift is exclusive to My HN app users, but it’s free to join the rewards scheme and pretty easy to do. To qualify for the gift you have to spend £250 over at least three products in the Beyond Beauty section. There’s no end date stated on the info page for this, so I assume it’s while stocks last.