There are few things that will have beauty junkies bouncing around like an eager child on Christmas Day. Perhaps that elusive red lipstick that glides on like perfection, or a five-session killer massage package — let's be honest, a one-off doesn't quite cut it these days. Or, if you ask us, six gorgeous Aesop gift kits that have the ability to switch your skincare and body regimen around like a dream.
Hardly anyone is a stranger to Aesop's prowess in the beauty world. Charge into the bathroom in most hipster cafes — or hotels like Capella Singapore — and their hand soaps and hand balms sit in sleek dark amber bottles like a purposeful design element. Most people walk out with what we like to call the post-Aesop experience look — cupping their hands to their face, breathing in deeply and nodding in approval.
While we saw the Melbourne-based company rolling out brilliant Aesop products this year, such as the winter-friendly Elemental Facial Barrier Cream and the brand's first SPF 50 body sunscreen, their yearly gift kits are what everyone excitedly fawns over in the store windows.
Since 2005, Aesop has rolled out themed gift kits for the festive season. We've lusted after the likes of Aesop at the Opera in 2008 to An Aesop Aviary in 2013 to last year's The Guild of Artisans, which paid tribute to materials employed in their spaces. This year's captivating story brings forth a fresh take on constellations.
Sydney's opulent Golden Age Cinema for Aesop's big reveal and the entire space is transformed to look like we were in the twinkling night sky. Based on six of the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union and the Greek myths with which they are associated, the stars of the show, quite literally, are Auriga, Cepheus, Perseus, Andromeda, Delphinus and Cassiopeia.
The gift kits are also symbolic of the human connections we have with one another. "In the constellations, we found art and storytelling that speaks very eloquently and insightfully about the human condition across the mythologies and cosmologies over time," says Diane Cook, Aesop's copywriting manager. "With Maps of Light, we celebrate the fact that whenever we gaze at the stars, whether individually or in groups, so do those close to us at one point or another. Even if we are far apart or looking at different stars or constellations, we are all connected." This celebrated connection is exactly what we wish for this Christmas. It's time to reach for the stars.
This aromatic body care quartet was named after an Aethiopian princess, rescued by Perseus after being offered as a sacrifice to appease a sea god offended by her mother's vanity. The Andromeda Gift Kit showcases a sumptuous hand and body care range: Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash and Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm for the perfect hand ritual; A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser for use in the bath or shower and finally, the Rind Concentrate Body Balm for neck-to-toe moisturisation.
Auriga, or "the charioteer", is named for the pointed helmet worn by chariot drivers in Ancient Greece. This set of face and body grooming products consists of A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser, Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and the refreshing Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol. Perfect for the industrious workaholic or frequent flyer.
The constellation of Cassiopeia was based on an Aethiopian queen who claimed that her beauty surpassed that of the Nereids (sea nymphs), therefore attracting the wrath of sea god Poseidon. This gift kit presents the much sought-after Parsley Seed skincare range, which fortifies the skin against cell damage caused by urban pollutants and other environmental factors. What's inside? The gel-based Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser, and the lightweight Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum and Eye Serum.
Delphinus is the Latin name for dolphin, and the constellation was coined after a dolphin that was praised for rescuing the poet Arion from drowning. This gift kit is for anyone looking to start a new Aesop ritual, as its formulations suit most skin types. The Fabulous Face Cleanser removes grime without stripping skin of moisture, while the alcohol-free B & Tea Balancing Toner calms and refreshes. Finish off with the Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream, and the clay-based Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque twice a week.
Cepheus is the male protagonist in his wife Cassiopeia's tale of offending the Nereids with her beauty. This northern sky constellation also hosts the most massive black hole known in the universe. Go for this handsome set if you're after a thorough body spa experience — the Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser for gentle cleansing, Geranium Leaf Body Scrub for a beautiful exfoliation and Geranium Leaf Body Balm to hydrate your glowing skin.
Here's one for the favourite male in your life. The Perseus constellation honours a heroic namesake-best known as slayer of the snake-haired gorgon, Medusa. Its winning products are ideal for any gentleman and great for everyday use. Say hello to the Fabulous Face Cleanser, Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion or Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser for a superb lifestyle overhaul.
Available at Aesop stores from 1 November