If you haven’t yet ventured over to the multi-culti shopping-slash-eating mecca that is Brixton Market, do yourself a favour: go. In fact, if you fancy a bit of holiday shopping, go there this Saturday, as the “Xmas Experience” market will be on. And when you get there, make a beeline (pun intended—you’ll get it in a mo) past the tattoo parlours and the West Indian hair salons and the stalls serving Venezuelan arepas and okonomiyaki (savoury Japanese pancakes = delicious) for Brixi, a super-cute modern-day curiosity shop within the Brixton Village arcade. In stock: recycled Welsh wool blankets, handmade greeting cards adorned with drawings by local artists, and one of the best all-purpose salves I’ve ever tried: Brixi bee balm.

 The minimalist, vintage-style packaging first caught my eye, and I love that the balm is sold in pots large and small (the latter make excellent stocking-fillers!). But I was won over by the fact that it’s made using pure beeswax by the charming shop owner’s mum—who is allergic to bees. “She is quite stubborn,” says Emy, the aforementioned shop owner. Well, my lips certainly appreciate her stubbornness—and at this time of year, my would-be-chapped hands do, too.

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