Valentine’s Day can be overwhelming for many reasons, but the inevitable “you don’t need to get me anything, but you better get me something” gift exchange makes for a particularly stressful February 14 lead-up. The situation is only made worse when, a week out, you suddenly realize that you know absolutely nothing about that niche thing your significant other is into, which inevitably results in panicked Google searching as you desperately try to remember something they mentioned liking once in passing.
So let me try to make it easier for you: If your valentine has a very cluttered bathroom sink, or if you often find yourself waiting patiently at the entrance of Sephora, you’re in luck, because I can help. The beauty industry loves nothing more than Valentine’s Day, making it easy to find something that’s cute and seasonally appropriate. But not every product repackaged in pink is actually quality. Which is where I come in, with a list that will help you to weed out the “eh” products and ensure that you purchase the cosmetics and products that your beauty-loving significant other will be happy to use year-round.
For the Valentine Who Loves a Pop of Color
These heart-shaped blushes from Too Faced are so damn cute, they make me want to scream! I should also note that this is a really effective, long-lasting blush. Shock your valentine by saying, “This blush is great for giving your look a nice, warm pop of color, especially in the winter when you tend to start looking gray. It’s highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way, but really easy to blend out, so don’t let that scare you.”
For the Glam Valentine
If there’s one thing I know for certain, there’s no makeup lover out there who would be upset to receive this lovely set of beauty blenders. The technology behind beauty blenders allow them to evenly and naturally disperse makeup for the loveliest coverage, without absorbing all the product.
For the Skin-Obsessed Valentine
I’ve written a few times about how much I love this brand, and I’m happy to say that they continue to be some of my favorite masks on the market. My Beauty Diary masks not only fit well and don’t tend to drip down your neck (something that constantly frustrates me about sheet masks), but you also really see the results they promise, and fast. From blemish control, to brightening, to hydration, you will have your skin concern covered with this mask bundle. If you’re shopping for a person who likes masking, definitely consider this.
For the Valentine Who Gets Weekly Manicures
I’ve long been a fan of this company Floss Gloss — I almost always get complimented on my manicure when I’m wearing one of their colors on my nails. There’s something about their pigments — they are just so lively and different. This V-Day set from them is so fun and versatile — with hot pinks, nudes, and mauvy browns, your valentine will have a bevy of colors to get them through the rest of the winter.
For the Valentine Who Carries a Tiny Purse
I’ve always really liked Clinique’s chubby sticks — they give this shiny, lip-balmy lip tint that is perfect for no-mirror application when you just want something nice, subtle, and nourishing. I squealed when I saw this Chubbettes gift set on the Sephora website — I’m both extremely tickled by the name, and thrilled by their size: They could fit in even the tiniest of purses. This is a great beauty purchase for the no-makeup makeup gal!
For the Valentine Who Always Complains About Their Under-Eyes
These pale-pink eye patches are so luxurious. And while we’re here: I’ve received some questions asking if the product tends to dry out when you keep it in your fridge. The answer is no. I’ve never had that problem. There are also 60 patches in this bowl, so you’re really getting your money’s worth.
For the Valentine You Want to Kiss
These masks from Etude House are a perfect way to make your valentine’s lips super soft and smoochable. Or for helping them create the perfect canvas for a red lip if Valentine’s Day, for them, is more about color coordinating their outfit than having a romantic evening.
For the Valentine Who Just Got Into K-Beauty
Adorable and effective, this mask from Glow Recipe is perfect for the valentine who is a recent K-beauty convert. Packed with mild AHAs, this mask is a light exfoliant that helps smooth and soften skin — ensuring they’ll wake up with a lovely, bright complexion! It also smells good! And she’s pink!
For the Valentine Who Loves Sparkly Things
If you’re dealing with a beauty consumer who also happens to love sparkly, ornate everything, Jill Stuart’s beauty products are The. Perfect. Gifts. I purchased this in Tokyo because I was wildly attracted to the packaging. But then, after trying it out, I actually started incorporating this balm into my routine — and now I love it. It’s softening and hydrating, and I’m super into its fruity tint. I now own both the clear and pink-tinted versions, and I use them both often.
For the Valentine Who Likes to Smell Good
This solid Glossier You perfume is Valentine’s Day appropriate for two reasons: It kind of looks like something you could buy at Babeland, and the Glossier pink has never been so in season! I tend to be quite snobby with perfumes, so I was hesitant when I first decided to take the plunge and test out Glossier’s new fragrance, but I love it.
For the Valentine Who Loves Making Their Home a Spa
Another excellent gift for those who love skin care are these headbands. They come in a few colors, but my favorite is the baby-pink one (it’s what I wore while reviewing Hanacure a few months ago). They’re super tight, and effectively pull back all of your hair so that you can achieve optimal results when washing your face or masking. I also happen to think they make everyone look adorable.
For the Put-Together Valentine
For the person who likes to look neat and put-together, but doesn’t necessarily like to go all-out with polish — Dior Nail Glow will make a really nice gift [editor’s note: Alice Gregory has written about this before]. This is a super-shiny polish with a very subtle pink tint that makes your nails look nice and healthy, without looking overdone. In summary, this color basically just enhances your natural nail color. And it’s Dior.
For the No-Makeup Makeup Valentine
For the minimal-makeup type who is all out of Glossier or Milk Makeup products to buy, get them this kit. Make is one of my favorite new brands on the market, and this face gloss, matte lipstick, and matte eye-shadow combination is an incredible way to introduce the brand to someone who you think might like it. As you guys know, I swear by their face gloss, but I’m newly very obsessed with their matte lipstick. Most matte lipsticks dry my lips out like crazy, but this surprisingly doesn’t, and the color is so pretty.
For the Valentine Who Loves Rihanna
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