Feb 8, 2013

This Ones For the (Beauty) Lovers: My Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Reflecting back on Valentine's Days of old, my most fond memories of celebrating the holiday come from elementary school. Decorating handmade cards, anticipating a huge candy binge, and becoming a handwriting analyst when reading way too deeply into the quickly scribbled message my crush left on the cards his mother probably made him sign always made it a special time. To me Valentine's Day is not about making some overwrought romantic comedy come true, but about showing yourself, a friend, or a loved one a little extra attention and affection because you've been meaning too but you've been so busy! Instead of being annoyed by the 'commercial'-ness of the holiday, let it be a reminder to make time for yourself or someone else.

For that best friend, a new-ish relationship, or (obviously) yourself, my first Valentine's Day pick is the We Heart Collection box from Birchbox. The box is valued at $76, but the limited edition collection is only $36 and includes a full size Color Club polish, Jane Tran Bobby Pins, Cargo Triple Action Mascara, Youngblood primer, and my two personal picks for things that must be in everyone's beauty bag- Oscar Blandi Texture and Volume Spray and a stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer Set. Note: As I'm writing this, the box just sold out! In case they decide to make more available, I'm keeping this on the list. If not, a three month subscription for Birchbox is only $30 or you can purchase items separately and make your own collection of things You Heart.


Often on social media I see people complaining to no end about the perfume samples that beauty subscription services throw in as one of their products. "I could get this for free at Sephora!" is the common outcry. Most of the time I'm anti-perfume samples that are gone in two spritzes, however, a few months ago Birchbox included an MCMC Fragrances sample. The Brooklyn based boutique fragrance brand and studio creates small batches of the fragrances which are bottled by hand. They have partnered with Brooklyn jeweler Odette NY to offer a Valentine's Day gift that not only smells amazing but comes with an arrow ring I've had my eye on for awhile. Available for purchase at MCMC's website for $99, with a retail value of $120.



Speaking of social media, if you've seen my Instagram feed lately, you may have noticed the distinctive Amarte Cosmetics pink bottles that have found their way into my daily skincare routine. A much more thorough review will up soon, but in the meantime, for the ultimate beauty lover in your life, the Amarte Skincare Heart & Seoul Collection provides the perfect balances of romantic packaging and luxurious, effective ingredients. Included in the set, which is available for $185 though the products retail for $300 separately: Eyeconic Eye Cream (3.8% pure retinol!), Aqua Veil Hydrator, Hydrolift Cream,  Daily Wonder Cleansing Foam, and two shades of Natural Finish BB Cream. The packaging is so pretty you won't even need to wrap it.

Happy Valentine's Day to all! Hope you make some new favorite memories this year.  

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