Where the Heart Is — Check out Part 1 of our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide!
While your love might not cost a thing (to paraphrase J.Lo), every girl enjoys a token of affection from time to time — however humble or extravagant it might be. After all, popping the question with the equivalent of a Cracker Jack box engraved at Tiffany’s could be the most romantic gesture ever, a real-life nod to Holly Golightly’s dream locale. With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to guide your fella in the right direction in the gifting department (yes, ladies, most men are clueless), and the suggestions below will help you do precisely that (just make sure to do the proper amount of oohing and aahing as you read the post in front of him). Guys with deep pockets can, of course, splurge on some of the big ticket items shown, while those on a tighter budget will find plenty of affordable gift ideas. And, if you’re a single gal, then celebrate your independence and treat yourself to something appropriately decadent — after all, we all need to indulge from time to time!
Below you’ll find a number of pieces that will set hearts aflutter — without any help from Cupid’s arrows. Enjoy!
Rebekah Lea Jewelry Die Hard Earrings, $10,000. Available at RebekahLea.com
Designer Rebekah Lea doesn’t do dainty, one of the many reasons her bold, dark, and slightly gothic aesthetic feels like a breath of fresh air. These gorgeous earrings are a prime example: the plethora of rubies and diamonds encrusted into the sterling silver frame of these danglers renders them ultra glamorous while the black rhodium plating adds a moody, mysterious feel. These glorious danglers feature two oval shapes, with two diamond-encrusted rings overlapping ever so slightly in the top section, then wrapping around one another as if woven together along the bottom. The oval shape along the top, meanwhile, features a diamond-shaped frame at its center encrusted with rubies, while the lower oval features a starburst shape encrusted with rubies. The earrings’ name says it all: this is a go-big-or-go-home approach to style that daring trendsetters will admire.
Treesje Moracy Tote in Magenta, $435. Available at Treesje.com
Measuring 13.5″ in length, 14″ in height, and 1.75″ in width, this tote is roomy enough to hold quite more than just keys and cell phones, a reprieve from the miniature clutches and crossbody bags that have inundated the market for seasons. Its modern shape is reminiscent of a guitar thanks the way the sides slope outward ever so slightly as you move toward the base of the bag, and the magenta color of the smooth, supple leather material is sure to turn heads as you venture down the streets. Two chain-and-leather straps allow you to sling the piece over your shoulder and go, while a longer, detachable shoulder strap allows for cross-body use.
Molton Brown Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod Body Exfoliator, $48, and Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod Single Wick Candle, $49. Available at MoltonBrown.com
Though foods like avocado, oysters, and caviar are typically considered aphrodisiacs, many cultures have long believed that spicy pepper could boost the libido and create a physical reaction similar to sexual arousal. The piquant, exotic, fiery Aframomum melegueta ginger and pink pepperpod scent of these Molton Brown products, then, could help to create a warm and sensual ambiance, leading to some serious sizzling action. The Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod Exfoliator will polish skin gently thanks to the bamboo stem particles in the formula and, when you rinse it off, your skin will benefit from the soothing, emollient, softening qualities of the shea butter and olive oil in the formula. If you fall in love with the scent, make sure to also pick up the candle, which features pink pepper and juicy tangerine top notes, a labdanum and black pepper heart, and an oakmoss and rich patchouli base that, together, offers a spicy but woody aromatic experience.
Charlotte Olympia Fleur Ankle-Wrap Platform Sandal, $1095. Available at BergdorfGoodman.com
Made in Italy, this statuesque, blush pink sandal features a 5 3/4″ satin-covered heel with a 1 1/2″ platform. The mesh uppers provide a tantalizing peek-a-boo effect, while the satin piping along the upper and lower edges add structure and contrast. The poppy red organza floral appliqués above the peep-toe vamp add a coquettish can-can vibe, while two smaller rosettes adorn the sides of the satin-trimmed, mesh ankle halter.
PDB Jewelry Lyrics 45 Silver Bangle, $195 each. Available at PDBjewelry.com
When creating these silver bangles, Nora Logan, the mastermind behind jewelry brand PDB Jewelry, was inspired by two songs with lyrics that have a special place in her heart: Q-Tip’s “Vivrant Thing” and Squeeze’s “If I Didn’t Love You.” Toying with the concept of the written word’s immortal nature, Logan decided to craft bangles featuring memorable lyrics that could possibly have the same captivating effect on her clients that they once had on her. One bangle, then, is inscribed with the words “Imprinted on my mind every minute, makes my plans and you always in it,” taken from Q-Tips “Vivrant Thing,” while the Squeeze-inspired bangle features the lyric “Singles remind me of kisses, albums remind me of plans” etched along its length.
Jenna Leigh Lingerie Malawi Soft Cup Demi Bra in Cranberry, $100 and Malawi Keyhole Hipster in Cranberry, $60. Available at JennaLeighLingerie.com
What woman wouldn’t feel like the Belle of the Boudoir in these Jenna Leigh pieces? The Malawi bra features a stretch silk charmeuse band in a mulberry shade with demi cups in a romantic black scalloped lace, while the matching hipster features a black eyelash lace decorating the waist band.
The Body Shop Chocomania Body Lotion, $12; Chocomania Shower Cream, $8; Chocomania Body Scrub, $19; Chocomania Body Butter, $20; and Chocomania Soap, $4. Available at TheBodyShop-USA.com
What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolates? Fortunately, The Body Shop’s new Chocomania collection allows you to experience the sweetness of chocolate without the caloric intake. If you’ve tried enough chocolate-scented bath and body products, you likely know most of them don’t get the aroma quite right, leaning more towards a Tootsie Roll scent than a fudge-covered cake or a smooth and velvety nugget of chocolate. Luckily, The Body Shop absolutely nailed it! The Chocomania Shower Cream is particularly delicious since it smells like fudge brownie batter (you know, the stuff you want to lick out of the bowl). The Body Butter features the same mouth-watering scent while also soothing and moisturizing the skin with ingredients like cocoa butter, soybean oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter.
All the products in the range speak to The Body Shop’s commitment to socially responsible business practices as the cocoa butter used in all the products was obtained through the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana that gives 50,000 farmers fair wages and helps to provide educational and health facilities for the entire community.
Emily Elizabeth Jewelry Hammered Heart Ribbon Necklace, $50 (on sale from $140). Available at EmilyElizabethJewelry.com
This adorable necklace, features a number of gold-plated hearts, each measuring 1 3/4″ in length, their surface hammered to create honeycomb-esque hexagon shapes that add a sense of texture and dimension. The pink grosgrain ribbon, meanwhile, adds a youthful and whimsical twist, plus it allows the wearer to adjust the length of the piece.
Butterscotch Blankees Heart Design Pillow and Love Design Pillow, $88 each. Available at ButterscotchBlankees.com
Who wouldn’t want to snuggle with these soft knit pillows, available in either acrylic or cashmere? Each pillow measures 10″ x 15″ and is available in an assortment of colorways (nine if you choose the acrylic fabric and 18 if you choose the cashmere option), as well as six different font styles. Because they can be customized, then, you can give each pillow the look you desire, selecting the main backdrop shade, the color for the lettering, and the font style.
LUSH Sexy Fun Times Gift, $26.95. Available at LUSHusa.com
This pre-wrapped gift set contains a number of goodies that actually promote couple’s play (and yes, we do mean foreplay). The pink FUN soap will bring out anyone’s inner child: it’s packed inside a wrapper reminiscent of Frootie candies, with its twisted edges; it features a sugary vanilla and tonka scent; it’s malleable so that, like Play-Doh, you can work it into different shapes, rub it onto damp skin when it’s time to cleanse, then rinse off to remove any trace of soap; and you can even toss it into a tub for a bubbly bath. The Sex Bath Bomb, meanwhile, will make a soak for two all the more decadent. Featuring jasmine, clary sage, and ylang ylang oils (all of which are considered aphrodisiacs), the pink sphere will fizz and dissolve the moment it’s dropped into a warm tub, turning the water pink and lilac while diffusing the fragrance into the air. Once you step into the tub, meanwhile, your skin will be caressed by the soya milk in the bath bomb’s formula.The You Snap the Whip exfoliating body butter bar, meanwhile, is perfect for those that know a little of pain can lead to a lot of pleasure. This coal-colored bar smells like blackcurrant and features pumice and charcoal to polish off dead skin cells, revealing smooth and radiant skin. Once you rinse, the macadamia nut oil in the formula well soften, hydrate, and nourish the skin, while the bar’s succulent scent will become all the more potent. If you want to turn up the heat after a sexy dip in the tub or a steamy shower, you can reach for the jasmine and vanilla scented Tender Is the Night massage bar, which features a shea and murumuru shell that ruptures relatively easily upon contact with the skin, allowing the almond oil, glycerin, cupuaçu and agave syrup at its center to emerge and gently moisturize and soften the skin. Let the games begin!
Gioelli by Nikki Baker Red Topaz Asscher Earrings with Gold Vermeil Earwire, $245. Available at NikkiBaker.com
These Asscher-cut red topaz earrings, amounting to 26 carats total, will make any woman feel like royalty and yet you won’t have to spend three months’ salary to afford them. Intricately faceted so that they reflect light playfully and sparkle enticingly, the earrings are available with either 24k gold vermeil Balinese berry earwire or 14k gold berry earwire.
Alpinestars by Denise Focil Manhattan Silk Dress, $185. available at Alpinestarsbydenisefocil.com
Perfect for a date night, this sleeveless silk dress conveys sophistication and class thanks to its simple and timeless silhouette, which includes a rounded neckline and slightly flared skirt, while the punchy fuchsia color of the silk adds a youthful exuberance.
Nnomae Miley Cuff in Gold/Pink, $50, and Nnomae Posh Cuff in Bubblegum Pink, $45. Available at Nnomae.com
Last year, we raved about the Nnomae Grace clutch in our “Fashion In Living Color” piece and, now, the Sydney-based brand is expanding its range of offerings to include leather cuffs and wrap bracelets like those pictured above. I’m particularly smitten with the Miley Cuff in Gold/Pink, made of croc-embosses leather in a metallic light gold shade with a pale pink leather strip stitched along its center, but another spectacular choice is the Posh Cuff in Bubblegum Pink, made of smooth pink leather and featuring two gold-toned round studs with flattened surfaces. Both cuffs measure 5cm in width and 21cm in length and feature stud fastenings.
Modern Lux Love Bow Stripe Long-Sleeve Tee, $24.50. Available at Store.Delias.com
This red-and-gray striped tee certainly has a lot of heart! Made of a lightweight poly-rayon material, this slouchy tee features a wide rounded neckline trimmed in black, along with ribbed cuffs and a ribbed waistline. At the center of the tee, you’ll find a heart shape made of words that spell out “Love” in different languages and, at the center of the heart, seemingly wrapping around it, you’ll find a spotted black bow.
Warehouse Heart Stud Belt, $25. Available at Warehouse.andotherbrands.com
Put a little love into your ensemble with this faux leather belt, featuring gold-tone heart studs all along its length and a square gold-tone buckle.
Archipelago Global Bazaar Collection Kadota Fig Box Candle, $29.50. Available at Archipelago-USA.com
Part of Archipelago’s Global Bazaar Collection, launched last year, this beautiful candle makes you feel like you’ve traveled to an Istanbul marketplace thanks to the jewel-toned pink tourmaline color of its glass tumbler and the matching cylindrical packaging, which is decorated with an exotic damask print. Juicy and succulent, the 5″-tall Kadota Fig candle contains acerola oil notes blended with tangy fig, quince, and a hint of patchouli. Unlike other candles that can produce scents that are either too subtle and feathery or too overpowering, this one strikes a perfect balance, filling the room with an orchard-worthy aroma.
Xhilaration Junior’s Knit Tee and Short Sleep Set, $12.99. Available at Target.com
Let’s keep it real: most girls don’t sleep in silk camisoles (sorry to ruin the fantasy, my male readers!). Most of us reach for a cozy pair of shorts and a soft tee or tank before hitting the sack. But, of course, that doesn’t mean we need to reach for the rattiest, most faded pieces in our dresser. This adorable sleepwear set, featuring a cotton polyester tee with a striped heart motif and pink shorts with an elastic waistband, will spruce up any gal’s nighttime look while remaining comfortable and practical enough for regular use.
Alterna Caviar Glitterati Sparkling Champagne Spray, $20. Available at Sephora.com
Pop the bubbly without having to spend Dom Perignon prices ! This champagne-hued finishing spray adds a shimmering effect to tresses, while also providing flexible hold and safeguarding color from the fading caused by UV exposure. The fragrance, meanwhile, will make everyone want to lean in a bit closer thanks to the beachy lime and coconut notes.
Emi-Jay Hugs and Kisses Hair Tie 5-Pack, $11.99. Available at Emi-Jay.com
If you love wearing your hair in a ponytail or braid, then you’re probably well aware of the way in which traditional elastics pull, snag, and tug at hair, leading to tangling and even breakage. The key to saving your mane: ribbon hair ties that have a bit of stretch. Emi-Jay is among the leading brands offering these ribbon hair ties, all of which are accentuated by a knot accent. This Valentine’s-themed five-pack features two red hair ties with white hearts, two ruby red ties, and a single cotton candy pink number.
Swatch A La Folie Watch, $70. Available at Store.Swatch.com
A clear heart shape at the center of the pink dials reveals the mechanisms inside the watch, as if it were opening its heart and inviting us to look within it. Need an added incentive: the white silicone strap smells like vanilla!