Love for Sale - what beauty products to splash out on for Valentine's Day
It's time to feel passionately pretty, says our beauty expert, whether you're buying for a loved one or just for yourself
We could offer you a list of beautiful things to buy the one you love for Valentine's Day, which, in case you haven't heard, is a mere two days away. Then again, you're unlikely to have missed it. Only seven weeks after Christmas and the pressure is on to get gifting again. Gifting: one of those verbs you just can't get away from these days.
We have a better idea when it comes to marking Valentine's Day. If you're going to splash out on something pretty, make it some bit of pretty that you'd enjoy for yourself. You might just enjoy that it makes you look better for the big romantic night out, or for the first date on this significant date - or maybe it makes you feel a bit frivolous, a bit pampered, a little bit special, purely for your own self-esteem.
Valentine's Day is big pressure on so many fronts, and if you're flying solo, it can feel like a major fail. So do something nice for yourself this February and splash out on something special. Our favourites range from spring scents for him and her, through a cute complexion complement to a chic complete compact. Go on, treat yourself. Or, if you must, feel free to buy one of our top five for the love of your life.
Chanel Chance Eau Vive Body Moisture, €48, Chanel counters nationwide
In theory, we know that it's all about the layering. We all know that the way to get the most out of a favourite fragrance is to layer it up - starting in the shower, if you're feeling really expansive - and then the scented lotion, before finally spritzing with the scent. Yes, that sounds like something you'll start doing when you finally get the time. A scented body lotion, however, not only doubles up on your scent, but moisturised skin holds fragrance more securely. This is a zesty floral, with jasmine and citrus notes. "Bright and cheeky and full of spring feeling," said one panellist.
Best Him or Her
Jo Malone London Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense, €135, Brown Thomas
Many of the Jo Malone fragrances are unisex, but the Cologne Intense collection is often the go-to option for men. It's not just the black-glass bottle, but also the fact that these fragrances are more punchy and powerful than the rest. Myrrh & Tonka is "oriental" in feel, heavy and heady and warm, with a suggestion of incense. "Weighty without being headache-inducing," said one panellist. "The opposite of my normal citrussy cologne."
Best Full Face
Bobbi Brown Sultry Nude Eye and Cheek Palette, €57.50, Arnotts; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Brown Thomas
Bobbi Brown's Valentine's release features five shades of red lipstick (€32.50) and this is the compact to complement that high-impact lip. Stacked on two tiers, it features four eyeshadow shades ranging in hue from a shimmery beige to a chocolate brown, and one classic dusty-pink blush. "This compact sums up why I love Bobbi Brown," one panellist said. "It's amazing with high-glamour red lips, but it translates brilliantly to everyday, too."
Best Cheek Pinch
Clarins Love Skin Illusion Blush in Luminous Pink, €20, Clarins counters nationwide
The little hearts on the packaging indicate that this is a seasonal limited-edition line of cute compact blushes. Containing pink opal powder, which lends a radiant glow to each of the three shades available, the effect is subtly glowing. Application is a doddle, with just the right amount deposited onto the built-in sponge as you unscrew the lid. The pink is very pretty, but take a look at the Havana Gold shade to put by for summer. "This is a can't-go-wrong product," said a panellist. "It goes on silky and in the right spot, too."
Best Spring Flush
L'Occitane Terre de Lumiere Eau de Parfum, €65, L'Occitane shops nationwide
The idea behind this fragrance is that it evokes "the golden hour" in Provence: that early evening, sun-setting, still-warm part of the day. It's supposed to be the smell of summer, but not so much high noon as sultry sundown. You could safely say that a sort of sexy warmth is what they're going for, with lavender honey, tonka bean, vanilla and white musk. "There's a lightly flowery freshness in this to begin with," a panellist said, "but it settles to golden warmth. Cosy but chic."
Sunday Indo Life Magazine