Get the beauty spy's secrets on the perfect Valentine's Day gifts.
The Beauty Spy: get glamorous for Valentine's Day
I adore the idea of Valentine's Day, as it's the perfect excuse for some indulgent pampering. There's nothing quite like unwrapping white boxes tied with red bows, or languishing in the bath, sinking into a pillowy cocoon of warm, scented bubbles.
But sometimes the men in our lives can get Valentine's Day so wrong. Thankfully, those in the beauty know-how notice this, too, and roll out their new fragrance and gift-set collections just in time. To ensure you don't get a panic-buy perfume or a wilting bouquet from the late-night market, send your man along to the beauty counters with a thorough, foolproof list.
Valentine's Day wouldn't be Valentine's Day without roses. I love Neal's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm, which can be used as a cleanser, an exfoliant or a nourishing cream to quench dry skin. Another romantic must-have is Aromatherapy Associates Renew Rose Massage & Body Oil. A gorgeous blend of floral scents, this makes an ideal gift for a man as well.
Achieving a kissable pout is easy with L'Occitane's Shea Lip Balm in Desert Rose. Rich in shea butter, this organic lip balm helps to moisturise, soften and perfume your lips. Plus, adding a slick of red lipstick is a surefire way to turn heads. Bold but wearable, YSL's Rouge Volupte lipsticks in Rose Paris and Rose Opera are the best seasonal brights I've found.
Oscar de La Renta's Live in Love perfume, new on the market, is the latest heady cocktail to bewitch and beguile. A blend of rose and jasmine, it's chic, elegant and feminine, leaving you just one spritz away from seduction.
Florals may feel too light or girly for this time of year, but I've yet to meet a woman who doesn't go weak at the knees over the black-and-gold packaging of Chanel. Though you still can't go wrong with a bottle of Chanel No. 5, nudge your man in the direction of their Sublimage Cream. Delicate and seriously expensive, this skin elixir will leave your complexion glowing - and you feeling effortlessly indulged.
Finally, don't despair if your man falls short. Of course, punish him immediately by using his credit card, but there are plenty of ways to treat yourself if he forgets. Why not abandon the clichéd box of chocolates and put the calories in your bath instead of on your hips? Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath has a sumptuously rich texture that lathers up nicely. Or try Philosophy Melting Milk Chocolate Body Soufflé.
After all, love is more than skin deep.
3 of the best
Create a romantic mood with these luxe candles
DIPTYQUE ROSA MUNDI, DH250 A limited edition that is bursting with the famous damask rose scent. Encased in a beautiful white lacquered glass with pretty pink flowers, this is ideal as a gift, too.
MILLER HARRIS LES ORIENTALES CANDLE SET, DH330 Spicy and warming, this trio of fragranced oriental candles subtly excites the senses. Choose from Fleur Oriental, Geranium Bourbon and Noix de Tubéreuse.
NEOM LUXURY ORGANICS, COMPLETE BLISS MOROCCAN BLUSH ROSE, DH282 Made from 100 per cent pure essential oils, this makes an attractive addition to the sitting room or the bathroom. One of the loveliest smelling candles there is.
ESTÉE LAUDER SENSUOUS NUDE
There are three words that spring to mind when you spray yourself with this gorgeous new scent from Estée Lauder; intimate, warm and feminine. The name says it all, really, and this seductive fragrance will tempt you with its sultry mix of musk, bergamot and rose.
Dh294 for 50ml, available at leading beauty counters across the UAE