For the love of beauty
Sure, flowers are nice, but Valentine's Day beauty picks last longer and are every bit as wonderful.
The Scent of a Woman … or a Man
Whether your sweetie is a he or a she is pretty irrelevant when it comes to shopping for fragrances. Most niche scents these days are gender-neutral, created to be applied to the pulse points of men and women alike. “The whole notion of male and female fragrance was something that was created by the marketing departments of mass brands,” says Steven Gontarski, the manager of Scent Bar, the Los Angeles bricks-and-mortar outpost of Lucky Scent, an online retailer of artisan perfumes. “We tell our customers, forget about whether a scent is masculine or feminine; those divisions are meaningless. Lavender can work beautifully as a note in a man’s fragrance and wood scents appeal to women as much as they do to men. All that matters is how you experience a scent on your own skin.”
Here are a few beautiful androgynous options that any valentine would be delighted to receive:
Bergamot leads this new scent from Parfums de Marly, followed by geranium, amber, pink pepper, vanilla and wood. What lingers is a hint of caramelized coffee. $200
The star of Philippe Starck’s new perfume label, Starck Paris, represents “the space between” the masculine and feminine, with notes that are earthy, mineral, musky and woody. $150
Paolo Terenzi is the nose behind the eponymous Tiziana Terenzi collection. His Luna collection, in bottles with 24-karat gold accents, is inspired by moonlit nights in the Italian city of Matera. $235 :: barneys.com
Hit the Road with Your Honey
And take along these unisex body washes. They’re made with all-natural, organic ingredients and are produced by Plant Apothecary, a Brooklyn-based company that was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Holly McWhorter and Bjarke Ballisager. The honeylike gel washes are available in five emphatic scents: Get Happy, Calm Down, Be Well, Get It On and Wake Up. You can sample them all in a set of TSA-approved travel sizes. This is a gift in more ways than one: Plant products are made with the help of adults with physical and mental disabilities who work at the nonprofit BKLYN UNLTD, so your purchase supports the mission of giving disabled adults access to work training and paid work opportunities. $30
An Eye Opener
For full-on flirting, you need perfectly crimped lashes that you can flutter seductively. If traditional mechanical curlers fill you with fear, Chella’s Heated Lash Curler offers a pinch-free, poke-free alternative. Simply heat, place under your lash line and lift.
$22 :: chella.com
Red Light, Blue Light
The Baby Quasar at-home light devices may not produce the dramatic results of the high-tech treatments your dermatologist offers. But with regular use, these portable LED devices can make a noticeable difference, with no downtime and lower cost and without leaving the comfort of your bathroom. The red-light devices target wrinkles and fine lines, while the wavelength of the blue-light Baby Quasar kills acne-causing bacteria. $249 to $595