Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and for all you love birds out there, I thought I’d put together a gift guide to making shopping for your loved one that little bit easier this year.
Whether you’re buying for him or her this Valentine’s Day, this luxury gift guide will help point you in the right direction to spoil your other half.
I’m hoping that I don’t cause offence when I say that I have never been one for tacky gifts such as ‘horny devil’ cuddly toys as I think that they’re a waste of money, at least for me and my hubby as it would just get shoved in a drawer and forgotten about. We love to treat each other on Valentine’s Day with a lovely gift, something sentimental (I’ll not share that on here as I think it is down to the individual) and a date day or night.
What we buy/ how much we spend and where we go/what we do varies every year depending on where we are at in our lives but our golden rule is that we only buy for one another if the item is great quality, useful, can be treasured or enjoyed and something that the other person would actually want. Otherwise, what is the point? Whether you’re spending 80p or £80, we don’t like to buy something just for the sake of it.
With that in mind, lets take a look at my top luxe Valentine’s Day gift recommendations for men and women this year.
Chocolates are the way to many a heart. If your loved one has a sweet tooth then I’d suggest checking out the Valentine’s Collection from luxury chocolatier, Godiva.
There’s no denying the beautiful presentation of their chocolates but the intricately detailed illustrated boxes are my favourite. Created exclusively for Godiva by the artist Sarajo Frieden, they have a mix of pink hues that are romantic, loving and perfect for giving with love. The design is available on many of the Godiva chocolate boxes for Valentine’s Day, including the heart shaped boxes. Everything looks more romantic and special when its heart shaped, right?
This is the 14 piece chocolate heart which contains 12 Godiva favourites for all tastes, including their classic white, dark and milk chocolate hearts and their dark Tourbillon 85, as well as two limited edition chocolates. These are Strawberry Shortcake and the deliciously sounding Crème Brulée; in all honesty, I cannot wait to gift this to Mr WLL so that I can pinch these two when he opens the box!
Perfect on their own or as an accompaniment to another gift, you simply cannot go wrong with chocolates!
I’m sure you will all know by now that fragrance is my guilty pleasure. Scent is so powerful and can evoke many memories, so gifting a bottle of a new fragrance at a loving, romantic time can ensure many reminders of happy memories.
Lots of my favourite fragrance houses have released new perfumes just in time for Valentine’s Day. My favourite being the Annick Goutal Tenue De Soirée Eau De Parfum which comes in a stunning 100ml bottle or 50ml bottle adorned with a gorgeous purple pompom that could be used as a bag charm or keyring.
The beautiful packaging certainly gives this fragrance the WOW factor but it is the perfume inside that counts and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Ideally gifted to the glamorous, go-getter who likes her fragrance to last all day, this womens fragrance is sweet, addictive and sexy.
Tenue De Soirée is a gourmand, chypre fragrance, contrasting fresh top notes with a silky heart and an addictive base. If the lady you’re gifting for loves the scent notes of iris and patchouli then this is the perfume for her.
However if you’re buying for a Narciso Rodriguez fan then let me point you in the direction of their latest fragrance as it is sure to delight. Narciso Rodriguez Fleur Musc is a brand new release that is available in Selfridges until it goes on nationwide release on 17th March.
This is a floral chypre scent that sits directly between a floral fragrance and a musc scent for the most sensual, intriguing, warming and free spirited effect. Having loved other Narciso fragrances, this one was a real surprise for me as it still has that signature musk heart but the combination of other fragrance notes really is something different for them.
With top notes of spicy pink peppercorn, a heart of musk, rose and peony and a base of woody patchouli and soft amber, this perfume is unlike anything else that I’ve smelt before and certainly an ideal fragrance for a woman who loves to stand out for all the right reasons. Plus, the gorgeous deep pink bottle couldn’t be more perfect for the month of love.
A fragrance that I suspect will be incredibly popular this Valentine’s Day is the brand new Jimmy Choo L’Eau. It was only released at the end of January however because of its immediate nationwide launch, it is easier to buy on the highstreet and online than the Annick Goutal and Narciso Rodriguez perfumes above.
L’Eau is described as being the expression of a glowing sensuality. It combines citrus fresh top notes of bergamot and hibiscus flower with a fruity floral heart of nectarine and peony and a sensual base of cedarwood and musk. The effect is distinctly feminine and one which I think many women across the board will love so if you’re unsure of which scent to buy this year, I think that this one is a pretty safe bet.
Two new fragrance releases that are guaranteed to be really highly sought after this year are from Paco Rabanne who have updated another two of their most popular fragrances; Olympéa for the ladies and Invictus for the men.
The new Paco Rabanne Olympéa Intense Eau de Parfum is everything that was loved about the original fragrance and more. The same structure remains with an emphasis on even more of its most desirable fragrance notes, especially the creamy salty-vanilla, to create a sensual oriental scent.
With top notes of Brazilian Passionfruit and red raspberry, a floral heart of vibrant passionflower and orange flower and a base of alluring musk and cedarwood, this fragrance smells much more rich and deep than the original. The salty-vanilla softens the scent and gives it a creaminess that I didn’t notice as much with the first Olympéa.
Shop it in store and online from many of the most easily accessible stores including Boots, The Perfume Shop, John Lewis and Debenhams. There is a 30ml, 50ml and 80ml bottle available which means that most budgets will be covered and you can also choose the size to suit the persons tastes and lifestyle.
For mens gifting this year, I’d recommend the Paco Rabanne Invictus Intense Eau de Toilette which is another personal favourite of my husband and the scent that I’ll be gifting to him this Valentine’s Day. Out of the two new releases from Paco Rabanne, I’d say that this one is the most unlike the original. It does have a similar scent but it is far darker and less sporty fresh.
Invictus Intense has top notes of black pepper, orange flower and laurel leaf blended into ambergris, whisky cream and salty black amber.
The overall feel for this fragrance is sexy and seductive rather than sharp. It is very masculine with prominent notes of amber and whisky. I think for some, this will be an evening scent and one that would be ideal for a man in his twenties and thirties. For my hubby, he likes to wear something like this all throughout the day as smelling great is important to him even when at work.
Just like Olympéa Intense, Invictus Intense is readily available on the highstreet and online.
For younger women in their late teens and twenties, the Ghost range of fragrances are a great option as they smell beautiful but don’t break the bank.
My top pick has to be Ghost Deep Night which is a perfume that I have worn since I was in my teens. It is a fruity floral fragrance that is perfect to wear all throughout the day and night. With top notes of cereus and rose, a heart of peach, apricot and white wood and a warming base of amber, vanilla and musk, it smells more expensive than its price tag and it doesn’t smell generic or sickly sweet.
Deep Night really stands out as a beautiful fragrance and my favourite of all perfumes that would be thought of as being more affordable.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day gifting, I tend to find that makeup and skincare are often overlooked in the cosmetics department in favour of fragrance which seems to be an easier choice to make for a present.
However choosing makeup and skincare needn’t be difficult. If you’d like to treat your loved one to some makeup, I’d recommend heading along to a counter in a department store and show the sales assistant a photo of the person you’re buying for that best represents them. They’ll be able to take a look at their skintone, hair, eye colour and the makeup that they currently wear and suggest a range of products that should suit them.
I’d suggest sticking with lipstick and blush as a safe bet or a product that is universally suited such as the Paul and Joe Primer.
The Paul and Joe Beaute Spring 2017 Collection which you can read about in this post, was designed with romance in mind and there are plenty of makeup items to suit all, in beautifully whimsical packaging. My favourites are the Russian Blue cat shaped lipstick which adapts to the individual wearer and the Pearl Foundation Primer which will not only delight because of how beautiful it is but because it is highly covetable and collectable too!
Another option for lipsticks would be the Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge lipsticks which have been reinvented and released in new luxe packaging that features the signature Lancôme rose on the top. The packaging reminds me of some Chanel and Kiko lipsticks which open in a similar way; for the Lancôme ones, simply click the rose and the lipstick slides out.
There are 36 shades in matte, cream and sheer formulas. I bought a few of the original L’Absolu Rouge range years ago and loved them but these are even better because of the luxury packaging and the range of finishes to choose from. I have the shades 393 Rôse Rose which is a matte, 202 Nuit & Jour which is sheer and 132 Caprice which is a stunning red in a cream finish; the perfect lipstick to wear on a Valentine’s date night.
The lips are the key focus of a lot of women right now when they’re doing their makeup and if your lady is one of them then I think that the Skyn Iceland Plumping Lip Gels would make a thoughtful gift, perhaps along with a lipstick or gloss. These are available as a pack of 5 treatments so they’re a gift that she’ll be able to enjoy far beyond Valentine’s Day.
Each sachet is a high powered, one use treatment that works to plump, hydrate and reduce lines around the mouth with the aim of giving them a more youthful and more defined appearance. I’ll be reviewing them in full on my blog soon but after the first use, I loved how smooth and hydrated my lips felt… perfectly kissable!
For those who like to take care of their skin, I’d highly recommend checking out Foreo, the skincare and anti-ageing device. They have created a fantastic range of cleansing devices suitable for all skin types from normal and sensitive through to mens skin.
For ladies, the Foreo Luna 2 is absolutely ideal. Opt for the pink device which is for normal skin, unless you’re aware of her skin being particularly acne prone or sensitive. This is Foreo’s best selling cleansing device and after trying my own out since before Christmas, I can definitely see why.
During clinical trials, its T Sonic cleanse has been found to be able to remove 99.5% of dirt and excess oils as well as makeup residue. It clears out the skin far deeper than regular cleansing alone, for example by using a micellar water on a cleansing pad, and while it is doing this, it exfoliates the skin to remove dead skin cells and refine the texture of the skin. This enables the skincare products that are used after cleansing to penetrate the skin on a deeper level and to therefore be more effective.
For the gentleman in your life, Foreo have created the Foreo Luna 2 for Men which is the essential grooming device I bet your man never knew he needed! I tend to find that many men forget skincare as part of their routine and think that it begins with shaving but really it starts before they’ve even thought about getting the shaving gel out!
The Luna 2 for Men works in only one minute, which is great for if you’re trying to convince your partner to begin a proper skincare routine. It works to deeply clean the skin while preparing it for shaving. The silicone bristles on the device leave the skin exfoliated and conditioned which enables a man to achieve a closer, smoother and more comfortable shave with reduced razor burn. Not only is this great for their skin itself but it will also save them money as it can double the life of razor blades.
However the options for beauty gifting this Valentine’s Day don’t stop there as I have two gorgeous pieces from my own collection that would make ideal gifts.
For the ultimate in luxury beauty gifting, it has to be Charlotte Tilbury who are one of my all time favourite beauty brands. From the packaging to the product inside, their pieces ooze vintage glamour so if you’re looking for a luxe gift that is guaranteed to impress, then look no further.
The great thing about Charlotte Tilbury is that they make gifting an absolute doddle, with a well organised website and counter that makes choosing what to buy someone straight forward and stress free.
There is a dedicated gifting section with plenty of categories to help narrow down your choice but let me narrow that down further with two of my favourite top picks.
For the girl who loves to travel or who is always on the go, my top pick would be the Magical Mini Makeup Brush Set. Housed inside an Artdeco inspired rose gold and crimson faux leather case are 4 essential makeup brushes which are small in size but big on performance. Theres a Powder, Blender, Smudger and Precision Brush which are great for applying makeup to the face, eyes and lips.
I took this to the Maldives with me and only needed to take one extra brush which was my flat top kabuki foundation brush, so for a woman who travels for work or leisure, this set would make a useful and beautiful Valentine’s Day gift. Plus it will enable her to carry her brushes out and about with her without fear of them damaging the inside of her bag.
For the woman who loves to take care of her skin, the award-winning Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream is my ultimate recommendation. While it is available in a 50ml size pot, my advice would be to wow your partner with the LIMITED EDITION giant 150ml version; if you can’t splash out on Valentine’s Day, when can you?
Everything about this cream screams luxury from the beautiful outer packaging to the ultra luxurious rose gold pot that will look stunning on any dressing table.
The incredibly hydrating and anti-ageing Magic Cream is suitable for all skin types. The fabulous formula will work wonders on skin of all ages too as it is designed to enable you to cheat the appearance of a good nights rest.
Whether the person you’re buying for is at university spending their days partying and feeling hungover, burning the candle at both ends running a business or being kept awake through the night with a baby, 8 hours sleep is something that I’m sure they’d love to be able to cheat!
I have been trying this cream out over the last month and I’m so impressed with it. I’ll have a full review up on the blog very soon but until then, if you have someone special to buy for or even for it you would really like to treat yourself, then go ahead. You’ll not regret it!
Accessories & Jewellery
Now if you really want to give the gift of luxe this Valentine’s Day, you cannot go wrong with Chanel. Pieces from this luxury designer are certainly an investment, regardless of what you purchase but do keep in mind that you’re buying a high quality gift that will last for years to come and be treasured forever.
For Valentine’s this year, Mr WLL has treated me to a Chanel card holder. I’ve loved this style for a long time now and thought that I’d share it with you in this post as it would make a fabulous gift. Small leather goods are ideal as gifts as they’re not as costly as larger pieces, which can be a very costly mistake if you don’t pick a style the other person likes, and they’re something that can be used every single day too.
Particularly if the person you’re buying for doesn’t have too many high end SLGs, then I’d suggest opting for a style that they can use everyday and really enjoy without worrying about damaging it; luxury pieces are bought to be used and enjoyed after all, especially smaller pieces. If you’re buying for someone who is into their luxury pieces and already has staples in their collection then of course, I’d suggest indulging in a seasonal piece, a playful colour or a more precious leather but for those just starting their collection, I think that classic is the best way to go.
I’d recommend that you choose caviar leather as it is the most durable and pick black as it’ll not absorb the colour from dark materials in bags and clothing. Select the hardware that best matches the metal of the bags that they tend to wear the most or that they prefer the most if buying for a man who rarely carries a bag.
Just like accessories, jewellery is often a popular choice for Valentines and anniversaries too. The selection available for women is so vast that I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding a piece for the girl in your life.
Instead, I wanted to shine the light on mens jewellery for once as I often feel as though it is overlooked. The focus tends to be on a watches but actually there is a fantastic range of jewellery available for men if you look in the right places.
My suggestion for this Valentine’s Day would be the Links of London Venture Black Leather Double Wrap Bracelet which I actually bought for Mr WLL for his birthday. He didn’t think that he was into jewellery last year, then tried a cheaper alternative to this bracelet from River Island, loved the look and wanted something that was higher quality and longer lasting. We searched the Metrocentre high and low but none of the items we found compared to this one as the quality, style and fit was far superior to anything else that we had found in a similar style.
This bracelet is very minimalist so it can be worn with a multitude of different looks during the day or at night. It is made from a buttery soft Italian leather, interwoven to create a gorgeous bracelet that wraps around the wrist and fastens securely with a sterling silver, smart push button closure that is subtly adorned with the Links of London logo. This is the double wrap bracelet which enables your man to rock the layering trend with one single piece but it is also available as a single wrap bracelet too.
If you want luxurious looking accessories but don’t want to fork out the designer price tag then I’d really suggest heading over to the River Island website. They have a fantastic range of stylish, luxe looking accessories, jewellery, bags and purses/wallets that any fashion conscious woman and man will love but they’ll not break the bank! I love how unique their styling is; inspired by the catwalks but distinctly River Island.
For The Home
The last, but by certainly no means the least of my gift recommendations has to be for the home. I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t love candles or beautiful home accessories and the Vera Wang for Wedgewood Love Knots Tea Light Holders in gold (also in silver here) tick both of those boxes.
These elegant tea light holders come as a set of two, making them ideal for a small table setting or having them out on display. They come with a couple of tea lights inside the box so can be used straight away to set the mood and help to create that beautiful candlelit look that is perfect for a romantic night in.
You’ll be able to see how gorgeous they look when lit in my Instagram video and how they look equally as beautiful when not in use in these photographs. That’s the sign of superb quality and style which is exactly what you get from the collaboration of two powerhouses; Wedgwood and high end bridal wear designer, Vera Wang.
The design is classic and timeless with their simple stemmed shape, silver plating, glass surround and delicate love knot adorning each holder. The love knot design is available on many more items as part of a wider range from Vera Wang and Wedgwood. Perhaps the person that you’re buying for already has something from the line or maybe you used something from the range at your wedding and would like to purchase another piece to not only say ‘I Love You’ now but to remind the person that you’re buying for of that special day.
Either way, the Love Knots collaboration is sure to have something beautiful to gift this Valentine’s Day so do check out the Amara website to see the full range.
Of course these gifts are not just for Valentine’s Day, they’d make great presents for a birthday or anniversary too whether you’re buying for a man or a woman.
I hope that this gift guide has given you a little bit of inspiration for when you’re next shopping for someone special and if its this Valentine’s Day, then I hope the day is special for you and filled with lots of love.
Love & Be Loved ❤
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Which gift would you love to give or receive this year?