It’s that time of year again…Valentines. Love it, hate it or anywhere in between…you or someone that loves you might need some help picking out some most excellent makeup and beauty treats/ gifts hence this post! Maybe you could leave this page conveniently open somewhere really obvious to be discovered by your love needing a hint or you could just use it as the perfect inspo/ excuse to treat yourself to something…why not!
I wouldn’t go as far to say I hate Valentine’s day, but do get grossed out by all the cringe and forced romance of it ha ha. People crammed in to restaurants and making grand/ cheesy gestures because they think they have to…nope. I like ‘just because’ and little acts of showing someone you love them all year round…date nights, food and random presents aren’t just for Feb 14th!
Whatever your feelings or your plans, I’ve put together a few of my own favourites that would make the perfect gift for the makeup/ beauty lover in your life now and any time you fancy! All cruelty free (will let you know if something’s vegan too as we go…a lot are) and not all are spendy…there’s something for all budgets here!
Who doesn’t want to smell amazing or wouldn’t like to receive a lush new fragrance for Valentines?? I’ve spoken about the Kat Von D Beauty Saint (UK* / IE*) and Sinner (UK* / IE*) fragrances before and in way more detail here if you need a hand deciding which to go for/ can’t get to a store to give them a try yourself. I have worn them separately but most of the time prefer a mix of Saint and Sinner, yum…I’d be more than happy to be gifted either of these addictive, cruelty free and vegan scents though.
Not only do they smell incredible, the bottles are actual works of art (Kat designed them herself) and are beautiful collectables too! Available in 100ml, 50ml and 10ml travel/ purse sprays so you can be as savvy or spendy as you want. The purse sprays are a great option if you’re still unsure which to go for too, try both!
This next one is a spendy one, but worth every penny in my opinion! Especially if you/ your love has long/ thick hair…the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer*. It took me ages to convince myself that spending that much on a hairdryer…a hairdryer!!…was a good idea, but after being lucky enough to get one for Christmas it’d be so hard to go back to a regular dryer now. With it’s temperature control, it’s way less damaging on your hair and cuts dry time massively! A must if someone’s in to their beauty gadgets and something they probably wouldn’t buy themselves, so a perfect gift idea if your budget allows it! Full blow dry (on my long hair!) in 8 minutes-ish, yes please!
Pixi Beauty is one of my favourite cruelty free brands with loads of great skincare and makeup bits to choose from. So many actually, but I’ll just share my top 3 picks of now to hopefully make it a bit easier to pick something out!
Firstly the Pixi Glow Tonic is something I think everyone should have in their lives! You can read more about the Glow Tonic acid toner’s glow giving here. If your love hasn’t tried it already, they need too! It smooths, brightens and is an essential skin care routine step in my opinion.
Next up and probably no surprise, the Pixi Glow Mist…I have and love so many complexion/ fixing sprays, but always like to have a bottle of this for days when I need that extra glow and hit of moisture! You can use it before makeup for a smooth application and a hydrating, nourishing effect on the skin…after your makeup to set, add a dewy finish and just soften down any powder products and you can give yourself a spritz anytime to refresh, hydrate and up your glow. I love using it before highlighter to really make it pop!
Speaking of highlighter…the Pixi Glowy Gossamer Highlighters are beautiful! Available in 2 shade waves (I have it in ’Subtle Sunrise’ a super wearable light warm gold duo which works perfectly for my fair skin tone as well as seeing it looking amazing on skin way darker than me too…it’s as if they have a more translucent base, so suitable for all which is great!), both really pretty with a luminous skin like finish and most importantly for a highlighter in my opinion…glitter free! They’re infused with diamond powder which brightens and gives the most gorgeous glow, they’re long wearing and I love how you can really buff the tiniest amount on for a subtle glow from within or just a tad bit more takes you in to blinding glow territory…perfect whatever your preferences and these highlighters are vegan too.
Do your love (or yourself!) a massive favour and if they don’t have it already…pick up the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette*. It’s one of those cult classics that everyone needs in their makeup collection! Personally it’s one of my most reached for and used everyday palettes. Intensely pigmented, blendable and easy to work with…the ABH MR is a wearable, packed full of delicious warm neutrals and is a suits all essential!
If you want something a little more compact (also less spendy), but still neutral and super wearable…check out the Kat Von D Beauty Shade + Light Eye Contour Quad (UK* / IE*) in the shade Fawn. I picked this little guy up before Christmas from Sephora when it was first launched and have been pretty much using it constantly ever since! I already have these quads in other shades, but this one’s definitely my favourite and the most neutral by far. Housed in a perfectly spook petite black coffin esq palette, these shadows are highly pigmented and great everyday shades…travel friendly and will take you from day to night with ease. Vegan/ cruelty free, mostly matte (although the Debenhams page says matte, the darkest shade does have a slight texture/ shimmer fleck through the matte base…I really like it though, it’s easier to blend out and doesn’t look really shimmery on) and an absolute beaut that anyone would be happy to receive!
Everyone wears some form of product on their lips, from balm to liquid lipstick…hence a lip product being the perfect choice for gifting! If your person doesn’t like a lot of colour or prefers a gloss, the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Luminizer in Fenty Glow is just the ticket. As the name suggests it’s totally universal and I haven’t seen a single person of any skin tone that it doesn’t look good on. Non sticky, feels comfortable and hydrating on smells unreal…it has an addictive peach-vanilla scent that isn’t overpowering, obsessed!
A great more affordable and still cruelty free alternative are the NYX Butter Glosses* or Butter Gloss Intense* which are easily picked up in store at most larger Boots stores too. These come in a wide range of shades, so you’re bound to find something that suits. A few of my fave neutral shades are Fortune Cookie, Madeleine, Tiramisu, Creme Brulee and Cookie Butter (which is from the Intense range and is a really pretty light nude, especially good to compliment a smokey eye!).
Next up from Italian indie/ cruelty free brand (and one of my most loved brands) NABLA with the Love Kit*. A beautiful set of 4 matte liquid lipsticks…their liquid lippies are one of the most comfortable formulas out there in my opinion and last all day without flaking or giving that gross dry ‘cat butt’ effect to the lips. These aren’t as neutral and are richly pigment packed, so not for the feint hearted…but I love the colour selection in this…Blair (warm peachy nude), After Rain (raspberry coral), Status Single (deep plum) and Acrylic Love (True Red). Perfect for Valentines and beyond!
If you’re looking for a single lip product or gift set, definitely head in Kat Von D Beauty’s direction! There’s a full spectrum of shades to choose from and a formula for everyone, especially now the new Studded Kiss Creme Lipsticks (UK* / IE*) have launched. I LOVE them! So creamy, comfy and long lasting. The Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (UK* / IE*) is one of my all time favourite formula liquid lipsticks and I love using the Everlasting Lipliners (UK* / IE*) as long wearing eyeliner as well as on my lips. There are a few KVD gift set options available too…the Everlasting Lip Liner Trio (UK* / IE*) with 3 of their best selling liner shades, the Everlasting Obsession Lip Liner Vault/ Collectors Edition (UK* / IE*) and the Lolita Obsession Collectors Edition Set (UK* / IE*) too which happens to be every formula in KVD’s best selling and universally flattering Lolita shade.
Good (neutral) shades to look out for: Bow N Arrow, Ludwig (my everyday ride or die nudes), Lolita (OG especially but all are pretty rosy chestnut shades), Underage Red (if your gift recipient likes bold), Sanctuary and Hawkwind are beautiful deep nudes and Vampira (deep nude or vampy for paler complexions)…yes!!
New from I Heart Makeup (Makeup Revolution/ TAM Beauty) is the Bleeding Heart Highlighter…obviously ‘on theme’ for a Valentines gift guide, but it’s actually gorgeous on! Super affordable and cruelty free…I’m not usually a fan of pink makeup/ pink in general, but this looks really pretty and more healthy glow esq than pink. Buffed on to the cheekbones it gives a beautiful wet sheen rather than glitter. I like this way more than I thought I would! I feel like it would also work on the majority of skin tones…highlight, blush topper, even on the eyes…there’s loads of ways you could wear it to add glow and a subtle pop of light.
How cute is this Spectrum Valentine’s Brush Set?? Even like me, if you prefer your brushes black (as your soul) or are in to unicorn/ mermaid pretty or maybe the ultra popular at the mo marble and rose gold…there’s a spectrum brush collection for you! Spectrum brushes are cruelty free and vegan, affordable and are available in sets and singles. A makeup lover can never have too many brushes, even if they own loads already!
Hope this has helped to inspire a gift or enable you! Whatever your Valentines plans (or not), have a good one. We’ll be having a regular Wednesday for sure ha ha, but will be looking forward to our next date night/ non Valentine specific dinner out!
Do you have any Valentine plans or traditions or are you also not a fan?? Let me know!
I’m now based in Cork, Ireland. Although I do still take select bookings for North Wales/ Cheshire and Dublin (get in touch for more info) and am available to travel country wide…I’m mainly taking makeup bookings for Cork City and surrounding areas.
As a bridal makeup specialist, I do get booked up well in advance so if you’re looking for wedding makeup in Cork contact me asap to check availability, secure your date and avoid disappointment! I’m freelance and travel to your home/ venue of choice.
Also available for makeup for any occasion/ event, lessons and master class makeup…find more information and a full list of services here.
Contact us for enquiries/ bookings and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.