Beauty & Health, First Blush

V-Day, Your Way!

By Genevieve LeFranc

Christmas is a distant memory, New Year’s a blur, and in a couple of weeks, February 14th  will be here in all its red, rose-scented glory. Contrary to popular belief and too many women’s magazines, Valentine’s Day is an equal opportunity occasion where everyone—canoodling couples and sassy singletons alike—should seize the day to look and feel their best. V-Day is all about love, so follow my tips for showing your skin, hair, and nails some major affection, no matter how you choose to spend your February 14th.

Date Night

Whether you enjoy the comfortable intimacy that comes with years of togetherness or you’re brave enough to agree to a Valentine’s date with a new suitor, few things compare to the giddy excitement of prepping for a date. Everyone enjoys grooming and preening to look their best, and these products will ensure that everyone else enjoys you looking your best as well.

For flawless, luminescent skin that radiates in the glow of a candlelight dinner, dab a highlighter, such as Benefit High Beam, across your brow bones, the bridge of your nose, and your Cupid’s bow. This ethereal, radiant liquid highlighter creates a lustrous, dewy complexion for a romantically angelic sheen. This supermodel-in-a-bottle product works wonders for all skin tones, and will have your date drooling over your incandescent skin.

To avoid that sloppy, smeared-clown look after hours of smooching, try CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Lipcolor. This affordable, long-lasting formula lasts up to 16 hours, and remains resilient through a long day at work, a romantic dinner, a tough workout, and, most importantly, a Valentine’s Day snog session with your significant (or not) other. With a moisturizing topcoat that helps lock in shine and keeps your pucker smooth, you don’t have to worry about your lips drying out or your color bleeding into fine lines. Over forty shades to choose from.

For perfectly touchable skin all over, stick with long-time favorite, Kiehl’s Crème de Corps body moisturizer. For over four decades, this rich, hydrating lotion, with beta-carotene, cocoa butter and sesame oil, remains one of the most elegant and luxurious choices for pampering skin. The iconic body cream provides luscious, all-day moisture that yields touchably soft arms and legs—perfect for showing off in a slinky dress or lingerie. For optimum suppleness, apply after a shower or bath on damp skin and allow your skin to soak up the goodness before you dress to guarantee skin softer than Cupid’s bottom!

Girls Night Out

It’s a known fact that your girlfriends will appreciate your beauty efforts more than the opposite sex. If you refuse to let Valentine’s Day be the bastion of coupledom, round up your best girlfriends, don that wild cocktail dress you’ve been too shy to try, and go all out with your beauty routine. Open up a bottle of wine (or two) and spend the evening getting dolled up and celebrating your fabulousness with your best friends. Feel free to go wild and experiment with a makeup trend you’ve been otherwise reluctant to try. Whether you’ve been holding back because of work, or because your boyfriend thinks Technicolor products are bizarre, this is the perfect opportunity to let your hair down and really experiment with something fun and new. And don’t worry, your girls will tell you if you look ridiculous.

Try a funky nail polish, like O.P.I.’s Shatter Lacquer, that provides a stylish two-texture effect in an array of fun colors. Or, for similar wow factor, apply Nails Inc. Magnetic Polish. This revolutionary magnetic nail polish creates stunning, one-of-a-kind 3D nail art design in trendy metallic shades perfect for the winter season. Using a specially developed formula with metallic particles, in just a few minutes this polish creates patterns using magnetic force—how cool is that? Textured and special effects nails are huge this season, so don’t hesitate to try them for a night on the town with your gal pals. You’ll have as much fun applying them as you will receiving compliments.

Metallics, color, glitter, and texture are all bold makeup trends just begging for a girl’s night out. Opt for Laura Mercier’s Metallic Crème Eye Colour for a vibrant punch of both color and texture. This lush, metallic eye color leaves your peepers with rich pigment and a gorgeous, shimmering sheen that lasts and resists creasing. The lightweight, waterproof, and non-greasy formula comes in a small squeeze tube for an easy, controlled application. Choose from five high metallic pearl shades that can be layered for an intense color or a light swipe for subtle shimmer.

Nothing screams flirty fun like big, voluminous, rock-star hair. For hair that’ll last through dinner, drinks, and getting down on the dance floor, try Sexy Hair Concept’s Big Sexy Hair Spray & Stay “All Nighter” hairspray. This works for all hair types, resists humidity, provides long-lasting hold, and intense shine. Keep those crazy updos and elaborate styles in place through dancing, laughs, and reminiscing with your best girls.

Me, Myself, and I

If you simply refuse to participate in this Hallmark-Flowers-And-Candy Fest, why not enjoy a day of indulgence at home with the best girl you know—you! You’re worth it, so treat yourself! Feel your worries melt away while enjoying blissful, at-home treatments. How often did you pamper yourself when you were with Mr. Dirtbag, anyway? Even if no one else is there to pamper you, take the liberty of enjoying a mani/pedi, at-home facial, or deep conditioning hair treatment.  If you don’t feel like spending a fortune on a full-size container of a product, head over to your local Sephora or department store and ask for samples.

Kick back on the couch with your favorite movie and snack, and bask in the glory of a hydrating facemask. My favorite is H2O Plus Aquafirm Weekly Active Foam Mask. This self-foaming mask replenishes skin’s moisture levels while activating skin-firming collagen production, and the sea-sourced nutrients produce an instantly firming effect that plumps up your skin. The foaming action stimulates your skin for a deep surge of hydration that will leave you looking fresh, glowing, and dewy, and it’s actually kind of fun, too. You put it on, it foams up, and the foam slowly disappears as you kick back and relax.

While you’re laying there with your face covered in goop, why not add to your spa image by slipping on a pair of Bliss Glamour Gloves. Pamper parched winter cuticles and rough dry skin with these moisturizing mitts. In only 20 minutes, your tight, flaky hands will be transformed into supple, soft skin, perfect for hand-holding. The self-activating gel lining immediately softens hands and lasts up to 50 uses—guaranteed to last longer than your next fling!

Whether you choose to go the traditional date route, raise some Cain with your girlfriends or stay at home for a quiet night of self-pampering, keep the wise words of Oscar Wilde in mind as you celebrate the day of love: “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”

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