With February 14th right around the corner, you might want to start collecting some Valentine's Day essentials that'll make you look and feel H-O-T on V-day. But, if you're anything like me, preparing for Valentine's Day is sometimes easier said than done.
I have this problem, wherein I hem and haw about special occasions—what I'll wear, how I'll do my hair, obsessively checking the weather to figure out if I'll be able to wear the fun shoes I've been "saving" for the "right occasion." Ah, the road to hell was paved with good intentions (usually me trying to plan ahead). Instead of my obsessiveness paying off, I usually end up getting down to the wire of said event and suddenly having a meltdown. I don't want to wear anything I own, my skin is not cooperating at all, and I can't do a cat's-eye to save my life. And then I feel like the whole night is ruined and I grumpily throw an outfit on that I'm not jazzed about and tell my boyfriend I'm ready to go.
Of course, as the night goes on I start feeling better (being around people you like will do that to you), but I always think to myself how much easier it would be if I just had a little more confidence leaving the house to begin with. And yes, confidence does come from within, but we also all want to feel like some version of our best selves when we're getting all dressed up for a night out on the town! With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I challenged myself to think of the products that make me feel sexy and ready for a date night ahead of time so I could remember to use them to prepare for V-day instead of panicking the day of. It's all about preparation, my friends.
A few of my favorites require a little upkeep and a bit of planning (a.k.a., you should start some of them ASAP and not wait until the day before Valentines' Day), but they're my favorites for a reason and I hope if you try them out they make you feel confident and ready for your date night out (or in!). Of course, the only thing that really matters on Valentine's Day is being with loved ones—but if you're still looking to add a little sizzle to your February 14th look, these 10 Valentine's Day essentials are all you need.
Nest Eau de Parfum in Black Tulip
There's nothing like a sexy scent to give you the spritz of confidence you need. And this one from Nest isn't for any shrinking violets. The warm floral scent packs a ton of sex appeal, thanks to the mingling fragrances of black amber plum, patchouli, pink pepper, and Japanese violet.
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $74
Baby Foot Peel
This is the best way to make even the most calloused of feet feel and look like like they've been getting weekly pedicures since birth. When I first used it, I was simultaneously grossed out and amazed—but the results made me feel more confident than I've probably ever felt in sandals (or barefoot around the house) in a long time.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $21
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
This is a prime example of something you should be starting ASAP (hopefully giving yourself a couple of weeks before Valentine's Day), as it takes a little while for your skin to adjust. By now, we should all be on the retinol/retinoid train—even if it's preventative—as this is one step that most dermatologists agree is imperative to keeping skin smooth and bouncy. But beyond the long-term effects, this retinol cream from Drunk Elephant provides some pretty amazing short-term effects as well. I found it made my skin feel almost immediately tighter, smoother, and brighter—but just make sure you don't start using it every night right off the bat, as it packs a punch!
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $74
Hinoki Body Lotion
What's not to love about Le Labo? It has a cult following for a reason, and when they released a line of body care products I jumped on them. The body lotion is not only super moisturizing, but also has a scent that stays on your skin all day—something I've found to be a favorite quality of mine with Le Labo products. Nothing irks me more than paying big bucks for something scented that I love, only to have it wear off within a couple of hours.
SHOP NOW: Barneys New York, $40
Glam Glow Fizzy Lip Treatment
If you want both a satisfying and effective way to get rid of all that gross dead skin on your lips (we all have it, it's winter), this is your ticket. It fizzes (which is fun) but also produces smooth, fresh lips so you can glide on that Valentine's Day lipstick with ease.
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $24
Bronzing Water Mousse
The sad truth of the matter is, I feel more confident when I have a little bit of a (sunless) glow. And during the winter months, it's rare that I put in the effort to put any of my go-to St. Tropez on, unless there's a special occasion (i.e., a wedding or date night). This bronzing water mousse has become a favorite of mine as it has little to no transfer onto my sheets or clothing—a HUGE plus, especially if you're applying it last minute and need to get dressed directly after.
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $42
Olaplex 3-4-5 Bond Maintenance System
As a person who's been bleaching her hair platinum for over five years (hellloooo damage!), when Olaplex came around and I heard all the buzz I knew I had to try it. My hairstylist has been using the salon version in tandem with my root touch-ups and tonings for a while, and the consumer version proved just as hype-worthy. My hair looks and (almost more important) feels so much healthier when using this system! And it gets better with every wash, so try it out before your Valentine's Day date night—it's not just for bleached hair; mine was just in dire need of some TLC!
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $28 each
Precisely, My Brow Pencil
In my opinion, this is the mother of all eyebrow pencils. For years I had been searching for a pencil that was natural, but impactful and a cooler shade of dark blonde (so many brow pencils that are in the blonde family veer towards a goldenish tone which ends up looking odd on me). This guy is all of those things. Not that I'm shocked, as Benefit is the master of the brow!
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $24
Yes, there are fancier, newer, much more expensive dry shampoos out there, but after trying a handful of them, my personal favorite is still this classic. Even if your hair is freshly washed for your Valentine's Day date, I always find that a little dry shampoo adds some volume and texture to my hair, especially at the root.
SHOP NOW: Ulta, $14
Soothing Facial Oil
I only discovered this magical oil recently, but within a day could already tell a difference in my skin—and I swear, I'm not just saying that. My skin is highly sensitive, prone to redness and blotchiness and hyperpigmentation. But when I use this nightly, I wake up with almost completely even and calm skin. It truly does soothe it! Plus, it's all natural.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $55