If Valentine's Day isn't the perfect excuse to treat yourself, when is? Here's what we're hoping for and what we're gifting our other halves
Whether you're loved up, spending Valentine's Day indulging in self-care or buying treats for your friends and family, we're serving up the ultimate romantic inspiration by sharing our lust-lists, including one luxury item we'd buy for the men in our lives, be they partners, friends or fathers to say thanks for all those 'secret admirer' cards of our youth.
Catherine Fulwood, GTG commercial projects manager
"This is a gift from me to me that I'll be using twice this week to really indulge my skin. First up as 15 minute session in the bath and then as a luxurious overnight treatment for the ultimate lifting effect. This glorious mask also comes in a supersize (!) limited edition Year of the Ox red, which would make the perfect Galentine's gift, if you’re feeling uber generous."
"If you're looking for something to up your takeaway game, then look no further than this Masion Margaux Valentine's Box, containing Oscar de la Renta Dessert Plates, no less, plus IG worthy candles and 20 pink roses from Flowerx. This is a gift with a difference. Take note and surprise her, just don’t forget to order in dessert and a bottle of bubbly too."
"Wine might not seem like the most original of Valentine's gifts but having stumbled across Lucy’s Wines a few weeks ago I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve always been intrigued by organic wines but honestly had no idea what to look for. This is where Lucy comes in, they handpick a range of organic, natural and sustainable wines and curate them into selection boxes every month. The white box was calling out my name, it came beautifully packaged in a wooden box and felt much more like a treat than popping to the local Sainsbury’s."
For him: TM Lewin Cashmere Lined Black Leather Gloves, £49.95
"I always thought men were terribly hard to purchase for, but I’m slowly learning that practical gifts are always a winner. With the snowy weather all around this week, these cashmere lined leather gloves are not only going to come in handy, but also help in elevating his glove game. Just keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll be a gent and share them for snowman building when I inevitably forget to bring mine."
Melanie Macleod, digital writer
"If you find moisturising your body a chore, I implore you to buy this as a treat to yourself; never again will you dread labouriously rubbing cream into your limbs. It has a zesty, uplifting scent (of grapefruit, bitter orange, lime and spearmint) that lingers long after you’ve got dressed, absorbs easily and makes every morning feel like a self-care moment. Plus the heavyweight glass jar in bold red looks pretty in the bathroom. A little bit goes a long way and I can see this tiding me over until it’s time to switch to aftersun come summer."
"Boy Smells create the sexiest sounding candles ( Cowboy Kush , anyone?) and their two latest scents, Polyamberous and Fleurshadow are no different. Part of the limited edition Hypernature collection which Boy Smells says will ‘fire up your passion’, they’re housed in metallic jars that are begging to be reused. Both are sensual scents, designed to encourage intimacy, but floral Fleurshadow is my most wanted. It has notes of ultraviolet, pink peppercorn, rose, mandarin, peach flesh, amber and oakmoss for an unusual aroma that makes you sit up and take notice - it’s not a subtle background scent, it demands you pay attention - much like me on Valentine’s Day."
North Coast Candle Co candles, from £11
"To go alongside my Boy Smells candles I’d really like some of these pretty shaped candles from small Cornwall based business North Coast Candle Co; I love the shells for a taste of Cornwall (how pretty are the pastel shades?), the female silhouette because everyone needs a sexy lady candle ATM, while the ombre pillars are timeless. They all come together for the prettiest display. I probably won’t burn them because they’re too nice."
For him: Diesel Only The Brave, £42.05
"There are many-a male fragrance I’ve enjoyed over the years; Viktor and Rolf Spice Bomb (sexy), CK One (youthful), Atelier Cologne Clementine California (fresh) but Only The Brave is one I’d buy for any man in my life on repeat. The brand calls it “a manifesto of masculinity” which sounds kind of outdated, but it’s in the top ten best-sellers on Escentual, so is obviously a popular one regardless. It has top notes of lemon and mandarin, heart notes of cedar and base notes of amber and leather. Which for me translates into smelling of good times and it’s instantly recognisable if someone wearing it walks past. Whether you’re buying for boyfriend or BFF, this is one male fragrance you can’t go wrong with.”
Victoria Woodhall, editorial director
"I have tried dozens of eye pillows in my 15-year yoga teaching career and I love the way they relax the muscles around the eyes - never more needed than now with increased screen time. Spritz quite simply do the best. They are twice the size of most others - enough to cover the forehead too and truly block out the light - yet not as heavy as you might expect, filled only with dried lavender and chamomile and genty weighted with buckwheat hull and linseed (you can buy refills too) and covered in a range of Liberty prints. I had one, but a beady-eyed student claimed it and what better treat on Valentine’s day than this heart print one? The matching eye mask would be great too!"
"This clever trichologist brand has in recent years taken its classic pre-shampoo mask created for Audrey Hepburn and given it a couple of limited edition fragrances every year. Who doesn’t want their hair to be strong, feel soft and smell divine? Their newest scent is a warming blend of floral and citrus. Leave it on for 20 minutes before you shampoo. I happily leave it on a for hours under a hair towel while working from home."
HelloFresh Date Night Sea Bream and Chorizo Salsa with Honeyed Plum Tart with Chocolate Drizzle Dessert, £4.50 per head
"There are so many Michelin starred restaurants doing date night at-home packages this year, but as we can’t quite justify the £150 for two, we’ve placed our first order with HelloFresh for this tasty date night meal which works out at £4.50 per head. There are always offers and Hello Fresh discount codes to be had if you search. We managed to get six meals for £10 with an insert from a Sunday paper. Most are single course but the Date Night packages include pudding too."
For him: Clarins Bain aux Plantes Relax bath & Shower Concentrate, £21 and Larry King City Life Shampoo, £21
"My husband is so low maintenance that he has pretty much zero interest in any beauty products I’m sent to test. The two things that he has actually expressed an opinion on (high praise) are the Larry King City Life Shampoo which leaves hair soft and the Clarins Shower Concentrate, which actually came in a Clarins Christmas cracker but is s definite treat buy from now on."
Ophelia Froud, associate editor
" Westman Atelier's Lip Suede , £78, is my Desert Island Disc make-up item and one I use daily and gift on repeat. It’s a luxury colour-popping palette of four shades of red converting me forever to the red lip just in time for the pandemic and Zoom meetings on repeat. Take your pick from tomato red to dusty rose and blend and swipe across cheeks too for a mean blusher. It nourishes, plumps and collagen-boosts in a clean and clever formula bursting with cherry and marula oils, biomimetic peptides and vegetable-derived ingredients leaving lips hydrated and oh so glamorous. And Le Box makes the perfect gift as it includes the Eye Love You mascara , £58, too. Perfect red Zoom lips and Eye Love You mascara? It’s Valentine’s Day in a box right there."
T3 Curl ID, £289
"Lusting after the latest hair tool? I’ve known and loved the T3 Whirl Trio styling wand , £168, since learning to Californian wave my hair in lockdown number one. But hello T3 Curl ID, which uses game-changing technology to personalise your hair styling. Using a smart-touch interface you input your hair texture, colour and chemical treatment and the HeatID technology does the rest. It ensures advanced heat consistency for soft and shiny curls and has nine heat settings for every type of hair and condition. I might just have found the perfect Valentine’s Day upgrade for my favourite hair tool."
"I love this carefully curated six-piece gift box of treats encouraging us to press pause. From the Quietude pillow spray to the Be Calm face mask to the micro Do Not Disturb sign, the clever people at award-winning Temple Spa have thought of everything for a lockdown Valentine’s night in. But I also love their brand ethos which encourages lifestyle consultants to sign up to their Spa to Go programme aka a genius programme for any parents trying to home-school and desperate for a part-time job that will give them some cash and a career in the time of Covid. For me this is the Valentine’s gift that keeps on giving."
For him: Soho Home Leather and Oud Bassett candle, £38
"Lockdown life has turned my rugged husband into a candle lover who lights one every morning before he opens his laptop. I’ve gone from wincing at the cost of burning a luxury candle daily to admiring his ritual and the beautiful hygge-like smells wafting from the home office. The Soho Home candles are his favourites reminding him of pre-lockdown happy, carefree days at Soho Houses and in the meantime, he can bring the House home with their vegan-friendly Leather and Oud blend made from patchouli, sandalwood and musk. Worn leather and log fire smells waft from this one for a long 70 hours which for a nervous candle lighter like me is always a bonus."
Hattie Sloggett, GTG contributor
Sculpd Pottery Starter Bundle, £57.99
"Being a very single gal this Valentine's Day I think it is only appropriate for me to receive gifts that help me embrace self-love. Also, it's my birthday, so out with the romance and in with the happy dance and nothing triggers my jig-of-joy like getting crafty. Pottery and sculpture have been my chosen medium for quite some time, but since I can't get to a studio I have been going slowly mad. That is, until, I found out about Sculpd's at-home, air-dry pottery bundles. With enough clay to craft pots, vases and trinket dishes, all the colours of paint you could dream of and an online monthly 'throw-down' competition, what more could I ask for. Honestly, if no-one takes me up on this particular wishlist item, I will probably end up gifting it to myself. Until then I will just dream of the days when I can scrub muddy clay from my nail beds."
Lack of Color The Cosmic Boater, £144.85
"Valentine's Day is my favourite day of the year and not because I get all the roses, cards and sweet nothings whispered in my ear from my beloved, but because, as my Daddy says, at least someone will remember your birthday. I mean how can they forget, if I don't stop mentioning it? So, my extravagant 'want' this year comes in the shape of a hat...just like my name. This hat, however, is crafted by the millinery gods that are Lack of Color. I am obsessed with hats, any shape, size, colour, fabric, if they exist I need them in my life, but when I discovered this uber cool Australian brand, I knew that I was destined to obsess over them forever. I particularly love the navy boater with cosmic gold hardware. Let it be known, that if anyone chooses to gift me any one of their creations you will automatically be elevated to angel status in my books."
Feet Up yoga trainer, £129
"I am currently undertaking my yoga teacher training because I chose self-love and care as my priority for this year. However, as I am confined to my rather small (but very lovely) cottage to do so I don't have a lot of space and my walls are getting quite fed-up with me knocking pictures off and leaving foot-print smudges everywhere whilst trying to do any form of inversion. So for my final Valentine's Day/Birthday wish I have my heart set on the Feet up Trainer. Designed and used by some of the best yoga teachers in the game, this ergonomically designed padded frame helps aid a safe, comfortable and strength-building practice, which is exactly what I need. Versatile in such a way that it can work with growth, I can promise that this gift will never go unused or tucked away in the back of a cupboard."
For him: 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, £9.25
"If I was to have a lover at this moment in time, which I am not against by the way (men, take note!), I would want to give them the gift that keeps on giving, and to me, it is the holy-grail in relationship building, platonic and romantic; it is the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Marriage counsellor Chapman wrote this book to aid anyone with human relationship building, and I love it. The theory is simple, we all speak our own languages and to be able to create a deep and intentional connection with someone we must learn their language. He states; 'Everyone gives and receives love differently, but with a little insight into these differences, we can be confidently equipped to communicate love well.' and in my experience it is true. I use this concept with everyone, my friends, family, clients, strangers and even colleagues, the GTG team can verify this as I made them all take the test so we could support each other 'multilingually', as it were. For me, my most basic desire is a partner that is emotionally intelligent, and open to others' thoughts and emotions - So grab a copy, gift a copy, hell, listen to a copy, and see where it takes you and your relationships."
Marie-Louise Pumfrey, GTG contributor
"I do love new lingerie and although not the most original Valentine's gift, a soft Eberjey bralette is on top of my wish list. During these lockdown month’s I’ve ditched my underwired bras which are not slouchy enough for my boxset binging. I am after a super soft bralette to give me some support, but without pinching. The Eberjey ones are heavenly soft and pretty. Just the right amount of sexy to make it a great option for Valentine's."
"If you want to make me happy for hours then buy me a luxury scented candle. They must be the simplest lockdown Valentine's gift and a dead cert of delight. All day, every day I have one burning on my kitchen table and my hunger for more is insatiable. Topping the chart of my current wish list is a Louise Sinclair one, the fine jewellery designer who has a bespoke luxury range. Her candles are legendary for filling the room with scent and they burn for 40 hours. An easy win which gives hours of great pleasure and will not break the bank."
MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, £17.50
"Another easy and affordable Valentine's gift is a gorgeous red lipstick. This is a great romantic and sexy choice. If you are stuck on which shade to choose, try out the MAC Virtual Try-On feature on your phone. You can upload a picture or a live video of your face and when you tap the colours, each shade magically appears on your lips. I’m currently into the Ruby Woo Mac lipstick which always looks fab on a Zoom call."
For Him: Noble Isle Scots Pine Bath and Shower Gel, £21
"My husband is very easy to buy for. He is obsessed with baths, spending hours luxuriating every evening. For him, he cannot get enough bubble bath so I will be getting him the Noble Isle Bath and Shower gel with the Scots Pine fragrance. This fresh and evergreen scent will transport him to Scotland’s ancient forests while he soaks away the day."
Jemma Thompson, GTG social media and design
Is there anything more romantic than your own unique fragrance? A scent that’s soft, warm and familiar and designed to embrace your pheromones and smell just like you but better? We all know scent and memory go hand in hand so why not capture the moment this V-Day with Glossier’s cult-favourite eau de parfum Glossier You. The long-lasting musky full-size fragrance is included in Glossier 'Perfect Couple' set alongside your choice of a sheer matte Generation G lipstick."
"Lockdown has made me a serial soaker, so much so it’s probably number three in my favourite pastimes. So, for myself and fellow bath-scapers alike I couldn’t wish for anything better than a luxe soak and I’ve had my eye on this soothing one from Soapsmith. It features a blend of floral scents of fresh roses, honeysuckle, primrose and peony (who needs a bouquet of flowers?) and contains coconut milk powder, dead sea and Epsom salts, oat powder and cocoa butter. I can’t wait to start Valentine’s with a revitalising and relaxing bath."
"I may be spending Feb the 14th laidback in a lovely pair of new silky PJs, but that’s not to say I won’t go all out with my makeup. If there’s one thing I’m missing is the opportunity to sport a dazzling smokey eye, so when it comes to the day of love, I am going cliché with glitter, sparkles and a whole lot of pink eyeshadow and I’m okay with it. My weapon of choice is the New Romantic palette from Beauty Bay, packed with 20 deep red, berry, and blossom shades. This ultra-blendable vegan palette contains both matte and shimmer formulas that have an intense colour payoff and lasts all day long."
For him: Kiehls Brighten Up & Glow Set, £89
"After many mini facials and a lot of guidance, my bf is ready to leave my skincare nest. Now I’ve converted him to a skincare enthusiast it’s time he has his own tools (and save my expensive moisturisers from his very heavy handfuls). This Brighten Up & Glow set from Kiehls has all the basics covered and contains their cult Ultra Facial Cream & Cleanser, a Creamy Eye Treatment with avocado alongside a corrective dark spot solution. Great for those who want to improve skin radiance and add a dose of hydration back."