Saturday, 6 February 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide (Part Two)

Whether you want some small gesture or want to go all out this Valentine's Day, we have the perfect gift for your loved one.  From spoiling them with delicious food and drink to gifts that keep giving month after month, and high luxe treats, we have lots of great ideas.  Read on...

Beauty Buys

The Beauty Box from Look Fantastic is a monthly treat that delivers a delightful collection of gorgeous products straight to your beloved's dressing table.  We loved the January detox edition, full of treats for hair, face and body, but the stunning Love box this month has been a real delight.

Not only did it contain these three luxe travel sizes, but a full size eye and brow perfector kit and cute Lord & Berry lipstick crayon too.  We love it!  Available to order online, so great even as a last minute gift, the Look Fantastic Beauty Box is available in a range of options and price points:
  • 1 monthly payment of £15
  • 3 monthly payments of £13.33, save £5
  • 6 monthly payments of £12.50, save £15
  • 12 monthly payments of £11.25, save £45

Unfortunately, there isn't a male version of the Beauty Box (yet), but these fab new razors and shavers from Gillette and Brain are sure to go down well.  If your man prefers a wet do it yourself shave, the new Gillette Fusion Proshield with Flexball technology introduces a new lubrication strip before the blade to help protect and prevent the skin from irritation.  Retailing at £12, it is available from all good retailers.

For those who prefer a shaver, the latest innovation from Braun is the Series 7 which features sonic technology, causing it to automatically adjust to the density of stubble.  The Braun 790CC Electric Shaver sets the gold standard for shaving and has received rave reviews across the board - also from our tester!  Steve has been really impressed with the closest possible shave and how comfortable his skin feels afterwards.

The unique Intelligent Sonic Technology creates 10,000 micro vibrations which helps capture more hair with every stroke, and adjusts to the density of your beard for the most thorough shave yet.  It also offers 3 personalisation modes for an adjustable close shave that best fits your beard and skin: Extra Sensitive, Normal and Intensive, whilst Patented ActiveLift™ captures flat-lying hair even in problem areas like the neck.  On top of all that is the Cleaning Centre which automatically cleans, charges, lubricates and dries your shaver at the touch of a button, keeping the shaver like new every day.  100% waterproof and fully washable, with an interactive LCD display for charge, clean & replacement part information, the Braun 790CC Electric Shaver retails at £249.99, but is currently on offer from at £199.99.

If you're looking for a pampering treat to share, try the rejuvenating eye-masks from Timeless Truth, perfect for him and her.  The Timeless Truth Rejuvenating Bio-cellulose Eye Masks help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness around the eyes, using a formulation of active ingredients including Olea Europaea Husk Oil, an extract from the olive fruit rich in antioxidants, anti-pollutants and lactic acid.  And don't forget to take up a loved-up sheet mask selfie with your beau, just like Ellie Goulding and Dougie Poynter did recently!  The eye masks are priced £3.70, and are available from

The Dream Oil Serum from Deborah Mitchell’s Heaven Skincare range is a mini facelift in a bottle, not for nothing has it earned a reputation as the ‘natural alternative to Botulinum Toxin’.  This revolutionary organic range helps treat a variety of conditions beyond the effects of ageing, including acne. eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dryness and oiliness.  The result of its use is healthy, younger looking skin; and all from natural ingredients, including organic oils.  With the pièce de résistance of the oil serum being organic jasmine, the oil of love, this luxe serum is Heaven Skincare's product of the month, retailing at £28 for 15ml.  We love it!

For stunning nails, we love the new range by Made in Chelsea's Rosie Fortescue for Nailed London.  New to the UK, this revolutionary 3-step nail range uses patented and innovative technology to closely match the look, feel, wear and gloss of a professional gel polish.  It achieves 2-3 days better wear than other gelled products and gives a higher level of gloss, all without the hassle of a UV salon gel manicure.  Available in five fun colours, with a base coat and top coat, the polish can be removed with a regular nail polish remover.  The range is available from Harvey Nichols and, priced from £7.

Style Buys

To match her perfect nails, why not treat your beloved to a pair of stunning shades from Maui Jim, the premium Hawaiian polarised sunglasses brand.  We love their stylish stunning frames and lenses with up to nine layers of polarisation.  As you saw in our guide to the latest frame styles for SS16, cat's eye and wayfarer styles are where it's at.

Maui Jim glasses are also available with prescription lenses, but I will be wearing my contact lenses this summer, so went for this stunning Kawika sunglasses, a heritage style frame with the latest polarised lenses perfect for bright sunlight (here's hoping!)  Priced at £225, they make the perfect valentine's gift for your loved one.  Have a look over at the Maui Jim shop for the full range and choose your favourite.

If you're planning a big night out for Valentine's Day and she says she hasn't got a thing to wear, score huge boyfriend/husband brownie points with one of the stunning dresses from the Amy Childs collection.  Essex girl and style supremo Amy has recently added a range of stunning new dresses to her collection, all perfect for yummy mummies.  Flattering to all body shapes and in fabrics designed to shape and work with the figure, the range includes dresses in a variety of styles, from body con to shirt dresses.  We love the Harley, a midi dress with contrast panel, cross over detailing and asymmetric neckline.  You can find the full Amy Childs Collection online, the Harley is priced at £55.


If your beloved isn't sure about wearing her body con dress, despite all your reassurances that no her bum definitely doesn't look big in that, you could offer to join her in getting fit together.  The iFit Link is a small, sleek fitness tracker designed to make keeping fit simpler than ever before.  It automatically detects and tracks all daily activity, including steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep; features four OLED progress lights, making it simple to keep an eye on your daily progress and an automatic syncing to the iFit app; and has a sleek, stylish design to add a twist of luxury to fitness tracking.

The iFit can be worn as a wristband or slipped in your pocket for detailed fitness tracking without attracting attention to it!  With this new technology, reaching personal fitness goals has never been easier.  The perfect gift for him or her, the iFit Link retails at £69, and is available from Nordic Track.


Finding 'something unusual' to present to your loved one for Valentine's Day seems to mean quirky and pretty pointless for him and dubious underwear for her, so why not be totally original and use your own photos to create a bespoke gift?  Snapfish offers a wide range of lovely personalised photo gifts, ranging from beautiful photobooks and canvases to cushions, mugs and mobile phone cases.  Turn your original photos into the perfect gift for your partner, capturing memories and showing them just how much they mean to you.  After all, a picture paints a thousand words.  Although I'm not sure what my choice of a favourite duck photo says about me and Steve... ;-)

Food & Drink

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach the old adage goes, but aren't we all happy with nice food and drink?  And what better way to push the boat out on Valentine's Day than with some treats.  Even if you are at home with young children, or just don't want to pay crazy Valentine's prices at a restaurant, celebrate in style with these delights:

Start the day the right way with a breakfast feast from The Co-Operative.  Head to your local store to pick up everything you need for the perfect, indulgent lazy breakfast: divinely rich coffee and flaky buttery croissants with hazelnutty chocolate spread.  While you're there, you can also nab a cute little chocolatey treat in the shape of heart-shaped chocolate lollies, a box of strawberry-filled hearts, or this cute bear.  They also have a brilliant range of flowers, perfect for that last minute buy.

For a mid-morning coffee, or afternoon tea delight, we love these oh-so-cute Valentine's Day Cupcakes from Bradfords Bakers.  These chocolate and vanilla-flavoured delights are fluffy sponge topped with delectably sweet icing and the cutest heart shapes.  Family run gift company, Bradfords has lots of other gorgeous Valentine's gift ideas, including traditional roses with the addition of cupcakes or chocolate-dipped strawberries, and cakes emblazoned with messages of love or with gorgeous red rose-shaped icing on top.  Prices start at £12 and next day or named delivery is available.

For dinner, start off with this delicious new special edition Thai Style Broccoli & Ginger soup from New Covent Garden Soup Co.  The perfect marriage of flavours, this zesty soup will awaken the senses and possibly ignite the spark of passion!  With broccoli, creamy coconut, the fresh flavours of lime, coriander and basil, plus a hint of ginger and a dash of mirin, this delicious soup is packed with vitamins A, C and E to keep your heart healthy and love alive!  This limited edition soup is available now from all good supermarkets.

What's this then, a fizzy red?!  Yep, this sparkling red wine from renowned Loire house Bouvet Ladubay is a perfect example of the latest trend in fizz.  Made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes, it is an off-dry wine with a dark, almost purple colour, full of cherry and berry flavours and aromas.  It has creamy bubbles which work well against the tannins, and a slight hint of sweetness.  We found it worked well with dessert, a berry-topped cheesecake, and with cheese, surprisingly matching the blue as well as creamier, denser flavours like Manchego.  Elsewhere I have seen it recommended as an accompaniment to duck.  Bouvet Rubis Demi-Sec retails at Majestic for £13.49, but is currently on offer at £11.99 a bottle or £9.99 if bought in a case of 6.

And finally, for a sweet treat after your meal, how about one of these special edition Ferrero Rocher or Guylian coffrets?  Iconic chocolate brands like these need no introduction, of course, but the romantic heart shaped boxes in gorgeous gold and romantic red are sure to bring a smile to your beloved's face.  Both are available from all good retailers while stocks last.

Or for sweets rather than chocolate, treat your loved one to these yummy Real Fruit Jellies from award-winning confectionery brand, Pandora Bell.  Gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians, these jellies contain real fruit juices and are simply delicious.  Priced from £4.49, they are available from Harvey Nichols, Ocado, Amazon, a selection of independent retailers and fine food shops, and online at

And don't forget to enter our competitions!

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