You hate Valentine's Day, we know, we know. It's commercialized bullshit perpetuated by Hallmark and Godiva and 1-800-Flowers and it puts too much pressure on everyone and you don't need a fake holiday to show your love. Got it.
But guess what? This is the world we live in and playing along just makes things move more smoothly. If you have a person in your life who regularly gets naked around you, it's nice to go to a restaurant with them, raise a glass to love, and give them a present on the 14th. If you have a friend or roommate or family member you care about it, it's thoughtful to acknowledge them, too.
Because what you put out, you get back — and after you get back a few chocolate-covered strawberries and massage certificates in return, we have a feeling you're going to change your tune about this stupid day.
Ahead, an easy guide to gifting based on the particulars of your relationship status. You got this.
If you've only been dating for a month...
You're in a tough spot when it comes to Valentine's Day. Do nothing, and you have a few days of cold, short text message responses to look forward to. Go all out, and you come off as either too desperate or too suave. A candle makes for the perfect sweet spot gift — so long as it's
candle, not one you pick up next to the Live, Laugh, Love sign in the Home Goods checkout line.
Rose Delight Candle, $68, available at
If you just started having regular sleepovers on weeknights...
Giving your partner a designated toothbrush at your place is like giving a mouse a cookie. Soon, they're gonna want a skin-care shelf, and an underwear drawer, and their brand of coffee in the pantry... But you can't delay the inevitable for long. A silk sleep mask is a very small next step that says "you're a prince/princess who deserves uninterrupted sleep" — who wouldn't swoon over that?
Slipsilk Red Kisses Pure Silk Sleep Mask, $45, available at
If you're planning your first vacation together...
to be going to a tropical island to wear these shades, but they'll look damn good if you are. And you don't
to give a mani/pedi gift certificate alongside them, but it'd sure be thoughtful if you did.
Christian Louboutin Beauty
Loubitag Collection II, $60, available at
If you're still in the "making out in public" stage...
These balms, infused with a touch of color, softening camellia oil, and (entirely necessary) 23-karat gold, are enough to convince even the most diehard
lover to put down the long-wear tube. Because nothing's worse than getting red lipstick all over your face — no matter how much you like the person.
Camellia Kisses Lip Balm Trio, $85, available at
If your friend won't stop talking about your sex life...
That's kind of weird — is there a chance they might be in love with you? If the person's just a big gossip, sit them down and politely explain why you don't want the new co-worker to know what you did with a Yoni egg last weekend, then give them this makeup bag as a cute reminder to zip it.
Pucker Up Pouch, $38, available at
If you're going to propose later in the night...
Look, if someone's expecting a diamond ring and they get an eyeshadow palette, they're not going to be pleased — even if it's the coolest, most in-demand (seriously,
wants this) palette from the best makeup artist in the game. But, if you set the stage for an evening of surprises, making clear that this is just one of them, you're going to score huge points.
Pat McGrath Labs
Mothership IV Eyeshadow Palette - Decadence, $125, available at
If you aren't quite ready to say "I love you"...
Let Ferragamo test the waters for you. The Italian house's newest fragrance smells like a fresh cocktail (that'd be the Campari accord) served alongside a sophisticated dessert (vanilla tahitensis), but it's not overly indulgent. It's fun and young and sparkly... just like falling in love should be.
Amo, $125, available February 1 at
If your roommate won't stop poking around in your half of the medicine cabinet...
Sharing is only caring if we're talking crayons and kindergarteners. Adults work hard for their money and just because your selection of beauty products is far superior doesn't mean your roomie can keep dipping into your stash. Give the gift of good skin
insider know-all with three floral-based masks from this new-to-the-U.S. brand that aims to simplify the K-beauty routine.
K-Beauty Vital Flower Secrets Trio, $30, available February 7 at
If your new flame leaves long hairs strewn about your bed and bathroom...
Buy yourself a vacuum and some Draino; then surprise them with this chic set of reparative products that'll leave hair stronger, softer, and smelling so good, you'll want to get all tangled up in it when you cuddle to sleep. (But you know better than to fall into that trap again.)
Reconstructive Moisture Mask + Leave-In Conditioner Set, $10, available at
If you're planning a break-up soon... Oof
. Assuming you've thoroughly weighed the pros and cons of pulling the cord before the 14th versus waiting until all the candy is 75% off, and you've come to the conclusion that buying a gift is still the right move, the spa route is the way to go. Because the only people who love soaking in luxurious, rose petal baths more than happy people are sad people.
Mullein & Sparrow
Rose Trio, $74, available at
Mullein & Sparrow
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