It’s Red (PEOPLE’s Version) featuring festive beauty and decor ideas that start at $10
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Valentine’s Day means different things to different folks, but it’s really just a reminder to dote on the ones you love. Whether you celebrate by hitting the town with your significant other, having a festive gathering at home with your friends, or showering your loved ones with gifts, there are endless ways to spread the love.
We’ve curated a selection of beauty staples, home decor finds, and meaningful gifts that we’ve personally tested to elevate your Valentine’s Day plans. Whether you need a kiss-proof red lip like Taylor Swift, some pink-accented home decor, or are looking for the perfect gift for a special someone, we have the best Valentine’s Day essentials all in one place.
Treat yourself (or someone else) to festive glam and seasonal goodies starting at just $10.
If you’re feeling a night out on the town, doll yourself up this Valentine’s Day with one of our favorite red lipsticks we tested (it’s Taylor Swift’s go-to as well). Not only is the Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick gorgeous to wear, but the actual applicator is stunning, too. The lipstick goes on smoothly without any stickiness and dries to a velvety matte finish. Smooches are no match for this lipstick —it stays locked in place.
For those who want to go literal with the Valentine’s Day theme, we adore these heart-printed press-on nails by Quickies. Not only is the design of this set très chic, but the quality of Quickies thoroughly impressed us when we tried its other manicure sets. The biggest pro? The pack is travel-friendly so if you’re sneaking off to some romantic destination and don’t have time to get your nails done, you can throw the pack in your bag and apply the set within five minutes.
A bold eyeliner is ideal for a fun night out, and the Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘n’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil creates a fierce cat eye. Plus, it comes in a series of shades including a “Walk of No Shame” red which is particularly enticing for a Valentine’s Day look. When we tested a group of popular eyeliners, the Charlotte Tilbury pencil stood out for its smooth application and richly pigmented color. It dries quickly and it’s waterproof so your liner will maintain its sharp line all night.
If you don’t have time to visit a salon but want smooth, hairless skin heading into Valentine’s Day, we recommend the Flamingo Body Wax Kit. It’s budget-friendly and works so efficiently that you can do it in just a few minutes at home. This body wax was rated our easiest application because it comes with 28 strips in various sizes and uses a soft gel wax. You lay the wax strip, smooth it out, and follow the instructions on which direction to pull the strip. It’s generally mess-free, comes with damp cloths to clean any residue, and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.
If we’re being honest, sometimes Valentine’s Day doesn’t go to plan, and in that case, it’s good to have waterproof mascara on. The Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara is our absolute favorite among the waterproof mascaras we tried. It looks amazing on, thanks to a curved brush that coats the lashes and distributes the product evenly. It’s cheap and widely available at most drugstores, and it really works. We were continually impressed both in our lab and in long-term testing at how well it held up against water. Rain storms, tears, and whathaveyou, this mascara is not going anywhere.
Picture this: a night in with your girlfriends, featuring an early 2000s rom-com, a coffee table overflowing with sweet and savory snacks, and the fresh rose fragrance of this Homecourt Candle. When we tried this candle, it created such a gorgeous scent that really fills a room. And we’re not alone in loving the candle. Homecourt founder Courteney Cox told PEOPLE she places these candles all around her home for maximum fragrance. Plus, the candle’s clay vessel is reusable in a variety of ways.
If you’re having guests visit around this holiday, you might want to zhuzh up your bathroom with some fun pink towels. We particularly like the Hammam Linen Towel Set for its absorbency, lightweight feel (despite being oversized), and quick-drying abilities. The set comes with two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths. The towels are quite durable, too. When we continued testing them at home over several months, they maintained their fluffy texture despite many washes and extended use.
If you plan to stay in with your Valentine (no one would blame you with this co -
ld weather!), we suggest wrapping up under the CureCure Heated Blanket. It’s soft, cozy, and very warm given the electric assist. We were thoroughly impressed with this blanket, despite the low price. It distributes heat evenly without the wires showing, is easy to use, and features a shut-off function after a few hours for safety.
Should you have a hankering for all things pink, we love the Best Friends by Sheri dog bed, which comes in two shades of pink: Cotton Candy and Dusty Rose. This was by far the most calming dog bed we tested with its donut shape that hugs your pet while they sleep. Despite the soft, shag material, the bed is durable and lasts for a long time. One of our writers has this dog bed and it’s lasted a full year of road trips, potty accidents, and lots of washing with no obvious signs of wear.
As a fun way to share memories at a Valentine’s Day gathering, you could fill a digital picture frame with photos of all of your friends who will be in attendance. (Of course, you can use it as a regular picture frame with other photos afterward, too.) The Aeezo Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame was rated as the best overall of those we tested because it’s simple to set up, has a user-friendly app, and a high-quality design — despite being the most affordable frame on our list. And right now, it’s an additional 27 percent off with the current Amazon coupon available.
For those on the hunt for Valentine’s Day gifts, perfume is a safe bet. And since we had the pleasure of trying out a bunch of wonderfully fragrant perfumes, we can assure you the Rosie By Rosie Jane perfume is an exceptional choice. It has a subtle and well-balanced scent of musk and rose that lingers on your skin all day. It’s competitively priced compared to other eau de parfums and we think it’s definitely worth the cost to give someone this lovely gift.
The gift of relaxation is priceless, but massages, unfortunately, aren’t. Instead of spending $100 on a one-time massage for your loved one, consider investing in this foot massager we tested. It’s a recurring gift every time they reach for it and saves you a little money at the same time. This shiatsu massager has three types of motion: kneading, rolling, and pulsing. It’s easy to clean thanks to removable covers and comes in a fun burgundy color. We were so impressed with the feel and level of massage this machine was able to replicate, so it is well worth the one-time spend.
If you want to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day (because you deserve it), consider buying a bra that looks amazing and is actually comfortable. We loved the Natori Flora Underwire Bra for its delicate, lacy design and subtle structure. Despite minimal padding, the cups of this bra are super soft and provide a surprising amount of lift. The backing is lightweight and gentle against your skin without digging in. Plus, the gorgeous lace design is so subtle that you really can’t see it under even the thinnest of T-shirts. According to one of our staff writers, it’s so comfortable you don’t immediately go to take it off after work — and sometimes she even forgets she has it on.
If you really want to wow your Valentine, consider cooking them a homemade dinner, brought to you by the Marcato Atlas 150 Pasta Machine. If you and your partner love Italian food, it would be a really fun date night to make pasta together in your home. Even if you’re a novice home chef, we found this pasta machine user-friendly to all levels of expertise. It has a sturdy structure, makes consistently shaped pasta, and is one of the more affordable options we found.
For those who share a love of travel, planning a trip with your loved one could be a fantastic Valentine’s Day gift — but that’s a hard present to wrap. So an alternative is giving your travel buddy this stylish and functional Cresent Bag from Baggu as an indicator that more adventure is coming. It was one of our favorite travel purses we tested because it’s a medium size that doesn’t take up too much space but can still carry a lot with you. Plus, it’s machine washable for easy cleaning and fairly durable, as it's made with recycled heavyweight nylon.
Madison Yaugeris a senior commerce writer for PEOPLE who’s tested hundreds of lifestyle products across all categories. With a background in news and lifestyle journalism, she has a wide network of expert sources and a penchant for accuracy. For this story, she utilized our tested insights from 15 different tests to determine the best Valentine's Day-related products that you can indulge in this year.