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{GUIDE} Valentine’s Day Luxe Gift Guide, 2017

HoB Vday Gift Guide Header

Valentine’s Day is all about the selfless action of letting those you love know just how much you love them. It’s not about the actual tangible gift as much as it about letting them know you pay attention; that you observe them; that you regard the small things that make them smile. I’m all about the little things. And sometimes, those little things come in the way of packages filled with lovely accoutrement that make your every day a bit more special.

These are a few of my favorite things I’ve been enjoying this winter, mostly from new collections and some, clear staples every lady should never run out of… my favorite: Aerin‘s Lauder’s Rose de Grasse parfum. That right there is so sexy I can’t help but to feature it whenever there’s a fitting time… like now!

FOR EVERYDAY 

Aerin is one of my top three fave lifestyle designers in both beauty and home (which I’ve not been lucky enough to enjoy just yet, other than a lovely picture frame, c/o the brand). Her connection to the beauty world is unparalleled, allowing her access to the best in research and execution. And it shows. Every single one of her collections leaves me more and more in love with her passion for creating and offering luxurious and truly beautiful products that make us feel special, no matter what. Her latest Tangier and Vanilla collection is splendid with notes of African vanilla and Italian bergamot –two of my fave scents for anything in the home. The parfume is great, but I’ve been really enjoying the bar soap. This collection does even better when layered. $25-$160.

Pair that collection with Bobbi Brown’s brightening blush ($50). It was from her Wine & Chocolate Holiday launches but so perfect to add some shimmer for a romantic date. Also, as part of the brand’s 25th anniversary, Bobbi role out the lovely City Collection representing her fave cities: NY, Paris, London. Each trio eye and cheek palette is covered by an iconic image of each city. Naturally, for me, Paris was my go-to. Illustration Richard Haines draws a poised you lady walking in front of the Eiffel Tower and Bobbi fills the compact with pretty colours like Grey Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow. You know… staying chic while applying makeup is part of the success.  $65.

One of my latest fave trends (really, here to stay) is matte lipstick. Clinique is killing the the game with their brilliant collections of POP matte lipsticks which also serve as moisturizers. I’ve gone through 3 of these in the last year. Only waiting to get a few colors that I can rock on TV… muted tones don’t do so well for me. This are really well-pigmented, but get colours that will pop for you if you’re looking for vibrance. And if you can, get at least 3. They’ll replace a lot of your other lipsticks. Especially love the “Pow” color. So fine. $25.

HoB Vday EL collage Bren Herrera Vanille

TRUE GOURMANDE  

HOB Vday Foodie Collage Bren Herrera Collage

No dinner on Valentine’s Day is amazing without a glass of sparkling Rosé. I recently spent an entire afternoon at Schramsberg winery in Napa Valley and about lost my mind in that glorious cave of bubbles. More on that later, but do know that their wines are so good, that for decades now the White House has served their Blanc de Blanc at State dinners. For lover’s day, go for the pink, though. It’s delicious and a properly made bottle of Champagne. $45.

New West Knife Works came into my life about 7 years ago, not too long after I launched Flanboyant Eats. Since then, I’ve used their handmade, all-American knives exclusively. Their work is superb, to be honest. And not because they’re stunning, but truly because they are legitatemly great working knives with ergonamic handling. Check them out if you’re serious about your cooking. $40-$800.

Fleming’s Steak House is the biz. I’ve known about their decadent steaks for years but it wasn’t until my birthday back in November that I really got to indulge in the hype. The steaks — and everything else for that matter — met the expectation. It was a bit pricey but not only are you getting prime beef, you’re entertained by the serves in the most friendly and authentic ways any diner would want. And, not to mention they host a Schramsbert New Year’s fete, which I missed year but will make sure to calendar it. It’s only 10 months away. For V-day, check out their sexy menu. If you’re like me… cooking and cleaning is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about spending it with my loved one. Let someone else do it for you. $100.

FACIAL LOVE 

There are few products I absolutely love and stick to, no matter what’s trendy and what’s come out… like Erno Laszlo and SkinCeutucals. I swear to goodness their stuff is the best thing that’s happened to my face. I’ve written in length about them here and here (and a few other spots) so I thought it’d be great to intro you to a few other brands I’ve come to really appreciate and incorporate into my regiment.

Farm House Fresh is that every day brand that speaks to your senses. Everything they put out is sexy, luscious and smell good. I’ve showered myself into their scrubs — because anything that smells like Vodka is a winner  — and their hand lotions which I treat like an American Express — I never, ever leave home with out… check out their caramel hand cream… the best. But this year they’re treating us to this cute little trio of face masks that do the job. I’ve been traveling with them and they’ve not disappointed. I love their size but mostly I love the feel I have after a long travel day. It’s the perfect fix. Their Caramel Coffee Triple Shot shea butter body polish is what you need when you’ve been in the kitchen, slaving away ay at the stove creating life’s best dishes. Or, just because. $40.

The Le Mieux duo set of clarifying pads and solution is just what you Dr. ordered for reviving and toning your skin. I’ve not spent too time with this yet, but for now, it seems to be a great replacement to anything we can get at the pharmacy.

Oh, and let’s talk about the  luxe of luxe for face, neck and decollé. This micro-firm for the neck and decolleté rejuvenating complex by Neocutis is the last of the things I’ve been trying and just obsessed with. Not because I’m wrinkling anywhere — -thankfully — rather because the smoothing of lines created from lack of sleep of dehydration are instantly gone. I imagine the same would be true for applying to wrinkles. It’s not cheap but a much more affordable route that Botox (is that even still a thing?). $135.

HoB Vday Facial Collage Bren Herrera

GOLD {ALWAYS} MATTERS

I’ve mentioned my absolute obsession with Aerin‘s Rose de Grasse scent. It’s the sexiest bottle on my vanity at the moment. Actually, has been for the last 2 years. I’m almost out of it, so it’s begging to be replaced. Her others do the job when I’m feeling island-y or even Safarian… see above. It’s a winner, no matter the holiday. Truly, a just because gift. ($198)

 Bobbi Brown‘s shimmery sequin gold eye shadow is so fitting for the luxe-driven lady. If she drinks bubbly, she’ll appreciate that it’s called Prosseco. Not only does it apply and look really good on the lids, but I’ve also been loving dusting a bit of it on my décolletage. It’s about taking sexy to all areas, whether visible or not. $36.

Dermarché Labs understands the gold standard in beauty care so their Roloxin Lift Gold colloidal gold masks are the things facial dreams are made of. You’ve seen the commericals and Vogue ads for treatments, inching upwards $1k, but these little packet has single masks that leave a bit of gold radiance after application. The real goal is to alleviate the appearance of wrinkles, so if you don’t have any, simply enjoy the benefit of even tighter skin — it mildly closes pores — and a natural-looking highlight. $33 for 3. Better than $1k!

HoB Vday Gold Effects Collage Bren Herrera

FOR THE LOVE OF PINK 

Clinique is a brand I’ve been using since I was an eager teenager. I used to mimic my mom who had everything form the line back in the late 80s. I distantly remember the green bottles of toner, lotion, cleansers and everything in between. It’s ncie to see the brand is more more jovial now with pops of colors and even nice to see products that really do make you happy. Their signature perfume is on my vanity (alongside those beloved Aerin ones) so I was happy to add this super supple Happy Gelato Cream to the mix. It’s so silkly I wish there were a version for my hair. It’s in between shower oil and heavy cream… somewhere along there, meaning, it leaves the body feeling really creamy. $35.

Ralph‘s Tender Romance takes center placement in my vanity… mostly because my Mother is in love with anything Ralph Lauren and pink. You can’t go wrong with gifting a woman this perfume. Ever. It’s the scent that speaks to femininity, seduction and strength. And, it’ll last you a good minute. $110.

I didn’t start getting into makeup removers until about years ago after many, many years of not relying on them. A travel sized one I had from Clinique reeled me back in. So when I came across this full sized bottle from my favourite French country brand, I was all in. L’Occitane never disappoints, and this Pivone Sublime gel-like is like my nightly potion. It’s peony-based, too, which makes it even more appealing. When I’m too tired to do my 10m minute routine, this saves the labor and keeps my skin from sinking into deep pores of 12-hour makeup. It’s perfect, really. $25.

Rose matters, too, especially after exposure to high winds, snow, and really high altitudes. That’s been my week while travelling in Wyoming. Aerin’s rose extract night table cream allows me so sleep better knowing my face is relaxed, if nothing else. There really is truth to the intoxicating effect of sensuous aromas. I gifted this to my mother after a week’s use because at 67, her resting face needs to be far more relaxed that mine! Plus, it’s pink and smells good. And sometimes, that’s all that really matters. $98.

HoB Vday Rose Collage Bren Herrera

Stay fancy. B Chic! B! Inspired. And have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

xxoo

OTHER GIFT GUIDES FOR ALL OCASSIONS

 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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