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11 best Valentine’s Day beauty gifts they’ll love to receive

This year buy them something they’ll actually use, whether it’s make-up, skincare or haircare

Louise Whitbread
Wednesday 13 January 2021 11:49 GMT
A little bit of luxury is the perfect way to show your love during lockdown
A little bit of luxury is the perfect way to show your love during lockdown (iStock/The Independent)

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and, as sceptical as many may be of the occasion, it’s an opportunity to present a token of appreciation to your partner after a difficult year living through a pandemic.

Whether you’ve been separated for most of it or made it through living in the same space since last March, no matter how big or small your gift is, it’s sure to be appreciated. 

Or you can, of course, use it as an excuse to treat yourself to something nice.

If you’re significant other is a beauty fiend who loves make-up, skincare or fragrance, gifts such as an eyeshadow palette, skincare essential or bottle of perfume will prove to be something they’ll get plenty of use from.

We’ve narrowed our list down to 11 top products that are sure to bring a smile to their face – from make-up that’ll suit all skin tones to beauty books for them to enjoy.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Vieve the essentials eye palette

VIEVE copy.jpg

This recently launched 10-shade palette created by make-up artist and YouTuber Jamie Genevieve is full of warm, buttery soft powders ranging from caramel brown to jet black, with two shimmery shades for a wash of sparkle. With a multitude of looks, from the everyday to the extravagant, at their disposal, this would be perfect for a make-up fan looking to add a versatile palette to their kit. The palette lid also has a huge mirror so that they can easily apply a full face of make-up if there’s no other mirror nearby, or if they’re on the go. High quality and long lasting, you’ll earn some serious brownie points with this gift. 

  1. £43 from Cult Beauty
Prices may vary
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‘Good hair: The Essential Guide to Afro, Textured and Curly Hair’ by Charlotte Mensah


Award-winning British-Ghanaian hairstylist Charlotte Mensah has poured 30 years of experience into the pages of this book, sharing her wealth of knowledge on everything from understanding your curl texture and finding products that work to step-by-step instructions on mastering cornrows, locs, bantu knots and more. It’s a treasure trove of tips and guidance, celebrating black hair and its important history along with Mensah’s personal experience with her own hair, building a successful business as a black woman and the science behind afro hair and its maintenance. 

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Manucurist green flash gel nail UV kit


This vegan, plant-based UV kit is ideal for a recipient who wants to get better at doing their nails, is looking for longer-lasting products than traditional polish and is missing the nail salon during the pandemic. The formula sits between a gel and a traditional nail polish, giving a glossy, long wearing finish that can still be easily removed with nail varnish remover. Therefore it's a lot less damaging to the nails and they can switch between colours without a lengthy removal process. We love the shade anémone, a vibrant raspberry red that lasted nearly ten days and helped us feel a bit more put together while living in loungewear and working from home. The kit comes with the UV lamp, nail polish remover, base and topcoat and two colours of your choice.

  1. £85 from Manucurist
Prices may vary
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KanKan starter set


KanKan is a fun indie brand, aiming to make sustainability in your shower routine a plastic-free piece of cake. It puts luxuriously scented vegan hand and body washes in aluminium refill cans to fill up its “forever” glass bottle that comes with this starter kit. When your giftee runs out, they can simply buy another refill and top up their dispenser. Our favourite scent is lemongrass and juniper, which has a fresh kick, and for every can sold, the brand promises to plant a tree. Every product is made in the UK using sustainably sourced ingredients and is shipped in recyclable packaging. It’s the ultimate feel-good present that will keep them squeaky clean while reducing their single-use plastic consumption. 

  1. £24 from KanKan
Prices may vary
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Atelier Cologne orange toscana candle


A luxurious candle is something that will get a lot of use while we’re staying indoors as much as possible. This is a clean, fruity fragrance for grown-ups, with no sickly scent thanks to a blend of bitter orange and elemi housed in a stylish blue glass bottle. It’ll transport your gift recipient to tropical temperatures while the chilly British winter is just outside their window, and is the perfect companion to cosying up on the couch. It’ll also make a great shelf decoration once it’s finished and is a refreshing change from the Christmas candles they’ve probably just got through. 

  1. £45 from Space NK
Prices may vary
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Bleach London resurrection mask


Now that salons have been shut again just as we’re experiencing harsh winter weather, chances are your loved one’s hair is bearing the brunt, with split ends and overgrown roots emerging. This giant 500ml tub from Bleach London is a hydrating treatment for a parched mop that lasts ages and leaves hair feeling healthy, soft and moisturised. After shampooing, the user combs through a dollop of product before massaging in, then wrapping the hair in a warm towel for 10 to 20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it out. It’s an affordable way to combat damage from styling tools, bleach and home dye kits, and is a great weekly pampering treat.

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Highr Collective the reds


Creamy and pigmented, this set of lipsticks are from Highr Collective, a sustainable brand that launched in 2020. A great red lipstick never goes out of style, and this set of two – you can choose from five shades, ranging from a dusty rose to a candy red – does more than just look good. Made with plant butters and oils, they’re completely vegan, lightweight, rich in pigment and long wearing. As a carbon-neutral brand, it promises to reduce its carbon footprint by offsetting all carbon used throughout its manufacturing process, from freight and warehousing  down to employee air, train and car travel. The innovative packaging, which is recycled and biodegradable too, comes with a discreet mirror to allow your giftee to top up on the go and check for smudges without needing to remember a compact.

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Seletti toiletpaper lipstick-print glass mirror


Update your gift recipient’s interiors with this mirror by eclectic homewares brand Seletti. With hands holding lipsticks adorning the sides, it’s fun, unique and doubles up as both a functional mirror and piece of art. The folding stand on the back allows them to prop it up easily on a dresser, or there’s a loop at the top so they can hang it on the wall. They could add it to their loo, dressing table or hallway – either way it’s a bold, eye-catching piece any make-up aficionado will love. 

  1. £28 from Selfridges
Prices may vary
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Maison Francis Kurkdijan baccarat rouge 540 eau de parfum


A decadent treat, yes, but rest assured there is no fragrance as luxurious or long-lasting as this. It’s a blend of jasmin, saffron, amberwood, fir resin and cedar that’s distinctive, unisex and floral but not powdery or overwhelming. With a few spritzes, the scent will last days and, if used everyday, it works out at a cost of just less than 60p per use. The bottle is beautiful too – every bit as decadent as the fragrance inside. While perfume can be a tricky gift, this is a great option for someone who likes things to be a little special – and you’ll be able to borrow it too. 

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L’Occitane almond supple skin body oil


Body oil is so much more luxurious than a tub of cream, and this dry oil is perfect if your giftee is after something fast-absorbing, so they don’t have to wait for ages before they put on their loungewear. This glass bottle comes with a spray atomiser which makes it easy to use the right amount and won’t leave it dripping down their pyjama sleeves. Containing almond and camelina oil, it’s the perfect antidote to dry skin, often caused by the winter weather and central heating. It leaves a subtle glow on the skin and improves suppleness, making moisturising after a shower a speedy treat.

  1. £36 from L’Occitane
Prices may vary
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Illamasqua must-have essentials brush kit


Whatever their make-up ability, brushes are an important tool to ensure even application and a flawless face of product. Whether your significant other likes trying out bold looks or prefers a more natural finish, this brush set is full of the everyday essentials to update their kit with. It includes seven brushes for face, eyes, brows and lips that are 100 per cent vegan and multipurpose, packaged in a canister that can be adjusted to fit all brush heights and keeps them clean and neatly stowed away when not in use. We loved how well the brushes worked with gel, powder, cream and liquid textures, whether it was buffing in foundation, blending eyeshadow or perfecting a precise flick of eyeliner. 

  1. £99 from Illamasqua
Prices may vary
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The verdict: Best Valentine’s Day beauty gifts

The Vieve the essentials eye palette is a no brainer, full of flattering, easy-to-blend shades that will suit all skin tones and provide a much needed pick-me-up for a Valentine’s Day likely spent under strict lockdown restrictions. It’ll come in handy for Zoom date nights and social plans that will, fingers crossed, become more regular later on in the year.

Also deserving of a special mention is the Bleach London resurrection mask – it’s a pampering treat for tresses that won’t break the bank. 

For more Valentine’s Day treats, read our review of the best vegan chocolates for the occasion

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