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Whatever your relationship status or feelings towards Valentine's Day, self-gifting has never been more appealing.


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It's nearly the 14th, so why not wake at dawn, pepper your partner with kisses and serve them eggs in the shape of a heart? You love Valentine's because you love love. It oozes from your pores and pickles your insides like kombucha. But – oh! – your partner doesn't exist, or they do, but they bemoan Valentine's for as long as is possible post-Christmas, pre-St Patrick’s Day, because it is decreed by Haters of Commercial Holidays to be A Horrid Day (Moonpig are the bad guys in all of this, not the professional ghosters). But back to you and your not-to-be-snubbed enthusiasm, which by the way, you shouldn't risk being harmed by dint of say, no gift, or worse, a bad gift. The solution? Go it alone. 'It' being self-gifting, not least because actual romance doesn't come from a bottle, or a box, it comes from daily cups of tea, unstacked dishwashers and more hangers in the wardrobe. 


He wants to go on a virtual date with you. Yes, YOU. On Valentine’s Day. This is everything you’ve ever wanted. And his polyamorous girlfriend is predictably cool with it.

Louis Vuitton Étoile Filant Perfume, £200

With magnolia, apricot and cassis, there’s no roses or romance, which is fitting, because two fingers to the purists, he's sent you a bouquet of lilies. Nothing says "I like you" like the flowers of funerals.

Bella Freud Caio Candle, £50

Bonjour is prescriptive and passé, and why say hello when you can say something that also means goodbye. Ciao satisfies all the ambiguities of nuanced dating. And anyway, you were not exclusive, you simply enjoyed a period of mutual partiality, he said. Hence the lilies, he stressed.


You are fluid in the language of love. Videos of otters building dams to protect their young and the Obamas’ inauguration ball dance elicit actual tears. You plan on sending your best friend a cookie with a piped message of adoration, and have a selection of heart-shaped chocolate lollies to give to delivery men. 

NARS Claudette Audacious Sheer Matte Lipstick in Sandrine, £26, at Cult Beauty

Of course you need a lipstick emblazoned with love hearts, and not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day. If only to be reminded that love is omnipresent, and that for every crap thing there’s something wonderful, too – like a velvety raspberry red lipstick that doesn't smudge during snogs. 



This is the love that dominates the group chat. The only love that your friends actually want to hear about. You know, sexy love.

Elemis Warm Up to Wind Down Massage Balm, £42, at Look Fantastic

When your partner asks your knock a knot out of their back with a Theragun, you will instead suggest a massage with this balm, to warm and unwind their muscles and win their heart.


The clumsy delirium of your first love is as potent as ever, and no one can compare. You’ve read all the books that simper with sorrow. Twice. Thus, your evening will be spent solo watching Netflix. You'll be content until you see your ex has 'bubbled' with a new girl and their plans for the evening involve carbonara and Parasite. Parasite! What?! He hates films with subtitles. 

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Ultra Glow Highlighter, £45, at Selfridges

What colour goes best with Zoom date anxiety? Pearlescent, life-breathing pink of course. You glow girl, you tell yourself, before vowing never, ever to say "you glow girl" again.


It is crucial that for meetings on the 15th, you hide the fact that you spent the previous evening crying into crisps and Chardonnay. You skin is irritated, and your complexion lifeless... 

This Works stress check CBD skin booster + Cica extract, £38

With its key ingredients CBD and cica, this reduces inflammation and soothes skin. Perfect for when you appear to have been left on read for 3 days.

James Read Glow 20 Face Tan, £25

Sallow skin that hasn't seen the light of day, only that from a Tinder profile, must be gotten rid of with a good, believable tan. As its name suggests this works in just 20 minutes.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Fluid Sheer Glow Enhancer, £30

You might have read that Kim Kardashian is getting a divorce, but perhaps not that Luminous Silk is her go-to base range, and so, you tell yourself, you will overcome this heartache together, fresh faced and radiant. 

What's love go to do with it?

Nothing, actually. Because while everyone is having scheduled sex in missionary you're doing just fine in the bath, thanks.

Mauli Himalayan Healing Salts, £36

Apparently pink Himalayan salts have a vibrational energy, so yes, we'll leave it at that.

We only recommend things we love, however we might earn a small commission if you choose to buy something.