By Nancy Rotenier
The pressure is on, fellas. Valentine’s Day. How seriously does the fairer sex take Valentine’s Day? It’s a religious holiday—think Barney’s Warehouse Sale. In guy terms, it’s the Super Bowl. Since our first crushes, we’ve been Disney-ed into believing in happily-ever-after, and we’re going to leave our rose-colored, heart-shaped glasses permanently in place, thank you very much. Read the bad boyfriend warning label: Valentine’s Day is our fairy tale, we play the fair maiden. You better let your inner Prince Charming loose—or you’re going to have one very pouty princess on your hands.
To avoid Valentine’s Day Post Traumatic Relationship Disorder, give good gift. It’s pretty simple. If we spend hours getting dolled up—slinky red dresses, Valentine’s Day smokey eye makeup, perfect red lips, put in some time picking our gift. Here, the top 7 things you should NEVER give a woman for Valentine’s Day—and plenty of tips to give good gift.
And girls, it’s time to accidentally forward this to your shopping-impaired boy or your best friends’ significant others. That can be your BFF gift to her!
Top 7 Good Gifts/Bad Gifts That Make or Break Your Boyfriend Status
• Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day
Bad Gift: Were you not paying attention the 1,452 times we asked you if our butt looks fat in these jeans? Clue in! We are ALWAYS on a diet. We want something we can wear on our ring finger, not on our hips!
Good Gift: We will, however, make an exception if you make a chocolate Valentine’s Day treat by hand. Chocolate truffles are easy to make, require few ingredients, no kitchen equipment, and come with a guaranteed “oooh, you made something just for me?” The points you score? You can’t count that high.
• A Gift for WHOM? Valentine’s Day Lingerie
Bad Gift: Hellooo. Anybody home?! Who exactly is getting the gift here? Not to mention that once we put it on, we really don’t get to wear it very long. Not that we’re complaining . . . rest assured, we know what to wear on a date, and we know what to wear under it. But when you give us a romantic Valentine’s Day gift, we want to feel like you know us.
Good Gift: Go for a personalized or monogrammed Valentine’s Day gift that says you didn’t grab any last-minute lingerie. From pendant necklaces to pillows with our initials, it’s easy to have something made just for us.
• Anything That Plugs in for a Valentine’s Day Gift
Bad Gift: The scary thing is, we just might have to explain this to you. Valentine’s Day gifts should be personal, not practical. Practical, as in vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, coffee maker. Get us what we want, not what we need! If you treat “I need a dustbuster” and “I need new shoes” equally, you don’t deserve to date us.
Good Gift: The best Valentine’s Day gifts are unique, indulgent, unexpected, something we wouldn’t necessarily buy for ourselves. Think keychain with a pink leather heart, a sexy necklace, even a Polaroid camera to capture our big smiles when you surprise us with other gifts throughout the year.
• A Perfume Gift for Valentine’s Day
Bad Gift: We know that perfume is sexy, that’s why we wear it. We know that scent triggers memory, that’s why you’ll go to the perfume counter, test different fragrances, and think the one that evokes familiar feelings of love and happiness is perfect. It’s not. It’s your mother’s. And smelling like your mother isn’t sexy.
Good Gift: We would love a sensual scent for Valentine’s Day—as long as it reflects who we are. Girlie girls will go for fresh or floral, classic sophisticates will opt for something subtle and balanced, rocker chicks go bold. Not sure which way your girl swings? Answer 5 quick questions on our perfume personality quiz, and you’ll know if she’s floral, fresh, classic, bold, or sweet. And you’ll get a signature scent suggestion to match her perfume personality.
• Valentine’s Day Bouquet of Flowers
Bad Gift: Flowers can easily say, “He loves me not” when they feel cliché, last-minute, impersonal, or overpriced. We know it’s supposed to be the thought that counts, but when it’s no thought, those dozen red roses just die on the vine.
Good Gift: We’re up for the red theme to get in the Valentine’s Day mood. But instead of giving us some long stems, how about we show you ours? We want to be your Valentine. So, get us a little red dress for Valentine’s Day, and we’ll look like your Valentine, too.
• Regifted Anything for Valentine’s Day
Bad Gift: It’s over. Need we say more? In case you need this spelled out, there is no eco-friendly, budget-conscious, time-saving excuse on the planet that will redeem you for this Valentine’s Day gift gaff! And don’t think we won’t notice that it’s the scarf you forgot to give to your mother or the necklace your ex-girlfriend never wore—or did.
Good Gift: It is a truth universally acknowledged that any man in possession of a car must be in want of directions—BUT HE WON’T ASK! Get over yourselves when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts. You don’t score points going it alone and getting us the wrong gift. Celebrity stylist Stacey Mayesh has fab finds for Valentine’s Day, and you can be sure if she wants it, so do we.
• On Valentine’s Day, Sale Is a Four-Letter Word
Bad Gift: Ordinarily, there are few words that make our hearts sing louder than sale. But if it pops up on the register when we return your A-for-effort Valentine’s Day gift, let’s just say singing is not what our hearts will be doing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Just don’t make us feel like you were bargain hunting from the get-go.
Good Gift: Baby, you know the bling’s the thing we’re looking for on Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s THE RING, or a tiny token of your affection, jewelry gets you in good with your girl. Does she wear delicate jewelry? Look for a thin chain with a small pendant on it. Does she like to make a statement with her accessories? Then, go with a cocktail ring.
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By Nancy Rotenier
Don’t wait for birthdays to make your best friends feel special. Show some BFF love on Valentine’s Day. For this twist on the traditional Valentine’s Day gift, no money required—it really is the thought that counts. But if you’re more “buy” than DIY, you can get great Valentine’s Day gifts for your best friend for less than $10.
Find Those Special Gifts for Your Best Friend
To come up with personalized Valentine’s Day gift ideas, what do you and your BFFs bond over? What don’t you bond over?! Clothes, shoes, boys, music, cocktails, work. You see Sex and the City the day it premieres, laugh about the boy you both had a crush on, share weight-loss tips, and more. What glues your friendship together makes for great gifts on Valentine’s Day. So, whether you like to buy or DIY, take these Valentine’s Day gift tips out for a BFF spin. Remember, on the day dedicated to love, you’ve loved your girls long before you discovered boys!
For a Happy Valentine’s Day Gift for Your BFF, Say It with a Chocolate Gift
Best friend plus Valentine’s Day? Chocolate. Enough said?! From PMS craving-cure to boyfriend-breakup cheer-up, you and your bestests could form a local chapter of Chocoholics Anonymous.
• DIY For Your Best Friend Gift: Bake Something Chocolate—Think Brownies or Truffles
Gourmet treats or homespun favorites, both brownies and chocolate truffles are easy to make, don’t require many ingredients or special kitchen equipment, and—THEY’RE CHOCOLATE!
• BFF BUY Some Chocolate Love Straight from the Supermarket
Do you and your best friends prefer your chocolate prepared by Mr. Hershey? Go for the spot-on Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses. Just tack a red ribbon on the supermarket-size bag and hand it over. Yes, you actually have to hand it over to your BFF.
Buy Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses, $5.99, at walgreens.com
Be the Best “Boyfriend” Ever & Give Your BFF Valentine’s Day Jewelry
From sharing plastic princess tiaras to pairing her pearls with your LBD, you both love all things sparkly. For Valentine’s Day, be the best boyfriend your girlfriend could ask for. Whether she has a boy of her own, or especially if she doesn’t, you know what she really wants—bling.
• BFF DIY Homemade Friendship Bracelet
Reminisce about pinky swears and cootie shots? Then take a turn down nostalgia lane and make your BFF the classic friendship bracelet. Make a friendship bracelet in her favorite colors. There are dozens of websites with easy-to-follow instructions. Find a pattern you love, buy some embroidery floss at a local yarn store or toy store, then weave away! And if you’re especially crafty, work in some beads, glue-gun some rhinestones, embroider her initials or favorite word.
• BUY Your Best Friend Jewelry If You Prefer to Fake It, Not Make It
Not a hands-on kind of girl? Go for costume jewelry. There’s plenty of jewelry that says Be My BFF Valentine without breaking open your piggy bank. Blow a little BFF Valentine’s Day kiss. These delicate earrings are from Candi Stamm, who makes it feel like every day is Valentine’s Day with her fabulous assortment of costume jewelry. There’s a lot to love for $10.
Buy Candi Stamm Costume Jewelry, starting at $10, email email@example.com
On Valentine’s Day, Remind Your Best Friend You’re There for Her
You bond with your BFF over girl talk. She’s still looking for the one. You give her first-date tips. She can’t decide which shoes to buy. You go with. For her Valentine’s Day gift, give her what she needs most—you.
• DIY BFF IOU for What She Can’t—or Won’t—Do Without You
If your best friend plays Oscar to your Felix and you wish she’d just clean up her act, do it for her. When she gets homesick and misses her mother’s cooking, make her favorites. Give your best friend a helping hand as a Valentine’s Day gift and write her an IOU for something special, from organizing her desk, to making her breakfast in bed, to listening to hours of deconstructing her most recent dating debacle.
• BUY Your Best Friend the Perfect Gift of a Perfect Fella
In the BFF bible, the first commandment: Thou shalt be there for her through thick and thin. Translation: You will encourage her through every endlessly weepy breakup with not-the-one. Prefer to skip the “he’s out there and it’s just a matter of time” pep talk? If a quick pick-me-up is more her speed—and yours—go for a laugh instead and give her Prince Charming. Grow him in minutes. Just add water!
Buy Magic Frog to Prince, $8, at fredflare.com
Win 2 Tickets to Patricia Field’s Disco Valentine’s Day Ball!
By Daniela Apeloig
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Shop the Full Story:
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Buy iHome iP39 Kitchen Timer and FM Alarm Clock Radio Speaker System for iPhone/iPod, $99.99, at ihomeaudio.com