2021 Gift Guide
Valentine's Day is almost here and if you're anything like me, you're stumped on a gift. I always end up using my best ideas for Christmas gifts and, by the time Valentine's rolls around, I'm fresh out of ideas. I've compiled a list of my personal favorite gifts just in time for February and perfect for everyone on your list from the self care aficionados to the men in your life! No partnership or sponsors here. These companies don't know who I am. These are just great products.
For the Self Care Aficionados
(1) Clove & Hallow Lip Mask
If you aren't familiar with this brand, welcome. I discovered them during my initial introduction to green beauty and never looked back. Their lip mask is a newer kid on the block and I snagged my jar in late December. This stuff is magic. It smells great, feels great, and your lips will be so soft and plump.
C&H says to apply a thin layer, which is appropriate during the day, but each night before bed I will slather this on in a nice, thick later. Each morning when I wake up? Perfectly moisturized lips. This is a must-have for the dry, cold winter months.
(2) Soapwalla Bath Soak
If you've delved into the natural deodorant world, then you've likely heard of Soapwalla as they're the OG of the natural deodorant (and almost a decade they're still my favorite). I received a gift card to Soapwalla for Christmas and decided to branch out and try some new products.
Lavender and eucalyptus bath salts are perfect for a hot bath on a cold, winter evening. Not only does this bath soak smell incredible, it's packaged in a gorgeous glass container so you really feel like you're getting a lovely gift. All of Soapwalla's products are vegan and contain clean, safe ingredients. Plus supporting this business means supporting a queer-woman-owned, all-women run business. It's a win all around!
(3) The Ordinary. Skincare
Skincare that doesn't cost a month's rent AND actually works? I was skeptical too until a coworker came to work one day raving about it. I haven't tried a product I don't like, though the Vitamin C is probably my favorite. I've tried tons of vitamin C products in the past and could never really tell if they were working. This one, however, remains stable due to the absence of water (something I've never seen in other vitamin C products). When you put it on, you know it's working.
Sephora doesn't carry the entire line of The Ordinary's products, but it's an easy way to dip your toe in the water to see if you even like their products (you will!). If you snag something you love, definitely let me know!
(4) Cozy Earth Pullover & Joggers
Insanely soft, super comfortable sleepwear that you can actually wear out of the house and no one will suspect a thing. On Oprah's favorite things list for several years, I splurged on the pullover and joggers this past Christmas. I was a bit skeptical given the high price tag but after one day of wearing them, I was completely smitten.
They're the perfect weight for lounging AND sleeping, plus the joggers have pockets which is always a plus. And they are temperature controlled, so when you sleep, you won't wake up in a sweat (speaking from experience here!). Snag these for a loved one or grab some for yourself! (They're having a Valentine's sale, too!)
For the Fitness Gurus
(or sideline enthusiasts like yours truly)
(1) Peloton Digital Subscription
I know what you're thinking: you don't want to buy a Peloton bike. This isn't that. It's not a bike and it's not a treadmill. The Peloton digital subscription is entirely different. It's a huge catalogue of on-demand classes that range from guided meditation to yoga, pilates to boot camp, HIIT to Barre. And yes, there are spin classes too (more about that later).
I've never, ever been one to work out or go to the gym. My joke used to be that I'd only run if I was being chased. In early 2019, I started this digital subscription and two years later, it's the only thing I've ever stuck with. And talk about a godsend when the pandemic started. I don't have to leave my home to do a yoga flow class with my favorite instructor, Kristin McGee, and hundreds or sometimes literally thousands of others people at the same time! (You can see who is doing the class with you in real time.) I can't say enough good things about it and obnoxiously tell everyone I know. At a mere $12 per month, it's well worth the price and then some.
(2) Jade Harmony Yoga mat
I used to think that expensive yoga mats were just a ploy to get consumers to spend more money. But I was consistently dissatisfied with the $20 mats I bought at Target. Once I finally started doing yoga regularly (thanks to Peloton, mentioned above!) I was at REI one day when I spotted the Jade Harmony yoga mat and decided to give it a try.
Friends, this mat is amazing. I don't slip on it, like ever, and it's thick enough that I don't need to pad my knees. I've used this mat literally hundreds of times and it's only just starting to show some slight wear in a few small places. When I finally have to buy another one, I will most definitely be buying the Jade Harmony again! I think you'll love it as much as I love mine.
(3) Pyhigh Stationary Spin Bike
I've always been curious about spin classes. I've been told repeatedly that it's one of the best way to shed unwanted fat, get in shape fairly quickly, and is low impact (great if you have a bum knee like me). Plus have you seen the people who take these spin classes?? They're in great shape and there's this almost cult-like love of spinning.
Like mentioned above, I have a Peloton digital subscription which includes spin classes. I didn't want to pay the high price tag for a Peloton bike, nor did I want to pay the required $39/month for their bike membership. So I did some reading and found that I could snag a stationary bike and a Wahoo cadence sensor to simulate the Peloton bike experience. I've only been doing it for a few weeks but I'm already obsessed. The hardest part is making myself start but once I'm on the bike, it feels great and I have more energy throughout the day.
It's not exactly the same as having a real Peloton bike (the instructors will call out a tension number to set your bike at, a number which is completely meaningless without their bike) but for just over $300, I'd say it's close enough. As noted above, be sure to get a cadence sensor so you can keep up with whatever cadence the instructor tells you to ride at. I have the Wahoo sensor.
For the Dudes
(1) Beard Balm -
Bay Leaf & Tobacco
First off, Luka Soap Co's Bay Leaf & Tobacco smells incredible. It's fragrance is warm, masculine, and intoxicating but not overpowering. If this came as a candle, I'd have several throughout my house! This balm is plant-based and vegan, and free of preservatives and phthalates so you can feel good about your purchase.
Second, supporting Luka Soap Co. means supporting a women-owned, small business. Win-win! Surely the guy in your life will love this beard balm as much as the guy in my life does.
(2) Flip Side Wallet
If your guy is really hard on the things he owns, like his wallet, then this may well be the solution.
My guy has been carrying a Flip Side wallet for years and they're nearly indestructible. It's crush resistant and RFID blocking. It's super functional, versatile, and well made. What more could you ask for?
(3) Module Mechanical Keyboard
Remember the satisfying feeling and clickety clack of an old school keyboard? For the uninitiated, keyboards are a big deal to a lot of folks. So much so that keyboards like this modular gaming one are highly customizable. You can choose the amount of 'click' with changeable key switches.
I've got to say, it is rather satisfying to feel that 'click' under your fingers with this keyboard. If you're stumped on a gift, this is a fun and unexpected present that your significant other can use every day!
For the Jewelry Lovers
My list couldn't be complete without jewelry suggestions!
(1) 14k Solid Gold Tiny Heart Studs
At just 3mm, these little cuties are great for multiple piercings. Stack them with your other favorites or wear them alone. They're a great, minimalist, every day earring and because they're fashioned from solid gold, they'll last a lifetime!
(2) 14k Solid Gold XO Stud Earrings
One of Stella's bestsellers, these XO earrings are tiny, measuring at just 4mm. They're solid gold so they're suitable for those with even the most sensitive skin. A beautiful gift for Valentine's Day or any other occasion where a meaningful gift is in order.
(3) Personalized Disc Necklaces
Always a classic, Stella's Salome and Lylou disc necklaces are an easy and perfect gift. You can choose between 6mm discs (Lylou) or 10mm discs (Salome) and have the option to add a sweet little heart charm!
Choose the initial of a loved one, a pet, or anything else important to your recipient. Nothing is better than getting a personalized gift to show how much you care! These necklaces are all 14k gold filled so they're safe for sensitive skin! (More about gold filled jewelry here.)
(4) Solid 14k Gold Initial Stud Earrings
A perpetual bestseller and for good reason! These tiny, solid gold initial stud earrings are such an easy gift. Just like with the disc necklaces above, pick the initial(s) of loved ones, your pet, or any other letter with a particular meaning close to your recipient's heart! Sold gold will last a lifetime, making these personalized initial stud earrings a meaningful, beautiful choice!
I hope you've found some great Valentine's Day gift ideas! Is there something fabulous that should be on this list? Let me know in the comments below - I'm always on the lookout for great, new products!