Treat and preen and keep 'em keen on Valentine's Day. Lisa Haynes reveals the products to fall in love with on February 14.
By Lisa Haynes
Dubbed the most romantic day of the year, it has some people on countdown for hearts, flowers and kisses, and others ducking for cover!
However you feel about Valentine's Day, at least make it a date to lavish yourself with some extra attention.
Whether you're single, loved-up or sublimely settled, set the right romantic tone with a day of heartfelt pampering and preening.
Men now spend longer getting ready to go out than women, according to a recent survey by Socked.co.uk, so extra me-time in front of the mirror may well be necessary to keep up!
Rival the hearts and roses and ensure you're looking red hot on February 14.
Looking for love If you're out searching for your Mr Right, attract his attention with an alluring scent. Encased in a gold heart-shaped bottle, try Lipsy London's Love (from £18, www.lipsy.co.uk); an addictive fragrance with top notes of lemon, orange blossom and romantic rose.
Ensure your eyebrows are immaculately shaped for raising at suggestive moments with Shavata's quirky Heart Shaped Tweezers (£21, www.shavata.co.uk).
Catch the object of your affection's gaze with statement eyes. You'll be spoilt for choice with Marks & Spencer's Limited Collection Heart Shadow Palette (£8.50, www.marksandspencer.com), featuring six pretty pastel shades.
In keeping with the heart theme, M&S's Limited Collection includes a Heart Lipstick (£5, www.marksandspencer.com) for an an eye-catching pout. Keep in your handbag as a lucky-in-love charm.
As a finishing touch, powder yourself pretty with MAC's uber-girly Limited Edition Making Pretty Iridescent Powder (£42, www.selfridges.com).
Date night Go to town with beautiful make-up if you're venturing out with your favourite man on your arm.
Smashbox's Limited Edition Love Me collection (from £14, www.smashbox.co.uk) has just about every product you might need for a seductive look, including eyeshadow palettes in Admire Me pinks and browns or Entice Me blues and purples (£25).
Give your cheeks a rosy glow with Lancome's Blush in Love (£34, www.selfridges.com). The vibrant shade is a mix of fuchsia and orange will make you look as though you've just spent a springtime day outdoors.
Make sure there's no doubt about your feelings with Poppy King's Look of Love box (£38, uk.spacenk.com). When you fall in love, the body chemistry changes and brings out the natural pink beauty in your lips and cheeks and this kit is designed to recreate that first flush.
There's sure to be lots of hand holding by the end of your date so keep your nails groomed and polished with Bobbi Brown's Limited Edition Pink Valentine or Valentine Red (£11, www.bobbibrown.co.uk).
For lips he won't be able to resist, kiss goodnight with Lush's The Kiss Lip Gloss (£5.50, www.lush.co.uk), for a glossy pink sheen and secret ingredient of guarana seed powder to make your lips feel plumper.
Cosy coupledom Set the mood for a loved-up night indoors by lighting seductive scented candles. Try Max Benjamin's Harmony Fragrance Blend candle set (£29.95, www.maxbenjamin.ie). Designed to be lit at the same time, the two scents create a harmonising blend for both sexes.
Inject some fun into bath times with Love's Bath Fizzer Set (£2, ASDA stores). The eight heart-shaped mini bath bombs create a creamy lather in the tub in seconds.
Get in the mood of all things exotic with Soak Yourself's Love Soak bath ritual recipe kit (£40, www.soakyourself.co.uk). You'll find candle, bath crystals, essential oils, tea for two and lovers blend massage oil for the ultimate night in together.
Turn the heat up on a cold February night with Sanctuary Spa Therapies' Relax Warming Body Oils (£10.25, Boots). Drizzle over the body and massage the soothing oil into skin for a sensorial duo experience.
Keep your skin soft and supple before cuddling up in bed with SteamCream's Verona heart tin (£12.95, www.steamcream.co.uk), aptly named after Shakespeare's city of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.
Tried & tested Melissa Lancaster goes wax lyrical for painless (almost) hair removal.
With Valentine's Day and a holiday approaching, it's time for me and my unkempt bikini line to part company, pronto. Determined to dispel the myth that waxing is not only painful and boring, but embarrassing, I venture to waxing specialists, Strip. A little different from your usual beauty salon, the shop is packed with beautiful lingerie and beauty products and the rooms look like something straight out of an interior decor mag. Going to a business that's dedicated to the overly follicly-challenged immediately makes me feel at ease, and confident I'm in good hands - the staff here are hair-removing gurus. Strip offer six scented waxes, including Chocolate and Hazelnut, Lavender, So Berry, Olive, Manifico and Active Gold. As I'm in the Berry Room (complete with a huge bright pout painted on the wall), I opt for the So Berry Hot Wax, which makes the whole experience a little more light-hearted. Hot wax is always recommended for more sensitive areas such as bikini, eyebrow and under arms, as opposed to the strip method. My therapist is highly professional and directs me discreetly into various poses. I barely notice any pain while the hot wax swiftly works its magic. Strip also has the genius idea of implementing entertainment into treatment rooms - the comedy film I'm watching eliminates any awkward silences and proves a great distraction method. I opt for a Brazilian bikini wax, which is expertly finished in less than half an hour. The more adventurous can experiment with heart shapes or initials for a special occasion, or go wild with a martini glass or diamond for a real work of art.
:: Strip bikini wax, from £23, available in salons in London, Essex, Bristol and Liverpool (www.stripwaxbar.com).
:: To find a bikini wax near you visit www.wahanda.com/treatment/waxing/ Buy it now Awards season is under way and Lancome are rolling out the red carpet with a limited edition blush. To celebrate a partnership with Bafta, their 'and the winner is...' envelope style blusher contains best-selling shade, Rose Sable. Available from February 1, exclusively at Selfridges stores nationwide.
Beauty bulletin :: Beauty blunders Guys are paying the price for looking good... In the metrosexual age, a new survey has revealed the top cosmetic injuries are suffered by men. Tanning, hair-dyeing and waxing top the list of treatments that pose the greatest risk with 20% of men sustaining an injury from UV tanning and 16% from a spray tan treatment, followed by hair-dyeing (12%) and eyebrow waxing (13%), says the survey by personal injury specialists www.first4lawyers.com. Men are four times as likely to sustain an injury from using UV tanning beds than women, and eight times as likely to suffer after a spray tan. Ouch!
:: Recessionista alert Show your locks some love on Valentine's Day. Regis Salons are offering a special blow-dry offer for one day only to ensure women are ready for their big date. The full blow-dry service will be available for just £20 on February 14 at salons nationwide. Mention the Valentine's offer when booking your appointment (www.regissalons.co.uk).