ap fashion: valentine’s day is right around the corner – gifts for your loved ones and for yourself!

February 4, 2014

‘Tis the season of love and well, do I miss middle school because everyone got a little bit of love—there were always class wide exchanges of chocolates and heart shaped cards and little notes that cheered up your Valentine’s Day. I think the last time I had a real valentine was maybe in 8th grade, once high school hit and now in college, I’ve learned to treat myself on the day of love. So whether or not you’ll be grabbing things for a significant other or looking forward to a huge edible arrangement all for yourself, here are some great Valentine’s Day gift ideas in a range of prices!

By Aliyah Blackmore, AFROPUNK Contributor

• Lotions and Bath Salts
Everyone loves smelling good—whether a soft cocoa butter or a strong lemon ginger scent, smooth skin for yourself or your significant other is a must. I’m a cocoa butter or mango scent, type of person. Grab a jar of a nicely scented lotion for special occasions so that you are your loved one can smell extra sweet.

Always take time to run the tub, maybe throw some lavender oil inside, a few rose petals and a dash of a bath salt. Light a few candles and relax to a nice playlist in a warm tub. This shouldn’t just be done on valentines day, but…there is not better day. Valentine’s day is on Friday this year, so after classes or after work, get home to fully treat yourself to a relaxing night that you or you and a loved one deserve.

Bath Salts are an easy DIY—or I’ve loved using some of the Carol’s Daughter products over the years (

• Flowers
It is always nice to brighten up and rejuvenate space with flowers and of course, a joy to have fresh flowers delivered to your on Valentines Day! Order a floral arrangement for yourself or that special someone and brighten up a day! You can create your own arrangement by picking up flowers at your local Florist and flower stand. If you are in the Manhattan or Brooklyn area—try out Barbara’s Flowers. They put together lovely arrangements ranging in pricing—I’ve heard great reviews from the Harlem end, and it is always great to support business within our communities.

• Pucker up- Lipstick
Heading out for a date night or simply treating yourself to dinner—pucker up with these lovely shades of red sure to catch attention.

Semi Matte- Red—all round lipstick—not too glossy and not too dry, velvety and vibrant color. (NARs Cosmetics has a great Jungle Red color—worn by Lupita Nyong’o—that is perfect for various tones- check it out here:

Fire Red – Lipstick—a darker almost burnt like red color—that looks great in a matte or semi- matte finish.

Orange – Red Lipstick—wow everyone in a bright shade as we transition from winter to spring. Pick an orange tinted red shade of lipstick—maybe got for a semi matte or matt finish.

• Chocolate Covered Anything
Buy tons of chocolate chips, heat them in a pan with some milk and buy your favorite fruits—create your own version of an edible arrangement. Pineapples, apples, strawberries, mangoes, peaches, raspberries are always great combinations with chocolate. Also, as a suggestion, any chocolate hazelnut spread, like nutella, goes very well with fruit and a much easier chocolate dip.

• Jewelry
Jewelry is always thoughtful and brings a smile to the face—Check out a few Jewelry pieces that I’ve found on the web.

Asiyami Gold- love the handmade bracelets,

Boho Gal Jewelry-

Waist Beads by Sewra-

• Good Reads
Give the gift of reading—a few suggestions below:

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur
To Rebel Ghosts: The Remix by Kevin Young
Part of My Soul Went With Him by Winnie Mandela
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Inviscible Man Ralph Ellison
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

• Mixtape
Finally, a nice playlist to end the night. Add them to an iphone, ipod or USB and grab speakers or a laptop. A few of my favorite songs:

Ah Yeah- Robert Glasper feat. Musiq Soulchild and Chrisette Michele
Makings of You- Curtis Mayfield
Climax- Slum Village
Simply Beautiful- Al Green
Water Me- FKA Twigs
Save Room- John Legend
Case of You- James Blake
Sometimes I Cry- Eric Benet
So Beautiful- Musiq Soulchild
Nothing Even Matter- Lauryn Hill feat. D’Angelo
Love Is Strong Than Pride- Sade
Good Luv’n- BJ The Chicago Kid
He Loves Me- Jill Scott
Adorn- Miguel
Alone Together- Daley feat., Marsha Ambrosius
UMI Says- Mos Def

Have a happy and loving Valentines day whether spending it with a loved one or with yourself, enjoy the day!

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