I love Valentine's Day. I don't have a boyfriend or even care about having one--I just really, really love a holiday dedicated to love, the color pink, pretty flowers and candy. Valentine's Day comes second only to Easter in the battle of greatest candy holiday.
I prefer to celebrate Valentine's Day with my girls, the ladies who love and support me all year long. In the past few years, I've assembled a big group of lady friends, and I could not be more thankful for them.
This year, I threw a pre-Valentine's beauty party for a few of my nearest and dearest. I was aiming for a "grownup sleepover" vibe, with lots of nail painting, face masks and fake lashes. In my experience, beauty products are an easy way to bond with your friends; giving someone a product to try makes them feel valued. Some of my girls don't wear much makeup and others are more interested, which made the mix all the more fun.
My roommate whipped up some spinach dip and taco dip, while I poured Prosecco and blood orange cocktails until my friend Briana showed up with a huge bowl of sangria. I told my friends to bring along whatever they wanted, which meant the night ended with me shoving brownies in my mouth as I cleaned the kitchen.
My friends at Kiss sent along their new Gel Dress nail stickers, a few boxes of my beloved imPRESS press-on nails and a handful of their Looks So Natural lashes, which come in various styles like Sultry, Vamp and Shy. Kiss lashes have long been a drugstore favorite of mine.
In addition, I stopped at Walmart and picked up some classic Freeman face masks to send home with my ladies. Did you ever use those at sleepovers when you were little? I totally did. Face masks are ALWAYS fun, no matter if you're 10 or 26. Now they come in convenient single-use packets for about $2.
I set up a little manicure station with a few of my favorite red and pink polishes, like butter LONDON's Rosie Lee and Teddy Girl, and Sephora's new Formula X in A+, a shiny raspberry.
Everyone likes painting their nails; I think nail polish is one of the best entry-level products. It's cheap, it's easy and if you mess it up, just wipe it off! I have fond memories of doing my nails with my besties as a little girl and I still love doing it now. When my friends come over, they always raid the nail polish box under our coffee table regardless of the day.
We set to work. My roommate Meghan and her BFF Emily tried the new gel stickers, while my friend Noelle got adventurous and pressed on her very first set of imPRESS. Ashlie and Chrissy went for the lashes and applied them like pros.
I sent my friend Briana, who rarely wears makeup, home with new L'Oreal Extraordinaire gloss in Ruby Opera, which looks beautiful with her pale skin and long auburn curls. My friend Emily snapped photos and Britta captivated the room as she clipped in her new extensions.
The drinks flowed and we laughed our asses off, which is generally the point of spending Valentine's with your girlfriends.
It wouldn't be a girly party if some boys didn't crash it, so no one was surprised when my brother Dylan and his friend Joe showed up at the door. They insisted we apply press-on nails to their pinkies.
I had told the girls to bring along any beauty products they were tired of so we could swap with each other. I gave Chrissy, who loves sparkly blush, a special-edition Tarte stick blush. She also gave my long-discarded Marc Jacobs Blush perfume a new home.
Emily took some brightening scrub, while Laurel ended up with some new lipstick. Whatever was left over was donated.
We had so much fun playing with makeup and hanging out with each other that I wish we could do it all the time. I'm so glad I have such cool chicks in my life and that Valentine's Day gives me an excuse to let them know how much I appreciate them. It would've been super-fun without all the goodies, but EVERYTHING is better with fake nails and lashes, right?
What do you do for Valentine's Day? Do you love it or hate it? Do you do the "Galentine's Day" celebration too? What's your favorite Valentine's candy?