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Your Immune System Needs A Pick-Me-Up + Ester-C Giveaway

With the weather switching back and forth between snow and sunny spring days—in the same week—the environment isn’t the only thing that’s getting confused. Just like there’s currently fully bloomed cherry blossom trees in Washington D.C. right now, our immune systems are letting down their guards due to the trickery of the fluctuating temperatures.

According to a study on Vitamin C and Immune Function,  supplementing your diet with Vitamin C is an effective way to prevent illness or prolong the duration of an illness you are currently fighting. With our bodies in a state of confusion at the drastic weather changes we’ve been enduring, it is important that we keep feeding it the nutrients it needs to keep us healthy. This is where the new line of Ester-C’s immune strengthening products comes in.

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I was at the launch party that Ester-C threw at The Marmara Park Avenue to celebrate their newest launch of products. There were snacks, drinks and super relaxing massages to help everyone charge their health while learning about the “better Vitamin C.”

 

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Ester-C stays in your white blood cells for up to 24 hours, which is longer than the absorption of regular Vitamin C lasts. The new product line includes Immune Charge Gummies, 24-Hour Immune Support Vitamins and Immune Charge Quick Dissolve Tablets. The line is completely gluten-free, non-GMO and was created without using any artificial flavors.

 

Keep reading to find out how you can win products from the new Ester-C line!

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Before we get into the giveaway details, let’s talk about how adorable this (1-year-old!!) Bernese Mountain Dog is. He was at the event as the Ester-C mascot and he was SO well-behaved!

Class and the City x Ester-C Giveaway Rules:

  1. Follow Class and the City via WordPress or Email.
  2. Follow Class and the City on Facebook.
  3. Comment one reason why you’re excited for Spring! x

Good Luck & Stay Classy! xx

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NYFW x Zang Toi Fall/Winter ’17 Collection

Malaysian designer Zang Toi is known for creating clothing that is sophisticated, elegant and timelessly beautiful. He has dressed celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor and Eva Longoria, philanthropist Melinda Gates, Saudi Princess Haifa Bandar Al Saud, and now FLOTUS Melania Trump.

Backstage before the show the energy was zinging. Photographers, reporters, models, hair stylists and makeup artists, publicists and Toi himself were frantically zig zagging throughout the crowded space in preparation for the Fall and Winter 2017 collection’s big reveal. With everyone rushing around there was little room for someone to stand still, without ruining the constant flow of the backstage crowd. The clock was ticking and the models had to rehearse one last time before they walked a runway surrounded by editors and influencers.

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You will find a sign like the above at every single fashion show, located right near the entrance to the runway. A quickly scribbled yet legible sign that reminds the models to be confident and flow with the pace of that specific show. For professionals this may seem unnecessary, but I know from my experience walking in the BooHoo x College Fashion Week Fashion Show a few years ago that the adrenaline rush that hits you right before stepping out into the seriously hot skylights can make you forget everything you’d practiced before.

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Toi’s “Brilliant Royal Blue” collection combined luxurious texture with empowering shape. It was professional and feminine, comfortable and chic. The overall look was achieved with the help of the gorgeous “French Twist Chignon,” created by lead stylist Eiji Yamane using products from Macadamia Professionals.

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One of my favorite looks from the show was the dress below, which is actually a bit shorter in the front despite the accented train in the back. You can see it in motion in the video I posted on my Instagram feed!

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The collection was highlighted with gorgeous statement accessories, like the pearl tassel necklace pictured below. The collection isn’t out yet (we have to be patient for a few more months!) but I’m linking to a kind of similar one… sans pearls unfortunately. Another jewelry look that I loved was a three level layered large pearl look with a collared blouse and velvet pants. So gorgeous.

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Don’t forget to check out my NYFW Hair How-To so you can try out the style featured on the models above! x

Stay Classy! xx

New York Fashion Week Hair How To: Zang Toi x Macadamia Professional

Zang Toi’s Fall/Winter 2017 runway show featured a truly captivating collection. If you follow me on Instagram you saw that I was lucky enough to be backstage before the show watching hair stylists and makeup artists prep the brigade of gorgeous models. Their elegant hair style was created by lead stylist Eiji Yamane, using Macadamia Professional products.

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Being backstage at NYFW is an AMAZING experience. It was so exciting to see how much work and how many people go into putting together a less-than one hour show. So many creative and insanely talented people are huddled together in a back room doing what they do best. It was such an inspiring and fast-paced environment, that makes me impatient for next season’s shows. 😉

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The “French Twist Chignon” hairstyle was truly beautiful, yet simple enough that it did not take away from House of Toi’s FW’17 collection. It’s the perfect look to do before work or a date and once you get the hang of it (and don’t need to go back and perfect it before something as high profile as say, a fashion show) it really won’t take too long.

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Eiji Yamane was generous enough to share his step-by-step process on how to get the look at home. I’ll be sharing more fashion week reflections next week, including outfits from Zang Toi’s to-die-for FW’17 collection… which is conveniently in literally ALL my favorite colors and textures. x

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“French Twist Chignon” Lead Stylist Eiji Yamane Shares His Fashion Week Hair How-To:

1. Evenly distribute Macadamia Professional Blow Dry Lotion, section hair and blow dry.

2.Create a central part and pull back into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck – pulling tightly to ensure the top of the head is smooth and sleek

3. Separate ponytail into three sections and braid all the way through the length of the ponytail. Secure ends with a hair elastic.

4. Fold new braid in half. After you tucked the braid up, pin it into place with the bobby pins.

5. Using a hair extension matching the color of hair, take one section and clip it under the braid and curling up, create a large loop wrapping around to the right side of the braid.  Secure with bobby pins.

6. Repeat step 5 at the top section and middle section to create a loose, “crescent” chignon, ensuring the inside braid is completely covered.

7. Spray with Macadamia Professional Style Lock Strong Hold Hairspray to lock in place.

8. Using a comb, gently smooth out all hair that is pulled back one last time and apply Macadamia Professional Whipped Detailing Cream to tame any flyaways.

9. To complete the look, liberally spray Macadamia Professional Weightless Moisture Dry Oil Micro Mist for added shine and luster.

Stay Classy! xx

Cocoa V Is The Vegan Chocolatier NYC Has Been Waiting For

Cocoa V    *    174 Ninth Avenue New York, NY 10011    *    $$

Last week, New York City received a gift just as good as any present you could buy yourself. The owner of Blossom du Jour opened her latest vegan business venture in Chelsea. The chocolate shop is located in a quiet area of the city, surrounded by other gourmet and vegan eats and boutiques. The ambience and space leaves little to the imagination with just a few stools for seating and the kitchen covered by a curtain, making the experience truly intimate.

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The chocolates are fully vegan, gluten-free, non-dairy, kosher and organic. They are handcrafted using only the best ingredients to create unique and delicious flavors, including Lavender Vanilla and Pistachio Apple.

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In addition to truffles and chocolate squares, Cocoa V offers a beautiful variety of chocolate bark and brittle. You can mix up the variety to your liking, whether you’re putting together a unique box for yourself or a friend. Because the chocolates are handcrafted, they’re also meticulously decorated with edible metallics, colors and designs. The overall affect is beautiful – and yummy.

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I tried a few samples while I was at the shop and brought some home for later… I ate this box in one sitting, but it’s totally guilt-free so I ain’t sorry. 😉 The piece that I’m holding below is Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly… and it was by far my favorite piece that I tried!

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If you’re in the area and are looking to spoil yourself, Cocoa V is the place to visit. In the summer they’ll be offering homemade dairy-free ice cream and ice cream sandwiches, and Belgian waffles. Their ingredients will also change with the season, so you can expect to see flavors like Edamame, Lime and Sea Salt!

Cocoa V also ships nationwide and you can place orders in stores or through their website.

Hungry? Maybe you want to whip something chocolatey up for yourself. If so, try out this guilt-free fruit dipped recipe or treat yourself to  a more traditional recipe for classy chocolate chip cookies!

Stay Classy! xx

Pure Yoga’s Zen Flow Class Will Take Your Chakras To The Next Level

Pure Yoga’s Upper West Side studio is a beautiful experience from the moment you walk through its front doors. It hits you with warm mood lighting and a spike in temperature to about 75 degrees. The entryway is full of meditative and Buddhist art, gorgeous red and copper mandalas and signs such as the below.

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Of course, what else should we expect from Equinox Gym’s highly regarded yoga brand?

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Down the stairs you’ll find the front desk, a small athleisure shop that sells apparel from Pure Yoga and Spiritual Gangster, yoga advising rooms and luxurious locker rooms. The hallways are lit with red and orange tones and are lined with wooden doors to studio rooms and luxe areas to relax and reflect in between classes. Things slow down at Pure Yoga – a deeply needed contrast to the crazy hustle of New York City.

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The Pure Zen Flow class is offered from 6-7:30pm on Sundays. When I entered ten minutes before the class started the room had already been set up with orange mats, blankets, yoga blocks and towels. The room was lit with relaxing orange mood lighting and two yogis were deep in seated meditation.

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I sat and stretched as I took in my surroundings, and felt a surge of gratitude that I was able to start off my week in such a resort-like place taking the time to detox my body and mind.

The instructor started to play soft music and guided us through a ten minute pravasana, or breath work, while we sat in hip opening positions. This is a science-based practice that relies on a certain number of short and deep breaths, in and out, in a certain order to create a relaxed and open mindset. Hip openers contribute to this result as well, as they make the ten minutes an experience full of emotional release as well.

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Next we slipped back into downward dog and began a 60-minute vinyasa flow. I had been nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the class because I’ve only just started getting back into my practice again, but the warmth of the room (now closer to 85 degrees) helped heat up my muscles and made me more flexible. The instructor was wonderful at guiding the class while also allowing room for modifications and freestyle.

After slowing down with five minutes of savasana, during which he came around and placed essential oils on our necks and foreheads, we flowed into a fifteen minute meditation practice. Part of which was guided until the entire room was silent. It was a truly wonderful 90 minutes.

If you’re interested in trying out the class for yourself, you can do so for $15 or $12 if you’re a student. Pure Yoga also offers monthly membership packages that start at $155. They have two studios, one on the West Side and one on the East Side. They offer over 20 different styles of yoga including barre and hot yoga.

Namaste & Stay Classy! xx

Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower

It’s starting to seem like every other week I hear of someone going vegan or vegetarian. It’s usually for a variety of reasons and they’re always solid and justifiable, especially because what you put in your body should be your own conscious choice, and it’s honestly had me think about it a few times too.

I’m an animal lover and I know that not eating meat is good for the environment and my body, but I haven’t yet reached the point where I’m ready to give it up completely. However, I have become more aware about how much meat I’m consuming and I’ve brought that amount down A LOT. This has been mostly due to my ability to control exactly what I’m eating during the week by meal prepping most of my breakfasts, lunches and dinners. It is sometimes a challenge but it definitely helps me be more creative about putting together my dishes and has encouraged me to try making different foods.

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That’s how this recipe came into being. I had been craving wings – like the greasy kind covered in buffalo sauce that you dip in ranch at a sports bar – but wasn’t in the mood to deal with raw meat. The second-best thing that I could make from ingredients I already had were this delicious Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower and the BBQ and Spicy Cauliflower that I made a few days before. By taking the chicken (and ranch) out of the picture, I not only saved myself from eating meat but also the seriously fattening and high-in-calorie ingredients that my body loved the taste of, but certainly not the consequences.

While I was making this recipe I posted stories to my Instagram, showing you step-by-step how I did it – and got some awesome feedback! Follow along to see more posts like that, I have so much fun doing them and am SO glad they’re helpful. x

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By the way, if you’re digging this bowl it’s even more awesome than you think! It’s actually a to-go lunch container (it comes with a plastic lid!), it’s ceramic and microwave and dishwasher safe. Basically it’s one of the most-used items in my cabinet! I had become so sick of bring my lunch to work in plastic containers and heating them up in the microwave (which is SO bad for you) and this container solved that problem in an instant. I couldn’t find this exact pattern online (I got it in the home section of T.J. Maxx!)  but I’m linking to some similar ones here, they’re cream colored and have flamingos painted on them and I am SO tempted to buy them for myself.

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Now let’s get cooking! Keep scrolling to see how to make these Balsamic Cauliflower Wings for yourself or try these BBQ and Spicy Variations!

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Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes        Cook Time: 45 Minutes        Total Time: 55 Minutes

Let’s Get Started:

1 head of cauliflower
1/4 c all-purpose flour (can be substituted for a gluten-free flour)
1/2 c water
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Let’s Get Cooking:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse, dry and break apart cauliflower head into smaller pieces. Add flour to a small bowl. Slowly mix in water until it creates a pancake batter-like consistency. Coat cauliflower pieces in the mixture, then place them on a parchment paper covered pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through. When your timer has ten minutes to go, drizzle desired amount of balsamic on the cauliflower and continue to bake. Let sit for ten minutes or until cooled, and enjoy!

Let’s Get Creative:

I like to make this dish as an appetizer, side dish or even a meat substitute for rice bowls! All you need is 1/2 c brown rice and a variety of other veggies and you can make yourself a delicious lunch or dinner.

Enjoy & Stay Classy! xx

Review & Giveaway: pHur Organic Disinfecting Water and Cleaner

Whether you are happily expecting like Beyonce and Amal Clooney, (I can barely contain my excitement about this, literally my two favorite celeb ladies!) or you are just looking for a new way to make your home healthier, this week’s featured product is sure to keep your home and family healthy the organic way.

pHur Water saw a very important gap in the home cleaning market and leapt straight into fixing it. From cutting boards to kitchen tables, yoga mats to work desks we all know how dirty and gross the things we use daily can become. A few months ago when I was looking into how to clean my yoga mat organically, I realized that the only options offered included harsh chemicals that I, under no circumstances, wanted to be inhaling during downward dog.

As I got back into cooking again (never lost my love for it, just the time in which I could do it!) I realized that the same went for my kitchen table, where most of my chopping and whisking and eating occurred. Did I really want to be wiping up food messes with chemicals? Did I want chemicals to surround the area where my roommates and I are constantly eating or doing work?

pHur created a totally organic and natural solution to this. Their formula cleans just as well as those I’d been using in the past, but the disinfectant and cleaning sprays are made from just two ingredients (that are totally legible and don’t need to be translated in a Google search) water and salt. That’s it! And believe me when I tell you that it works.

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If you’re ready to start living cleaner and more naturally, you can purchase your own pHur System Kit for $30.95, here! The kit comes with a bottle of Disinfecting Spray, Cleaning Spray, a microfiber cloth, and an On-The-Go Disinfecting Spray (which is perfect to bring to the office).

OR you could enter the Class and the City x pHur Organic Cleaners *~GIVEAWAY!~*

Follow the steps below to enter the giveaway:

  1. Follow Class and the City via WordPress or Email.
  2. Follow Class and the City on Facebook.
  3. Comment on this post why you want to make your home healthier!

Good Luck & Stay Classy! xx

The Cocktail That Will Spice Things Up This Valentine’s Day

Every year Valentine’s Day has been synonymous with wine and chocolates. This year will probably be no different for me, except for the fact that I’ve made my first cocktail! I bought this shaker a while ago, thinking that since I’m now of legal drinking age I would instantly elevate my taste for fine liquor and make intricate cocktails like those I order at the bar. Until now, that hasn’t been the case.

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I decided it would be best to start easy – mixing this top batch of Laphroaig scotch with ingredients that were a little citrusy and sugary. The verdict – good, my lovely roommate ended up drinking all of my cocktail endeavors! The other verdict – it might be best to not mess around with higher shelf spirits. Laphroaig has such a smooth taste on its own that one might opt to drink it that way, or on the rocks.

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But if you are feeling adventurous and want to shake up something a little spicy and a lot of sweet, I would recommend this recipe. Go heavy on the fresh lemons and lighter on the syrup – it will make a world of difference. x

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Whiskey Sour        Total Time: 5 Minutes        Serves: 2

Let’s Get Started:

3 oz Laphroaig whiskey
2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz Meyer Lemon Infused Simple Syrup

Let’s Get Shaking:

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Enjoy! x

Let’s Get Creative:

If you’re really in the mood for something sweet, line the rim of the glass with honey and some lemon sugar. 😉

Still looking for more drink inspiration? If you’re in the mood for something naturally sweet and non-alcoholic, check out these smoothie recipes! x

Enjoy & Stay Classy! xx

Elegant Éclairs with Homemade Whipped Cream & Wine-Infused Strawberries

Indulge yourself, you know you want to. This easy to make and extravagantly delicious dessert will not only make your stresses go away (OK, maybe just for a few minutes) but will also impress the lucky people you share it with. This is my take on Masterchef Season 4 winner Chef Luca Manfè’s “Strawberry Shortcake with Bauli Mini Croissants & Whipped Cream.”

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Elegant Eclairs with Homemade Whipped Cream and Wine-Infused Strawberries

Total Time: 15 Minutes        Serves: 4

Let’s Get Started:

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1 c heavy whipping cream
¼ c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 c fresh strawberries
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T white wine (or more, who’s counting 😉 )
1 T granulated sugar
Fresh Mint, finely chopped (optional)

               Let’s Get Cookin’:

11870719_647196131983512_7246038042515738072_nToss the strawberries with white wine, lemon juice, granulated sugar and chopped mint. Let sit in bowl.
Bring the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to a whipped volume with a stand mixer or a whisk.
Fill halved mini croissants with strawberries and whipped cream.

Let’s Get Creative:

I found the mint in the recipe to be delicious but some people may be opposed to it, in which case feel free to leave it out!
Mid-August is when strawberries are the most “in-season” fruit, which is why I chose them for this dessert! However the recipe will be just as yummy with other fruits such as peaches or raspberries (or raspberries infused with champagne… hmm next time!). If you’re looking for easier ways to whip up some homemade whipped cream, you’ll want to check out this post from My King Cook! 🙂

Enjoy! Stay Classy! xx

10 Best Gifts To Buy Yourself This Valentine’s Day (Because You Don’t Need A Man To Shop For You)

*~ In the wise words of self-love queen Beyoncé, “I ain’t sorry” for loving myself, spoiling myself or putting myself first. “I woke up like this, flawless” and “I’m so crazy in love.” Want to know my secret to slaying all day every day? Spoil yourself from time to time. Workout, drink a smoothie, buy that bag you’ve had your eye on for a while. Whatever it is that’ll make you happy, do it. Because you deserve it. ~*

Happy (almost) day of love, romance and spoiling yourself. Whether you’ve got a special someone to celebrate February 14th with or you’re getting pumped up to spend the day treating yourself, this gift guide has got you covered. Even if you’re in a relationship this Valentine’s Day, that’s no excuse to skip treating yourself to something special.

As I shared in my last post, I LOVE spoiling myself on Valentine’s Day (think bottle of wine, chocolates and Netflix binges) but even though these last few years I’ve had a (wonderful!) boyfriend, I still feel it’s necessary to slip a little self-love in there. After all, no one knows you better than yourself and giving yourself a much-deserved prezzie does go a long way.

Keep reading to see the best gifts to spoil yourself with this Valentine’s Day – because you’re awesome and you know it. 😉 ❤

1. “Bigger Is Always Better” 750ml Wine Glass, $16

A glass that fits an entire bottle of wine? It really doesn’t get much better than that. I admit to trying this out myself – but don’t pour out the entire bottle at once unless you’re looking for an extra arm workout! 😉
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2. Chic and Chilly Eye Mask, $28

Henri Bendel is one luxe brand that always seems to offer the best self-pampering products. Kick off those heels and treat yourself to a relaxing night in. The cool gel on your eyes feels *~amazing~*.

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Photo: Henri Bendel

3. Béquet Handmade Caramels, Assorted, $21.99

Who needs chocolates when you can treat yourself to a batch of handmade caramels! This assortment includes awesome flavors like Vanilla Butter Caramel, Cinnamon Swirl and (okay okay, maybe some chocolate) Chocolate Butter Caramel.

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4. Limited Edition Ariana Grande “Sweet Like Candy” fragrance, $49

You might remember how I chose the baby pink “Sweet Like Candy” fragrance as my scent of the school year, but when Ari came out with this limited edition version, I jumped on it. The fragrances notes are a little sassier so you can spritz some on for a little confidence boost.

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5. Wildfox Knit and Embellished Patches Sweater, $55 (originally $218!)

Wildfox creates some of the comfiest athleisure clothing I’ve come across. I’m sure this sweater is no different, and the sale is making it SO tempting for me to buy it!

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Photo: Nordstrom Rack

6. Blush Clutch Palette in Just Darling, $39

I’ve been using this new blush palette from Butter London for the last month and LOVE it. It even comes with a gold shimmer face highlighter that’s so easy to apply.

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7. Jo Malone “Red Roses” Candle, $65

With a burn time of 45 hours, this sexy scented candle will last you way longer than a bunch of roses and you can totally buy it yourself, for yourself.

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Photo: Neiman Marcus

 

8. Ola Tropical Apothecary Pikake Reed Diffuser, $36

Organic hints of pikake (or Hawaiian Jasmine) made and sourced in Hawaii is a super lush smell to have aerating throughout your home.

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9. Sol Janeiro Brazilian Kiss Cupuacu Lip Butter, $18

You don’t have to be puckering up with bae to take care of your lips. TBH, I’m a die hard fan of Burt’s Bees chapstick, but I recently tried this one and its AMAZING. My lips are not cracked or dry at all plus, it smells like cacao. 🙂

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10. Lush Sex Bath BombLush Sex Bath Bomb, $7.95

Make coming home worthwhile by treating yourself to a beautiful luscious bath, you will not regret it.

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Photo: Lush Cosmetics

Still looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration? Check out my post on best Galentine’s Day Face Masks or Valentine’s Day Outfit Inspiration! x

Stay Classy & Happy ❤ Day! xx