You would have had to have been living under a rock to have missed that it was Valentine's Day this week and, according to science (no, wait) popular culture, that means you have to buy presents for the one person you have decided to spend the rest of your life with that properly reflect your deep and meaningful bond. Which, apparently, you will choose from a surprisingly slim number of choices, including but not limited to: lingerie, chocolate, flowers, jewellery.
However, it occurred to me that it is of course entirely possible that:
- you do not have a person with whom you intend to spend the rest of your life, either through choice or circumstance;
- the person you have chosen to spend your life with is surprisingly shit at presents, and they did not pick up on your hints regarding the latest collection from Kowtow; or
- you just feel like a present, okay?
Great news team - I've collected up a few of my faves to inspire you to treat Friday as Give Yourself a Present Day, or GYAP Day. Catchy, I know. But seriously - if we think that presents are a legit part of a day that celebrates love, doesn't that mean that EVERY day is an opportunity to buy yourself a present? Because who is more there for you for the rest of you life, than you?
Books are a fabulous present, and what better to buy yourself than a book that is a mixture of art, science, history and photography? I love Lisa Eldridge's YouTube channel, and although I can never hope to have her amazing light touch and perfect blending skills, I can appreciate the history and culture of makeup (and the incredible photos). Not into makeup? The point is just to buy that book you've had your eye on, but not been able to justify. Make some time to sit down and really look at it. Don't rush.
Last year I bought a few of these vintage silk scarves for about $5 each at Coucou, in Auckland. They are just big enough to tie around my neck, like this, or to turn into a jaunty head band. They are an awesome self-present for me because they were inexpensive, but they make an outfit into a look really quickly. What's one accessory you've been wanting to try out? Or perhaps you just want to have a look in a few vintage shops for something that feels like a bit of a find. It's a good cheap thrill.
This Muse brooch was pretty much the only thing I could afford from Kate Sylvester last year, but I loved it and wore it to death. It is going to look great on my coats for many future winters and because Kate Sylvester knows how to provide a consistently great brand experience, going into the shop to buy this was a shot of luxury, out of proportion to the size of my purchase. I love the idea of achievable luxury - and that's not all about buying brooches. That might be taking the time to give yourself a facial massage when you wash your face at night, or it might be putting clean sheets on the bed Just Because (and clean sheets always give the sense of staying in a hotel, I think). Most of us can find a sneaky way to give ourselves those few moments of quiet bliss. If you've got a great idea, please share it with me in the comments.
Similarly, sometimes giving yourself a bit of a ritz up is the ultimate treat. I've definitely managed to pull myself out of a rut on a few occasions with a hot shower, a new outfit concept, and a bit of slap on the old visage. It's important to have a few trusted products at the base of the regime, but in the spirit of Love Thyself, Buy Thyself a Present, it might be time to experiment with something new. That Stila eyeliner is a sponge full of liquid shimmer, and it is a guaranteed ritz up right there. The Chanel lipstick was a duty free experiment with matte lip colour that has turned into the perfect sexy "gently bitten lip" colour, for maximum pout (most of my makeup is very much "what is good in the drugstore", so trust me when I say you don't need to go the Chanel route for this treat to be effective).
I love a good bit of statement jewellery, so my favourite necklace and the earrings that got me past my fear of big earrings on my statement ears had to be a suggestion. Treat yourself to something shiny - if it's not jewellery, maybe it's a new game, or a thing for your kitchen - whatever you look at and go "ooh!". Get that inner magpie to tell you what your statement necklace is. That's way better than a diamond tennis bracelet that you'll never wear.
And finally - what do I think the ultimate GYAP Day option is?
Bright coloured, fun fabric-ed (sure) and in a comfortable style, these were (and are) my favourite shoes. I still cannot believe how good these red slides from Glassons are, and the fuchsia Ted Baker pumps are a compliment magnet. Finally, my treasured Adidas trainers, which I'm afraid to get dirty, are the only sneakers I've ever owned that I'd put alongside my other shoes as "desirable" instead of "necessary".
The point is - I gotta wear shoes every day (until I go on holiday to Pauanui, then all bets are off). I may as well have shoes I like, and be grateful for the privilege of being able to choose shoes I like. On GYAP Day, I want you to think of things that you want, rather than need, but sometimes it's the act of replacing a stock standard boring old thing with something a little bit fancier that is what you really really want. Is it time to upgrade? Do you need a new hairbrush? Maybe treat yourself to the nicest one you can justify, instead of a cheapo job from The Warehouse. You're going to use it every. damn. day. Why not be holding something you actually like?
Now hit me up in the comments at the bottom of this page, and give me some of your ideas of what I could do on GYAP Day this week. Fresh flowers maybe? Help me think of something better than that, please!