‘Tis the season for overpriced tulips, scarce dinner reservations, and pretending like you haven’t spent the past two weeks spraining your thumb on Tinder trying to find a last-minute Valentine. Because when cupid draws back his bow, no one wants to be the last one struck with an arrow on Feb. 14.
Thankfully, we at The Root are here to help. So like we always do about this time, in carrying on a long-standing tradition originated by our dearly departed Maiysha Kai, former Managing Editor of The Glow Up, we’ve put together a last-minute gift guide for those of you who’ve gone the extra mile to
ensnare dupe find (or tolerate) your pandemic bae, but have no godly idea what to get them—as in her or him, because we don’t discriminate in these parts—for Valentine Day.
You’re welcome in advance.
Bevel Grooming Products
Contrary to popular belief, men can be vain, too. (Ask my bathroom mirror.) And if yours isn’t, perhaps you’re tired of him smelling like yesterday for weeks at a time. To that end, let me provide a solution: Bevel.
Not only is it Black-owned, but their products are specifically designed for the needs of Black men—kinda like oxtail gravy. From beard trimmers, body washes, and exfoliating toners, Bevel has everything you need to ensure your man never steps outside the house with ashy elbows—or an ashy beard—ever again.
I’m a big fan of Scott Porter’s grooming products as well. So between the two of these, they won’t stop your man from snoring all night, but at least he’ll look like Billy Dee Williams when he wakes up in the morning.
The Tsuri Company
Oh, you thought your partner was going to be the only one smelling all good for V-day this year? Guess again!
Thanks to The Tsuri Company—an all-natural, luxury skincare and home products company dedicated to helping women recognize the importance of self-care—you too can get your fragrant feelings met. Might I suggest their Self-Care Essentials Bundle, which comes equipped with a bath soak, body crème, scented oils and more to give you that ultimate luxurious feeling that only comes once a year. (You know, because the holiday only comes once every Feb—never mind.)
And if you’re like me and are easily swayed to snag a little something extra just for a little “razzle-dazzle,” allow me to suggest their Bentonite and Rose Multi-Purpose Clay Mask for your consideration as well. Nothing screams luxury better than a face mask, a good glass of wine and a good meal. Speaking of a good meal...
Stemple Creek Ranch
Men love meat. It’s in the Bible somewhere.
So imagine his delight when yours comes home after a long day of running up your credit card to discover a box from Stemple Creek Ranch waiting for him on the kitchen counter. I don’t even know what he looks like and I can hear his squeals of joy from here.
Aside from being responsible for the most succulent beef jerky I’ve ever had in my Black-ass life—their Sweet & Spicy offering, in particular, will make you catch the Holy Ghost—these benevolent souls are also purveyors of steaks, bacon, lamb, beef, and other 100 percent grass-fed, grass-finished entrees that used to go “Moo!” or “Baaa!” in a past life, but have since found a home on your fork.
And if you really wanna turn this Valentine’s Day gift into a love fest, douse any of the above with some of Lefty’s Spices’ Hot BBQ Sauce or All-Purpose Seasoning. Because they’re Black-owned, magically delicious, and because I said so, dammit. (Rainier Foods’ Blackberry Smoky Honey seasoning will get you right, too.)
Now there’s no reason you should be walking around on Valentine’s Day (or any day, really) with crusty hands and feet. But if you are, Pear Nova has just the thing to get you right.
Though they boast the best of the best with nail lacquers that are luxurious, cruelty-free, vegan, and non-toxic, their Luxe Nail Care Set is the perfect way to prep for hands and feet for all of the, uhhh...fun activities the holiday might bring your way. Complete with a relaxing hand and foot soak, raw sugar scrub, butters and more, this package will keep your lovin’ hands and feet smoother than a baby’s bottom (or the equivalent.)
And fellas, don’t think that this nail set is just for the ladies. Women like a man with well-groomed hands and feet, too—or so I’ve heard. Gon’head and slide those toes into that foot soak too. Your partner will thank you, trust me.
McBride Sisters Collection
Everybody loves wine. Hell, Jesus so loved his only begotten jug of water so much that he turned it into pinot noir. So in order to keep that same energy, it’s only right that your valentine enjoys fermented juice from crushed grapes, too.
To that end, I’m rather fond of Black-owned wine company McBride Sisters Collection, which specializes in sprinkling your dinner parties with a little Black Girl Magic. From merlot to zinfandel, and everything in between, the McBride Sisters got you covered. Don’t sleep on their food and wine pairing guide either. Otherwise, your Cardamom French Toast Bake or Thai Coconut Curry Salmon won’t hit the same.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
MAKTUB Studio Candles
Listen, as someone who’s had the privilege of smelling a variety of these products firsthand, let me be the first to tell you: These MAKTUB Studio candles are the one, the two, and the three.
Not only do they come with a burn time that lasts longer than some
of your ex-lovers regular candles, but they also come equipped with an accompanying music playlist to further cement the sounds and smells of the moment in your head for later reminiscing. Though my personal favorite, the Dedication candle from the Grind + Shine Vibes collection is currently sold out, the Love Jones Playlist collection is the perfect addition to your collection.
What? Don’t act like you don’t have fifty-leven candles hanging around your house right now. We know you do, and it’s OK. We get it.
D’IYANU African Print Clothing
For those of us who are too broke to afford a stylist—and by “for those of us” I mean me—coordinating a fly-ass outfit often feels about as challenging as surviving a Madea movie.
Thankfully, there are clothing companies out there that are much better at this type of thing; and at the top of that list is D’IYANU, who’ll have you looking like Wakandan royalty at an affordable price. And don’t worry; with their vast assortment of prints, sizes, and accessories, they’ll have your kids looking fly as hell on picture day, too.
And for those of you balling on a budget, don’t let that stop you from stuntin’ on the ‘Gram. D’IYANU has a 50 percent clearance sale going on now—as in right now. So snatch up everything you can and prepare accordingly to be the envy of all your friends.
There’s nothing worse than gifting your partner the gift of ashy skin to touch and love on or un-moisturized hair to run their fingers through this Valentine’s Day. But lucky for you (and them, tbh), OYIN Handmade has just the thing to keep those cuddling sessions flake free.
Their 100 percent organic products are both good for the environment and good for your skin and hair, so you can rest assured that they’ll be good for your loved one as well. Between their NoAshAtAll Sweet Honey Lotion and their Juices and Berries Herbal Hair Refresher, your body and tresses will be softer than that plush six-foot teddy bear you begged for three years in a row.
Cozying up to a fake toy animal is cool or whatever, but snuggling up with your boo is priceless. Ask me how I know. (OK, I don’t really know because ‘Rona has made that hard. But you get my drift.)
Aside from TSA Pre-Check, Oil Bar might be the greatest thing ever.
For those of us who have agonized over the scent of our lotion or shea butter not playing nice with our favorite perfumes or colognes, Oil Bar eliminates those concerns entirely, by—wait for it—infusing your body wash or shea butter with the fragrance of your choice. And the list of options is ridiculous too, with literally dozens of scents to choose from. So if you want nothing more than to smell like a Kardashian without having to lie about plastic surgery, your dreams have finally come true.
The Lord took one whiff of Florida and answered our prayers.
But if smelling like a Greek god isn’t your ministry, Oil Bar also sells an extensive repertoire of soap kits, coca butter body smoothies, and essential oils that might not be as sexy as concocting your own creation, but will still leave the general public struggling to maintain their composure in your presence.
As a makeup enthusiast, there’s nothing I love more than sealing a flawlessly beat face with the perfect lip combination. And if you fancy yourself as a fellow enthusiast, general makeup lover, or you know someone who is, LipLoveLine might be just the thing you need.
Encompassing a variety of lip gloss, lipsticks, lip balms and more, this ingredient-conscious lip line, has something for every beauty lover. Coupled with a mission to celebrate, uplift, and inspire women all around the world to embrace fearless self-acceptance, this company also partners with local wellness non-profits in an effort to cement their core values of self-love and beauty.
If that all sounds good, and you’re ready to shop, take a peek at their “Ask, Seek, and Knock” lipstick collection or their Lip Gloss Trio set to keep your partners’ lips looking picture perfect and smooch-ready just in time for the holiday.
Happy Shopping! And next time, don’t wait too late!