Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Photo: Phillip Ashley Chocolates

If you’ve long ago lost track of what week it is, can you really be blamed for belatedly remembering Valentine’s Day? That’s the story we’re going with, as between a new year, new administration and Black History Month all occurring during a now-year-old public health crisis, we totally spaced on the fact that the most loved-up day of the year is approaching—could it be because at this point in an ongoing pandemic, anyone loved-up has either spend way too much time with their partner or little to none?

Regardless, Valentine’s Day approaches and love won’t let us wait, so, with just over a week left before the long (and hopefully sexy) lover’s weekend, here are some gift ideas to make yet another holiday spent in a pandemic a little more...passionate.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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Chef Phillip Ashley x Woodford Reserve

Chef Phillip Ashley x Woodford Reserve

Valentine’s Day has long been synonymous with chocolate, and putting a new spin on the sexy holiday, Chef Phillip Ashley just collaborated with Woodford Reserve Double Oaked on a chocolate and bourbon pairing , which you can easily recreate for the bourbon lover in your life. Alternately, you can effortlessly blend the two by building a box of Ashley’s Woodford-infused “Nice & Neat” dark chocolates (available in 6 pieces to 24, $39-$89—and customizable with other flavors from Ashley’s full assortment). Feeling traditional? Give them a heart-shaped box of the chocolatier’s Love Drunk hearts (as seen in our header shot; $69).

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Chef Phillip Ashley and Woodford Reserve
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Jackie Aina’s Limited Edition Adore U 4R Duet Candle Set

Jackie Aina’s Limited Edition Adore U 4R Duet Candle Set

“Candlelight and you” could take on new meaning with YouTube beauty expert Jackie Aina’s limited edition Adore U 4R Duet Candle Set (four for $130; also available in duos for $68, and minis for $48), including the scents “Champagne Wasted x Heart Breaker” and “Sweet Spot x Phero-Moans”...which are pretty on-the-nose when it comes to stating your intentions. If that’s not waxing poetic, we don’t know what is.

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Jackie Aina
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Keys Soulcare

Keys Soulcare

Alicia Keys may be well known to “put it in a love song,” but the skincare-obsessed singer-songwriter’s new Keys Soulcare collection gives our skin some much-needed, luxury-level love as a manageable price point, complete with Alicia-appropriate affirmations and multi-step, wonderfully fragranced “rituals” (ranging from $93 - $197) that will make them feel pampered...and possibly inspire a desire for some skin-on-skin.

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Keys Soulcare
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Golden Grooming

Golden Grooming

Loving him means making him feel loved, and since Golden Grooming was co-founded by a Black man, they know more than a little bit about what our men want (well, other than that). From scalp to toes and that beard in-between, the gift of the Grown Ass Man Bundle ($69.99) will remind him he’s all the man you need (and will make his bathroom game sleeker, too)—but if you want to stay on-theme, the Your Heart Is Golden Gift Box ($45) will let him know he has your heart.

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Golden Grooming
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Erica Dickerson x Gypsy By Knature

Erica Dickerson x Gypsy By Knature

There will no doubt be some proposals dropping this Valentine’s Day, but if you’re in the market for a less conventional way to let them know they’re the center of your world, the The Salt Of The Earth Face Ring ($150) by Erica Dickerson and Gypsy By Knature will make them feel seen. Described as “something sacred and authentic,” this unique collaboration is crafted in premium 24k gold-plated sterling silver and made with the intention of “mirroring Black beauty.”

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Erica Dickerson and Gypsy By Knature
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For the Jawns

For the Jawns

You don’t have to be from Philly to think she’s a jawn (“a beautiful, intelligent, unapologetic boss living in her purpose”), and you can let her know with some made-for-the moment apparel from For the Jawns. Given our current but comfort-driven “werk-from-home” status, we’ve personally got our eyes on the brand’s Signature Sweatsuit ($120; available in three colors and four sizes), but there are a wide assortment of other jawn-adjacent styles to choose from—including a range of options for the “Bouls”, too.

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: For The Jawns
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Chic Chef Co.

Chic Chef Co.

If you’re hoping to spend the weekend in bed anyway, what’s better than breakfast in bed? Celebrity Chef Nik Fields of Chic Chef Co. is making our stay-at-home life a little more romantic with the Breakfast in Bed Box ($49.99)—just in time for Valentine’s Day! This goodie-filled box is full of delicious offerings to tempt multiple senses at once, including: gourmet pancake and waffle mix; Canadian bourbon maple syrup; organic butter olive oil; four scented candles (Mimosa, Sweet Greens, Pancakes & Bacon and Vanilla Coffee)—and a playlist to match!

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Chic Chef Co.

 

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Harlem Candle Company

Harlem Candle Company

Any candle aficionado knows you can never have too many—and that all candles aren’t created equal. With gorgeous scents, evocative inspirations and 22-karat gold-etched details, Harlem Candle Company’s exclusive Valentine’s Day selections (currently on sale from $50 to $125) are as luxe as they get. Our favorite? The If Beale Street Could Talk-inspired “Love Brought You Here” set ($70). The blend of James Baldwin’s prose with the scents of rose and sandalwood is Black love set aflame.

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Harlem Candle Company
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Curves By Sean Brown

Curves By Sean Brown

There’s the love that brought you together, and then there’s The Love Below...and we love artist Sean Brown’s spin on Andre 3000’s half of Outkast’s legendary double-album *sings* “Happy Valentine’s Day...every day the 14th!” Reinterpreting our once-beloved CD as an area rug ($250), the Valentine’s-ready red-hued round is only one of several designs—Brown’s more neutral rendering of Sade’s Love Deluxe is another we’d love to get our hands on. Granted, the special order will take 4-6 weeks, but considering it’s a gift you can both enjoy, can you really put a time limit on love?

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Curves By Sean Brown
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Billionaire’s Row

Billionaire’s Row

Staying at home for Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate; make a blushing toast to your love with a glass of brut rosé bubbly from Billionaire’s Row ($110). Have a taste darker, deeper and harder liquor? Sip on a snifter of the brand’s Billionaire’s Row XO cognac ($65) to get you in the mood.

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Billionaire’s Row
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Savage x Fenty

Savage x Fenty

What’s a lover’s holiday without a little lingerie? It may now be a regular in our gift guides, but Savage x Fenty is our go-to for naughty little nothings for a reason: they’re ridiculously sexy (and offer an array of playful accessories); boast a wide variety of minimalist to lacy styles and colors to choose from; are reasonably priced; and always size-inclusive. What’s not to love? Even better? Rihanna’s line now also has styles for him, and we all know the savages that play together, stay together.

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Image: Savage x Fenty
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Ebony: Covering Black America

Ebony: Covering Black America

You love them; they love Black history and culture. Many of us grew up with Ebony on our coffee tables; remix the tradition for the home you share with the gorgeous (and weighty) coffee table book Ebony: Covering Black America by Lavaille Lavette, who reminds us: “Ebony was Black America’s social media long before the birth of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.” The legendary magazine debuted 75 years ago last November; this February, Rizzoli released this tribute in book form, which includes more than 600 covers and photographs with contributions from Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Venus Williams, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ciara, Common and more.

Illustration for article titled Better Late Than Never to Have Loved at All: Our Pandemic-Perfect Valentine's Day Gift Guide
Photo: Rizzoli
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Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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