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Horrible intro alert: Valentine's Day is right around the corner! If you'd like to celebrate this wondrous day of love, hope and beauty in a normal, classic fashion, I've got a couple of great ideas for you.
Paint your nails -- sweetheart style
This adorable Valentine-themed manicure was created by NYC nail ace Jin Soon Choi. It's the perfect way to wear your love for venereal disease (I mean Valentine's Day) on your sleeve. I mean nails.
Here's how to get the look for yourself:
- First, apply a pale pink shade (like JINsoon's Tea Rose) on the entire nail.
- Next, apply a coral shade (like JINsoon's Coal Peony) on one side of the nail, covering about 3/4 of the nail bed and ending in a subtle curve to create half of the heart shape. Then, repeat on the other side, taking special care to intersect the two sides at the center of the nail.
- Then, apply a coat of bright red polish (like JINsoon's Coquette) on one side of the nail, covering about half of the nail bed and ending in the same subtle curve as when applying the coral polish. Repeat on the other side, again taking special care to intersect the two sides at the center of the nail.
- Finally, finish it off with a super-glossy top coat! (Like, say JINsoon's Top Gloss? Or my personal favorite, the Mavala Suisse top coat Jennifer Lawrence's "American Hustle" character was so enamored with.)
Go to bed with the Force
If you are a true "Star Wars" fan, you probably remember the scene in "The Empire Strikes Back" when Leia says, "I love you," and Han responds, "I know," before being turned to carbonite. Now, you can celebrate this magical moment of pure cinematic romance with a sleep shirt that reveals a secret glow-in-the dark message once you turn out the lights.
Pop some bottles with this personalized opener
I love absolutely anything that's personalized, so the idea of this bottle opener/keychain you can emblazon with both your love's initials and a clever haiku is pure genius.
Show some Texas state pride
It doesn't matter if you're not really a native Texan, because you can act like one with these adorable Texas-themed tees are perfect to wear on Valentine's Day and beyond. Tex-o-xo, indeed!
These are all perfectly lovely ideas, right? But if you made it this far, you must be waiting for what this post really promised: a slightly different way to mark this particular Valentine's Day.
If so, why not do what I did a few years ago: gather up a handful of pals and hit a bar or restaurant wearing all black, full-on "grieving widow who possibly poisoned her husband" funeral ensembles, complete with face-covering mourning veils.
This idea came about one Valentine's Day a few years ago when a group of pals and I had no dates and no desire to have dates -- just a desire to go out together on a classically romantic holiday and create a spectacle. We succeeded handily, as a group of five girls dressed in black from head to toe, with faces covered by black funeral veils is quite the sight when they charge into a bar together.
People were all over us all night long. I could have gotten 75 phone numbers if I'd wanted. When I came out of the bathroom to find our table empty, two dudes immediately descended on me, asking: "Are you looking for your friends? They're all outside smoking!" And some hilarious yahoo yelled at us we crossed the street: "Hey, were you all married to the same guy?!" I yelled back that yes, indeed, we were. The whole night was a smashing success, and I cannot recommend it highly enough as a fun group activity.
Hats with attached veils show up in thrift and vintage stores all the time -- and there are plenty of them on Etsy -- but if you can't manage to find one easily, don't fret! Just grab a yard or two of black tulle or netting from your local fabric store and pin it to any existing hat, hair clip, or straight onto your head. It's practically foolproof. One of the girls who went out with us was a total tomboy, so I pinned some netting straight to a black baseball cap she was wearing.
I wouldn't really suggest doing this, (since the material is right by your face) but one of the girls who went out with us just used a regular old can of black spray paint to transform a random white wedding veil she found in a thrift store into a total funeral-worthy headpiece. The end goal is basically to look exactly like every single person in the pointedly awesome My Chemical Romance video for Helena.
If you are feeling clever and crafty, you can also make your own veiled hat quite easily with an inexpensive fascinator hat form made of buckram fabric, available at most better fabric stores for somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.00-$10.00. You can even just use a piece of cardboard you've cut into something resembling a fascinator form.
Grab your hot glue gun, cover your hat form with some scrap black fabric (like an old t-shirt!) and safety pin a big enough hunk of black tulle onto it to cover your face. Bobby pin the whole thing to your head, and VOILA! Instant Creepy Corner valentine's style.
Now tell me, how are you going to celebrate this Valentine's Day? I hope it's something good -- because your New Year's Eve plans were a little disappointing, if we're being totally honest.
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison.