Shopping for that special man in your life can be struggle, so let us help. We've got something that will appeal to all sorts of men this Valentine's Day—at every budget.
Whether you’re looking for something for your fling, boyfriend, partner or husband here are the perfect manly, or just plain quirky, gifts of you guy.
For the proud Canadian
Let your man show everyone just how much he loves his home an native land with one of the most Canadian things in existence, a toque covered with mounties.
Arborist mountie toque, $30, drakegeneralstore.ca.
For the baseball buff
If your partner already has a Blue Jays hat and jersey surprise him with this handsome—and darn right cute—blue jay pin. This tiny treasure will allow him to sport some pride on the lapel of his jacket or event suit.
Blue Jay lapel pin, $10, crywolfclothing.com.
For the Clean Freak
If the smell of synthetic pine won’t cut it for your man (you got a keeper) gift him with a car smell that's more refined, and customizable. Infuse his vehicle with his favourite essential oil blend to feel soothed, uplifted and refreshed while you're on the road.
Saje Car Scenter, $17, saje.com.
For the gym rat
Do you lift bro? Well if your man does then headphones, sans strap, will make all the difference while he’s pumping iron. These wireless Jaybird in-ear bluetooth sport headphones are sweatproof, which means no slipping our of your ears, and offer a long battery life, eight hours, before it needs a charge.
Jaybird Freedom Wireless Headphones, $200, indigo.com.
For the coffee addict
Does your main squeeze appreciate a strong cup of coffee every morning? Buy him this french press with a cute little message, he’ll be sure to think of you fondly before he starts his day.
Brewed with love french press, $39.50, indigo.com.
For the fitness fanatic
This stylish little band automatically tracks steps, distance, calories and sleep. If your man is a triathlete this fitness tracker is swim proof and it also uses a replaceable battery (that lasts up to six months), so you'll have no hassle with daily charging after a training session.
Misfit Shine 2 Fitness tracker, $140, misfit.com.
For the fragrance aficionado
If your man has more than five fragrances, that he actually alternates between, that means he’s a fragrance guy. Try gifting him with the newest scent from Clean; Black Leather. The juice is a spicy blend of smoky musk, bergamot and black peppercorn.
Clean Black Leather, $98, sephora.com.
For the homebody
Nothing’s cozier than a plush natural wool lined pair of leather slippers. If he's a slippers guy, he'll love these from Ugg, consider them them the Rolls Royce of the slipper world.
Men’s scuffed Deco Slippers, $135, ugg.com.
For the bearded hipster
A freshly laundered man is something any woman can get behind, so consider this gift a win win. Give him this trio of male grooming essentials: facial cleanser, beard conditioning shave lube and beard oil.
Jack Black Beard Grooming Kit, $43, sephora.com.
For the music man
If your paramour is into his beats and always on the move gift him with this retro looking amp shaped portable speaker, the smallest from the music minded brand. It’s got a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will allow him to blast his tunes for a solid 25 hours before needing a charge.
Marshall Stockwell speaker, $300, indigo.com.
It's time to rethink your beauty biases toward oils. Oil is no longer a dirty word in the language of beauty, these hydrating elixers are the key to supple skin, soft hair and a glowing complexion. We've rounded up our must-have oil cleansers, anti-agers and de-frizzers—and how to use them.
This product is full of 8 essential oils that help to protect the skin's moisture barrier. It's light, non-greasy and incredibly nourishing.
This two-in-one dry oil and toner combines the nutritive properties of four precious oils with the benefits of a fresh tonic water within a fifty/fifty bi-phase formulation. It helps target dryness while helping to give skin firmness.
The packaging calls it a balm, but this product is full of coconut, grapeseed, sweet almond and coffee arabica seed oils to help target stretch marks, cellulite, psoriasis and eczema.
This luxury organic skin care line is made in Vermont and knows a thing or two about oil. One of its newest launches is a oil cleanser which has quickly become a favourite among staffers at Canadian Living. The Biocompatible oils and esters dissolve makeup and cleanse skin while leaving the skin's barrier in perfect harmony. Great for anyone with dehydrated skin or if you live in a climate that experiences extreme cold—aka Canada.
The great thing about body oils? They also work aromatherapy wonders. This blend is a combination of sesame, safflower and rice bran oils as well as grapefruit, chamomile and vanilla essential oils for an uplifting treat for mind and body.
This oil is a favourite among some of the most stunning women in Hollywood, but it works wonders on everything and claims to work with all skin types. This luxury facial oil consists of 11 different kinds of oils. Some of which are arnica, it helps with healing the skin, perfect for any rough patches or acne. Primerose helps with hydration and redness and jasmine and neroli oil can help you relax.
A great skin soother, this oil also works to reduce the appearance of cellulite using algae extract (a powerful antioxidant).
There are a lot of serums and hair oils on the market, but one of our favourite ones is Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. The formula uses argan, coconut, macadamia-nut, sweet-almond and grape-see oil to help enhance shine, smooth away flyways and stop frizz in its tracks.
Another multi-tasker, this dry oil (for hair, face and body) includes a blend of grapeseed, sesame, and argan oils leaving your skin super soft and hydrated.
This oil based balm is packed with 12 essential oils to help reduce imperfection and rebalance skin's barrier. Sitting just under $100 bucks a pop it's pricey, but worth the splurge. The texture and smell is super indulgent and makes the mundane task of cleansing your face so much more enjoyable.
This multi-purpose oil works for both hair and body, and is formualted with organic Community Trade argan oil frm Morocco.
This organic body oil helps to improve skin and visibly improve it's texture after one month of regular (a few times a week) use. The star ingredients are organic birch leaves, organic rosemary, rusks, apricot kernel oil and jojoba oil.
A cult favourite, this oil (with a non-oily texture) is lightweight and full of vitamin E.
Water and oil seem to get along pretty well in this formula. The hydrating formula improves skin elasticity and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while a cold-pressed blend of seed oils allows for maximum potency of actives for optimal results.
This limited edition oil features the fragrance of the brand's Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette. Apply to skin fresh out of the shower, or put a couple drops in your bath for a subtle, clean scent.
After spending the day soaking up UV rays your skin becomes dry because its barrier breaks down, preventing it from retaining lipids and moisture. Sooth sun exposed skin with a light oil, like this one from Vichy. Its comprised of sheer oil; apricot kernel oil, coriander and blackcurant seeds, plus its jam packed with fatty acids that help nourish and build up your barrier. If you don't like anything heavy on your skin apply in the shower then rinse off, but if you're craving something weightier apply on dry or post shower skin.
Formulated for skin post-wax, this product contains coconut oil, arnica oil, aloe vera and calendula oil that works to soothe skin and heal irritations.
This incredibly moisturizing oil is perfect for summer when quick-dry and sunkissed are your main priorities.
This multi-purpose—skin, hair, lips, nails—hydrating oil is 100 percent again oil and is super lightweight. Although it does absorb quickly, a little goes a long way.
If it ain't broke... If coconut oil is your go-to, we won't tell you to pick up something more complicated. Make sure to buy organic if you're putting this straight on your skin.
Over 50 and fabulous? Our guide to aging gracefully helps you choose the skincare, hair and makeup products that are right for you.
Made up holidays get a lot of flack, but this is one we can get behind. February 13th, Galentine's Day, is all about your most important platonic relationships—your BFFs.
Back in 2010, Parks and Recreation delivered unto us the greatest holiday in modern history: Galentine's Day, a celebration of female friendship (and frittatas) that preceded the dreaded February 14. Ultimately, it was Valentine's Day but for best pals, and therefore trumped the traditional Hallmark celebrations, tenfold.
A few years later, one of my best friends and I decided to embrace Galentine's Day for ourselves. We went out for dinner, drank too many martinis (this was before I stopped drinking), and broke down the many reasons why the guys we had crushes on at the time were clearly the wrong choices. Then, the next year we added another pal. And while some of us (hi!) were getting over a wicked stomach flu, the three of us still opted to spend the night snacking and bowling and making jokes about Drake. Valentine's Day proper would be reserved for Netflix and chips, as all reasonable winter nights should be. February 14 was officially Just Another Evening™. Bless.
Of course, there's been a lot of emphasis on the merits of female friendships lately, especially in pop culture. Through 2015 and 2016, Taylor Swift used her commercialized brand of feminism to prioritize sisterhood over female-centric competition, but her redefinition of #SquadGoals—via social media and red carpet appearances—became increasingly demonstrative. Especially as the likes of her July 4 parties became a who's who of trending names on Twitter, she cast every famous woman alive in her "Bad Blood" video (a song allegedly written about her feud with Katy Perry) and used her message of unity when it was convenient. (Like when she thought Nicki Minaj was starting something with her … which wasn't the case. Yikes.)
But the thing is, picture-perfect friendships aren't realistic. Friendships in real life are as flawed and messy as they are nurturing and unifying, but that's what makes them so wonderful. A 2011 study by Concordia University proved that those with a wide network of friends have lower stress levels, boast stronger immune systems, and tend to live longer, while a Wilfrid Laurier graduate co-authored a paper on how friendships improve if you recognize and respect your pal's introversion, social irritants, or even triggers. (In short: if you understand and celebrate that your friends aren't like you/are actual people, your friendships will be fulfilling.)
Which obviously makes sense. Because even though pop culture has scaled back the woman-on-woman hate, the superficiality behind seemingly perfect female friendships is just as damaging. Real friends argue, disagree, and aren't an exercise in twinning, thank whatever-higher-power-you-believe-in. Instead, they reflect the values we saw with Ann and Leslie in Parks and Recreation, or the dynamic between Rosa and Amy on Brooklyn Nine-Nine right now, or the dysfunction between Selina and Amy on Veep. Real female friendship isn't painted with the Valencia filter or measured by height in formalwear at an industry event. Real female friendship is bowling in a snowstorm and making jokes about Aubrey Graham, or doing the opposite and sitting in someone's apartment in silence.
Late last year, my uncle died and I spent the day I found out about it debating whether or not I wanted to keep plans with a pal that night. But after I warned her that I looked terrible and felt nauseous and wasn't sure if I'd be super fun to hang out with and was for sure wearing too much fleece, she reminded me that nobody cares about the bags under my eyes, and roaming the mall might be an exercise in distraction. Which it was. It wasn't Instagrammable, but that's the point: the realest moments in friendship are the ones that simply exist.
Which is something I think we're starting to understand more and more, especially as we see the social currency of celebrity supergroups begin to plummet. So now under the umbrella of Galentine's Day, we've begun to expand our scope to celebrate the complexities of female friendship and the imperfections that make each of them so special. Whether it's hanging out on February 13 and talking about everything that's gone terribly wrong, or making jokes in the mall on an otherwise very sad day.