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not-cheesy beauty stuff I'd put in my purse for pause-button moments
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I'm usually compelled to talk about smooth, soft, must-touch skin around Valentine's Day because it seems to me that that's really the lovey-dovey gift that keeps on giving. But -- and this surprises me because I prefer more low-key packaging – I'm kinda taken with some of the hearts-and-flowers items that are out right now.

YSL Chinese New Year Couture Palette

YSL Beauty Chinese New Year Couture Palette

This YSL Beauty Chinese New Year Couture Palette ($64 at and $60 at saksfifthavenue.comis clearly hitting two lovebirds with one cupid's arrow. Shiny scarlet and gold, the case is a happy nod to Chinese New Year. The heart motif... well. Then there's the interior, existing neutral palette No. 4 Saharienne. I rather love this compact for brides.

MAC Isabel and Ruben Toledo Ombre Blush in Azalea Blossom

MAC Isabel and Ruben Toledo Azalea Blossom ombré blush

Okay this MAC Isabel and Ruben Toledo Ombré Blush in Azalea Blossom ($39 at and $32 at isn't hearts and flowers, but it's so wonderfully romantic -- the fashion designer and her illustrator husband share such a love story as well as hella careers. (I like to pretend I'm not a romantic, but this line totally gets me. Ruben fell for Isabel at age 13, for heaven's sake!) *swoon*

Make Up For Ever 50 Shades of Grey Desire Me Cheek Set

Make Up For Ever Desire Me Cheek Set inspired by 50 Shades of Grey

Opinions of the 50 Shades of Grey movie aside (yes, I've seen it -- she's got better lines than he has), the related Make Up For Ever kits the brand has released are worth considering. My favourite is this Make Up For Ever Desire Me Blush Trio ($56 at and $49 at, which comes with a great-quality travel sized blush brush. (I love stuff that puts a heightened flush in cheeks and a sparkle in eyes. And no, no hearts or flowers here either, but whatever.) 

Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer_Carrie/Mr.Big and Ross/Rachel

Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzers in Carrie/Mr. Big and Ross/Rachel

These heart-shaped Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzers ($42 each at and $34 each at are rather charming, don't you think? On the left is the Carrie & Big compact, with a peach blush inset in shimmering light-to-medium bronzer. On the right, the Ross & Rachel compact features a pretty pink and shimmery medium-to-deep bronzer. Adorable and girly, but not tween young (although I know a certain 13-year-old who may already have one or both). They say "notice me" from the depths of your makeup bag, I bet.

Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balms

Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balm

Have you seen these Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balms ($11 at and $9 at I'm thinking abut picking one up! Pulling one of those campy, palm-sized, vibrant lip-shaped pots outta my purse would be a nice pause-button-moment on a cold, sun-dead day. The red contains honey extract and the fuchsia contains blueberry extract; both are tint-free. Also, Bbo Bbo is Korean for "kiss." Has any of you tried either of these? Verdict?

Fresh Sugar Rose Extreme Lip Treatment

Fresh Sugar Rosé Extreme Lip Treatment

And then there's the limited-edition Fresh Sugar Rosé Extreme Lip Treatment ($26 at and $22.50 at sephora.comin its sweet flower-print tube -- I love this for bridal kits too. It's the same Fresh Sugar Rosé tint that comes in the usual packaging, but it's been amped up with natural rose scent and flavour. I think I need it -- it's another one of those pause-button moments.

Do any of you have any of these things already? Or are you now adding to your wish-list?

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