Roses are red, violets are blue, keep your man happy and your bank balance too.
Shopping for your man friend is hard enough at the best of times. At Valentine's, it gets worse. Do you splurge? Do you get something thoughtful and inexpensive? Do you bother at all? ?Do you attempt to write a poem (this is always a good idea; there's no such thing as a crap poem)? Here at IMAGE, we're more fans of doing things that require effort and thoughtfulness, without having to break the bank. Behold, our broke girls guide to Valentine's Day.
1. Get yourself to Lush, purchase a relaxing bath bomb or two. If your bath can only fit one, treat him to a Big Blue. According to Lush, this calming bath bomb evokes a summer's day at the seaside: perfect for drifting off. Big Blue's key ingredient is a type of kelp called arame seaweed, which softens in your hot bath water. Arame is rich in vitamins and minerals including iodine, which helps to regulate the metabolism. Sea salt softens the skin, helping to remove dead skin cells, while lemon oil clears the mind and, like lavender oil, is antiseptic and cleansing. Perfect.
If there's room enough for two, spice things up with Sex Bomb. When you've got that feeling - tired, stressed out and anxious - you need some sensual healing. The fragrant blend of jasmine, ylang ylang and clary sage will soon have you relaxed and feeling in the mood... Jasmine is an ancient aphrodisiac, used as a sensual perfume in India for centuries and in aromatherapy to ease stress and anxiety. Clary sage clears the mind, while ylang ylang is renowned for soothing worries.
Welcome your man home from work and bully them into the bath (he'll be happy as Larry once he's in it, despite the initial reluctance). Though men might not vocalise their appreciation for candles and sensual aromas, they quite enjoy it in private. Dot your bathroom with tea lights (ensuring to remove your dirty undies from this morning's shower), fill the tub with water (if you're struggling with our 'how to run a bath' instructions, you might want to give up at this point) and wait 'til they're actually in it to drop in the bath bomb. Make sure they place the bath bomb under their lower back as the fizzing action doubles up as an underwater massage. Tea lights come ten a penny at Ikea. You could line every wall of your house with candles for less than a tenner.
In advance of this, get a chilled out playlist on Spotify and hook it up to a bathroom friendly speaker of some sort. You don't have to play the ultimate in soppy love songs if you're not that way inclined, but you could add an extra special touch by creating your own playlist. Stuck for time? This one's worth a listen.
Whether your man's a wine or a craft beer drinker, have the necessary relaxant chilling in the fridge just in time to be enjoyed in the bath. M&S below have some great bubbly for the day that's in it.
Go one step further with some Marks & Spencers strawberries, sweet treats and their Valentine's Day special Dine in for Two at €28 (choose a starter, main, side, dessert bottle of drinks plus a box of delicious chocolates all for €28). You won't have to remortgage the house just yet.
After the bath, you might want to slip into something more comfortable. Treat yo self to some gorgeous lingerie from Penneys. Probably best to leave the old baggy t-shirt that you won at a team building exercise to one side for tonight.
Satin Balcony Bra, €8.
Satin thong, €4
Fancy a massage? Give L'Occitane's Relaxing Massage Oil a try. This rich massage oil helps to relax the senses and ease away tensions. Made with sweet?almond oil from Provence, it leaves skin supple and satiny. €16.50
If you do want to have something to hand your partner in wrapping paper, we give Bulldog's skincare range the two thumbs up. Particularly their Original Aftershave Balm. Packed with 8?essential oils, aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber and?green tea extract to help calm and soothe the skin. €7.25
If you want something extra for the bedroom - we'll leave it to you to choose the best in bedroom toys - and your fella's got a good sense of humour, then these My Y-Fronts from Firebox are a winner. Your face, his crotch. If that's not a way to mark your territory, we don't know what is. €22.89