I used to hate Valentine’s Day. Hate it, I tell you.

The reason for such hate? I worked in an office where all around you, loved-up people would be on the receiving end of roses offset by baby’s breath, stuffed teddy bears with hearts on them or foil balloons.


Yep, the trifecta of mush. Delivered for all the world to see.

Now, that I’ve all grown up and am a card-carrying member of the loved-up brigade I don’t bloody well work in an office, do I?

No, I work at home by myself. Short of Instagram-ing the flowers, where would the joy be in receiving them if I couldn’t offer a smug gloat at the expense of my fellow workers?

Instead, I focus on the after work bit. The bit of romance we hopefully can squeeze in some time after helping with kids’ homework, throwing them in the shower and getting them off to bed. Early.

Tonight, the husband has indicated he’ll be whipping me up a meal worthy of romance.
That indication? It came in the form of a shopping list of food items emailed to me, so I could buy said items in preparation.

Yes, the romance is alive and truly well.

The thing is, he WILL win me over with dinner and champagne, I’m pretty easy like that. Especially if there is champagne involved.

But if you wanted to spice it up and create a bit of loving in your life tonight, why not take charge of the situation? I’m thinking fragrance, candles, something sexy to wear and of course, a red lip.

Here’s what I’d call on to up the romance factor…


midnight-orchidLight up

There is nothing like candlelight to instantly set the scene.

I’ve got them everywhere, from tea light to pillars to beautifully scented jars like this Midnight Orchid soy candle from Ecoya.

It’s got sultry written all over it with a combo of black orchid, white musk, rose, amber, African violet and muguet working its magic.




Xmas 2012 Lip Duos-SUCCUBUS&SANGERSHot lips

There is a red lipstick or gloss out there for everyone. There is, truly. You just have to play a little.

My go-to is Napoleon Perdis Lady in Red hybrid lip gloss but unfortunately it’s out of stock online at the moment (you may have luck in stores).

Very close and new runner up is this duo from Illamasqua. The lipstick is super creamy but lasting and you can set it off with the gloss on top. Or if you are a gloss girl then it works beautifully on its own.





I’ll have what she’s having… Or I’ll just pop on a little Nars Super Orgasm Illuminator to fake it instead.

I’ve raved before over my love of an illuminator and if you’re not on this bandwagon, it’s time. Illuminators will make you look like you’re fresh and in the mood even if you are not.




Collette Dinnigan C'e#8106E



I’m not talking trash here, I’m talking class. Sexy but subtle, if you get my drift.

To this end, it is much safer to buy these things yourself. Left in the hands of your partner, you might end up looking more tramp than temptress.

I think this Collette Dinnigan number ($199) will do just nicely. It’s a little bit luxe and errs on the side of sophistication.






Mood maker

Now, if all of the above is just not working, then it’s time to call in my secret weapon – Twenty8 Romance and Intimacy Synergy aromatherapy blend.

It’s a powerful combination of ylang ylang, patchouli, rosewood, sandalwood and sweet orange. I say powerful because if you’re not in the mood then this little bottle is your relationship best friend.

Just one drop rubbed between your hands, placed on the back of your neck and then inhaled with a deep breath will take you from “not tonight dear” to “hello Christmas”. Well, so a “friend” told me…



Tell me, how’s Valentine’s Day/Night looking for you?

Getting your romance on?




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 src=*Nikki Parkinson was never allowed a Barbie doll as a child. Her politically correct mum thought Lego and Tonka trucks were more fitting. Now the Queensland-based blogger advises women what to wear and put on their face for a living. The former journo and magazine editor manages an award-winning blog Styling You – offering real world fashion and beauty advice for busy women. Don’t tell anyone but she’s secretly a closet dag who likes nothing more than relaxing at home with her family… but open a champagne bottle and she can have her heels on and hair done in minutes. You can follow Nikki on Twitter @stylingyou and Facebook.


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