It’s that time of year again. Whether romantic love is present in your life or not, it’s all around you during Valentine’s Day, from local drugstores selling red heart-shaped Lindt chocolates, stuffed fuzzy animals, and pink candies to the internal queries: Will any of the folks you’ve been dating ask to make plans with you on the 14th or, worse, should you text that old fling? (Please, please don’t.)
As someone who has spent the last year grieving a failed two-year relationship, February 14 hasn’t been as special as it used to be. And while a lot of these “man-made” holidays that are powered by capitalism don’t actually equate to anything, the lover girl in me still wants the day to be filled with love, however that may look like. So, instead, I’m celebrating Galentine’s Day by loving on myself and all my favorite homegirls.
Galentine’s Day is a time to appreciate what’s always been in front of me, with me, and for me: the unconditional love from my amigas. So whether that’s a fun-filled day girling over brunch and mani-pedis or dinner before a pari, I’m excited to celebrate the beauty of my close friend community. And I do want to bring some gifts with me. Here are some gift ideas for your girlfriends this Galentine’s day.
I’ve been on the hunt to add new accessories to my jewelry box. While I could’ve gone my usual route of picking up pieces at Mejuri or The M Jewelers (I do love them both), I decided to scroll through TikTok instead because I knew the algorithm would lead me to the right brand. That’s when I came across MyPerlitas’ founder Kimberly Quiros’ account. Loving the MyPerlitas rings she wore in one of her videos, I immediately checked out her online shop and was in awe of all of the aureate pieces, from the necklaces to the earrings. The Colombian and Costa Rican-owned brand carries it-girl-esque staple gems with one-of-a-kind trinkets. The beauty of the brand is that it’s also uniquely handmade. I ended up purchasing a couple of rings, but the Excla ring (with its custom freshwater pearl trinkets that are sourced from Colombia), has been the stand-out for me. It adds a perfect touch to my other layered rings. Snag some pieces for the IT GIRL in your life.
MyPerlitas MyPerlitas Excla Ring, $, available at MyPerlitas
The beauty of the Brooklyn Warmi brand is that it is inspired by the lack of representation for Indigenous communities, especially those from the Andean diaspora, when it comes to everyday style. From jewelry and tote bags to apparel, Brooklyn Warmi founder Elena Soledad is bringing visibility to our identities and migrations. I purchased her “Peru, Te Quiero” necklace last summer and it’s become a staple in my everyday fashion. There are also other country necklaces available, like Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Chile, along with so many other gems.
Brooklyn Warmi Brooklyn Warmi Country Necklace, $, available at Brooklyn Warmi
For the clean amiga in your life, DedCool is the go-to sustainable fragrance that prides itself for its biodegradable, vegan, and cruelty-free products. As the daughter of a beauty formulator, Chilean-Italian founder Carina Chaz has always admired fragrances — and with her products she offers fragrances that smell good, feel good, and are good for the planet. Try her travel spray throuple, which includes three different scents called “Milk,” “Taunt,” and “Red Dakota.
DedCool DedCool Travel Spray Throuple, $, available at Dedcool
Whether you’re starting or continuing Dry [Insert Month], having the option of not sipping alcohol at a function is always nice. When founder Kayla Castañeda lost her job during the Covid-19 pandemic, she decided to create a product that was reflective of her Mexican upbringing and culture. The Afro-mexicana’s ancestors immigrated to Central Valley California and worked in fruit fields, and she has since carried that familial tradition to create Agua Bonita, an agua frescas of her own with real fruits from the fields. Now carrying an assortment of different flavors from agua de jamaica to watermelon chile, the non-carbonated drinks packaged in vibrant colored cans can be found online and in certain Target and Whole Foods locations.
Agua Bonita Agua Bonita Variety Pack, $, available at Agua Bonita
These sturdy aprons were made for the chef in your life. Founded by Los Angeles-raised Mexican-English cook and culinary entrepreneur Ellen Marie Bennett, Hedley & Bennett offers premium aprons, knives and kitchen linens. And they come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Hedley & Bennett Hedley & Bennett Crossback Apron, $, available at Hedley & Bennett
Self care looks and feels different for everyone. What works for you may not work for me. That’s one of the first lessons in my jefa’s — Refinery29 Somos’ Deputy Director Raquel Reichard — book and she makes that clear as day: “Some exercises will resonate more with you than others. After all, despite a shared cultural background, Latinas don’t lead identical lives.” That said, we’re all worthy and need self-care. Reading the book has become part of mine. Every night before bed, I read a couple of pages, trying my best to really implement some practices so that I can get back into a better lifestyle, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Gifting the girlies this book could seriously help them elevate their wellbeing and life.
Self-Care for Latinas, Simon & Schuster Self-Care for Latinas Book, $, available at Simon & Schuster
For the girlies who simply don’t have the time (or patience) to sit around for two-to-three hours to get a new gel x set, a refill, or even a gel manicure, these press-on nails by Colombian-American nail technician Kat Hernandez are the ultimate necessity when it comes to nail galore. Hernandez offers a variety of different styles and shapes to choose from, but if a custom press-on set is needed, that’s also an option. Even more, all press-ons include a free application kit, which entails the application instructions, alcohol prep pad, cuticle pusher, mini nail file, buffing block, and nail glue.
Looks By Kat Looks By Kat Press-On Nails, $, available at Looks By Kat
A year ago, I attended an event hosted by The Bonita Project in Brooklyn, where I first tried Brie on the Chisme’s charcuterie cones, which carried an assortment of fruits, cheese, and protein (including options like beef, pork, or plant-based). The beautifully crafted experience stems from the founder Melissa Toribio’s love and talent with creating unique combinations for charcuterie boards. The dominicana also uses honey, jams, and chocolate from Black- and Latine-owned brands and/or sources gourmet cheeses and meats from woman-owned distributions. On her site, you can find different arrangements and board sizings for the perfect Galentine’s day pari.
Brie On The Chisme Brie On The Chisme Sweetheart Mini Board, $, available at Brie On The Chisme
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