If exchanging inedible Pepto-pink candies and cheesy lace-paper notes aren't at the top of your to-do list this year, check out our list of fun and fabulous ways to fly in the face of the holiday -- as inspired by today's biggest beauty trends.
As MAC's new Wonder Woman collection says, it's totally "kick-sass."
1. Support girl power. Don't pine for someone to send you roses; instead, empower another woman in the world by treating yourself to beauty's growing fair-trade trend. The Prosperity Pillar Candle comes with a story card and the name of the Iraqi woman entrepreneur who created your beautifully scented gift. Cool bonus? You can connect with her through the company's web site to give her your feedback.
2. Wear orange lips. Stand out and ignore the predictable red lip today by rocking spring's hot coral trend. "A bright lip is an instant lift to any face, so I think it's an especially fun thing to do," Shiseido Artistic Director Dick Paige told us at New York's Spring 2011 Fashion Week.
Opt for a sheer peachy coral for a more natural version of the look, or go full-on with a cream lipstick like Revlon's Hot Coral. And look to Rachel McAdams and Chloë Sevigny's brilliant renditions for inspiration.
3. Skip chocolate for honey. Not only are all those chocolate-flavored body lotions, oils and, um, "sensual ancillaries" a cheesefest, they're often packed with artificial fragrances and ingredients that can irritate already dry and cracked winter skin.
Opt instead for a nourishing milk-and-honey blend like the new version by Burt's Bees, which harnesses food-industry technology to more effectively penetrate the skin barrier to moisturize your body at a deeper level.
4. Go greige. We usually love all things pink, but this is one holiday when the hue is overplayed -- especially as a mani. Pass up those pink polishes in favor of a cool gray, which is today's new bad-girl black.
Our favorites? Deborah Lippmann's Waking Up in Vegas is a chic take on putty that Lady Gaga first made famous, while RGB Cosmetics' Steel is an industrial silvery interpretation of the shade.
5. Lavender, not rose petals. Steal a private moment of bliss with an indulgent bath, but skip those sticky rose petals that wedge into odd places. Instead, choose holistically healing lavender, which doubles as a mood elevator and muscle soother.
Dr. Hauschka's Lavender Bath is the real deal, with pure essential oils that calm skin sensitivities and induce full-body relaxation. It's the ideal precursor to lying down for a full night of restful sleep.
6. Save your kisses. Chances are, those big, kissy pouts you're seeing everywhere look nothing like the not-so-sexy February-chapped lips you're sporting right now.
First, exfoliate your lips with a dab of Vaseline and a toothbrush gently scrubbed over your lips to remove flakes. Next, use beauty's hot ingredient of the moment, argan oil, to replenish and restructure the delicate skin of your lips with a balm like Arganica's Lip Butter.
The $10 swivel-tube contains hand-pressed eco-certified argan oil, as well as, cupuacu butter from Brazil and extra-virgin coconut oil.
7. Make it a girl's night in. Who needs expensive dinner reservations in crowded restaurants when you can snuggle up in your favorite flannel PJs with a good book or chick flick? And since the beginning of time, girly nights in have been synonymous with DIY beauty treatments, of which we recommend one of Julie Gabriel's all-natural recipes.
DIY beauty is so hot right now, that recipes aren't just limited to facial masks and scrubs -- try one of these hair recipes, formulated to solve the five most common strand concerns. (And we promise: None of them require mayonnaise.)
8. Heal with scent. Next to lingerie, fragrance is the second most popular Valentine's Day gift -- but does anyone really want to smell like the celeb du jour? Make it a 'me' experience instead by picking out an aromatherapy blend that will heal your mind and body, instead of just making you smell like cheap patchouli.
The new 21 Drops line even has therapeutic essential-oil blends that claim to heal everything from a broken heart (Carry On) to depression (Uplift) and powerlessness (Willpower). Our personal pick is Abstain, which has a kick of cardamom that staves off even our worst cinnamon bun cravings.
9. Forget boobs and butts; it's all about brows. While every breathless V-Day clothing ad will have you believe that push-up cleavage and J.Lo-riffic assets are the only way to go this 14th, the beauty world is too busy with brows to notice.
From the recent high-definition Brit brow craze to shaping your own arch based on your personality characteristics, bold eyebrows signify the strength of the modern woman. And if waxing and tweezing have been leaving you with sparse spots, you'll love Christi Harris' ingenious planing method.
10. Spread love about AIDS. Romance and all things sensual are waxed poetic on cupid's special day, but rarely do we hear the important message about AIDS, the leading cause of death in African-American women between the ages of 18 and 34.
Yet, the beauty industry has increasingly taken up the difficult conversation, most notably led by MAC's Viva Glam lipstick fund-raising franchise that has raised zillions for the cause. Hairdressers Against AIDS has most recently joined the fight, with a campaign that encourages stylists to broach the topic of sexual protection and regular health testing with clients.
So take the opportunity to grab Viva Glam's latest pretty coral shade this V-Day, donate to the cause and gift a girlfriend with a fun new MAC lippie, as well as the potentially life-saving reminder to take care and love herself above all.
In related news, check out Demi Moore's Valentine's Day gift that gives back.