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Top 10: Heart-Shaped Shopping Tips

Thursday, 11 February 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Whether you choose to join in Valentine's Day festivities, or just treat February 14 like any other day, these heart-shaped shopping tips can help you buy smarter, how ever you decide celebrate (or not celebrate).

Do Your Homework

If your love-friendly occasion calls for bringing out the big guns instead of cupid’s little bow and arrow, make sure you do your research first.

Diamonds

Typically a big ticket purchase, diamond-shopping isn’t a spur of the moment activity. Be prepared with these tips:

  • Understand and memorize the 4 C’s of diamond shopping: Cut. Colour. Clarity. Carat. (Note: “carat” means something different for diamonds than it does for gold.)

  • Buy a stone before it’s put into a ring since a ring setting can hide flaws.

  • To spot a fake, hold the stone above a newspaper. If you can read the print, don’t buy it.

  • Do more homework on diamonds.

Jewelry

Buying jewelry for someone else is can be tricky since it is such a personal thing. However, knowing face shape is half the battle, especially when it comes to earrings and necklaces.

For women’s earrings, think opposites:

  • Long, oval earrings work best for a round face, while studs and round hoops work best on a long face.

  • Oval-faced women can wear almost anything.

  • Heart-shaped and square faces should think similar to round faces: long and oval, or chandelier shapes, which help draw attention down and away from the width of the face.

For women’s necklaces, it’s all about placement:

  • If she has a large bosom, the pendant should land an inch or so above the start of her cleavage, or a few inches below (not quite belly-button range). Avoid anything that lands right in the cleavage.

  • If she has a short neck, stay away from chunky items and chokers. Think pendants and length to give the illusion of more space between her chin and her chest.

  • If she has a long neck, she will look fabulous in chunky pieces and chokers. 

Colour and style: gold, silver, or other?

  • Pay attention to what she or he is already wearing. If she wears a lot of gold or silver, you can be sure that buying her something in the same metal will score bonus points for you.
  • If you’re not sure, think about colouring. A warm complexion (e.g. yellow undertones, dark hair, tans well) looks great in gold. A cool complexion (pink/blue undertones, medium to light hair) can rock the silver style. If all else fails, ask! (After all, it’s only a small part of the big surprise.)

For men, we like a little bling on a guy, but the key is subtlety.

  • A thin chain necklace with a small pendant can be worn relatively inconspicuously, either inside or outside of a shirt. It should be long enough not to choke him, but not too long that it dangles beyond armpit level.

  • A bracelet is also an option for guys. Look for thicker chains for a masculine look. Or try leather, which is a great way to ease your man into trying out accessories.

  • If your guy has pierced ears, a nice sparkly stud will give him a bit of flash. Even better if it matches his blue or green eyes.

  • If you want to play it safe, a watch is always a good option. And functional too!

Do more homework on jewelry:

Lingerie

If you’re new to buying lingerie, or are buying it for someone else, ask the sales people for help, especially with sizing and styles.

  • Guys! Don’t go with the “she’s about your size” line at the shop. Check your honey’s underwear drawer for sizes before you head to the store. Remember, many items of lingerie are non-returnable.

  • Different styles of lingerie include camisoles, corsets, baby dolls, slips, teddies, chemises, bustiers, boy shorts, thongs, and g-strings.

  • For a little extra “umph” in the chest area, consider a push-up bra.

  • Bargain hunter alert! Shopping for lingerie after Valentines can land you some great deals on a range of hot and silky red items.

Learn more about buying lingerie:

Play it Safe

What’s Valentine’s Day without a little extra-curricular activity? But if you’re going to play, play it safe. In the bedroom, that is.

Condoms

  • Regular size condoms fit most men. Be aware: a condom that’s too big can actually slip off.

  • Choose “thin” condoms for the best sensitivity.

  • Be sure to check the expiry dates on all condoms.

  • Lubrication is important in condom use, both for comfort and to avoid breakage.

  • Novelty condoms are just that – a novelty. They don’t offer the same protection as regular condoms.

Read more about condoms to find out our top pick.

Personal Lubricants

Keep things moving comfortably with your partner by introducing personal lubricants into your bedroom repertoire. 

  • Lubes are formulated based one of three main ingredients, water, silicone, or oil/petroleum.

  • Each feels different and reacts differently. You may need to try out a few kinds to find one that works for you and your partner.

  • Many specialty sex shops offer free samples of different brands for customers to try at home.

  • Some lubricant formulations are not safe to use with condoms (i.e. they break down the latex), so again, read instructions before use.

Get the full scoop on personal lubes.

Vibrators

For an extra-arousing time in the sack, vibrators are fun by yourself or with a partner.

  • Vibrators come in a variety of materials. For most people, softer is better, but it’s up to your personal preference.

  • Some stores allow you to try a demo model on your hand before you buy. This is a good way to get a feel for the intensity, material, and size.

  • If you’re too chicken to go shopping by yourself, take a friend with you. It’s a fun experience, and definitely not as taboo as you may think.

  • Most adult stores also sell special cleaning products. Cleanliness is important to reduce bacteria growth on your toys. If you’re not sure what to buy, ask for help, since some toys require special cleaning products.

Read more buzz on vibrators.

Set the Scene

Alone or with a partner, nothing beats nestling into a comfortable, warm bed, whether it’s before and after you partake in your extra-curricular activities. Here are some tips for creating the ultimate snuggle suite:

Mattresses

  • Don’t trust manufacturer ratings for firmness and softness because they differ from store to store. The only way to get a good feel for a mattress’s firmness is to try it out.

  • Be prepared to spend some time lying around in mattress stores. Don’t feel embarrassed or rushed when trying the beds. You need to make sure it feels good, no matter what position you’re sleeping in.

Get the jump on more mattress shopping tips.

Duvets

  • Duvets are available in a range of materials, including down, synthetic, and wool.

  • Down lasts the longest but will be most expensive. Synthetic material like primaloft mimics the qualities of down, and is less expensive.

  • Synthetic and wool duvets can be machine-washed, but down duvets must be dry-cleaned.

Wrap your mind around these duvet-buying tips.

Pillows

  • A pillow should fully support the space between your shoulder and your head.

  • You can find pillows made in a variety of materials, each providing a different type of support. But don’t depend much on labels like softness, firmness, “side sleeper” or “back sleeper”. These designations are relative and vary from one manufacturer to the next.

  • If down pillows make you sneeze, consider a primaloft fill, which is a polyester microfibre.

Get your head into more pillow information.

 

 

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