I enjoy doing a traditional Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, but in celebration of different shades of love, I also do Galentine’s Day on Feb 13.
In case you don’t know, Galentine’s is a celebration of love for your ‘gal’friends. Weirdly, it was invented by a sitcom character - Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec – but now it’s a real thing. Friends gather for brunch the day before V-Day and maybe swap gifts and cards.
None of my friends are vegan, so my carefully chosen gifts give them an opportunity to try something new - and hopefully fall in love with a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s great to see that their initial reactions after using a vegan product – “No WAY this is Vegan! But it works so well! How??”
I’ve been snooping around online, searching for new brands that are affordable, green yet gorgeous enough for gifting – which is how I discovered YOPE. The brand was created by husband and wife team Karolina and Pawel who wanted skincare and home products that are gentle, non-toxic and suitable for their children as well as anyone with sensitive skin.
Fragrances are inspired by travel, childhood memories, the seasons and botanicals, and the packaging, designed by Karolina, is a delight. Each product features an illustration of an animal to highlight the fact they are against animal testing and approved by VIVA! the animal rights group.
This means they don’t need to be wrapped – just pop a ribbon or tag on your Yope gift and you’ve saved using wrapping paper, too.
I chose a product from each category to try out before buying for my friends. First, the Salvia & Green Caviar Hand Cream (£8.99). It has a very light and herby scent, contains Vitamin E (great to combat ageing) and is packed with argan, coconut and olive oil to help condition the skin. Green caviar, a type of seaweed, is also good for its antibacterial properties. I found that was absorbed very quickly and kept my hands moisturised for ages. Hand creams tend to be a bit of an obsession among my friends -- they keep them in their car, their work, handbag etc -- so I know this gift will be loved.
Next, I picked out the Geranium Shower Gel (£7.99). The fragrance is uplifting yet subtle, and it works well at cleansing your skin but also retaining the moisture – a lot of shower gels tend to strip the skin dry. I love how gentle it is and being PH neutral, it hasn’t irritated my skin, as with some fragranced bath products.
Lastly, I tried the Ginger & Sandalwood TGA Soap (£8.99). This has more of a woody scent as it contains ginger root and sandalwood extract which are both nourishing and have antibacterial properties. It contains Vitamin B5 to soothe and heal the skin. This would make a great duo-gift with the shower gel.
Now, would it really be Galentine’s Day if there wasn’t a fabulous spa day involved? If you want to treat yourself and your bestie, check out our offers here.