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The best Valentine's Day gifts under $25

Here are some thoughtful ways to say ‘I love you’ that won’t break the bank
You don’t need to overspend to make your loved one feel special. These gifts from L’Occitane, Sugarfina, Sephora and more will earn you big hugs.
You don’t need to overspend to make your loved one feel special. These gifts from L’Occitane, Sugarfina, Sephora and more will earn you big hugs.Anthropologie; Kara Birnbaum/ NBC News

You don’t need to overspend to make your special someone feel loved this Valentine’s Day. Whether they are a nostalgist, a pragmatist, an enthusiast of sorts or they just adore sweets, there's something on this list of budget-friendly, under-$25 gifts they'll be sure to love.

The best Valentine’s Day gifts under $25

As shopping experts, we examine what people are looking for gift-wise around Valentine’s Day and take note of the most popular gifts for every budget. For those who don’t want to overdo – or under-do – we’ve rounded up affordable products below that (metaphorically) say “I love you” without breaking the bank. We selected items from brands we’ve previously covered and included some highly rated items we think your recipients will truly appreciate.

We’re Not Really Strangers Couples Edition

Whether you’ve been married for decades or just soft-launched your relationship to your followers on social media, you may unlock a new, deeper intimacy with your partner with this card game. The original We’re Not Really Strangers card game has players deepen their friendships by having them answer prompts like “How are you, really?” or “Are you missing anyone right now?” The couples edition follows the same format, but for romantic relationships. Be prepared to answer questions like, “What do we have in this relationship that you never thought possible?” or “What did you learn from our biggest fight?” If you already own the original card game, you could try the Honest Dating expansion pack. Or if you want an explicit version, you could try the brand’s XXX game.

L’Occitane Hand Cream, Rose

Though February is the season for love, it’s also the season for dry skin, especially if you live in a colder climate. I have used L’Occitane’s regular Shea Butter Intensive hand balm for years and swear by its hydrating powers. The company’s rose hand cream is enriched with the same luxurious shea butter plus a gentle, floral fragrance with notes of “rosa centifolia floral water from Provence,” says the brand. Get ready for lots of hand-holding.

Bodum Caffettiera French Press

I’ve used a Bodum french press for years and love the smooth, consistent flavor it delivers. Plus, I just love the morning ritual: grind, pour, stir, breathe easy, plunge, sip. This Caffettiera Bodum is constructed like any other Bodum with a chrome-plated steel frame and 34-ounce borosilicate glass carafe but features a choice of two bold color combinations (red, blue or green, yellow) sold exclusively at the MoMA design store. I can’t think of a more cheerful way to kick off Valentine’s Day than bringing this, plus two mugs, back to bed.

Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie En Rose: The Collection’ (vinyl)

If your significant other is equal parts vinyl lover and Francophile, they may love this album full of Edith Piaf’s best and most-adored songs. France’s national chanteuse, Piaf lived a life marked by heartache, which makes her somewhat autobiographical ballads of sorrow and love like “La Vie En Rose” all the more touching. I promise, though, tu ne regretteras rien.

ThermoFlask Bottle with Chug Lid and Straw Lid

Give your favorite person the gift of hydration this Valentine’s Day with the ThermoFlask. The double-walled vacuum-insulated bottle can keep your drink cold for up to 24 hours and comes with two lids — a Chug Lid that twists off and a Straw Lid that pops open. If you don’t like the Chug Lid or the Straw Lid, ThermoFlask sells other lids separately, including a Spout Lid and a Travel Mug Lid.

Voluspa Roses Colored Glasses Classic Candle

I love Voluspa candles because they smell as beautiful as they look. Voluspa has multiple rose-based scents, but I love this one for its punny name and the hints of neroli blossom. Voluspa candles are made from a coconut wax that are hand-poured into an embossed glass jar with a decorative box. According to the brand, the single-wick candle burns for up to 40 hours.

Fresh Tinted Lip Treatment

For a soothing lip treatment that also provides some color, this tinted lip balm comes in 11 shades like Papaya, Peony or Plum (and also comes in a colorless version) and was recommended by experts in our guide on how to heal dry, chapped lips. Ingredients like sugar, grapeseed oil and cranberry seed oil work together to prevent moisture loss while softening rough skin. If you’re looking for UV protection, the SPF 15 version of this tinted balm is still available on Amazon in a travel-size option.

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts

Every person has that one restaurant that makes you feel like you’re in love the second you walk through the door. Mine is Joe Beef in my hometown of Montreal. The cozy bistro is known for pushing the limits of traditional French cuisine with dishes like Spaghetti Homard-Lobster and the Kale for a Hangover. More than a hundred of those recipes are collected here, plus illustrations and memoir-esque writing. Whatever that little restaurant that feels like home for you and your significant other, see if they have a cookbook. I’ll be over here dreaming about Foie Gras poutine.

Good & Well Supply Co National Park Incense

Good & Well Supply Co specializes in American-made home goods, crafts and gifts that celebrate the country’s national parks, roadside hotels, and other Americana. If you have a favorite camping buddy or adventure partner, they may love the brand’s national park-themed incense tins. I recently sent a gal pal the brand’s Olympic National Park incense, which is infused with hints of cypress trees and smoke, to remind her of the amazing girls' trip we took there years ago. Whatever that special natural place is for you and yours, whether Zion, Sequoia, or Acadia, Good and Well Supply Co has you covered.

Olay Regenerist Facial Cleansing Brush

Give your loved one the gift of a facial at home with a facial cleansing brush. These powered brushes help wash and exfoliate your face and minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, according to the experts we spoke to in our guide to the best facial cleansing brushes. Plus, they make skin softer and all the more touchable. Olay Regenerist’s soft-bristle facial cleansing brush offers two speeds — one for daily deep cleansing and the other for gentle exfoliation — and it primes your skin to “maximize the hydrating effect of your moisturizer,” according to the brand. Olay says you can use the water-resistant device in the shower, and it comes with two brush heads (replacements are sold separately in packs of two).

Wölffer Estate Spring In A Bottle Rosé

Nick Bodkins, CEO and co-founder of Boisson, a non-alcoholic drinks retailer with locations in New York and California, said sparkling non-alcoholic wines are usually the closest in flavor to their alcoholic counterparts. If you and yours are looking for alternatives to alcohol that still feel festive, you may want to try gifting this Wölffer Estates Spring In A Bottle Rosé, an expert-recommended option from Select’s guide to the best non-alcoholic wines. The wine balances acidity with fruitiness, the brand says, and is a light option you can drink on its own or add to cocktails.

The Sonnet’s and a Lover’s Complaint

They say a sonnet a day keeps a breakup away. Maybe.

This book of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, first published in 1609, contains “some of the most exquisite and haunting poetry ever written,” according to Penguin Classics, and deals with eternal subjects like love and infidelity. This edition is part of Penguin’s Clothbound Classics series, which feature custom cloth patterns inspired by books like “Pride” and “Little Women” or “Paradise Lost.” (Though we wouldn’t recommend the latter this Valentine’s Day).

YIVIEW Sleep Mask

Nothing kills the mood like being tired. A quality sleep mask, which blocks out any light, allowing your body to produce melatonin, may help. Dr. Seema Khosla, medical director at the North Dakota Center for Sleep, recommended this face mask in our guide to best sleep masks, noting that it has memory foam padding around the eyes for comfort and breathability. The adjustable mask is secured around your head using an elastic strap, making it less likely than a Velcro one to get caught in your hair or disrupt your sleep, experts said, guaranteeing no one wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.

The Meadow Himalayan Salt Rock

If your sweetheart also has a sweet tooth, you can skip past this gift. But If they love savory foods, they may love cooking on this Himalayan salt block. Cooking on a salt block is exactly what it sounds like: you place a block like this one from The Meadow, an artisanal boutique, on your burner. You bring it to a high temperature and then sear thinly sliced meats, fish, veggies or seafood, giving them a fresh, slightly salty taste. Or, the slab can be chilled in the fridge and used as a platter for sushi or charcuterie. Or, it can just live on your shelf giving guests the impression you’re sophisticated enough to use it.

Hold Everything Salt Keeper

If Himalayan salt cooking seems a little bit intense, may I introduce the humble salt bowl? Rebecca Rodriguez, Select’s editorial operations associate, likes this Ashwood option from Williams Sonoma. If you cook a lot, said Rodriguez, having salt within reach makes the process a lot easier. This box has a magnetic swivel top for easy one-handed use, and the top secures when not in use, keeping your salt fresh and dry, according to the brand.

Sugarfina Love Mail 2 Piece Candy Bento Box

While Valentine’s Day often brings luxury chocolates and bouquets of roses, let us not forget the humble box of candy. Sugarfina makes a range of sweet treats with unique flavors, like Tequila Grapefruit Sours or Cold Brew Bears. This Valentine’s Day offering pairs two of my favorites: Champagne Bears and Sugar Lips sealed in a Valentine’s Day-themed bento box.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Speaking of lips, a lip mask could be a great gift that’s equal parts flirty and functional. Laneige’s Sleeping Mask is “a consumer favorite rich in antioxidants and hyaluronic acid,” said dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu in Select’s guide to the best lip masks to heal dry lips. The TikTok-popular lip treatment comes in various scents, including Vanilla and Berry, and each container is packaged with a tiny applicator.

Bonne Maman Botanical Preserves Spreads Trio

I would make a pun about spreading the love here, but Bonne Maman jams need no introduction. Just a nice slice of sourdough. This trio of jams from the brand features three 7.8-ounce jars of its Strawberry with Verbena, Peach with Mint and Strawberry-Raspberry with Elderflower jams encased in a limited-edition gift box, featuring original French labels, says Bonne Maman.

Usaga Premium Scalp Massager

Consider this scalp massager a gift to yourself as much as your significant other: When your partner asks for a head rub at the end of a long day, the scalp massager is likely to do a better job than you. Plus, it feels great to use on one’s own head, too. The scalp massager’s 20 prongs are made of metal but have soft tips that are easy to clean, says the brand.

Classic Solid Color Yoga Mat

Inner peace is crucial to any healthy, sustainable relationship. A yoga mat doesn’t guarantee peace of mind, but it helps make your yoga practice or meditation more comfortable and relaxing. I have used this simple yoga mat from Gaim for years, and while I haven’t reached nirvana, I love how it grips to the floor and keeps me stable. The mat is just under 0.2 inches in thickness and lightweight and easy to transport to any class. It’s the most affordable yoga mat on Select’s list of the best yoga mats. Plus, you get access to the Gaiam yoga library when you buy one of their mats.

Moleskine Classic Notebook

Moleskine-style notebooks have been used by writers and artists like Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway for centuries, says the brand. If your significant other loves stationery, or simply the act of writing down their next big idea (rather than tapping it into the Notes app), they may love this simple yet sophisticated notebook. Each notebook lies flat while writing and has rounded corners, an elastic closure and ribbon bookmark.

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