On Valentine’s Day you don’t want flowers. They wilt. You don’t want candy. Too fattening. You know what you want, chica. Beauty. Beauty, beauty, beauty. And more beauty. I have a ton of beautiful ideas that won’t wilt or make you fat or disappear (which is more than I can say about a lot of my past romantic relationships).

Here is the first of three pieces whose treats will make your heart—or at least your face—sing well past Valentine’s Day:

Laura Mercier Eye & Cheek Palette ($60)

Part of her spring Lingerie Collection (How perfect is that name for romance?) French makeup artiste extraordinaire Laura Mercier has created one of the loveliest, most universally flattering  palettes I’ve ever seen. Eight eternally feminine colors. All perfect powders. All mixable mattes and lusters. All fool-proof.

Laura Mercier Eye & Lip Palette

The six eyeshadows are Buff Pearl, a nearly translucent warm ivory with a soft sheen; Tawny Apricot, a warm kiss that’s more tawny than apricot; Rich Cocoa, a blendable medium greige; Pale Pink, a warm clear barely-there pink (which is huge, and I’ll explain why in a minute); African Violet, a light brown mixed with a tinge of purple; and Black Plum, a see-through, un-scary mauvey black. Totally gorgeous, completely wearable.

Now here’s the thing about anything pink around the eyes: Most pinks are so pink and/or icy-hot that they make the whites of your eyes look bloodshot or your lids irritated. Not a great look. Laura’s Pale Pink is like the color of healthy skin rather than a wad of Dubble Bubble.

If you’re adventurous, try a light sweep of either one of the palette’s subtle blushes, Rose Desire, a warm flushed pink, or Fresh Peach, a fresh delicate coral,  across your brow bone. Or you can just use them as, you know, beauteous blushes. Speaking of which, Laura’s new Crème Cheek Colour in Blaze ($22).

Also a member of the Lingerie Collection, Blaze is a warm bright rose whose inexplicably smooth and velvety texture makes it a cinch to apply with fingertips—and go. Love this as a powder alternative, especially for drier skins. I even dabbed some on my lips. Looked beautiful.

Everything's-Coming-Up-Roses-Photo3Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Bronzer & Blush in Bronze/Rose ($13.95)
That’s a mouthful, all right, but this compact will make you happy just looking at it. The pressed powder smells vaguely of violets, and, if you’re as pale as I am right now, a light sweep of the soft bronzer anywhere the sun would naturally hit your face—forehead, nose, cheekbones, chin—will warm things up nicely. The three overlapping pale, medium, and deep pink heart-shaped blushes can be layered or used individually. Too cute for words.

Physicians Formula pH matchmaker pH Powdered Blush in Rose ($12.95)
This is like the mood ring of blushes. Fluorescein-based dyes sense the pH level of your skin and adjust within 60 seconds to create your perfect shade. Plus, something called photochromic powders have light-adjusting pigments that adapt to the light in your environment so your color looks the same in- and outdoors. The shade itself is a perfectly happy pink, with a hint of sparkle. Love. What I also love-love-love is that the LED-powered compact lights up and has an on- and off-switch. It’s fabulous. The compact comes with its own soft flat brush underneath the blush compartment so you can touch up anywhere you like. Very cool.

Everything's-Coming-Up-Roses-Photo5Bobbi Brown Blush in Nude Pink 29 ($24)
If what you love is the quietest whisper of cheek color, Bobbi’s newest powder blush, part of her killer Neons & Nudes Collection, is the way to go.

This is the color of babies’ cheeks and will work on anyone, from a tween to an abuela, and looks particularly right when worn with a bold lip (which is coming up in the next story). Don’t let the color shown in the compact on Bobbi’s site throw you; click on the shade called NEW Nude Pink to get the closer flavor.

Bare Escentuals Buxom True Hue Blush in Rendezvous ($24).
We love all things Buxom, and this new powder blush, with a magnetic open-and-shut snap closure, is no exception. Though it’s described as a “shimmering raspberry,”  it’s really a golden-flecked pink salmon with warm undertones. Absolutely beautiful. Not too sparkly for daytime, Rendezvous is pretty pigmented, so one good sweep from the apple of your cheeks to your hairline will likely be enough of a color pop.

Try it with Buxom’s new Blush Brush ($24), whose domed shape and soft, fat, natural bristles deliver just the right amount in just the right places.

Next up, lips!