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From lipstick to lingerie, the designers behind the aptly named underwear label Valentine NYC share their secrets for a successful February 14.
Written By TARA LAMONT-DJITE
As secret (or not so secret) weapons go, there’s no underestimating the power of lingerie and lipstick. Think anything from Elizabeth Taylor’s white slip circa Butterfield 8 to Lauren Bacall’s silk loungewear in The Big Sleepand with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we are thinking of them. So in anticipation of February 14 romance, we checked in with the creators of Valentine NYC, a label dedicated to creating alluring (and exceptionally comfortable) lacy underpinnings. Here, designers and best friends Paloma Jonas and Whitney Brown share their tips for sowing Valentine’s Day intrigue. 

BE MY
VALENTINE

whitney brown’s AND PALOMA JONAS’ date night picks
  • WHITNEY BROWN AND PALOMA JONAS, VALENTINE NYC DESIGNERS
TOUCHABLE HAIR SECRETS
WHITNEY: Rusk Thickr Thickening spray—it makes your hair salty but not crunchy and gives it some texture, but not a crazy amount. 

PALOMA: I have curls, so for me it’s very specific: I run my fingers through my hair after I wash it, then let it dry without touching it. I use DevaCurl products, which is a brand for curly hair, and hair oils from Weleda. 
BEAUTY PICKS

WHITNEY: NARS The Multiple in Na Pali Coast on the cheeks, with a Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Eyeliner Pen for a vintage Bardot cat eye look, plus Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in Incognito—it’s a classic look that always feels right; a cat eye is just super sexy on almost anyone.

PALOMA: Lipstick Queen’s Sinner matte lipstick in Red. You can wear it in the day and feel classic, or at night and feel sexy. Swipe it on with jeans and a vintage tee and you’re ready for an unexpected date.   

NAILS THAT NAIL IT
WHITNEY: Essie Don’t Sweater It. It’s a nude color—I don’t like the obvious red on Valentine’s Day. It’s so much more fun to do something unexpected.

PALOMA: I, on the other hand, always love a good apple red, particularly Deborah Lippmann’s Respect.
SCENT OF A WOMAN
WHITNEY: We make our own fragrance in partnership with 1509—it’s a subtle essential oil that contains notes of sandalwood and amber with tuberose and Himalayan musk. We wanted to make it unsex but still sexy.
APPLY IT: Everywhere—wrists, neck, and chest.

PALOMA: I don’t wear synthetics on my skin, so our scent is great because it’s all natural; it’s an oil, so you can really rub it in.  
APPLY IT: To the neck and cleavage when in a romantic mood.
ADVISED...
WHITNEY: Hand wash your lingerie, especially if it’s lace—it will last so much longer. It’s totally fine to machine wash cotton. If you sweat more, hand wash your bras every week. I like to use a gentle Mrs. Meyer’s laundry detergent. I put it in the sink and make it all bubbly, scrub my underwear gently with my hands, and let it line dry in the sun. I think women need to do a lingerie cleanse at least every two to three years, unless it’s a La Perla bra that you wear only on special occasions. If you’re not hand washing your lingerie, replace it every year.

PALOMA: Take care of your lingerie. I keep mine in a scented lavender pouch in my drawer and it always smells lovely. When you’re going on a date and pull out beautifully fragranced underwear, it really sets the mood. 
AVOID...
WHITNEY: Your bra should never cut into your back or sides and give you that sausage effect. Many women wear their bras so tight! It’s a tough call for girls who have big boobs. Try a bodysuit that has a cup in it so you have a smooth line and full support.

Don’t show your bra straps—it looks disheveled. If you have big boobs and big straps, get an accessory that pulls the straps under your clothes, and make sure that your straps are tight enough that they won’t fall down.

PALOMA: I’m not a fan of big bows or too many girly, frilly things, and I don’t love a full padded cup. It’s so much sexier to me to just see the shape of the woman.
UNDER A SKINTIGHT LBD
WHITNEY: A thong so you won’t get any lines—with tight clothes you need to wear tight lingerie. As far as a bra, I wear triangle bras with everything, but I don’t really have boobs. For girls who need a little bit more lift and support, a bra with a thicker side panel would be ideal—our GoGo bra is great for ladies with a bigger bust, but it works for anyone.

PALOMA: Definitely wear a thong. My husband likes a Brazilian thong, which has a little more coverage than a French knicker, so I wear that for him on a special date—sometimes you have to do something for the guys.
UNDER A SWEATER AND JEANS
WHITNEY: When you wear a sweater no one is seeing the shape of your bust, so this is your time to put on whatever bra and panties you want. I would wear our seamless Mr. Postman panties and the matching bra—it’s just a simple triangle style. If you wear a full brief, make sure it’s seamless.

PALOMA: I love to feel naked when I’m wearing a really beautiful fabric (like silk or cashmere), so I always recommend a simple mesh or thin lace bra, like our Shangri-La style. I hate panty lines—they’re not sexy—so with Valentine we don’t do any seams around the bum. 
IDEAL WARM-UP DRINK
WHITNEY: A jalapeño margarita! I’m marrying a Mexican, and I love Mexico and tequila. I would never turn one down.

PALOMA: I think I’d just like to jump in and say a margarita.
SONGS TO IGNITE THE NIGHT
WHITNEY: I love Betty Everett’s “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss).” It reminds me of the movie Mermaids with Cher and Winona Ryder.

PALOMA: A ’60s-inspired French playlist really gets me in the mood. France Gall’s “Laisse Tomber Les Filles” and Brigitte Bardot’s “Harley Davidson” are definite inclusions.
IDEAL NIGHTCAP
WHITNEY: A glass of red wine. I recommend Sancerre.

PALOMA: A Negroni. It’s a nice way to cleanse the palate after dinner. If your guy hasn’t tried it, you can experience something new together.
SONGS TO CLOSE THE DEAL
WHITNEY: Slow jams all the way. Try Rhye’s “The Fall.”

PALOMA: I love Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” SOAK’s “Sea Creatures,” and Ariel Pink’s “Baby.” Make it a sexy version of what you usually listen to. It can get weird otherwise.

GET IN THE 
MOOD

Set the scene with a date night playlist from the designers of Valentine NYC.

PREPARE FOR
A NUDE SCENE 

Turn the lights down low and shop The Violet Files’ selection of set-to-thrill beauty.