Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of letting life get on top of us and often neglect to take time for ourselves to wind down, take everything a little slower and relax. Stress is seemingly becoming such an ingrained part of life that it’s hard to imagine being without it. The worst thing? Most forms of stress are self-inflicted and we can take positive steps to deal with them effectively. I know that after I’ve had a long and busy day at work, tackled a chore list as long as my arm and finally made time for myself in the dwindling evening, all I want to do is take a warm bath and have a pamper.
Choosing a bath product that gets your body tingling and jump starts the relaxation process is key. There are some truly fantastic options on the market at the moment and you can pick and choose one to fit your mood. Feeling run down? This Works: Energy Bank Bath & Shower Oil leaves behind a truly uplifting fragrance that packs you full of energy while lifting your spirits. Aching all over? Pick up Molton Brown’s Bracing Silverbirch Thermal Muscle Soak; it’s perfect for soothing all the aches and pains accumulated throughout the day. Fancy an all rounder? Try Champney’s Spa Indulgence Oriental Opulence Bubble Heaven that lives up to its name, with bubbles so soft and luxurious you’ll easily soothe all the days stresses away. If you’re anything like me, this is also the perfect time to light a few candles and soak up the atmosphere. I have bagfuls of scented tea lights and pretty plain candles in lovely glass stands, but when the moment arises I like to bring out something special. TU from Sainsbury’s have a range of scented candles that are nothing to be sniffed at, (I’ll stop, I promise) and at the price point are worth grabbing a few for the bathroom, as well as the guest room. The Lavender & Geranium offering is a heady blend of calming lavender and sweet smelling geranium that has considerable vanilla undertones. It’s the perfect mix for a bath just before bed, while the gently flickering flames add a real touch of luxury.
Once you’re suitably tranquil, having washed and prepped your hair and given your face a quick smoothing with your usual cleanser or face wash, it’s time to break out the masks! I’m not talking the jaunty numbers you have stashed at the back of the wardrobe when a masked ball might potentially be on the horizon, I’m talking the all guns blazing, hard wearing, intensive beauty products that make us a little weak at the knees. Start off with a hair mask; the longer it’s on, the better it works. For a rich and smooth experience I opt for Keratin Deep Treatment Masque by Tresemmé that sees my hair right after even the most unrelenting of weeks. If you have time to leave this on for 15 minutes then do, as the ingredients can work deeper into the hair follicle resulting in silky-smoothness that’s unrivalled. However, if you’re strapped for time, a quick 5 minutes will still leave your hair frizz free and irresistibly touchable! Apply mainly through the mid lengths to the end and use any excess on the roots, just like your normal conditioner. While this is getting to work reach for something special, something you won’t use every day. LUSH creates a fresh face mask called Love Lettuce that contains lavender and almonds. This little beauty needs to be kept in the fridge so is dreamily cool when applied, which is a nice juxtaposition to the warmth of the bubbly water around you. The lavender works to relax you, while the almond shells gently exfoliate the skin opening it up to all the other natural ingredients in the tub.
Now is a good time to set about giving your skin a real treat by opening up a hefty exfoliating body scrub. Pushing the boat out, Almond Coconut Milk Scrub by Laura Mercier is a sugar scrub with clout. Having recently polished off every last grain from a sample, this has been cemented as a treat to put on the list. The scent of almond, coconut, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon all fuse together for one uplifting experience. A little goes a long way and investing in a buffing mitt can make the product go further. If you’re strapped for cash, one product that’s never far from my side is overly talked about Breakfast Scrub from Soap & Glory. Not only does it leave my skin smoother than it’s felt in years, the tempting smell of almond, banana, honey and maple makes this seem good enough to eat. My skin is lightly fragranced for hours afterward and what I consider the ideal slice of comfort when drifting off under the sheets. Shedding all those dead skin cells means healthy, glowing and rejuvenated skin that really shines.
After all that talk of long soaks and relaxing evenings, I’m off for a pamper.
Written by Adrienne Third