I spend loads of time in the bathroom. It's my Sanctuary to unwind, a place where I like to take my time rather than to rush. I take pride in it and constantly clean it, whilst finding the best ways of enjoying my experience there. Baths are divine and there is nothing better than a luxurious long soak-- what Lulu calls as my Holy Baths. I also dream of claw-foot tubs and, high on my list of Dream Tubs is this copper one which I found floating about the internet eons ago-- rustic, charming and full of character, that I envision myself spending lazy weekend afternoons in whilst the world whizzes by. But these remain a phantasy until I own my very own abode and can fit in the furnishings of my dreams. In the meanwhile, we all know that looking good comes from feeling good. . So how about a guide to a Devilishly Pleasurable Bath Time?
Prep WorkFirst, some ground work. These potentially make every day's shower and/or bath session infinitely more luxurious. Perfect for unwinding after a day of activity, or even as a decadent way to start the day with a big fat smile on your face.
Egyptian Cotton Towels
A worthy splurge. When I first came over to the UK and was thrown into a world of "Oh now I am in-charge of my own furnishings and cleanings" I thought I'd be thrifty like a good student and get cheap towels. They do the job, but they don't feel like they're the best. Moving to my first own real place was the perfect opportunity to buy new towels, and I got myself fluffy Egyptian Cotton ones. 600GSM ones will do for now until I get richer (the higher the GSM, the thicker they are), and two sets will suffice for purposes of rotation. Egyptian Cotton towels, like bedsheets, get softer with every wash. And once you start on them, you'll never want to use other types again. Besides, Ebay and Amazon do great deals, and you'll probably use them for years, so they're worth their while. Pristine white towels evoke the spa experience, whilst black looks luxe. Red, to me, gives the bathroom character. And in case you're wondering, bath sheets are much, much larger than bath towels. I always thought that towels were large enough until D started using them and I learned that there was such a thing as huge bath sheets. So I tell myself I am 6 foot 5 like him and envelope myself in bath sheets today.
A beautiful shower curtain
There's nothing more dull and characterless than white plastic shower curtains. Perhaps, you'd like a huge pop of colour, wacky graphics. . or a beautiful print? I got a Damask-printed one as I love Baroque prints. Besides, they match my chaise lounge.
A gorgeous bathroom rug
I have got no luck finding pretty bathroom rugs-- often they are ugly and in dull colours. So, I realised that hand towels are the same dimensions as bathroom rugs, albeit less absorbent. I cheated and got myself a thick and pretty Damask-printed hand towel. Let's face it, we like pretty floors too.
Throw one a robe after your bath to continue the feeling of endless luxury and decadence. . . I love the sensual feel of satin and silk, and kimono robes are perfect. This gorgeous silk one with a fuchsia belt is on my Covet List, but at £230, it is a tad too expensive, but a girl can dream.
As a bibliophile, I love having books everywhere. By my bedside, in my handbags, and in my living room. If you plan a day in the bathroom (yes, I mean a day, if possible) why not throw in a stack of books or glossies? Some visual material whilst you slather on your face mask, perhaps.
When grouped together in similar colour families and lit, candles provide a beautiful, sensual glow that is almost ethereal. Get them unscented and put two or three drops of your favourite essential oils below the wick; or buy them in your favourite scents. This set of mottled Indian sandlewood ones look especially wicked. If you're in the UK, good-quality candles with the most delectable scents can be found massively discounted at TK Maxx.
What more spectacular than brass or gold, from which the most evocative scents waft out. Whether deep and spicy or soft and floral, it's your call for your perfect bath experience. Incense burners are also a good alternative here, where one is cloaked behind a veil of pleasurably-intoxicating smoke. If you're feeling particularly opulent, why not burn a combination of frankincense and myrrh?
You've got the smells, the feel, and the look in place. Now, the icing on the cake-- fresh flowers. Nothing that brightens your day better and amps the energy of the room. Choose the blooms that you love. I love Tiger Lilies, Gladiolis, Heliconias and Shell Ginger blooms. Tall, wild exotic strong warrior beauties.
Luxe it up!Oh, women and their products that fill the bathroom! What better time than to get them out? Some tips that might initiate you on The Path To Decadence.
- If you are lucky enough to own a jacuzzi tub, bubbly baths can be a little disastrous. But, what you can do instead is to chop up some fresh herbs and throw them in for a most divine experience, whilst reveling in Nature's healing properties. Lavender, lemon thyme and sage are some great ones, or concoct your own blend. You can check here for a list of herbs and their uses. Works for conventional tubs too! Besides, with natural oils in your bath, you're less likely to walk out of your tub looking like a wrinkled prune after soaking for too long.
- Love-me skin time. Exfoliate your skin, groom your eyebrows, steam your pores, slap on a face mask. Your face is your fortune. Invest in it.
- Indulge your crowning glory. Some of us love our manes, yet often neglect it. What better occasion to give it the TLC it deserves? Some ideas include a deep conditioner, a clarifying shampoo to remove all the built-up gunk or a hair mask for nourishment. Pull on a shower cap when doing your conditioning hair treatments-- the heat that is trapped will ensure that the nutrients penetrate more deeply.
- Whilst we're at it, ask yourself, what else do you normally neglect. For instance, I often forget to subject my contact lenses to protein-removing treatment. So Luxe Baths are when I do stuff like that.
- Treat your body to an indulgent scrub. I like The Sanctuary's Kyphi Nourishing Hot Sugar Scrub. A self-heating blend of natural sugar, argan oil, lotus oil and sandalwood, it smells as divine as its vanilla infusion. My favourite scrub, to date. I also love L'occitane's Crushed Grape Polish for its gentleness and soothing smell.
- Decadent shower creams and bath gels? Recently I was at Boots and found Imperial Leather's Limited Edition at 2 for £2. In deep shades of purple and red and with an amazing description, coupled with that sort of price, it was too good not to pass up. And, they are indeed winners. Precious Night marries Night Blooming Jasmine and Cotton Milk, whilst Tempting is a scrumptious, seductive blend of Passion Flower and Rice Milk. The smell lingers through the day. Nevertheless, I am completely sold. Besides, it's the Christmas season and brands are doling out the most exotic and festive flavours. . time to stock up!
- Bring out the body sponges, gloves and brushes. Used wet or dry depending on the product specification, these aid in exfoliating your skin to remove the dead skin cells, revealing a new layer beneath. They also help to up your blood circulation, and can be found as natural brushes or made of synthetic materials. The Body Shop has a good selection to peruse, and I am particularly enamoured by their Spiced Vanilla 2-Tone Bath Lily.
- Throw in a bath bomb! I can't think of what better place to start with than Lush! Their selection is wide, including nourishing ones such as AvoBath and earth spa ones, to a Vanilla dessert one, to an aphrodisiac one for sharing.
- Big, homemade chunks of soap. Etsy store Chant Aromatics springs to mind. With all sorts of mystical, mysterious concoctions made from pure essential oils and natural bases, I have tried and loved her fiery chilli-based soap.
Why not push the limits if you're already enjoying yourself so much?
- A lover to share the bath with? (In which case, forget the face mask)
- Sipping champagne out of thin-fluted glasses, with tall dinner candles intensifying the hedonistic atmosphere. In which case, this bath caddy would be perfect for holding it all in.
- A cup of tea in the best china you can spare? Why not even add in a slice of cake or two?
Finishing touches. .
When you can finally tear yourself away from the bathtub and have wrapped yourself in your warm, fluffy towels, here's some ideas on what to do to seal the experience and promise yourself you'll make this a regular deal.
- Massage body lotion or body butter into damp skin to seal in the moisture. I love The Body Shop's Cranberry Shimmer Lotion, giving your body some subtle shine whilst smelling absolutely delicious.
- Rub cuticle oil into your nails to keep them healthy.
- Spritz on your favourite and most precious perfumes.
- Go about your regular beauty routine.
- Emerge from the bathroom wrapped in your robe with a big contended smile on your face. And perhaps, treat yourself to some (more) chocolate and cake!
I hope this article has been useful for unwinding and pampering yourself. There's nothing better than to take time out for a Love Thyself session. If you lack a tub, some of these can still be done, or if you happen to be checking into a hotel, that would be the perfect opportunity. In the meanwhile, do spill your Self Indulgence routines and secrets!