Wardrobe Update

3 Sep 2017

The Recipe for Bathing

Unless it's just me, it seems like life continues to get that much more busy every month, without fail. There's continuously more to keep up with (not just the Kardashians... easy shot there), and sometimes not having enough time in the day to even check your Instagram (yes, the important stuff) makes things feel like they're getting on top of you, you have no time to relax properly or take time-out from the world. With moving out to the big smoke in the next few weeks to a house sans bath, I've been making the most of one of the only calming rituals I go by; bath time. And, not just a half-hearted candle and book scenario, the whole she-bang with salts, oils and washes en masse.


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Calming your mind and body
Baths are not only your opportunity to reflect, be technology free (!) and relax mentally for half an hour, it's also internally helping your body prepare for sleep. The drop in temperature you experience as you adjust back to room temperature after a warm bath signals to your brain that it's time to go to sleep, as this is what happens naturally before bed anyway. To make it that much more un-winding, the essential oils in Support Breathe combine to cleanse your body, promoting calmer breathing and a relaxed state of mind. After a stressful day, it's the evening when my thoughts and anxieties tend to accumulate (overthinking and dwelling on negativity, in particular), so anything to help counteract this is much-needed.

Not only my mind, but my body can physically feel quite drained and not-up-to-much after days like this; I am usually quite tense through the week so my muscles pay the price when I relax. Magnesium-rich bath salts like these work wonders in soothing tired muscles and have really reviving properties. They also smell seriously good. 


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The-Art-Of-Bathing-Aesthetical- Blog-0
The-Art-Of-Bathing-Aesthetical- Blog-0

Bathe by candlelight
Candlelight at bedtime isn't just about setting the ambience. Being in a dark room actually stimulates melatonin in your body, which is the hormone that makes you sleepy. If you've got bright lights blaring into your face, you're not gonna get that sleepy feeling as easy (and I need all the help I can get when it comes to sleeping). Blue light's mostly to blame, so if you're really trying to relax and initiate sleepiness in your body then avoiding bright lights before bed is key. Not only is bathing in candlelight going to smell amazing, it's also getting your body ready to wind down, and obviously, Byredo and Diptyque are my candles of choice. 


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Take time for your skin
The steam from a hot bath is the ultimate scenario to open your pores, let your skin breathe and work deep into your skin; a perfect opportunity to do a deep cleanse, mask or treatment, whatever your skin is asking for. I've been using this clarifying mask, with it's enzymatic peel effect (so I wouldn't use it more than once a week) that claims to control the skin during breakouts and appearance of blemishes, but not drying out the skin in turn. Yes, you'll look like an alien whilst it's on (it's bright green - hey, it's got a fun factor), so keeping it to bathroom-only is not a bad idea. If you're looking to brighten up your skin tone, this brightening mask (again, smells like a dream) and gently exfoliates using fruit enzymes and contains lactic acid to promote an improved tone and texture. 


If you're going full-week prep and can muster the effort to self-groom all over, this body oil acts as both a body cleanser and a shave-oil to prevent any irritation and leave your skin silky smooth. A lot more glamorous than shaving foams, I can really tell the difference in my skin after I've used it. I've also used the post-shave gel before and couldn't recommend it more. Given it's actually been hot in the UK this summer (well, intermittently), I've been wearing SPF on my body as well as just my face. The new Institut Esthederm micellar after-sun shower gel works wonders in removing all traces of SPF, and pretty much anything else your skin has come into contact with through the day. It smells luxurious, smells light and also prolongs your tan (anything that helps me do this is gold dust). 


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The-Art-Of-Bathing-Aesthetical- Blog-0

Nourish your hair
Rather than hopping (literally) in and out of the shower when I'm busy, baths are when I tend to leave my conditioner on for 5+ minutes to soak into my hair and pray that it's doing some good. My hair has been coloured within an inch of it's life over the last ten years, and the texture has become noticeably more rough as a result, so finding conditioners that help out is a godsend. This shampoo and conditioner duo do just that, being formulated especially for coloured hair and have a light, citrus scent. My hair oil go-to is this one, and I haven't looked back since I first tried it. It literally transforms my hair and if I don't use it, boy do I notice (cue frizz and unruly waves in the non-beachy sense).


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The-Art-Of-Bathing-Aesthetical- Blog-0
The-Art-Of-Bathing-Aesthetical- Blog-0

Reading material
Books have definitely come back in vogue in the past year (and the kindle has simultaneously diminished in popularity, thank goodness), I think with all the technology we're fixated on, a non-digital object is somewhat of a breath of fresh air. Seriously, I can go an entire day being glued to one screen or another, and by 8pm wonder why I've got a headache; it is just the norm now. This week, I've finished The Power by Naomi Alderman (review to come), and it's a seriously gripping, dystopian piece of escapism that I couldn't recommend more. Think a subverted The Handmaid's Tale gone sci-fi. I'm also very guilty of spending the big bucks on chunky magazines each month, only to flick through them a few times and forget they exist. This month, I've made an effort to read them cover-to-cover and a bath is the idyllic place to do so. 

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