GEMs of Beauty: To The Bath!
On a very hot summer’s day, many years ago, when I was staying with a friend near Covent Garden in London, I went out for a run along the Thames. Few other runners were out and people looked at me like I was nuts. Afterwards, I walked through the deserted streets of the City (the local equivalent of Wall Street) to cool down when I suddenly saw a sign that read “To the Bath.” Curious, I followed the signs through narrow, twisting streets until I came to it—a carefully excavated, enormous Roman bath tub that was still fully intact, lit behind a protective glass case. Only in London, I thought to myself as I gazed at it, dripping with sweat and wondering who had once luxuriated in that marble. I kept thinking about it once I got back to my friend’s flat and took a bath of my own. I wish I’d had all of these new products for that soak, but luckily you can try them now, and dream of a Roman bath of your own:
LAFCO MOISTURE RICH SOAP
As you might now by now, I am a big fan of soap. Not cheap soap, but real, triple-milled soap made with aromatic, moisturizing oils like almond and coconut. They’re especially great for anyone with sensitive skin, and although they might seem pricey at first, they literally last for years, and make your bathroom smell divine each time you lather up. These soaps from Lafco smell so good I stash them in my underwear drawer to perfume what’s inside—they have many different scents, although I am partial to the Peach & Marigold or the Violet & Amber Wood. The companion candles are equally divine.
Buy it for $12 at lafco.com
UMBERTO DRY CLEAN DRY SHAMPOO
For those days when you just do not have the time to jump in the shower or to even dream about luxuriating in a bath, fear not. Your nerves might be frazzled but your hair will look incredible with this dry shampoo from Umberto. Just spray, fluff with your fingers, and shake out the excess. Bye-bye oil, hello volume.
Buy it for $9.99 at Target.com
FIZZ & BUBBLE LAVENDER FIELDS
BUBBLE BATH CUPCAKE
Kids balking at bathtime? They won’t once they see these adorable fizzies from Fizz & Bubble in lots of different scents. Their packaging is a hoot, but these little bath bombs are seriously hydrating too, with a mix of 8 different oils. You can also get a Bubble Bath Milkshake or one enormous Large Bath Fizzy for even more fun. Simply remove the “frosting” and rub it between your hands under running water; it will dissolve into bubbles. Then dunk in the “cake” and watch it fizz.
Buy it for $10 at www.fizzandbubble.com
SOAP & GLORY CLEAN ON ME
CREAMY MOISTURE SHOWER GEL
The Pun of the Month award goes to this UK brand for their hilarious name of this shower gel, and their retro packaging is pretty swell, too. But what counts is inside the bottle—a lovely pink hydrating gel that has a clean, fresh, vanilla scent and leaves your skin silky smooth.
Buy it for $10 at ulta.com
ERNO LASZLO HYDROGEL MASKS
I’ve already written about some of my favorite sheet masks in earlier columns, and these new versions from Erno Laszlo are just as effective, especially as they’re made in two separate pieces so they’re easier to apply. Try either Soothe & Calm, Firm & Lift, or Exfoliate & Detox for 15-20 minutes, once or twice per week. Your face will look radiant and refreshed.
Buy it for $60 for a pack of four at ernolaszlo.com
INDIE LEE BATH SOAKS AND NUTRIENT OILS
A long hot soak in the tub is relaxing and restoring, but it can actually leave your skin dry and flaky if you don’t slather yourself with a moisturizing cream or oil afterward. Which is why I love these multi-tasking oils in either Jasmine Ylang Ylang or Grapefruit Citrus by Indie Lee. Loaded with antioxidants, they smell heavenly and work instantly. Pour a small amount in the bath water, or put a few drops in your hands, rub your palms together to warm, and massage on damp skin afterward. Any excess can be put on your hair for extra shine.
By it for $40 at indielee.com
TOCCA CAPELLI PROFUMATI
Remember that shampoo called Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific? I was never a fan, but you have to admit it was genius marketing. Even better, though, is Tocca’s new Capelli Profumati—5 deliciously scented fragrances specially designed for use on your hair. It’s not a good idea to use regular perfume as the alcohol will dry your hair to a frizz, but Tocca’s lightweight mist contains moisturizing oils instead. Subtle yet sexy.
Buy it for $36 at anthropologie.com
Remember—it’s long past time for us busy moms everywhere to take some of the joy of the time we spent bathing our kids when they were little and sharing it with ourselves. Make your bathroom a haven from the world, even if you prefer showers to tubs. Use a scented candle. Get the room steamy, which is great for your lungs and your pores. Use fluffy, absorbent towels. And never, ever attack your face with a scrub meant for your body!