I love the language around bathing. The phrase ‘drawing a bath’ sounds so grandiose and grown-up – all lace gowns and bugle beads. Languishing in one was always a key part of the Saturday-night prep that I’d start hours in advance of going out. And it turns out it might have been very good for my wellbeing, too. According to a recent report in The New Scientist, an afternoon bath twice a week can help to lift mood and is recommended as therapy for mild or moderate depression, while in her book Bathe*, wellness journalist Suzanne Duckett claims it has all sorts of benefits including stimulating the immune system and balancing hormones. I fell out of love with baths for a while; they seemed time consuming and a bit boring. But, since these days I can barely turn around without another brand launching a relaxing range, in the course of trying them out, the practice has swung back into my favour.
For me, it’s generally about unwinding, so a top pick is Voya Lazy Days Seaweed bath (£17, voya.ie). It’s great for moisturising and I have friends with eczema who swear by its treatment benefits. The seaweed can be dried and reused once or twice within a few days but, as it hangs around, your bathroom will smell as though it’s been relocated to the coast – personally, I like that. If you have a garden, it can be used as fertiliser once you’ve finished with it.
For deep relaxation, I swear by Ila bath Salts For Inner Peace (£49, ila-spa.com). They are himalayan bath crystals with sandalwood, jasmine and rose otto – and yes, they’re expensive. But when you really need to let go, they are dissolvable miracles.
For traditional bath-time bubbles I love a spot of bramley bubble bath (£42, bramleyproducts.co.uk) in geranium, lavender and sweet orange. The supersized one-litre bottle looks cool, lasts for ages and creates less waste. The contents are 98 per cent natural.
For pre-bedtime unwinding, try the foaming Sanctuary Spa Drift-Off bath Soak (£12, superdrug.com). Its lavender with jasmine and ylang ylang fragrance offers some plush-feeling soothing.
For star-crossed make-up lovers
I haven’t been so obsessed by a fancy make-up kit in ages. This Rouge Dior Midnight Wish Couture Collection (£138, Debenhams) is beyond gorgeous. Firstly, the case is studded with constellations and, once you’ve taken out the detachable inserts, it makes for a swish clutch.
It contains a particularly bedazzling lipstick case housing the brand’s classic 999 red lippy – which is refillable (really, shouldn’t all lipsticks be refillable these days?). Five other options, from nude to coral to pink, are also included. Seriously special.
Feature by Edwina Ing-Chambers.
*To order a copy for £13.59 until 2 December, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; P&P is free on orders over £15.