If there were ever a time when a moment of zen was needed, it’s now.
Picture this: you are trying to work from home, but here comes your dog, begging for a walk (the fifth walk of the day and it’s not even 3 p.m., but you’re at home and he’s taking advantage). Now, in comes your kid saying they don’t want to read and are tired of Animal Crossing, practically begging you to pull a new game out of thin air. No, I’m not looking through your window, this just happens to be a common coronavirus-scenario. And if you aren’t dealing with a pet or a kid, you’re trying to figure out how in the world to spend the next few months because the roommates you previously called best friends have now become your perfect enemies.
If you fall into any of these categories (and if you don’t, please tell me your secrets), we believe that you are entitled to a spa-day. Sure, buy a gift card to your favorite local service for once this all ends, but, in the meantime, we know that you need something to tie you over. So, lock yourself in the bathroom—the kids, pets, and roommates can entertain themselves for a bit—light a candle, and get ready for a moment of relaxation during this time that evokes extreme anxiety.
Here is what you’ll need for your at-home spa day.
Top Picks for You
A Good Candle
Your classic bathroom air-freshener will simply not do—I mean, it will, but if you want this to be a truly relaxing and luxurious experience, accuracy is key. The right candle has the ability to not only set the mood, but to make you forget that this spa day is happening not in a white room with perfect linens, but in your bathroom.
Capri-Blue’s candles and diffusers make any room smell expensive. These are the ones Anthropologie has burning day-in and out, making you wonder, “Is that a candle or just what luxury smells like?” It is a candle, and you can buy it! Another great start for your candle journey is with Madewell, who has an underrated candle section. There is not a bad one, so making a selection off of which holder best fits your space is totally safe.
Light the candle of your choosing five minutes before the “spa-time” so that once you’re ready, the room is full of your favorite smell, relaxing you upon entrance.
An Essential Oil Diffuser
In addition to or in place of the candles, you can always add in an essential oil diffuser. With a diffuser, your options are endless—there’s an entire section dedicated to them at Whole Foods. Pick the scent you find most relaxing (might I recommend lavender or eucalyptus), and add a few drops to the diffuser for a never-overwhelming and always-calming scent. There are a slew of diffusers to choose from, some cheaper than others. You can get a super basic one that serves its purpose or opt for the light wood one that perfectly matches your home’s boho aesthetics.
The Most Luxurious Bath
The candles have been lit and a deep breath has been taken. The next step for this at-home spa day is to run yourself a bath, and we’re pulling out all the stops for it. If you’re not a bath person and find showers more relaxing, that’s totally fine. But as you’re showering, make sure to remind yourself that we’re in no rush—this is more about taking a moment for yourself than it is cleanliness.
Now for our bath fans, it’s time to round up everything you’re going to need. I believe there are two bath-takers: those who prefer a bath bomb and those who prefer bath salts. You either find bath bombs incredibly exciting or incredibly disappointing—and for those that find joy in the fizzing, colorful tubs, Lush is the place to go. While their shops might be closed, the online store is up and running (check out their section on coronavirus to see how they’re ensuring their employees’ safety). They have an incredible assortment of bath bombs–from floral to “black ninja,” there is sure to be at least one that speaks to you. Fill the bath, drop the bomb, and enjoy the sensation of feeling like you’re bathing in a can of warm La Croix (it’s pleasant, I promise).
If bath-bombs are not your style, a classic bath salt will be perfect. You can get a bath salt at just about any store (including grocery), but for something a tier above that, we think this Dead Sea salt from the Honest Company would be great. Feel good about your purchase because, as founder Jessica Alba puts it, “you shouldn’t have to choose between what works and what’s good for you.”
A Wrap for Silky Hair
This is honestly something you could use daily, and something product experts would recommend using each hair-wash, but this at-home spa day is perhaps the excuse you were looking for to buy it. Stop wrapping your hair in the giant cotton towel that’s drying it out and pulling on your scalp, and opt for the far more glamorous and way more effective version. Welcome into your bathroom routine the life-changing hair wrap. You will end this spa day hair silkier than when you started.
The Right Face Mask for Your Skin-Type
Nothing feels quite as treat-yourself as a face mask, but using the wrong one can actually damage to your skin. At spas, steps are taken to ensure that your skin is being pampered so you walk out the door with a glow, and maybe a little boost of confidence. To replicate this at home, a little research should be done to ensure you’re using products that give you the results you want. While these are not the only masks you can use, they’re a good start.
For Normal Skin Looking for a Glow
Cheap: Lush’s Don’t Look at Me Mask ($13.95)
Mid-Range: Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask ($45)
Pricey: La Mer’s Intensive Revitalizing Mask ($175)
For Oily Skin
Cheap: L’Oreal Paris’ Pure Clay Mask ($12.99)
Mid-Range: Aesop’s Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque ($45)
Pricey: Omorovicza Deep Cleaning Mask ($120)
For Dry Skin
Cheap: Lush’s Oatifix ($9.95)
Mid-Range: Kiehl’s Avocado Nourishing Hydrating Mask ($45)
Pricey: Sisley Paris Velvet Sleeping Mask ($140)
Again, these recommendations can work as a good starting point, but if you have specific results in mind or skin irritations, I recommend just a touch more research to make sure this spa day is personalized to your wants and needs!
INSIDER TIPDon’t let a clay mask completely dry—pulling is not a good thing.
A Face Massage
Your facial is simply not complete without a face massage. The skincare line Heyday, which offers facials and specialized treatments in shop, has given us the key to perfecting the at-home facial, and all it takes are two clean hands and one clean face.
We love when something feels good and relaxing, but isn’t it just even better when that thing also has proven results? Well, a facial massage ticks both of those boxes: it’s relaxing while increasing blood flow to the face.
Not only is this part of the spa day de-stressing, it’s also de-puffing.
We are at the final step of our spa day. We’ve cleaned up, revealed a face that’s five years younger, and now it’s time to treat the hands that are spending more time with soap and water than they can handle. The first, and most important step: moisturize! Those babies are cracked, they need some extra love and attention–might I recommend a hand mask?
Now that that’s out of the way, we can get to the manicure part. I would leave the cuticle cleaning to the professionals, so all you’ll need are clippers, a nail file, and your favorite polish (followed by a clear coat).
INSIDER TIPBecause we aren’t pushing the cuticles back, a nail soak is not imperative, but can be included for a little extra me-time. All you’ll need for this is warm water and an oil of your choosing (though jojoba or almond oil would be best).
The Item to Take That Manicure to the Next Level
This is the last thing you’ll need, and though it’s not an essential, it could be good investment. While I welcome any manicure, we can all agree that a standard one doesn’t exactly last long. The moment you do anything—open your car door leaving the salon, crack open a Diet Coke, type on your phone—those nails chip. The next option (the level-up) is a gel manicure. These are more expensive, which is why I’m here to introduce you to the product you NEED (again, let this spa day be the excuse you were looking for to buy it).
The one thing that will really elevate that manicure is your own LED gel nail lamp. You will also have to invest in gel nail polish, but if you’re someone with a go-to color, this is well-worth the investment.
INSIDER TIPThese gadgets can be found all over Amazon, but this cute one from Urban Outfitters has to be our favorite.
You now have everything you need to complete your at-home spa-day. The last thing to do is allocate a time! So set aside a an hour that works for you, queue up SpongeBob for the kids, and get ready for a much-needed moment away from the news where the focus is on nothing but you.