I was going to get this post out during the weekend – ooh, a nice Friday night pamper alone with just your bath, beauty products and Twitter for company, what could be better, right?
And then I thought about it and was like, you know when you really need a good pamper the most? After a really shitty Monday. After one of those days that seems like it’ll *probably* never end – the type when it just literally rains on you anytime you leave the house or the office. The type of day when your card gets declined, when you end up having to eat a Pot Noodle at your desk – bought with the sticky hair-attached change that was rolling about at the bottom of your bag.
The type of day when you come on your period early and FFS you’re wearing good pants and wasn’t expecting any of this, the type of day where you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and wonder why you look at least two dress sizes bigger than you thought you did. The sort of day where you *might* cry on the way home and put your sunglasses on before strangers notice, even though it’s dark.
So this post? This post is for THAT day.
Save it. Remember it.
You will feel like a human again by the end of this little dream list, promise.
1. Dressing gown
And here’s the scary part… you need to move on from Primark. Now, let’s be honest here, their dressing gowns don’t make you feel like you’re a princess rolling about in a hotel room, do they? DO THEY?
I treated Chris and I to gold monogrammed white fluffy robes for Valentine’s Day this year. Yup, I know I’m a bit of a massive loser. Don’t care. Those cost £50 for the set and I’ve never looked back. Nothing says relax and treat yo self like a good dressing gown, just saying.
I like to listen to an album that can both make me cry a little bit – because you’re totally allowed a little weep (or full on hysterical I CAN’T BREATHE PROPERLY cry) during pamper evening, it’s all about ridding yourself of all the negativity – in your skin, hair and ahem, soul. That same album also has to have songs that make me feel like I could be Beyonce. Songs that make me feel empowered and motivated and full of excitiement and passion for life. So erm yeah this is where I hit up Beyonce or Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift.
Light them all and don’t give a flip about how much money any of them cost you and whether you’re wasting them. This is important. Oh so important.
4. Peppermint tea
This works well for me because I bloody love the stuff. The first mug of it I ever made was back in 2012 and I thought it tasted like water backwashed with chewing gum – I was only drinking it because I had a party to go to and was wearing my nan’s bright red pencil skirt from back in the day and didn’t want to have any sort of bulbous bloat on show.
Anyway, it’s megz good for you and so refreshing. Or y’know, there’s always green tea, or detox tea, or tea tea. Or hot chocolate with half a can of whipped cream on.
5. Micellar water
Similarly to taking off your bra at the end of the day (if you’re still wearing yours GET IT THE FLIP OFF NOW), taking off make-up just makes your heart feel happier. I tend to start with removing all of mine with micellar water and cotton wool, or with Superdrug’s micellar water wipes – although tbh, these are a little bit dry and harsh on removing mascara.
In my ideal world I’d defs go for a bath over a shower for pamper night, every single damn time. We have no working bath taps at the moment which makes me want to pull ALL the temper tantrums, but yeah, you choose your fave. Bring the music, bring the candles, bring the tea and dim the lights a bit. OH HELLO, SWEET, SWEET HEAVEN.
I think the humble exfoliation glove is megz underestimated. It stops you peeling, stops those weird little spots forming on the back or your arms, and boosts circulation which means HEY THERE FIRMER LOOKING SKIN. I always amp up my body exfoliation in the summer because it helps sustain a healthy tan. I adore a good hearty body salt scrub to go with it, but most of the time I just use Original Sources’ watermelon shower gel. I bulk buy it when it’s on offer because it honestly smells so damn dreamy. Like a Jolly Rancher, and I’m OK with making myself smell like a Jolly Rancher tbh.
I don’t have a favourite shampoo – I’ll be honest here, I’ve never noticed all that much difference in them. Poor beauty blogging form from me.
But with conditioner I have two current love affairs and get this – I use them on different parts of my hair. Mental.
When I visited Andrew Jose’s Charlotte Street salon last year, I was alerted to the fact I have a dry, flaky scalp. It’s apparently different to dandruff – who knew, eh? I blame it on excessive hair brushing, and mega fine hair which means my scalp is easily effected by sunburn. Bless. I now use Salon Science Hydrasorb Intensive Masque on my scalp/roots (it totally doesn’t leave it greasy or matted or rank or anything) and then a proper, standard conditioner on the rest of my hair.
I’m obsessed with Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor conditioner because yeah, it makes my hair feel healthy and soft, but it smells absolutely phenomenal. It smells like all hair should. It’s everything.
Whilst my conditioner and hair treatments are doing their thang, I like to get down to shaving places. Nothing makes you feel fresher than a good shave, right? It’s a weird thing to recommend, but I’m obsessed with Bic Soleil disposable razors at the moment. They’re megz cheap and yet seem to last forever. I got used to them and then tried some other brands and was insanely disappointed in comparrison. So erm yeah, just a heads up if you’re also the sort to use blunt blades for weeks because who ever remembers to buy new razors?
10. Hair oil
Admittedly, I rarely blow dry or straighten or curl my hair anymore – it’s just so much happier amd healthier because of it, and it’s grown much longer. So yeah, if you CAN get away with it, it’s definitely worth it. My hair used to be rank and really thin (now it’s just fine, but there’s apparently quite a lot of it, or so hairdressers tell me…).
The one thing I do do is use hair oil. Just a few pumps worth through the ends of my hair once it’s been towel dried. Or sometimes even when it’s dry. It just takes out any frizz and makes it extra shiny and like Jessica Alba’s. So there’s that.
I give my face a proper clean once I’m out of the shower/bath and all swaddled up in my dressing gown. According to the beauty whizzes, shower water’s too hot and bath water, well, too dirty. So I’ve been trying to be good.
The I remove everythang with a flannel or face cloth and warm/hot water – you know that temperature of the hand towels you get at Indian restaurants? Yeah, that.
I’d say I use a flannel twice before sticking it straight in the wash basket – or once if I’ve got anything rank like spot juice on it. Being honest and that.
This is the fun, juicy (ha) part. My fave part. I’m getting much better at not squeezing my spots unless they’re literally curdling on my face. but if they have an obvious white head then here’s where I tend to take my warm, clean flannel and just apply a little pressure around the puppy.
Flannels are good at general exfoliation, so they take a lot of remenants of small spots and skin debris (I’m laughing at skin debris – err what?) with them.
I find the warmth of them means you need to apply minimal pressure before it pops, which means minimal scarring, which is always a treat.
13. Clay mask
I mean OK, let’s be honest here, clay masks aren’t *quite* as fun as peel-off masks, but turns out, they’re waaaaay better for you. I remember when I was younger and had birthday sleepovers and the highlight would literally be choosing which flavour face mask to have – we’d pick up about 8 different 99p ones from Superdrug. So damn dreamy. Worn whilst making prank calls, obvs.
Anyway, Una Brennan’s Anti-Blemish Clay Mask is one of the high street’s best clay masks – or so Twitter tells me. I’ve only used it a couple of times but love it already, it’s not too heavy, but made my skin feel tight and fresh and clean. I’m hoping it’ll sort out my period spots too, that’d be a nice little treat for me.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not into using a whole tonnes of skincare products aside from cleanser and moisturiser and my prescribed spot meds (and the occasional clay masks because masks make you feel like you’re doing something seriously game-changing to your skin) – and so here’s where I skip straight to my moisturiser.
I’ve been using Dermatique for a while and it’s been great at tackling the dry patches I was developing (combination skin is such a dreamboat, ain’t it?), but I’ve just moved onto something else – and I’m pretty bladdy excited about it.
Boots recently launched their first No7 product line aimed at younger skin – their Early Defence collection. As I’m writing this I have two layers of their night cream on my face and OH CRIKEY, it’s never felt this soft and happy before. I’ve also got the eye cream, but let’s be honest here – I remember to use this like once a month.
You can never go wrong with No7 creams can you?
15. Netflix & nails
The pair go hand in hand right?
I don’t remember life before Bourjois’s nail remover pot. It’s everything. It’s so easy. And contains oil which just makes my cuticles stop doing that flakey, painful thing they insist on doing. All. The. Time.
I’m basically alternating Essie’s Mint Candy Apple at the moment with other pastel shades. It’s just such a great classic shade and it looks MEGA with a tan.
I’m using the Seche Vite top coat because it makes my nails look like I have gel on and also dries within seconds. But here’s the catch, and it’s a mega catch, I was recently alerted to the fact it DOES contain a chemical known to cause birth defects if used by a pregnant woman, which sounds alarming. But then, I read this and well, I’m kind of OK with using it (it’s used in a lot of salons in the UK), but maybe I won’t if and when I’m pregnant. Make sense?
16. Body moisturise
I tend to leave moisturing my body for a few hours. Why? Because I get the most aggressive shaving rash on my legs if I try and moisturise straight after shaving – which is a nice and helpful response from my body when I’m *clearly* just trying to help it.
I use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and have done for about a decade. I remember trotting off to Superdrug to buy a new bottle and a new Dream Matte Mousse foundation when my ex boyfriend broke up with me when I was like 17 and I felt so sassy and cool and empowerered and like a new woman. It also smells like a pudding and is megz good for stretch marks and scars and ALSO I keep it in the fridge when I go on holiday and use it as after sun. So. Damn. Good.
17. Pillow spray
I’ve mentioned my love for The Body Shop’s pillow spray before. Sure, if you’ve got time (and any energy left – unlikely) change your bed sheets and live life smelling your cocoa butter arms and dreamy hair, but if you don’t then go to absolute town with this dreamboat of a spray.
And then prepare to have the best night’s sleep of your life. It’s a weird thing to spend money on, but it makes me really excited every time I remember I own it just before bed.
18. Hand cream
(And spot cream if you’re me). E45 have a dreamy super-nourishing (relatively) new variation of their standard day cream which is especially created to apply before bed as it’s a big heavier and a bit more hydrating (and if you use it during the day you’ll only drop your phone and then omfgoiuryuthrjgka is it smashed?
Put your phone to charge. Away from your face. Don’t let it distract you. Don’t let the sweet, sweet Instagram uploads from Kim Kardashian keep you awake long into the night. Don’t let measly Twitter favourites keep you alert when you should be zzzzzz.
Keep your phone away from you, be strong, be as strong and have as much willpower as you do on January 2nd and have an early night.
It’s fun, and means you won’t end up tripping over your own feet on the way into Starbucks in the morning, which is always a nice treat.
SO YEAH, DO ALL OF THE ABOVE. When I get a few items into the list I stop feeling like crap, I stop feeling weepy, and I start to feel good about myself again. Oh, and my skin and body *probably* looks a bit better for it.
And the other best bit? I can still feel all the products making me all hydrated and sparkly when I wake up and it sets me up for a MAMMOTH day. So yeah, what’s better than feeling like you can conquer the world? Pretty much nothin’. Nope. Aside from that feeling when you wake up and remember it’s your birthday, that feeling’s *marginally* better.