It’s not everyday that you learn about beauty through art. But when Aesop suggested a visit to Jackson Pollock’s house in the Hamptons to celebrate the opening of their new East Hampton store, I leapt at the idea. It’s quite a fascinating place, and we had the most exquisite and fun lunch under a tent during which 25 journalists moved all the tables and chairs into the beautiful sunshine (liberally applying Aesop Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF 15, (ARV $45).
That summery lunch got me thinking that I never seem to just chill out and relax. I live in New York, I chose to, but listening to the sound of a police car rushing past during a yoga class sometimes makes me want to sob into my downward-dog. And the same comes to trying beauty products. It’s a scrub here, rinsed off quickly, a face mask whilst typing or unloading the dishwasher, and one of my more disastrous experiments: trying to get nail polish to dry whilst ironing (cue: frantic scrubbing of linen skirt with nail varnish remover—it never really recovered).
Thus I resolved to turn my bathroom into a relaxation zone. To prep, I threw my bathrobe and carefully calculated number of four towels into the drying machine for five minutes. I then folded and sealed them in a bin bag, for there is nothing nicer than wrapping your beautiful new body in toasty warm toweling after performing your ablutions.
I then took a shower to get the day off me—using one of my favorite soaps, the Aesop Body Cleansing Slab ($21) that includes bergamot, ylang ylang and Tahitian lime. It’s just gorgeous and I used it to prep my legs for shaving with my Venus Spa Breeze (ARV $9.49 x 2). I washed my hair twice, conditioned with Garnier Fructis Haircare Fortifying Color Shield (ARV $3.79). And then time for a hair mask: Garnier Fructis Haircare Triple Nutrition 3-Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment (ARV $6.59).
Time to get scrubbing. Getting out of the shower into a warm towel, I started to “draw a bath” as they say in Downton, pouring in a couple of lids worth of Life Space NK Muscle Relief Bath Soak (currently reduced from $10 to $2.50 at SpaceNK.com). I cleansed my face over the sink with Noxzema rinsing it off and then added a layer as a mask, a multi-tasking classic (ARV $4.79).
With one warm towel around my head and another around my body (bathrobe comes at the finale) I headed to the kitchen, shutting the bathroom door behind me. Kettle on for some herbal tea and it was time to mix up the scrub. I threw a handful of Malden or Kosher salt in a bowl with some olive oil to bind it together. Then some essential oils, in this case geranium to sooth, and for lifting my mood, enough rose until it smelled good—remember, this is alchemy, not a recipe. Sounds mad but I also like to grind some black pepper in my mix so it’s not too sweet and also because the spicy seed is a muscle soother. Of course, if you find this is a totally bizarre idea (and not just the pepper) try Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Scrub, (ARV $10.95), which is 98% organic and contains sea salt.
Back to the nice steamy bathroom and I put on the cold tap so the bath wasn’t too hot, monitoring the temperature closely. I massaged the scrub all over, and by that I mean really got into the muscles. Scented candle lit, I put my iPhone on loudspeaker with some plipity-plopety spa music, and got in the bath. I tried to relax but the new age-y tones were so annoying that I switched to a guided meditation. Fifteen minutes later, my skin was about to prune, so a much calmer me got out of the bath and into warm towel number three. Then time for moisture—and much of it. On my face, ILA Face Oil for Glowing Radiance (ARV $100), which is divine, and really did make my skin glow—and not just because it is an oil… Everywhere else, Aesop Geranium Leaf Hydrating Body Treatment (ARV $33) to seal in the moisture, and then wrapped up in that still warm—because I had tied up the bag tightly after each towel came out—a clean bathrobe.
The downside? My bathroom now resembled a Jackson Pollock painting but it was well worth it. A cursory clean up and I flopped into bed and let sleep, instead of water, wash over me.