Itâ€™s not everyday that you learn about beauty through art. But when Aesop suggested a visit to Jackson Pollockâ€™s house in the Hamptons to celebrate the opening of their new East Hampton store, I leapt at the idea. Itâ€™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. Itâ€™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 removerâ€”it never really recovered).
Thus I resolved to turn my bathroom into a relaxation zone.Â 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 meâ€”using one of my favorite soaps, the Aesop Body Cleansing Slab ($21) that includes bergamot, ylang ylang and Tahitian lime. Â Itâ€™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 ShieldÂ (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 â€œdraw a bathâ€ 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 goodâ€”remember, this is alchemy, not a recipe. Sounds mad but I also like to grind some black pepper in my mix so itâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 moistureâ€”and much of it.Â On my face, ILA Face Oil for Glowing Radiance (ARV $100), which is divine, and really did make my skin glowâ€”and not just because it is an oilâ€¦ Everywhere else, Aesop Geranium Leaf Hydrating Body Treatment (ARV $33) to seal in the moisture, and then wrapped up in that still warmâ€”because I had tied up the bag tightly after each towel came outâ€”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.