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How to Have the Perfect Bath

The best way to show yourself love is to take time out of your day and do something that is wholly and completely for you.

A bath certainly counts! It feels divine as it relaxes the muscles and helps you unwind. It’s also a wonderful chance to pamper yourself with skin treatments, bath salts, and scented oils. 

We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to take a luxurious bath like no other. We’ll help you set up a relaxing bath routine, with tips on how to run the perfect bath temperature and advice as to what kind of accessories you’ll need to have a great time. 

Even if you don’t have a bath, give this a read, ‘cause we cap things off with some relaxing shower tips. Dive in! 

Set the scene

Ambiance is everything, darling. Turn your bathroom into an environment where you can unwind. Instead of harsh electric light, opt for some scented candles, and queue up the dreamiest playlist. Any music or soundscape that helps you relax will do; you can try tree.fm’s forest soundscapes, some guided meditation, or even a spa playlist on Spotify.

Perfect the temperature

Woman dipping her foot into a bath

The question of how to run the perfect bath temperature is a tough one. On the one hand, you want the water to stay hot for as long as possible, but on the other hand, you still want it to be pleasant right from the start. 

Filling up the bathtub can take a while, so turn on the tap early. Twist the tap to a position where it’s just a little hotter than you would normally shower or bathe in, but not cranked all the way up. 

There is some debate as to what the ideal bath temperature is, but most of us don’t keep thermometers on hand to check the precise temperature, anyway. You’ll know you’ve landed on the correct temperature when you can dip your foot in the water and leave it in for 5 seconds without any issues. 

Waterproof your entertainment

A book or a TV-show can be pleasant bathtub companions, but bringing paper or tech devices into the water with you requires some planning. You can choose a cheap paperback, so it won’t be a great loss if it falls in, or simply waterproof your devices. 

For the best luxury bubble baths, consider buying a waterproof case or even a waterproof device. 

Consider a beverage 

Relaxed girl sitting in bath with cup of herbal tea

The next little treat for your relaxing bath routine is a beverage. Wine is the classic choice for a luxury bath, but don’t feel constrained. Tea, hot chocolate, and even juice are equally suitable companions. 

If you do opt for an alcoholic beverage, make sure to also have some water on hand. It’s easy to get dehydrated or overheated in the bath, and alcohol will compound that, so staying hydrated is essential. 

Start with a pre-bath rinse

Before getting into the bath, rinse yourself off, especially if you’ve had a long and grueling day. If you have both a shower and a bath, you can do this while the bath is filling up! Otherwise, you can do this before starting to fill up the tub. Keep the water lukewarm, and soap yourself up quicklythere’s no need to go overboard. 

A bath pillow is essential 

Unfortunately, even the most luxurious bathtubs are designed out of rock-hard porcelain, so resting your head on the lip of the tub isn’t the most comfortable. You can fold-up a small towel to cushion your head as you lie back, but if you really want to take your bathing experience to the next level, purchase a dedicated waterproof bath pillow. 

Consider your bath additivesBlue & Pink bath bomb

There are a few lovely options for additives that you can add to your bathtub. Luxury bubble baths can be a lot of fun, but the detergent-laden blends aren’t great for the skin, so here’s what we recommend. 

  • Natural bath bombs are amazing because they fizz, sparkle, and smell gorgeous. It’s even better if you learn how to make your own!
  • Epsom salts can be a simple, affordable addition that’ll help your muscles unwind
  • To nourish your skin, pour in some bath oil or even just a spoonful of coconut oil. Just remember that oil will make the bathtub a little slippery when it’s time to get out. 
  • Finally, a few drops of your favorite essential oil will turn the entire bath into an excellent aromatherapy experience. Be sure to always be mindful of what oils you allow to come in contact with your skin and always test on a small area of your body before putting anything in the tub. 

Enjoy a skin treatment 

How can you take a luxurious bath without adding in some face treatments? We don’t think it’s possible. Steamy bath time is ideal for face treatments! You’ll have time to lie back while the added steam helps nourishing ingredients penetrate into the skin. Try a purifying clay mask, apply a Korean sheet mask, or go with your favorite facial skincare treatment!

Guarantee a cozy finish 

Eventually, even if you’ve run the perfect bath temperature or put on your favorite soundtrack, you’ll still need to get out of the bathtub. Don’t let the luxurious experience end in disappointment with a scratchy, threadbare towel. Instead, prepare your fluffiest towel or bathrobe well in advance, so you can feel pampered right up until the end. 

What if you don’t have a bathtub?

Woman washing hair showering in bathroom at home

Unfortunately, not every home is fitted with a bathtub, especially if you live in a big city apartment. We’ve gathered some tips so you can have a relaxing shower, instead. 

  • While it might be hard to enjoy candles through the shower curtain, you can still dim the lights for a calming environment. 
  • Waterproof Bluetooth speakers will allow you to enjoy some music despite the noise of the showerhead. 
  • It’s harder to relax when you’re standing upright, so consider placing a plastic stool in your shower, so you can sit back under the warm spray. 
  • While bath oils or salts won’t work in the shower, you can pamper your skin with an exfoliating salt and oil scrub. 
  • Placing a bath bomb by the shower drain will create just as dramatic an aromatherapy experience as it does in the bath. As the warm water melts it away, it will release the fragrance, enveloping you in relaxation. 

And off to bed 

After a relaxing shower or a luxury bubble bath, you’ll be ready for bed! The bath routine is designed to promote calmness and relaxation. It’s ideal to save the pampering for the end of the day when you need to unwind. By the time your bath is over, you’ll want nothing more than to sleep deeply and soundly. Bonne nuit!  

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My Nighttime Routine - Maya Adivi
May 10, 2021
My Nighttime Routine - Maya Adivi

My brain is my greatest enemy, at least when it comes to falling asleep. I used to lay in bed rehashing past events. Those nighttime thoughts weren’t helpful or revelatory—they just made falling asleep much harder.   Over the years, I’ve cultivated a series of bedtime rituals that help me turn off the brain noise. My nighttime skincare routine plays a key role, but so do the little wellness habits that help me unwind and improve my sleep quality. I’ll share all of my nighttime steps with you in this article, along with an evening routine checklist in case you want to give my habits a try.  For me, this is the best way to end the day, so maybe you’ll find some ideas here that’ll work for you, as well!   Prepare for tomorrow  Before I can truly start unwinding, I make sure to do any important prep for the next day. I go over tomorrow’s schedule and to-do list, set my alarm if I have to be up at a specific time, and if I’m feeling ambitious, I lay out my outfit for the morning.   Put the phone away After I check my email and social media one last time, I set my phone to silent and close all of the tempting apps. From this point until I slide into bed, I try to look at my devices as little as possible. I know that once I start scrolling or replying, I’ll lose an hour or two to my phone and end up falling asleep much later than intended.  Water and bedside essentials The next thing I do is check that I have everything I’ll need in the middle of the night. Usually, that just means filling up my reusable water bottle and checking that I have a stick of lip balm by the bedside (my lips get so dry at night!).  You might have your own bedside accessories to check on, like an essential oil diffuser that needs filling or maybe a pen and notebook to jot down your dreams in the morning.  A relaxing soundtrack Before I start my other bedtime rituals, I choose a podcast to play in the background. This helps me unwind and takes my mind off the day I’ve had. It might seem like a small thing, but doing this has vastly improved my sleep quality.  History and mythology shows like Tides of History and The Hidden Djinn are my favorites because they strike the perfect balance between calming and interesting. My little trick is to play them at a slower speed, which amps up the soothing factor.  If you’re not one for podcasts, you can try playing a nature soundscape, classical music, or have a comforting TV show on in the background.   Gentle makeup removal Now I can start my nighttime skincare routine in earnest. Removing makeup and sunscreen is the first order of business, since sleeping with makeup on can irritate the eyes and clog pores.  I love the minimalism of French beauty, so I opt for just one cleansing step with a creamy facial cleanser that doesn’t irritate or dry out my skin. I massage the cleanser into my skin when it’s dry, which allows it to break down all of my makeup thoroughly. Next, I hop into the shower to rinse it all off!   An evening shower  I always feel a little grimy at the end of a long day, which is why I prefer to shower in the evening. I also find that rinsing off makeup and cleanser residue is much more comfortable in the shower than hovering over the sink. I set the water to a lukewarm temperature at first so I don’t damage my face or hair with hot water.  Despite what dermatologists say, I can’t resist a bit of steam, so once it’s time to wash my body, I do turn up the heat. I always opt for a sulfate-free body wash, to mitigate some of the damage, and I don’t overuse the soap, since I know a little goes a long way.  Head-to-toe skincare When I’m out of the shower, I gently towel dry just to soak up the excess water, although I leave my skin a little damp. Then, to make up for the onslaught of the hot shower, I moisturize my skin thoroughly.  I start with my face and neck, massaging in my serums and lotions in circular, upward motions that help stimulate the muscles. Occasionally, I even treat myself to a massage with a jade roller, especially if my skin feels a little puffy!  With that done, I apply a protective lip balm to my lips and use a heavier body cream to nourish my body, hands, and feet, which also deserve some attention.  Brush and floss, of course! This probably needs no saying, but flossing and brushing are important nightly (and daily) habits. I prefer to use a sulfate-free toothpaste, to avoid drying out my lips. For floss, I stay away from floss picks because I think they’re worse for the environment.   Dedicated sleepwear Going to bed wearing something that’s special for bedtime puts me in the right mindset for sleep, and helps to separate nighttime from the day. I’m not really a pajama wearer, but I do have a few T-shirts and ultra-soft lounge pants that have become my dedicated sleepwear.  Pre-sleep meditation   On nights when I really struggle to let go of the previous day, meditation helps a lot. There are all kinds of fantastic guided meditation apps, but I like to do it by myself. I lie back with my eyes closed and focus on my breathing.  I inhale to a count of four, exhale to a count of eight, and then sit in the emptiness for a few seconds before starting again. This kind of breathing is based on Bahya breathing from yoga, and it’s believed to help with tranquility. I certainly find that it works!  Dors bien! Good sleep is incredibly important to our overall beauty, health, and wellbeing. Maybe some of my habits can also help you improve your sleep quality, but what really matters is creating a consistent ritual that tells your mind and body, “the day is over, you can rest now.” 

11 Steps to the Perfect At-Home French Manicure
May 03, 2021
11 Steps to the Perfect At-Home French Manicure

One of the most important parts of French beauty is looking well put-together. On the one hand, you want to look effortless, but on the other hand, you also want to look intentional. Groomed nails are essential for striking this balance, especially if you opt for a natural-looking French manicure.  We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to achieving perfect nails at home, so you can skip the nail salon. You can also adapt these tips to give yourself a relaxing pedicure! First, we’ll cover all the tools you need to have on-hand, and then dive straight into the how-to.    At-home manicure tools You don’t need fancy tools to create a DIY French manicure at home, but you do need some basic nail grooming essentials. Here’s our comprehensive list of all the things you’ll need!   Nail polish remover Emery or crystal nail file Cotton pads and cotton swabs  Cuticle pusher (optional)  Warm water and soap  Hand cream or cuticle oil Hand scrub (optional)  Clear base coat Clear topcoat Nude, pink, or colorful nail polish White nail polish  Thin synthetic brush (optional)  1. Remove old polish First, if you still have some remnants of old nail polish on your nails, make sure to scrub it away thoroughly with cotton pads and nail polish remover. Some colors tend to really get lodged along the edges of the nail, in which case, use a cotton swab dipped in remover to really get in there and clean things up.  2. Shape your nails    Next, file the tips of your nails to an even shape. There are all kinds of nail shapes you can choose from, but we prefer keeping it natural with an almond, oval, or rounded nail shape. When you file your nails, only go in one direction at a time, rather than filing back and forth. Go slowly, so you can control the shape you create and don’t accidentally over-do it.  3. At-home manicure soak If you plan to trim or push back your cuticles, it’s crucial that you soften them first with an at-home manicure soak. Fill up a shallow bowl of warm soapy water, and then dip your finger in, just up to the cuticle. Leave your fingers in the water for just 2-3 minutes, and take the moment to relax.  This will be long enough to soften the cuticles but not so long that it’ll saturate your nails with water, which can compromise the integrity of your nail polish later on. If you’re happy with the condition of your cuticles, you can skip this step altogether!  4. Push back the cuticles (gently!) Pull your nails out of the water, and dry them with a soft towel. Then, use the cuticle pusher tool to gently press against your cuticles and push them back a little. If pushing on your cuticles is painful at all, it’s a sign you’re overdoing it, so make sure to ease up on the pressure.  In general, we don’t recommend trimming the cuticles at home unless you already have a bit of professional experience. It’s easy to damage cuticles when trimming them, which may lead to infections or cause the skin to grow back thicker.  5. Exfoliate and moisturize  Next, it’s time to give your hands and cuticles a nice treatment! For maximum pampering, exfoliate your hands by rubbing them with a scrub. You can even make your own! If your scrub is moisturizing enough, you can then just rinse your hands and move on to the next step. If you skipped scrubbing, then take a moment to rub your hands and nails with hand cream, or apply a designated cuticle oil to the nails. Wait a few minutes to allow your nails to absorb as much of the oil as possible.  For simple groomed nails, you can stop here! Moisturized, well-shaped nails are already enough for simple French beauty. However, to take your nails to the next level, you’ll want to add some polish.  6. Remove excess moisture Next, dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover, and carefully wipe it only over your nail, being careful to avoid the cuticles. This will remove any excess moisture or oil from the nails to guarantee that the polish adheres well. Let the remover evaporate entirely before moving to the next step.  7. Lay down your base coat A base coat of polish is essential for protecting your nails from yellowing and creating an even base for the polish. Apply the base coat carefully to each nail, making sure to only use a minimal amount so that it dries quickly.  8. Apply your color  Once your base coat has thoroughly dried, you can apply your colorful nail polish! Pink, peach, and nude are the classic choices for a French manicure, but other colors are perfectly acceptable as well.  Apply the polish in thin layers, starting about a millimeter away from the cuticle, and painting it on in strips. Once your first coat fully dries, apply the second coat, and wait for it to dry, as well.   9. DIY nail tips  Turn your classic mani into an ultra-chic French manicure. Dip an old eyeliner brush or a dedicated nail brush into some white nail polish. Then, carefully paint the tips (i.e., top 2-3 millimeters) of your nails. If your hand is a little shaky, you can lay down some sticky tape over the bottom of the nail first to guarantee a clean line.  10. Finish with a top-coat Once your polish is totally dry, finish things off with an ultra-thin layer of topcoat. This will help seal in all of your hard work, add some sheen, and prevent your nail polish from chipping. 11. Clean up the edges  Once your topcoat is fully dry, it’s time to fix mistakes! Even the pros sometimes smudge a bit of polish over the cuticle, but thankfully, it’s easy to clean up. Just soak a cotton swab in some nail polish remover and use it to erase any smudges.  Nailed it! It takes a bit of time and maybe even practice, but achieving the perfect manicure at home is totally doable. Don’t be afraid to skip the nail salon next time you want to treat yourself to a French manicure! 

10 French Outfits That We Love
April 23, 2021
10 French Outfits That We Love

Ever wondered how to dress like a French woman?  There’s something about Parisian style that’s just so captivating. The barely-there makeup, the sophisticated yet comfy clothing, and the carefree attitude to boot.  How do they do it? Since the days of Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, French-style clothing has been firmly on the fashion map. It’s classic at its core, mixed with an element of surprise and freshness. Every outfit appears timeless, yet totally on-trend, which means they never go out of style. French women are known for placing quality over quantity. Less is definitely more. They choose clothing that feels comfortable and will last them years over trendy pieces that come and go.  If you’re looking for some inspiration when it comes to French outfits, you’re in the right place. Here are our favorite traditional French outfits that any woman can try.    Are you ready to master French-girl fashion? Glastonbury chic (day dress & blazer) Every French woman has at least one trusty blazer in her wardrobe. Not sure which one to go for? A classic herringbone will give you a vintage feel, while a block color black or navy will look more formal.  Pro-tip: If you want to save yourself some cash, raid your partner’s or friend's wardrobe instead! An oversized masculine blazer will channel Isabel Marant’s infamous catwalk style. This is a must-have piece in every cool French girl’s closet.  Pair your blazer with your favorite day dress for an eclectic, playful outfit. Finish with tousled hair and some sunglasses, and you’re Paris ready.  Date night (straight-leg cropped jeans & a satin cami) Classic French style is all about surprising people, and blurring the lines between casual and formal wear.  If you’re looking for a casual going-out look, the French-girl go-to is a pair of straight-leg cropped jeans and a glamorous top. Think silky and satin fabrics, lace, and sexy spaghetti straps. If there’s one thing French women love it’s opulent fabrics. Silk is always a must-have. It looks beautiful and feels oh-so-soft against your skin.  When it comes to jeans, French ladies aren’t a big fan of skinnies. They favor a looser fit and cut, creating a more relaxed silhouette.  Complete this look with a pair of strappy sandals—perfect!   Sleek soirée (slip skirt & mules) The slip skirt and mules look became popular a few years ago and hasn’t gone away since.  This look is comfortable, practical, and just a little sexy. Not too sexy though—French women are all about leaving plenty to the imagination. When it comes to choosing a slip skirt, let your imagination run wild. Choose any print, color, or fabric you like.  Pair with a comfy pair of mules that will take you from the office to a cocktail party without having to go home and get changed. That means more time having fun! We love this outfit already.     Summer staple (classic printed wrap dress & tan shoes) The wrap dress originated in the US, but has quickly become synonymous with classic French style.  Why do French women love this item of clothing? It’s universally flattering. No matter what shape or size your body is, a wrap dress will hug you in all the right places and accentuate your fabulous feminine curves.  This is a beautiful spring/summer look. Choose a dress in a gorgeous floral print or in a pop of color. Pair with classic espadrille wedges, a woven bag, a dainty piece of jewelry, and a pinch of pink blusher. And voilà! Classic comfort (marinière & ballet flats) When you think of French clothing, you may picture a blue and white striped top.  Is it a cliché? Yes. But do French women love a blue and white striped top? Yes, they do!  In France, it’s known as a marinière top. It originated from Bretagne where they were first popularized by the label Saint James, who took inspiration from local sailors.  There isn’t a more traditional French outfit than this one right here.  You’ll find blue and white striped tops in so many cuts and fabrics everywhere. Take your pick. Pair this top with a classic and comfy pair of ballet flats. You’ll look like a true local in Paris.  The go-to dress (LBD & your favorite handbag) The little black dress is a staple item in every woman’s wardrobe across the world. But French women get the most wear out of their LBDs. How? They wear this versatile dress on a job interview, in the office, on a date, at a cocktail party, and so much more.  It’s their go-to dress whenever they’re unsure about what to wear. The secret all comes down to accessorizing.  For a daytime look, pop a trench coat or cardigan over your LBD and pair it with ballet flats or sandals.  At night, swipe on some voluminous mascara and a bold red lip (we love this one), step into your favorite heels, grab your favorite handbag, and you’re runway ready! Office chic (button up shirt & tailored trousers) No French-girl’s wardrobe would be complete without a classic white or blue Oxford shirt. This is another staple item inspired by menswear (and another great reason to raid your man’s wardrobe!) Pair with jeans for a more casual look, or with a plaid blazer or tailored trousers for an effortless office outfit.  French women love tailored clothing because of the fit. This is how they always look so chic—they invest in clothing that fits them like a glove.  Bond girl off-duty (a black jacket & plain white tee) A plain white t-shirt is mandatory in every person’s wardrobe. Stock up on a few quality ones that will last a long time and go with pretty much everything in your wardrobe. Looking for a glamorous, off-duty look? Pair your classic white tee with a tailored black smoking jacket. The original one was made by Yves Saint Laurent, but there are plenty of affordable versions to suit your budget.  This jacket is likely to last you forever and is definitely worth investing in.  Cute & cozy (the oversized sweater & a mini skirt) The oversized sweater is an item that French women popularized before anyone else.  It gives you a casual, carefree, masculine-vibe look. It’s sexy because you’re not trying to be sexy at all—this is French women in a nutshell. A comfy oversized sweater is perfect to transition from summer to fall. Be sure to choose a color that will work with lots of other items in your wardrobe.  Pair with a cute mini skirt in faux leather or suede. If you prefer a longer length, a pencil or maxi skirt in a floaty fabric will work too.  A French-girl’s best friend (the beige trench coat & a silk scarf) Finally, on our list of French outfits we love, is the trench coat paired with a classic silk scarf.  A beige trench coat is every French-girl’s best friend all year-round—because the weather is so unpredictable! If the Burberry version is out of your budget, look to the high street for something more affordable. What matters is it’s practical, comfortable, and well-made. You want this coat to last you for years. Silk scarves are a popular accessory with French women, elegantly completing any look. This is one item where you are encouraged to go for a bright color or crazy pattern. It’s a little flash of playfulness that will top off any outfit.  And that’s our ten favorite French outfits!