I stupidly tried my first cigarette when I was a tender fourteen years of age. After moving to Austria at 16, I began smoking regularly. I felt it was a romantic, mature gesture and I wanted to achieve that effortlessly chic aura of girls in Godard films. On my 24th birthday it dawned on me that I would soon be a smoker of ten years, which seemed an impossibly long time considering that I couldn’t yet rent a car. When I decided to quit, I was a serious puffer, not a social one. On weekdays, half a pack. On weekends, countless. In the morning with coffee, at hour intervals, I smoked my way coquettishly through balmy nyc evenings, lit up after every meal, between drinks, if I was feeling blue; they punctuated everything. Basically, I had not really known life without cigarettes. Quitting was extremely challenging because I had to learn how to cope with stress in healthier ways. The one ritual I owe my success too, which has become a major part of my daily life since, is the bath.
Bath time is a magical time. It can be simple or luxurious, meditative or sensual. As a human living in 2018, we all need a little self-care and a loving little dip in the tub can go a long way. I wanted to share my super relaxing bath time ritual with you! Here is my recipe for the evening soak that will leave you feeling like a cloud.
Light a candle. I like the EF Mars Candle. The cedarwood melts with vetiver and patchouli and radiates warmth and comfort. Plus, at the end of your candles lifespan (after a million baths) you’ll have a very cool cup to hold your toothbrushes or pencils. :-)
Draw the bath and wait. Some people jump the gun and get in while its running, I like to immerse in its fullness. Before you do whatever you do, dry brush. While dry brushing may seem like just another new-fangled health fad, it has legitimate circulatory benefits and feels so, so good. Use the Palm Body Brush before hopping in to sweep away dead skin cells, stimulate your lymphatic system and make your whole body feel like it’s smiling. If you decide to dry brush post-bath, pump a little Everyday Oil onto the palm brush beforehand, being sure to brush in upward circular strokes.
Slowly sink into the tub. Have your moment to breath and be enveloped. To rinse off the day, use EF Bodega Bay soap, which is as cleansing as it is moisturizing. The eucalyptus and pepper oil will invigorate, while the vitamin E, coconut oil, and raw goats milk from Western North Carolina’s own Skyline Dairy will nourish and soothe your skin. Not using weird chemicals on your body is probably for the best and supporting local farmers is always a good thing.
Grab your favorite gentle face wash, and squirt a pea-sized amount onto the Face Brush, made by Irish Hantverk. This oil-treated oak brush, with horse-hair bristles, is the aesthete-environmentalist’s answer to a Clarisonic. It looks beautiful on your bathroom shelf and dutifully sloughs off dead skin, especially with the help of your steamy bath. It’s gentle, but also provides a deep-pore cleanse and leaves your skin with a baby glow.
Now is my favorite time to read, ponder, stretch my legs, zen-out or even watch a movie (It’s extra, but I sometimes bring my laptop to the party and set it up on a chair for leisurely viewing).
Once I’ve decompressed into as blissful a state as possible and get a little too hot, I know it’s time to leave my temporary little water womb. After toweling off, and a quick spritz of the Noto Basil and Yarrow spray, I like to immediately apply Sparrow for Everyone oil on my face, while its still warm and a little damp for maximum hydration. I then use a tiny bit of Noto Oil on anywhere there is hair, wink wink.
Optional bonus step: if you are like me and are too busy or sometimes don’t care to get manicures, consider clipping your nails with these ultra sleek and practical Japanese nail clippers, which magically catch all the clippings in a tiny compartment. So clean, so zen.
At this point, everything smells heavenly, your mind is a cleaner slate, and if you’ve followed all the steps you probably can’t get much more relaxed. Now go cozy up. Sweet dreams to you stress-less non-smoker!