I originally wrote this piece for The Mushpit issue #5.
It was recently re-published online by Flash Trash.
Do you have enough disposable income to justify 24 hours of unadulterated luxury at a day spa? Do you have any disposable income at all? Did you even know disposable income was, you know, a thing?
Just because we’re making and living off of pennies does not mean our desire/need for pampering dies. But hallelujah, since Vogue gave home haircutting their seal of approval earlier this year it seems we’ve all been given the green light to get our DIY beauty on.
So in association with both thriftiness and indulgence we present to you The Mushpit’s how-to guide on turning your humble bathroom into a Wowcher worthy health spa.
Why pay for tranquil ambience when you can manufacture it for yourself on a budget?
Lighting – Buy a bag of tea light candles (conveniently, they tend to be sold in standard bundles of a hundred) line them up along every available surface of your bathroom and light as many as you can without causing a fire hazard. A full on blaze is so not conducive to relaxing environment. Your bathroom should now resemble the ending of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’, but less death-y.
Scent – It’s a well known fact that lavender oil is the official fragrance of serenity. During my finals I added a few drops of said aromatic elixir to a basin full of water day and night when cleansing (hello added antibacterial properties) and not only did I avoid a stress meltdown (which is surprising as not only was my academic integrity on the line but I’m a also a Virgo so am totally more prone to worry than other star signs) and ended up with a first. So the couple of quid you’ll spend on a small vial will be worth it. Trust me. Diffuse at least five drops of oil in both a hot bath and basin and you will literally be inhaling and exhaling calm.
Water – As Derek Zoolander once said, “Moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty.” He was not wrong. Hydration is a crucial component of the spa experience, not just for luxuriating in but also for imbibing. According to Mary Helen Bowers (aka the guru of graceful health and fitness who turned Natalie Portman into the Swan Queen) turns everyday H2O into a desirable beverage by creating “spa water.” Fill a glass jug with water, handfuls of ice and slices of lemon or cucumber. Drink in the beauty.
The epicentre of any at-home spa is obviously the bath. The great thing about a bath is that being in one can transform usually mundane activities into a glamorous scene from your own private movie/music video/perfume advert. Here are a few things to do whilst in the bath that probably wouldn’t go down so well in the hydrotherapy pool at The Sanctuary.
Live Your Regular Life – Make like our all-time bathtub idol, Tony Montana, who knew that the best way to make the most of bath time is to modify your behaviour in no way whatsoever. So what you’re up to your nipples in excessive bubbles? Smoke that cigar, continue to watch TV and carry on exerting power.
Be Cool – There is no logic for wearing sunglasses after dark or when inside, and the same rule applies when donning a pair in the bath. There’s no reason for it, it just feels and looks cool as proven by Natalie Portman (not sure why she keeps coming up in this guide) in the Miss Dior Cherie commercials. So insouciant, so necessary.
Have An Emotional Breakdown – Get the most out of whatever emotional turmoil is bubbling away inside of you by saving it for the bath. Crying when in the bath is the most effective method for wringing out every drop of catharsis possible from each tear you shed. You’re naked, alone and vulnerable all of which heightens the intensity of your weeping. See Britney Spears ‘Everytime’ for inspiration, NOT emulation.
All spas justify their lofty price tags by the plush services they offer. However, our own self-styled, no-appointment-necessary treatment list just oozes luxury.
The All-Over Kate Moss Revitalisation – Who better to take beauty tips from than the sovereign of burning the candle at both ends and still looking good the next day? This treatment is the ideal remedy for the day after a heavy night. Begin the healing process with Mossy’s personal hangover antidote of an aspirin and a can of full fat Coca Cola. Follow by filling the sink with cold water, ice and cucumber slices (maybe just recycle the spa water you were sipping on earlier) and dunk you head in. Follow La Moss’ well worn advice to get your cover girl glow.
The Ballerina Soak – Perhaps you’ve been wearing super stylish but super uncomfortable shoes all day, or maybe you had to change tube lines at Green Park. In which case, this is the solution for you. Make like a die-hard ballerina and throw a generous amount of Epsom salts (a large pot costs around £2 and their primary use is for constipation relief, just FYI) into a hot bath for a muscle-relaxing soak.
Optimum Hair Removal – This is an ad-hoc beauty tip that most girls know, but JUST IN CASE there is a Mushpit reader out there who is unaware, know this; hair conditioner doubles up as shaving foam. Don’t bother buying overpriced shaving foam, no matter how much Jennifer Lopez urges you to. If you’re not a shaving kind of gal take a leaf out of Debbie Harry’s book who stated in a 1979 interview that her preferred form of body hair removal was plucking. It took her week to remove every follicle from each leg.
So what you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting, what you waiting for? Go get your very own private Mushpit spa ready!