I’ve wanted to write this post for a while because I sincerely believe that a pamper evening, spa day, whatever you want to call it, is as important as it is admittedly frivolous. I’ll do a more detailed, hardcore skincare post somewhere down the line, but the long and the short of my “skin journey”, if you will, (sorry I already regret writing that) is that stress can wreak complete havoc on your skin. I went through life with what most would describe as “good” skin (I think that’s the technical term), then in May of this year my 23-year-old previously blemish-free skin woke up and said “surprise bitch, you have problem skin now.” I visited the dermatologist who determined, after confirming that I’d not altered my diet, water intake, skincare or makeup regimes, that my skin woes were being caused by stress. I’d spent some time working interstate and, although I wouldn’t blame a heavy workload on a breakout, it made sense given that my sleeping patterns had been thrown out entirely. I wasn’t dealing with pimples, per se, rather swollen follicles- put simply, my skin was swelling up because I had put stress on it, as your ankle would swell up if you didn’t treat it nicely/fell down a flight of stairs etc etc. While I don’t believe that a “pamper night” would have fixed my skin concerns (which are a thing of the past at the time of writing, I should note), but I do think my little sob story is an example of the weird shit (technical term) your body can do if you don’t rest it every once in a while. I keep my DIY spa nights very simple because I’m this odd mix of lazy (not wanting to get out then clean up the residue from too many products) and overly-energetic (nothing bothers me more than wasted time). A walking contradiction. I also don’t have a bath because my mother decided to replace it with another toilet. We now have more toilets than humans in our house.
If you like relaxing but also maximising productivity, then this is the spa routine for you.
THE HAIR TREATMENT
“But Gemma,” you ask, “isn’t a spa night all about using fun masks and other novelty items?” Yeah I guess so, but I like being able to chuck a hair treatment in and then go about the rest of my evening without an additional alarm going off after 10 minutes and then have to waddle from one side of the house to the other to wash your hair treatment out in the sink because you can’t get in the shower yet because you’re wearing a 20 minute mask and you didn’t think the timing through. I’ve used Redken Diamond Oil for about 2 and a half year now, and while I find it to be slightly too heavy as a leave in treatment, it’s perfect as a “leave it in for as long as you feel inclined before rinsing” hair mask. I believe this comes in an “Intense” reiteration as well, but this formula is already so hydrating I can’t imagine needing a more intense treatment.
THE FACE MASKS
If you don’t take a face mask selfie while you’re having a night in, then you’re probably very relaxed and have switched off your phone and don’t feel the need to share your every movement with the internet in which case I’m so happy for you but none of those things are in my nature. The main reason I’ve been enjoying using Trefiel sheet masks is because they’re all chockers with Hyaluronic Acid, which is my favourite hydrating ingredient because it can hold onto 1000 times its own weight in moisture, which is something that your skin just can’t do- no offence. As a secondary pro, the masks all look as though they’re made of lace so it’s like a built in Snapchat filter. They’re also plant-based which is wonderful if you’re cautious about what you put on or in your body- as evidenced by the amount of wine I drink, this is a category I fall into maybe 3 days a year. My one concern with sheet masks is that a lot of the goodness vanishes when you peel it off, so I lock in the Hyaluronic powers with a second layer of moisturiser. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè is my favourite “traditional” moisturiser because it’s fuss-free and just does what it needs to do. Also no SPF- I hate using SPF in the evening. That’s not to say you can’t have a pamper evening in the middle of the day. You could even call it a pamper day if you wanted to, don’t let me stop you.
THE BODY OILS
Ordinarily, this is where you’d hop in the bath and have a lovely soak and scrub, but you, you productive little bunny you, don’t have the time for that nor do I have the bathtub for that- or for anything else. Also, bathing is just sitting in a lukewarm tub of your own filth (I don’t believe that but I’m just trying to make myself feel better for not having a bath). Have a shower, rinse our your chosen hair treatment (it doesn’t have to be the one I recommended, but I’ll be pretty cut if it’s not), then apply a dry body oil. Oils have always felt more luxurious to me than butters or creams. The first body oil I ever purchased was Nutrimetics Nutri-Rich Body Satin which I still use to this day because it smells of their signature apricot range so not only do you look sexier, you smell sexier, and last year saw the birth of my addiction to Nuxe Hail Prodigieuse after seeking it out at City Pharma in Paris. Nuxe, much like Embyrolisse, is one of those cult French pharmacie skincare brands that I came home and raved about as though I too was a cool Parisian gal, only for Adore Beauty to start stocking them about 3 months later which was wonderful for accessibility but terrible for my ego. Anyway, dry oils. I love ’em.
Don’t tell me you were going to do all this without lighting a candle. Maison Blanche’s Australian Christmas Candle was inspired by fruity summer cocktails (the website literally says “just add vodka” and I’ve never related to candle copywriting more in my life) but if you buy this candle and tell me it doesn’t smell exactly like a bag of party mix lollies then you can smack my ass and call me Judy.
You need to have seen that specific episode of Friends in order to understand the reference.