Weekend Beauty - Bath & Body: Confessions of a Bathaholic
Okay, I admit it – if I had the means, I would have closets and cabinets stuffed full of yummy things for bathing, showering and moisturizing. I have fantasies about jars of Frederic Malle Beurre Exquis in every scent they make, and obscure Japanese spa rituals involving herbal wraps, aroma therapeutic steam and hot tubs (oh, and Takeshi Kaneshiro). Alas, my budget is somewhat less than the GNP of a small dictatorship, so I have to find creative ways to indulge without breaking the bank.
I have really dry skin below the neck, and if I am not really careful in the winter I get as scaly as a reanimated Velociraptor, without the agility. I found out recently that I officially have eczema, and not just dry patches, so I have been extra conscious of what I need to do to stay smooth and hydrated.
Sometimes I want unscented products so they won’t clash with my perfume. My new discovery for moisturizing is CeraVe cream and lotion, recommended by my dermatologist. It has the same ceramide complex ingredients touted by expensive department store lines. For the first time in years my elbows don’t resemble industrial grade sandpaper, and my eczema patches were pretty much gone in a week. The other good news is that it comes in really big containers, is sold at major drugstore chains, and is reasonable priced. For shaving, I go for Trader Joe’s unscented cream shave, it’s really rich and soothing. But I really prefer the Honey Mango scent; it’s out of this world.
I seem to find exactly what I want in the way of bath products just to have them discontinued. I used to get the Le Couvent des Minimes line at Bath & Body Works, when they had the luscious Orange Blossom body cream and other lovely products in the group. Of course, that is no more, as is the Henri Bendel line of really great bath & shower gels. I am hoarding my last bottle of the Orange Blossom bath gel for summer use. Nowadays I haunt TJ Maxx for discounted items, and you would be surprised what you can get for next to nothing, and not just obscure no-name brands either. Recent finds include Jaqua Beauty Buttercream Frosting Shower Syrup and Ann Taylor body lotion in Orange Nectar & Honeysuckle – I may need some more of this in another “flavor,” it is really good stuff. Bath & Body works has not abandoned me altogether; I am a fan of the Warm Vanilla Sugar body lotion, and they still have True Blue Spa - my favorites are the monoi oil-infused Be More Pacific bath & shower cream and the silky-smooth Tahiti, Sweetie hand & body lotion. Speaking of tropical, you simply cannot beat The Body Shop’s Mango body butter. (Another confession – I am addicted to anything with mango, whether it’s edible or not.)
For upscale treats, some of my favorite fragrances are popular enough to have ancillary products too – I adore my Lady Caron body milk, which is highly perfumed enough to use alone; just a dab or two works as well as a spritz of the Eau de Parfum. You can get all kinds of Fracas-scented creams, lotions and bath items. And if I won the lottery, I would collect the awesome Annick Goutal bath products in a number of scents. I can’t imagine a more luxurious way to relax than in a Gardenia Passion bubble bath. On the other hand, I had better not buy that – I would never leave the house again.
Image credit: “Bubble Bath” pattern fabric swatch from cherrysunshine.com