A favourite destination need be no further afield than your bathroom. Just transform the humdrum into a haven with aroma, atmosphere and indulgence. Shut the door, light the candles and steep in a scented bath, then emerge relaxed and at one with the world. If you prefer more active pursuits, grab a scrub and a body mitt for a good rubdown before you refresh yourself with a little instant colour so you'll feel toned and sunny again.
You needn't spend a fortune on pampering yourself at home. Dig out a few drops of essential oil and a body lotion to soothe your senses and then your skin. Pour yourself an iced water with a twist of lemon or a cup of herbal tea (then use the cooled teabags as eye compresses), lie back and relax before wrapping up in a nice fluffy towel or silky robe.
When buying gifts for friends and family who are particularly busy or stressed, consider slipping them a special product like some of these featured today. Include a note urging them to enjoy a little time out every so often. Even a mini retreat can work wonders.
1. Pure Fiji White Gingerlily Sugar Rub $66.50
I'd prefer mine applied by a skilled massage therapist, but sometimes you just have to make do with DIY. The rub's natural sugars are a great exfoliator and so much better than the plastic beads in many products, and it comes in a generous-sized pot. (For selected spa stockists ph 0800 7873 3454.)
2. Aromatherapy Company Therapy Range Ylang Ylang Pure Essential Oil $27
In aromatherapy this oil is used as a relaxant. A few drops works wonders in a burner or bath or mixed into a body lotion. The range also includes affordable candles with enticing natural aromas.
3. Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil $110
You will want to be enveloped in the inviting aroma which comes from essential oil extracted from precious rose otto petals. There is a matching body wash and polish. From here.
4. Joico Moisture Recovery Balm $30
Bath-time is the perfect time to apply a treatment like this which will leave your hair silky smooth. (Selected shampoo shops and salons, stockists ph 0800 456 426.)
5. Pure Fiji Island Bliss Coconut Bath Soak $46
This bottle is large enough to allow you to splash the soak into a series of baths to keep the cold at bay. There are 10 tropical fragrances to choose from, all in a nourishing milky coconut base. (For selected spa stockists ph 0800 7873 3454.)
6. Sodashi Awaken Enlivening Body Lotion $98
The indulgent and active Sodashi range is made by Perth-based New Zealander Megan Larson and its treatments are found in some top international spas. This circulation stimulating body lotion is well-twinned with the Sodashi salt therapy exfoliant. (Stockists: Mollies Day Spa carries the full Sodashi range and offers treatments. Lucy and the Powder Room and Auckland facialist Keely Watson also carry Sodashi items.)
7. Clarins Extra Firming Body Cream $90
Dreamy fragrance in a rich creamy formula that dry or mature skin will lap up. This is also suitable for those looking to regain firmness with a massage regime post-pregnancy or weight fluctuation. Lemon thyme and shea butter combine to tone and moisturise. (Selected department stores, pharmacies and salons.)
8. St Tropez Instant Glow Face Lotion $32.99
This instant bronzer goes on smoothly and washes off easily. As it gets colder you probably won't want to bother with smelly fake tan, so keep this on hand for when you need a bit of a pep-up. I find the creamier face formula easier to apply than the runny one designed for the body, so it is good for legs as well and the smaller tube is handy for weekend getaways.
9. Anthousa Violet and Blackcurrant Petite Diffuser $82
Enjoy exotic fruity floral aromas for up to three months from this diffuser which comes with a little silver stand. Other fragrances include Verbena, White Tea, Gardenia and Cucumber and Green Grass. (From Mecca Cosmetica stores.)
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