Monday, September 15, 2014

Building a Better Bath

While baths were mandatory as a child, because I was incapable of the mere task of standing to take a shower, they were also enjoyable. I would spend so long perching in lukewarm water that my whole body resembled a prune upon my mom's (finally successful) cogency to part from the tub. I guess I enjoyed playing bartender, mixing bath water with body wash into mixed drinks for my parents, too much. (Sorry mom, that's where all the soap went.) But baths aren't strictly reserved for small children, although turning them into a mature task is a bit of a toughie. Maybe I'm just inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Bath Challenge, but I've created a task chart for turning my bath from drab to fab, creating an oasis within the confines of my own room--even if I only hit this vacation destination once every other week...you get the idea.

I'll toss the blame on my "dirty" tub for my lack of bathing experiences, but, when the tub is clean, I run lukewarm water, dim the lights--because night vision is so much more relaxing-- and light a few candles (if I can remember). I'll admit that the latter step is brushed aside more often than not, but I never get in the bath without some added oomph. Sometimes this enhancing step comes courtesy of Epsom salts, or essential oils (lavender, peppermint, lemongrass), or the best smelling body wash in the world--which happens to operate like bubble bath, the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash. That's the stuff. But, more recently, my bath has been at it's peak performance for relaxation thanks to The Bathory Detox Salts*. The Bathory site allows prospects to customize their own soak from salt type to scent. The "Detox" formula contains pure Epsom salts and Rhasshoul clay to draw out toxins. If you're not into the whole detox regime like I am, they also have mineral-enriched and soothing mixes to float your boat. But customizing your soak base isn't where the fun ends; the swing continues with a choice of essential oils. My pick? Bergamot, eucalyptus, and lemon. With so many choices, concocting a blend is a difficult. And I nominate you for the challenge. The Bathory has graciously offered to giveaway a free soak. All you have to do is follow the instructions below.

Sitting in the bath is where the playground continues, but lounging can take some getting used to. Often my biggest snitch is that I end up sweating; baths are supposed to be tranquil, not sweat-inducing, right? Nevertheless, I found dipping my hair and face into the water solves it in a cinch. When it comes to bath entertainment, turn on some tunes, read a book (or a magazine, which relieves the stress of getting book pages wet), or vicariously hold your phone or iPad over the water for some digital pastime. Now that all your problems have melted away, another one just arose: getting out of your abyss. Uhhhh...good luck.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

My Daily Morning Itinerary

6:15 AM 
My wake-up call

6:15-6:17 AM 
When I ponder life on a profound level as I inch my legs out of the warm abyss, otherwise known as my bed.

6:17-6:30 AM 
I wobble to the kitchen to make breakfast, always starting with coffee brewing (garnished with a hefty amount of milk...so it's more like milk with coffee). Next, I throw some cinnamon raisin bread in the toaster, wash some fruit, then slather peanut butter onto the--sometimes burned--bread.

6:30-6:35 AM
Now, it's time for the final stretch to feeling effectively awake; the coffee had the first half of that duty. And the second comes from washing my face. My routine? Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Soap, Kiehl's Skin Rescuer, and MyChelle Dermaceuticals SPF

6:35-6:40 AM
Within this window of time, I throw on my daily slap...but there's no structure to that task so I can't quite relay that routine to you.

6:40-6:45 AM
Hair mangle time. 

6:45-6:55 AM
I get dressed, but throw on deodorant before that; I never want to be smelly. Last to complete my aesthetic wellness, I brush my teeth. (Okay, that's not quite "aesthetic," but still self-care for the five senses.) Unfortunately, I never learn to brush my pearly whites before I get dressed, because eight times out of ten I manage to drool toothpaste onto the same shirt I plan to wear for the rest of the day.

6:55-7:05 AM
I pack up my bag for the day, never forgetting my water bottle, and part for the beginning of the..."rest of the day" routine; that one's too long--and boring--to recount for in a post.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Favorites

August is perhaps the most sour (just like Sour Patch Kids) of all months. While it rings in the last souvenirs of summer--and, often those are the most memorable--it also marks the beginning of a new (although I say that word in the pejorative) school year for those of us still coming of age. Nevertheless, I'm topping off the month in a positive note on Parisian To Be with a round-up of favorites.

I maximized my last chance to fulfill my life with entertainment options of my choice. Musically, I've nurtured an obsession with Lana Del Ray. Her album Born To Die--The Paradise Edition is my favorite. (I'm even listening to it right now.) While I'm unable to listen to music while I read, I leafed through Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn in a mere four days--and I'm a slow reader. While it's certainly a book for adults only, it's a page turner, with ungulpable uncertainty, anxiety, and cliffhangers after every sentence. Although it is slightly awkward that my mom is reading it now, too, it's certainly one of the best reads I've discovered in a while. Another collection of paper is the Magma Sketchbook for Art & Illustration. Yeah, it's true; I now have the tangible version and it's stunning. The pages are a little more massive than your usual notebook, and, while un-lined, it makes for an inviting, creative blank canvas.

Beauty-wise, this month, I hit the miserable road block where all of my necessities run out at once--and that's the reasonable Lillian speaking, not the beauty-loving ego. In the shower, the L'Orèal Everpure Volume Shampoo offers, as the name tells, an uplifting formula that's also sulphate-free for my sensitive scalp. The Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash has been the cause of my extended showers because, honestly, I think it's the best thing I've ever smelled. Lapsing back to haircare, the Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder has filled the void for texture and volume now deemed a necessity in my haircare routine. While the powder is white, I find it doesn't leave a white-cast, but only packs positives in the lock department. I branched out to a new mascara: the Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara. While I have to cautiously move my attention away from the stunning packing and to the actual product, and it doesn't quite hold a curl as much as I would like, it oomphs up the volume and length to a favorable degree. After a little break, I've gone back to reaching for the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil on a daily basis because I've come to realize what a difference a little brow attention can do for my face.

That was a lot of favorites, but it's been a long summer. While I have a little bit of the "Summertime Sadness" (thanks for the inspa, Lana), I'm ready for some cooler weather *wipes sweat off forehead.*
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