How To Have A Spa Day In A New York City Apartment
Amidst all the hustle and bustle, it is difficult to pencil a spa day into your schedule— but sometimes, there’s no place like home.
Having the space in an NYC apartment for a bathtub is becoming a rarity, and having the time to take a bath is a miracle. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, it is difficult to pencil a spa day into your schedule— but sometimes, there’s no place like home. Join BWB as we share our spa day secrets, New York City style.
When you become a working mother, the idea of a full spa day may be too optimistic. Instead, I would call it my Sunday Spa Morning. Especially in the winter, there is no rush to go outside so I can use these hours to pamper myself at home. The idea is to make the most of the time I have, getting as many benefits out of it as possible without rushing.
My favorite type of music is what I call ‘Happy Music’, a playlist that includes Barry White, Diana Ross, and some French DJ’s such as Kungs and Bob Sinclar.
The lovely scent from the Clarins Tonic Oil remains in my bathroom after I use it in the shower.
An ultra-hydrating face mask is a must, especially when my skin gets tired in the winter. I like the ones from Omorovicza and Valmont, as well as sheet masks from Estée Lauder and CellCosmet. After removing the mask, I use a recently discovered face massage tool called ReFa. This amazing facial roller activates circulation and improves the production of collagen, giving you a nice glow.
While my face has a nice mask on, I apply a super hydrating mask on my hair. My two favorite brands are Leonor Greyl and Christophe Robin. A hair mask is not only the key to glossy hair, but also the best way to keep your hair coloration or highlights for longer. I like to apply the mask on dry hair before shampooing in the shower for at least 20 minutes.
Before the shower, I take a few minutes to dry brush my body. Always start from your toes and brush up towards your heart. The idea is to activate the circulation, bring blood back to the heart and get super soft skin as an additional benefit.
After the shower, it is essential to hydrate the body. On a spa day, I will take the extra time that I have to massage my feet, toes and hands with a specific cream for these areas. Avène, La Roche-Posay and Révérence de Bastien have great creams designed for hands and feet. As for nourishing cuticles or deeply massaging around the nail bed and on top of my little toe, I use the classic Crème à l’Abricot from Dior. This small container will last months and months.
Spa days require some creativity when you share a bathroom with three other college students in campus housing. Instead of hogging our only bathroom, I like to prepare most of my spa activities at my desk where I have a luminescent make-up mirror. Once I clear the mounds of paper and class notes off my desk, I compose my homegrown spa bar with products I’ve discovered through BWB. It is a great way to make up for lost sleep and reset after a long week of assignments, work deadlines, rehearsals, and lunch dates.
I really enjoy playing through Willow Smith’s album WILLOW. Otherwise, Spotify’s Your Favorite Coffeehouse Playlist is always reliable for acoustic, vibrational music to help me relax.
Once I discovered TJ Maxx, I fell in with their massive wall of candles. One of my favorites is a Tarot/Palm Reading candle that smells like lavender and perfume. I have a big window in my room so the smell doesn’t get too overwhelming.
Working at a spa, I have learned many tips from the head esthetician, Carmel. She always tells me to wash my skin before getting in the shower since the water tends to be very hot. As a plus, the steam of your shower can help open up the pores of your freshly clean skin. On a spa day, I lightly exfoliate before using a gentle cleanser, such as Clarins milk cleanser. After patting my face dry, I tone my skin with Witch Hazel or Dr. Jart+ Teatreement Toner.
For the main treat, I apply a sheet mask. Peach & Lily has some great hydrating and refreshing sheet masks in their Peach Slices line! After I remove the mask, I’ll massage the serum into my skin and apply some moisturizer on top. Right now, I am enjoying Caudalie’s Strawberry Sorbet Moisturizer. While I’m at it, I take care of my eyebrow grooming with some tweezers.
After gently squeezing my hair with a towel to drain the heavy dampness from it, I spritz some of Rahua’s Hydrating Detangler around my scalp and comb it through with a wide tooth comb. I brush it back out of my face so I can apply my sheet mask without any hair getting trapped underneath!
I use a coconut body scrub in the shower to exfoliate my skin. After patting dry, I’ll massage a body butter into my legs, arms, chest and shoulders. I have also been using One Ocean Beauty’s Cellulite Cream on my hips, thighs, and glutes. I don’t often paint my nails, so I’ll use the twenty minutes of my face mask to paint my nails with a keratin strengthening polish or my personal favorite— a clear glitter polish. If I have extra time, I will lay on my bed in a fuzzy robe until I need to take my face mask off!
The best part about graduating school is that I can leave my work at the office once I clock out. When I get home, I can focus on my me-time without the stress of late-night essays or readings. However, living in New York City, you can imagine how small and less-than-adequate my bathroom is. That being said, like Teresa, most of my spa activities take place in my room. It is a space I’ve lovingly cultivated to be peaceful, beautiful and rejuvenating.
Luckily, my taste in music already leans towards the mellow side. I’m less attached to artists, so instead I regularly cycle through my liked songs on Spotify. I enjoy tracks with calm, California energy and guitar hums that I can get lost in. Baby by Ariel Pink, River by Leon Bridges, and Take 1 by Guantanamo Bay Surf Club are pretty good examples of what my spa day playlist looks like.
Like my tooth, my nose is also fond of sweetness. My most recent favorite find is the Honeycomb Candle by Illume. Honey and coconut milk are spiced up by ginger, lemon and vanilla – the perfect combination to keep me warm during these winter months. And while we’re talking honeycomb, you might as well try Van Leeuwen’s ice cream flavor of the same name. If you’re going to pamper yourself, go all the way.
My regular evening routine consists of cleansing, a serum, and an eye cream (if I’m good). On a spa day, I’ll go an extra step to exfoliate just before cleansing with Valmont’s Face Exfoliant from the Purity Collection. This product has an ultra-luxurious, velvety texture, and the exfoliant comes from non-irritating Quartz crystals! Because spa days are rare and special occasions, they’re also a great opportunity to *detox* your skin. I like to use Herbivore’s Blue Clay Detoxifying Treatment mask, which you mix in with a bit of water and finger-paint onto your face. You’ll know when to rinse. Finally, I massage in my serum with a gua sha tool; always outward from the center. And don’t forget to go down your neck!
I’m very easy-going with my hair – air-dry, no styling tools, and seldom use of products. On a spa day, however, I like to focus on deep hydration to keep the ends of my long hair healthy. I’ve been doing a couple pumps of the Rossano Ferretti Parma Brillante Oil for extra shine – the smell is absolutely divine. Distribute the product evenly with a wide-tooth brush or comb!
After a thorough shave in the shower, I massage my body with a rich body cream for baby-soft skin. A recent favorite has been natureofthings’ Nourishing Body Creme, which contains 250mg of broad-spectrum hemp extract that heals while it hydrates. Once I’m sure there is nothing left to do besides lay in bed and watch Netflix, I’ll paint my nails. I’ve been loving Sundays 10-free, non-toxic polishes. Not only are they safer to use, but also the color payoff and longevity exceeds most polishes I’ve tried – toxic or nontoxic.