Rachel Marie Walsh.


Get the look: Spa days at home

Make a spa day of Sundays with these luxurious bathing buys, writes Rachel Marie Walsh.

Get the look: Spa days at home

Make a spa day of Sundays with these luxurious bathing buys, writes Rachel Marie Walsh.

Dark Sunday evenings are just the time to make a spa space of your bathroom, if only to shake the weird but enduring sense you ought to be doing homework.

And while certain ablutions are chores, those products designed for bath-time are often made with the senses in mind. These winter buys leave you relaxed, renewed and ready for the week ahead.

Frank Body Green Tease comes with tarot cards.
Frank Body Green Tease comes with tarot cards.

Frank Body Green Tease Body Scrub, €19.95 (with free shipping) at frankbody.com

Fortune favours the well-prepared and Frank Body’s new scrub not only readies skin for a smooth tan but comes with tarot cards.

Each one promises a beautiful future, unsurprisingly, and even if you don’t believe in that stuff you can have faith in the fine ingredients list.

The sugar-based formula fights free-radicals with coffee seed-oil and green tea.

Avocado, honey and nut oils leave skin smooth and soft.

Sugar is a gentler scrub active than bamboo, walnut and other gritty stuff, while added camellia, liquorice and centella asiatica extracts counteract redness.

Free from alcohol and other irritants, Green Tease suits all skin types.

Cloon Keen Mountain Flower Perfumed Candle, €40 at cloonkeen.com

Candlelight makes bath time a more spa-like experience.

Cloon Keen Atelier, which overlooks Galway Bay, offers ten gorgeous scented candles in mouth-blown, seaweed-green glasses. Mountain Flower is my pick.

A tribute to Nora Barnacle, the muse and wife of James Joyce who is widely believed to have inspired the character of Molly Bloom, it is both warming and feminine.

Sweet and crisp notes of orange blossom and magnolia fade into earthy notes of amber, sandalwood and patchouli.

It burns for up to 60 hours, so more than enough time for your finger pads to go prune-y.

Espa Restorative Bath Oil, €44

Espa Restorative Body Oil
Espa Restorative Body Oil

Espa’s comforting spa range is reminiscent of hotel stays and genuinely good for skin.

Respectful of the mind-body connection, the brand combines hydrotherapy with aromatherapy for some holistic ‘me-time.’

This a rebalancing potion that calms and rejuvenates skin and senses.

Mild strains of sweet orange, rose geranium and lavender help relieve anxiety while palmarosa extract tones skin and sweet almond oil deeply hydrates it for lasting softness.

I also recommend bath oils of any kind over super-bubbly soaks, as the latter’s detergent base can be drying with lengthy exposure.

e.l.f Cosmetics Hydrating Gel Mask, €14.95 at Penneys

Self-pampering is never quite finished without a thickly-applied mask.

e.l.f Cosmetics, deservedly dubbed “the Zara of makeup” for its uncanny ‘homages’ to cult products, also does pretty great skincare.

The brand is vegan and its care products are sulphate and paraben-free.

This moisturising mask is infused with purified water, aloe, chia seed and coconut.

It reduces redness and leaves skin with a healthy-looking glow.

The formula is free from fragrance and other potential irritants.

Lanolips Lano Coconutter Body Milk, €15.59

Lanolips Coconut Body Cream
Lanolips Coconut Body Cream

Lanolips new coconut bodycare range combines the humectant powers of lanolin, their signature ingredient, with everyone’s favourite all-purpose oil.

Cocoa butter, oil, balm and milk are all family-friendly and smell delicious.

Endlessly touted for its wound-healing, skin-brightening and deep-moisturising properties, coconut must be part of every beauty junkies skincare re Lanolips milk recipe includes a couple of other moisturisers and some stellar antioxidants, including sunflower and grape seed-oils, shea, rosehip and magnesium.

Oat kernel-oil is especially soothing to those prone to eczema and psoriasis.

Beauty Clinic

My nail tips are paper-thin following months of exposure to gel tips. How can I restore them quickly?

Keeping them short and applying a keratin polish that supports firm growth is a good start.

Mavala’s new Scientifique K+ Treatment, €12.99, supports the nail plate with crystal resin, which reinforces the natural keratin bonding process.

It hardens soft nails and helps them to resist breaking or splitting.

Beyond keeping nails natural, growth and strength are down to a mix of genetics and overall health.

Consuming zinc, biotin, lean protein and omega 3, 6 and 9 are all recommended for healthy nails.

Anecdotally, I suggest eating one or two Brazil nuts a day.

This small amount supplies your RDA of selenium and in my experience improves my nails faster than supplements.

It also tastes better.

Glossier Skin Perfecting Exfoliant
Glossier Skin Perfecting Exfoliant

What is the best way to clear milia?

Milia form when dead skin becomes trapped in pores and forms tiny white cysts.

They can feel hard usually show up around the eyes and on cheeks.

They are not pimples, please do not scrub them or apply spot treatments.

Attacking them with a comedone extractor or— eek! —your fingers is also a major ‘don’t,’ it will not clear them as it might a blackhead and overzealous attempts may damage the skin.

Milia responds better to keratosis pilaris (‘chicken bump’) treatments, specifically those with salicylic acid.

If you have not used this topical exfoliant before, a mild formula like Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel, €33 at paulaschoice-eu.com or Glossier Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector, €22 (left), both of which contain soothing antioxidants.

The Ordinary does a cheap salicylic acid solution but I do not recommend it as it is so high witch hazel, a potentially irritating astringent that you should not be leaving around the eye area.

Milia can be stubborn little guys and may not disappear overnight but regular exfoliation should improve their appearance and your pore size overall.

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