Wow – it’s cold outside. Not freeze-your-false-lashes-off cold, perhaps, but still seriously chilly. And it’s no fun, especially when you’re standing around for hours filming on location. I’m starting to worry that I may spend the whole of this season of MiC with dry skin and a drip on the end of my nose – definitely not a good look.
So earlier this week, as soon as filming wrapped for the day, I decided to trade MiC for TLC and treat myself to a real beauty treat. One of my favourite pastimes is locking the door on the rest of the world, taking the phone of the hook, and really pampering myself.
I’m lucky enough to have a really luxurious feminine bathroom in my house – it’s so lovely that me and my housemates – two of my best female friends – are always fighting for bathroom time. I’m starting to think about drawing up a bathroom rota, just so I don’t get one of the girls knocking on the doors so as I dip my toe in the scented water.
Luckily, I found out that the others would both be out on Tuesday evening, so the minute I arrived home from work, I knew I had hours of indulgent Binky-time ahead of me.
I started by dimming the lights and filling the bathroom with gorgeous scented candles. There are tons of delicious ones to choose from, and I’m a real fan. In spring I go for light, girlish floral candles; in summer I burn zesty citrus flavours, but in winter I like to fill my home with really lush green scents and woody spiced fragrances. I recently treated myself to three incredible Acqua Di Parma candles – Precious Wood, Spicy and Cloves – all perfect for creating a warm, cosy deliciously scented room. So I lit them all and dotted them around the room.
Next I filled my bath right to the brim with steaming water and bath oil. I have to admit that my shelves are heaving with lovely bathtime lotions and potions. I’m a complete beauty addict – in case you hadn’t guessed – and I can’t resist splashing out of scrumptious scents and smellies. But there are two bathing classics that I return to time after time:
Firstly I never tire of the heavenly lemon scented L’Occitane Verbena Festival Foaming Bath – it smells so divine that it always makes me feel wonderfully refreshed. I’ve enjoyed L’Occitane’s Verbena products for ages and the bubble bath has to be my favourite.
My other bath essential is Clarins Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate. If I’ve had a really long tiring day, I always pour three or four capfuls of this aromatic oil into the water – it contains Rosewood, Geranium, Mint, Rosemary essential oils to cleanse and firm the skin, and it really does revive my spirit.
I’d had just the sort of day that called for a real pick-me-up soak, so out came the Clarins. Once I’d warmed up and relaxed in my steamy, scented bath for an hour, it was time for a little bit of body work. The mixture of cold weather and hot central heating can leave my skin feeling really dull and dry so I use a body scrub religiously during the winter months. Right now I’m loving Acqua Di Parma Italian Resort Pumice Body Scrub, which contains three different exfoliating granules: volcanic pumice, marine salts and citrus peel. It leaves my skin wonderfully smooth and silky.
I snoozed on for another hour, rousing myself every so often to top up the hot water, but finally it was time to climb out of the bath. However, my pampering session wasn’t over yet. I still had to moisturise and scent my body. Like most girls, I am a bit of a fragrance flirt and find I fall in love with a new scent every three or four months. I love everything from unusual niche fragrances by elegant perfumiers like Annick Goutal or Serge Lutens, to the blockbuster celebrity scents from the likes of J Lo and Lady Gaga – you never know, one day I might even bring out my very own Binky perfume, after all, I’ve put in years of research!
For head-to-toe beauty sessions like this one, however, I like to layer up a single scent, as different fragranced products can lead to a perfume clash. Most of the big-name brands produce full body ranges for their fragrances – everything from deodorant sprays, hand creams and body lotions to shampoos and conditioners. And of course there’s the actual scent itself.
This time I chose Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One, which has a Perfumed Shower Gel, a Perfumed Body Lotion and a Perfumed Shimmer Powder, all featuring the deliciously feminine fragrance that mixes fruity top notes, with a central bouquet of peony, lily, lychee and Bulgarian rose. A final spritz of Rose The One Eau de Parfum, and I was done.
At the end of my luxurious evening I felt deliciously relaxed, my skin was baby-soft and smooth, and I smelled good enough to eat. Pity the only one at home to see and smell the results of pampering was my beloved pooch Scrumble!