We know January blues is the thing but we find that February is the worst month for us each year. Christmas has past and so has the new year motivation. Things are slow and to top it all off the weather tends to be dark and gloomy. There's also the slight feeling of dread with Valentines day looming, although there has been a shift in this annual holiday over the past year. We find that making it through February is quite an achievement, but if we're being honest, we do have a few secrets that help us through.
A key tip is a pamper routine! Many of us get dragged up in the 'got to go back to work' or 'ughhh it's dull I don't want to do anything other than sit in front of the tv eating junk' and there's no worse way than to dampen your spirits. We find that by taking a step back and allowing some time to focus on yourself can really help your mental wellbeing, even if you feel you don't have time. Honestly make time, it's so worth it.
Vanessa's Pamper Routine ~
1) There is nothing better to put me in a great mood than a really good playlist to bust out all my awkward moves. I love that saying "dance like no body is watching" and from time to time I HAVE to live by it as I embrace all the natural endorphins. From a good old sing-a-long (I can only apologise to my dog and my neighbours) to the throwback tracks that get me reminiscing about the good old days, I do it all at least once a month. Music really helps to get my motivated to get on with my pamper routine.
2) Once I'm pumped enough , I indulge in a long bath that typically involves me trying not to burn the house down with my tea lights, let's be real your girl is on a budget. My hot soak usually takes a couple of episodes of a series or a film, giving me plenty of time to go through my whole pamper regime involving the tedious job of exfoliating from head to toe, but it's so worth it.
3) I'm the type of person that invests into products and uses them way past their expiry date. Who actually invests money into beauty products of any kind and disposes of them after three months with over half of it left? My point being, I like splurge and to them pamper myself with my investments until I get bored and I move on to the next.
4)Recently having invested in products from the body shop range that a lovely consultant helped me pick out, I absolutely fell in love the Mediterranean Sea Salt Scrub and the Drops of Youth Liquid Peel. Your girl is not really down with what's in but let me just tell that this peel is AMAZING! Especially in winter both of these products have saved me by going from dried out bumpy skin to smooth softness after moisturising.
5)After soaking in the bath for what feels like lifetime and exfoliated the heck out of me and moisturised, it's coming to an end. However, you can really tell I'm having a pamper day if I have tackled my mane. Having curly hair isn't easy but it's nothing your budget friendly ordinary conditioner can't fix when you leave it in the entire day.
6) Once I've then washed my hair and slipped into what I call my house pj's, I give my dog a long ole' cuddle, have a cuppa and curl up in front of the sofa to watch rubbish on tv. Letting my mind relax after some self-care is what really puts me at easy.
Hannah's Pamper Routine ~
1) I always like to start by lighting a candle as scents can really help you relax. My current go to is the Fig and Elderflower Fragranced Candle from Next. It is a really different scent for me to choose as I tend to go for really musky scents, but this one is a real winner. It has a slight musky undertone but is topped with light, slightly fruity notes. Plus it's a long burning candle so you can have it burning away for a good hour or so and not have really made a dent.
2) Next I run a nice hot bath and usually throw in a bath bomb from Lush or break of a piece of The Comforter bubble bar to create lots of pink bubbles. I always find it so worth investing in the products that Lush sell, even if they do seem more on the expensive side compared to general bubble bath. The bath bombs and bubble bars are all so different and exciting. Each and everyone has a unique look, scent and colour and perform differently in your bath water. Plus they are made from natural ingredients and they are cruelty free. Let's be real you can't have a super relaxing bath knowing an animal has been harmed for some bubbles.
3) I grab my laptop or an iPad, head to Netflix and find something to watch whilst relaxing in the bath. As Netflix have such a range of films and programmes there's always something to suit my mood and yes, I can easily watch a few episodes of a series before even considering to wash my hair! If you're not down for watching anything maybe put on your favourite playlist or even a podcast you've been dying to catch up on.
4) If I'm feeling super achey or bloated I like to throw in a handful of bath salts to help relax my muscles some more. The bath salts I currently have are from BOD - Body On Demand, and are in a sense to help you shed water weight and reduce bloating. I have been gifted bath salts from this brand on a few occasions but have never thrown the whole bag in like it says. At a £10 price tag, that's a pretty expensive bath and I don't really have the money to keep replacing something like that. However, I do find mixing in a good handful of the stuff with a bubble bar is good enough.
5) After a good soak and relax I like to wash my hair and then take a body scrub to really exfoliate my skin. This time of year the weather really wreaks havoc on my skin, drying it out to sometimes the point of no return. The BOD - Brown Sugar and Honey body scrub is my current go to. The brown sugar helps to exfoliate and remove dead dry skin, whilst the honey puts the moisture back in, leaving your body feeling and smelling amazing! As my skin is very sensitive I tend to refrain from really scrubbing products like this off, but this one is a dream as the formula is more soft and sticky and still does the job!
6) After washing and drying off, I like to moisturise my whole body with E45 or bio oil depending on how I'm feeling and what my skin is saying. One thing you need to always remember is to change your moisturiser depending on the season/weather, as our skins needs also change with them. In the summer I use coconut oil and coconut butter and then switch to E45 in the winter. It has taken some time to figure out which moisturiser is good for my skin in different seasons, but once you've found the right ones, its a game changer!
7) The Ordinary has become a massive part of not only my pamper routine but my daily skincare routine. Having combi - sensitive skin and living in the UK I'm prone to a good ole blemish outbreak but since discovering this brand it has really changed my skin. The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution targets blemishes and boy oh boy does it really do what it says. Since using this on my skin one or two times a day I have seen a massive reduction in breakouts which is a miracle! It is definitely something I will be using hopefully for years to come!
I have also started using the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution - 10 - Minute Exfoliating Facial. It also targets blemishes but additionally puts up a fight against lackluster tone and textural irregularities. I find those who wear makeup on a daily basis have an uneven skin tone, whether it's just near the eyes or all over, the tone definitely seems to differ from the rest and I am one of those people. Since using the peeling facial treatment one or two times a week I have seen a massive change in the tone of my skin, it's like it's bringing those sad bits back to life and it's making me so happy!
Honestly this brand is a definite must try, especially if you have skin like mine, it will change your life. If you do get the Peeling Solution though, don't let it's blood red colour put you off, it really does do wonders!
8) Finally I like to get into the comfiest clothes I own. I don't own pjs per se but just big baggy soft tops and bottoms, perhaps this year will be the year I actually invest in some nice pyjamas though! I also like to change my bedding if it isn't fresh and then settle down with a good ole cuppa tea!!
We hope that this post has made you consider making time for yourself if you don't already. Remember you can't pour from an empty glass! You need to re-charge to be able to help anyone else and that includes work. For those of you already on that pamper sesh, let us know how you like to relax and what your favourite go to products are!
Love Hannah and Vanessa x