A Case for Beauty Rituals that Take Time – and Lots of It
We’re calling it: the best beauty treatments are those that practically enforce relaxation
For a while there, beauty was all about speed, squeezing a full face of makeup into a five minute routine, using double-duty, quick-fix skincare products to cut the time spent sink-side and favouring the efficiency of a shower over soaking for an hour or so. But what if we flipped things on their head for a minute – or hopefully more?
Here at Liberty, we’re currently embracing The Pause – a call to action (or rather, inaction) to take a moment to slow down, to notice the magic in the everyday, to learn how to romanticise even the simplest aspects of daily life, to Stop and Smell the Roses, if you like. And our beauty routines could do with a little of that deceleration, too.
So, rather than rushing through your daily rituals, why not lean in to the rest they enforce? To enjoy the downtime that deep treatment hair oil requires, to embrace how that LED mask leaves you no other option than to lean back and rest your eyes, or to take time mastering the craft that is running the perfect bath. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
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Learn the Art of Facial Massage
Whether you’re standing at the sink to do your morning skincare routine or your evening one, it can be all too tempting to slap on a few serums and call it a day (or night). But as one of the few opportunities we have throughout the day to recalibrate, skincare is a ritual worth slowing down. And one way to be more mindful with your application is to practise the art of facial massage.
Taking time to work your favourite skincare products into your face not only has the more lofty benefit of making you momentarily more mindful, but it can also improve the efficacy of the ingredients, and leave you with delightfully glowing skin.
But how is it best done? Votary’s founder Arabella Preston has curated a few tutorials, but as a simple rule of thumb: arm yourself with a facial oil, moisturiser or serum with plenty of slip, and use your fingers and thumbs to work from the centre of your face outwards, following the contours of your cheeks, jaw and temples, aiming for it to take around ten minutes. You might also benefit from the aid of a tool here too, like a facial massager.
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Master the Craft of Bathscaping
Sure, not everyday can you carve out an hour or so to sink into a steaming tub, but when time does allow, why not take this ritual to the next level by creating a dreamy bathscape to surround yourself with?
This is about turning your bathroom into a spa, so requires paying attention to all senses. Start with smell, lighting a scented candle with mind-massaging notes of herbs and botanicals, and drizzling the water with oils and salts that not only smell delicious, but will get to work easing tired limbs and nourishing skin. Where sound is concerned, select your most chilled playlist or better still, put on an audio book – sure you could read the real thing, but this way, you can escape while your eyes are shut. That’s one sense it pays to turn off while relaxing.
As for taste, a drink is in order. A giant glass of wine if the day has called for it, or even a cup of tea in your favourite mug can provide comfort. And for touch? Make like a masseuse and work an indulgent body scrub into the limbs before slathering on your favourite body oil – a diligent bodycare routine needn't be super laborious.
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Set Aside Time for LED Light Therapy
One treatment that really does enforce downtime is LED light therapy. The at-home version of the hi-tech, in-clinic skin treatment, these futuristic-looking masks bathe skin in different waves of LED light, depending on your particular skin type and goals, and The Light Salon’s is arguably one of the best on the market.
Crafted from medical grade silicone, this lightweight portable LED face mask uses a combination of red and near infrared wavelengths to increase the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in your skin, while boosting blood circulation and relaxing the facial muscles.
And while it only requires ten minute sessions a few times a week for the best results – and yes, you could wear it while pottering around the house – that time is best spent vertically, eyes shut, feet up, mind switched off. You might be at home, but this is your chance to imagine you’re having one of the best facials in one of the world’s top spas.
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Rush Less, Mask More
Masks are often the beauty treatment we do when we’re really doing something else. We put on overnight masks to work wonders while we sleep, or sit behind a sheet mask while we bash out a few emails on a WFH Monday afternoon. But why not make masking the main event in your life, once in a while? Set aside time specifically for the task, soaking hair in a strengthening, bond-building treatment and drizzling your scalp in a hair oil that’ll soothe irritation. Layer up under-eye masks with sheet masks, or lay down a patchwork quilt of targeting face mask formulas in specific zones of your complexion. Don’t forget your extremities, either, by slathering on hand and foot cream while sitting in gloves and socks for an hour or so. It might look silly, but the soft skin that emerges will make it more than worth it.
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