From Blah to Ahhhh: Transforming Your Daily Shower into Something Orgasmically Transcendent

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When is a shower better than sex?

When Tom Hiddleston climbs in with you?

Wait, that is not where this is going…

Ahem. This post is about the transformative power of shower self-care. Of the PG variety.

I went to visit LA last month. I had a grand ol’ time — saw friends, ate gourmet, delicious, hipster, vegan food, rode around in a convertible, relished the sunshine and bougainvillea, wore my mirrored aviator sunnies nonstop, and worked outside in the balmy breeze. But the highlight, the thing that made it harder than ever to return to the east coast? A shower that resembled an all-out religious, born-again, heavens-parting-and-angels-singing experience. That got me thinking… why have my daily showers been so limply prosaic in comparison? And how can I transform plain old getting clean into new levels of orgasmic daily relaxation?

I am inspired by daily routines and small steps I can take to reshape the everyday humdrum into nurturing self-care. Having the born-again shower experience that was so tactilely, physically blissful made me think: If I can turn my 15 minutes in the shower from routine task to song of the self-care seraphim, I definitely want in on that.

Here’s one recipe, folks. Some of it is accessible and achievable, and some of it is all-out dream decadence. I firmly believe that even if you are stuck with dated tile or blah fixtures, some decadent accessories can up the game. Pick and choose!

(Also, I blame losing my luxury shower virginity on my friend D. Her 19th floor, glass-enclosed shower provided my epic LA shower experience. D., I’m coming back to visit soon… to see you… and your shower!)

1. First off in the shower transformation game, you need to reign in the tumble of messy, half-empty, “I opened this but don’t really use it” bottles. Simplify, and go big or go home. You need two twin, jumbo, married luxury bottles of shampoo and conditioner for a truly decadent shower.

D. had the Bentley of shampoos in her shower, Kérastase. Massive shampoo & conditioner set, for massively luxurious moisture.

Personally I am partial to the essential oil aromatic yumminess of Aveda, so this jumbo Shampure set would be great.

Then again, if your shampoo budget doesn’t stretch to accommodate $60 bottles of things, I’d go for some jumbo bottles of EO all-natural, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Good ingredients, in a big blue bottle that won’t break the bank.

2. Next up, you need the most luxurious soap ever. Now, I feel very strongly about a big, lush bar I can hold in my hand versus shower gel. Something about slippery chemicals I don’t want in places on my body…

So what I think we all need, in that case, is a big bar of triple-milled French soap. In fact, all the better if it actually has French words etched into it. I’m digging this millennial pink Peony from Pre de Provence, or this peachy Fleur d’Oranger (orange blossom) from Savon de Marseille. In the Ayurvedic realm, I professed my love in my Ode to Roses for MAPI rose soap in the summer, which is cooling and chunky and pink, with a nice rounded shape. Their jasmine is also marvelously romantic in winter.

(Also, if you have an all-natural ingredient, post-shower moisturizing favorite body product, I really want to hear about it here.)

3. The third step in the elevated shower game is towels. This is one of those things where I think we all should be spending a little more to get something really good. It’s not like you have to drop several thousand on new tile; you just spend $50 for a really high-quality, huge, fluffy towel, rather than $12 at a cheap discount place. Because that $50 towel is really going to feel better on your skin, plus it won’t pill into little balls on you when you dry off (my ultimate pet peeve with cheap towels). You then get quality fibers in subtle colors or patterns that are not hunter green or fusty rose. I am quite partial to a good white towel with a banded trim. ABC Carpet & Home also has devastatingly lovely things, like these made from French linen in shades like pale millennial pink and oxblood (are you kidding me??).

The other towel bonus you need is a Turkish hand towel next to the sink. Tassels, linen texture, and muted striping. Boom.

4. If you peruse bathrooms on Instagram for five seconds, you will realize that, when you decide to get rid of that plastic hand soap dispenser with the price tag still on, the soap you need is this minimal luxe and oversized hand soap from Aesop. It is the stupid-expensive yet universal secret of modern, chic bathrooms everywhere, apparently.

I also am very fond of Compagnie de Provence liquid soap. French, clear glass bottle, minimal lettering in a variety of color/scent options. They also have a matte black glass bottle which I own and love (and shhhh, secretly refill with cheaper soap refill).

5. Ambience… if you want to go beyond decadent accessories, you gotta set the mood. And by mood, I mean you want to have Nat King Cole piped in and luxe candles burning while you take your shower. How about a mini Jambox on the counter, and some Diptyque or Byredo burning? Although I can’t for the life of me figure out why someone has not risen to the occasion of making candles in chic packaging that don’t cost $80 a pop. (Glossier, you on this?) You cannot outfit your house in drool-inducing luxury if you drop a Franklin on each one, but that leaves you with tea lights, holiday tins, winter candy apple nonsense, and jars with lids. Nooooo! (That is only good on SNL, folks.)

Because I don’t want candy apple in my space, and because I want to stock the fireplace mantle with a collection (like, several), and because I stubbornly want gorgeous packaging that doubles as decór… my solution to this right now is…. well, I don’t have a great one. Stalking Diptyque and Byredo on eBay? I’m pondering signing up for the new customer 20% off and going with one of these Sunday Forever beauties in black glass. They also come with adorable matches, and you can order a lighter that reads, “go sage yourself” or throw in an add-on crystal to your West Coast vibe-y order.

Then I think I’ll put this red candle/red glass situation in the bathroom, and throw in a couple of these on-sale cheapies in matte-black glass with the Sunday Forever for the mantle. And the eBay stalking.

6. Lastly, the pièce de résistance, the thing that really elevated my LA shower from blah to ahhhhhhhhh… the shower head. I had NO IDEA this could transform things so much. I have always liked strong water pressure (you don’t want to feel beaten upon, but I just cannot do a sad, piddly stream), but I had never experienced getting this quite as right as the Hansgrohe Aktiva oversized shower head my friend D. had. You can be damn well sure I photographed that thing to go searching for it. Trouble is, that particular Hansgrohe masterpiece is discontinued (of course). But it was oversized, and the stream was perfectly pressured and massage-like. So massage-like, in fact, on my neck, shoulders, and back, that I found myself exhaling and relaxing like I was actually on the massage table. When I finally settle from all my travels, I’m going to be marching into some bathroom fixture retail palace, armed with the deets to replace my beloved discontinued Hansgrohe model.

Bonus round: As long as we’re dreaming here, I might as well add in a few insanely impractical but super-fun-to-fantasize-over bathroom luxuries.

  • Floor to ceiling windows. (Or at least a window of some kind.) D.’s shower nailed this. On the 19th floor, I didn’t even care one bit about splashing around that shower naked for all of LA to see.
  • White calacatta marble. Everywhere.
  • To go with the luxurious, dramatic white calacatta: this otherworldly New Ravenna celestial mosaic tile, which would make the floor of your shower feel like you’re walking on a bed of stars.
  • As long as you’re really upping the decadent factor with marble and windows and glass, you need a massive Lalique handle for your shower door, inspired by the epic LA shower. (Nailed it, D.)

Since after all this you are undoubtedly feeling all the #bathroomgoals, head over to IG to let me know your favorite ways to luxe up your shower.

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