It’s in our nature to rest. Weekends, sabbaths, and paid time off cater to this human compulsion. (I suspect that someone took this information, misunderstood it, and ran with it, creating mid-season hiatuses on television and the concept of “taking a break” in relationships.) With all the maintenance that comes with merely existing, I sometimes forget to rest. Screwy, right? An Be The Gloss writer without self-care is like Baryshnikov without a leotard.
There’s no better time than the post-holiday wasteland (when going outside is not only uncomfortable, but harebrained) to actively unwind. Just how chill can we get in 24 hours? I’m glad you asked.
Begin with a clean face. Wearing makeup at home is like wearing jeans to bed. The idea is you want to have your nighttime skincare routine on, but all day. An oil cleanser (I use Tatcha’s) cleans without stripping and when it’s free of mineral oil, it leaves behind no greasy residue. Easy.
There is something satirically mellow about using face masks. They basically force you to lay about for 20 minutes. What that doesn’t take into account is that after it’s dried and you’ve made nice with a very specific throw pillow configuration, you have to get up and wash the damn thing off. It’s a very involved process that makes my sink very messy and soils at least one washcloth. The solution? Sleeping masks.
I’m working my way through Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt mask. Heavier than a lotion, it doesn’t immediately vanish into the skin or stain your pillowcase. It’s harder working than a moisturizer, too. It uses PHAs to exfoliate and kaolin to clean without the spooky throb of some clay masks. Apply that everywhere but your nasal region. We’re doing a pore strip next.
Peace Out Pores Blackhead Patches are made from the same pus-wicking hydrocolloid that composes pimple patches, except they’re shaped like a pore strip. Unlike traditional strips that rely on glue and torque, this uses osmosis (or something???) to draw debris out. This allows you to nap and mind your business for the several hours you wear it.
Here’s what you can expect: repulsive blobs of oil that have been pulled from your pores and a waxy smooth nose. A part of me thinks the secret to glass skin lies within hydrocolloid patches. I should investigate that.
Jagged Little Chill
If you’re a person hugging me or TSA agent, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll feel a seam under my clothing. You may wonder: is Or wearing a bra? Good guess, but the answer is no, Rudeness Giuliani. It’s a Thermacare patch! I use these on a recurring basis to loosen tight neck or back muscles. You get a solid 10+ hours of slow, tolerable warmth, like a portable electric blanket. They turn me into a puddle.
My sister says they help with her cramps, but you don’t need me to mansplain that to you.
True rapture is the Off Hours Homecoat. I saw it in last year’s ITG gift guide, igniting an obsession tout de suite. (The basis of Top Shelf Made Me Do It, if you will.) If you aren’t familiar with the Homecoat, it is effectively a duvet with sleeves, making it every bit as comfortable, lavish, and delightful as it looks. It’s decently heavy and not the least bit sexy or slinky. Instead of “come hither” it radiates a “goeth away.” It gets back to the figure-obliterating roots of homewear that we, as a society, had forsaken when we began making sweatpants fitted in any way. I wear it from the moment I get home and look forward to throwing it over my shivering cadaver every the morning. If I decline an invite to a social engagement, just know it’s because I have the Homecoat on and there’s no way it’s coming off.
Chill and Grace
Fuzzy slippers are to my apartment what pornography was to Tumblr prior to December 2018. I’m never more than four paces away from a pair. I, in theory, could walk the length of my apartment by stepping onto them like river rocks, without ever touching the floor. The best of them are from Jenni Kayne. These slippers have the collapsable back, like a pair of Gucci loafers, and a shearling interior and exterior. By virtue of their wooliness, they feel as good being worn as they do when you graze them against your own legs. There no reason Fuzzmania has to end at your ankles.
You can layer candle scents the same way you would with perfume. It’s still an imperfect science, but if you want to make an omelet you have to break some eggs. Sniff two candles, unlit, and see if they make sense. You’ll play around with a few combinations that are duds before really finding one that works.
My go-to: On one side of the room, I light Diptyque Cypres (soapy resin, honey, evergreens). On the other side, Diptyque Vanille (sandalwood, vanilla orchids and pods). The finish is heady and terrestrial while remaining bright and restrained enough as to not overwhelm.
While you’re at it, set a candle timer for two hours (long enough for each candle to melt evenly across the top) just in case you get too placid and accidentally doze off.
What’s that tall, amorphous, dove-colored lump, styled next to a side table and functioning as a reading nook? Some sort of sculptural object? A scale model of a giant’s kidney? That’s actually a Moon Pod. It’s like a sentient body pillow. It captures whatever position you decide to sit, recline, or lay in and molds to it—catering to my childhood dreams of wanting a beanbag chair, but my adulthood demands for ergonomics and dignity. In short: it’s stupid comfortable and the closest thing to weightlessness I can feel until NASA answers my emails.
I spend the day perching on and straddling the pod, window shopping The RealReal app, texting my best friend about Zelda (Surprise! I’m a gamer!), baking a babka, painting, snoozing notifications from Tinder, and changing the water in my bodega flower arrangements. Adjust to your personal preferences.
Investigating the hype of weighted blankets far exceeded my expectations. Conceptually, I thought to sleep under one would feel like sinking into quicksand, having a Butterball turkey on my chest, or being buried in a very shallow grave. Quite the contrary—it’s an entirely delightful experience, like earplugs for your body. It feels like being under several duvets without the bulk or sweatiness, and the one I have from Baloo doesn’t look anything like a lead x-ray smock like some of the other weighted blankets out there. The firm pressure is really only perceptible when you move around, so it’s not oppressive in the way “20-pound blanket” implies. Imagine being Temple Grandin’s little spoon. The feeling of security it provides is better felt than described.
Last night, around midnight, a man on the sidewalk goat-shrieked a TED Talk about how “coffee shops are ruining Brooklyn.” I woke up briefly, as his volume was set to car horn level, before returning to my dream in which I get a push notification that reads “colinfirth_official replied to your story: I’d like to run barefoot through your hair.” Not the most congruous ending to a day of medical-grade leisure, sure—I was just too blissed out to care.
Photo via the author