In The Wreckage of My Presence, Comedian Casey Wilson’s hilarious book of essays, she proudly declares herself a “bed person”. For the uninitiated, Wilson describes bed people as self-indulgent comfort-seekers who pursue the noble art of remaining horizontal as much as humanly possible — this extends as far as a Pilates reformer and of course, also includes the bathtub.
While the feeling of sanctuary is implicit, Wilson argues a bed or tub’s innate coziness does not negate its ability to also function as a productive place: one where emails are caught up on, books are devoured, even languages learned. In short: a bed person does not = a lazy person.
I wrote a back-page magazine essay about this phenomenon in 2018, but I called bed people (one of which I identify as) “Wintroverts”. Same thing. Equal billing.
So! Now you know how highly I think of bath time. Lots of people argue the “ick” factor of baths, conjuring images of stewing in filth. To that I say: how dirty are you? And also: if it really bothers you, just rinse off after!
Because in the deepest depths of winter, a hot bath is where it’s at — and I would never want anyone to miss out on one of the cold weather’s most sacred rituals. It’ll warm your bones, soothe your muscles, calm your aches and perhaps even deflate a little bloat. And since it seems like everyone’s got Omicron right now, I’ll vouch for the fact that a bath also feels pretty amazing when you’re sick.
Here are the things I consider absolutely essential for any serious bather (outside of a pint of Jeni’s Blackout Chocolate Cake and a Lelo, of course).
Nothing is better for cold muscles than Epsom salt. I buy the giant (like, 20lbs!) bulk bag on Amazon, because I put Epsom salt in just about all of my baths. If you’re feeling a little bloated or hungover, Epsom! I keep a stash of Dr. Teal’s various salt concoctions, too — particularly the ginger and lavender.
On the palatable subject of bloat, I swear by this by-the-pound clay. Mixed with apple cider vinegar, it makes an amazing face mask (I do my neck and chest too), but it also draws water bloat from your skin when you drop a few healthy scoops into your tub. (Drink lots of water before and after to flush your system, staying hydrated is cute!) Just be sure to rinse your tub down afterward, or you’ll be stuck dealing with green cement. (If you really feel like committing to this, you can buy Bentonite clay in bulk, too.)
When I had COVID, this menthol bath helped open up my breathing for a few blessed moments. I also loved this clay and seaweed salt blend billed as a “post-yoga” bath for a good soak n’ sweat — the aches were gnarly.
This is a good time for a mask. Just sayin’. I don’t love sheet masks, but Osea makes a mean algae mask for blemishes. I also love Clarins’ de-puffing mask, which snatches cheekbones and jawlines alike, though Sephora cannot seem to keep it in stock.
Hair masks, too! My far-and-away favorite is Christophe Robin’s highly-sumptuous regenerating mask because my ends like to get crispy in the winter. I also use bath time for a round of Olaplex No. 3.
This nifty Japanese body cloth makes it so much easier to scrub your back and shoulders! (Bonus: it feels like a good back scratch.)
This refreshing salt scrub that you mix tub-side always leaves my skin soft and gleaming. If I’d rather keep things tidy, I like Ouai’s Chill Pills — finally, a bath bomb that’s kind to my skin and doesn’t stain my tub.
For drying off, I never knew I could have such *feelings* about towels until I encountered this elite body towel and these hair towels. Since it’s winter, I wrap myself up in the coziest robe I can get my hands on and promptly crash into bed — no matter the time of day — to prop myself up and answer emails.
Last week, I sent over some notes about caring for your clothes, which generated a lot of emails, most of which asked me what exactly I considered an heirloom-worthy investment piece. Good thought!
First, I think it’s got to be well-constructed from quality materials. That part’s non-negotiable, since it will never last otherwise. Second, it’s got to fit. Like, really fit. You’ve got to feel like a million bucks in it — it’s the first thing you reach for every day because you’re genuinely excited to put it on.
Third, it has to have a classic shape with a modern twist; a crewneck sweater or tote in an interesting material or color, for example. A leather pocket, a super-long sleeve, or a collar that plunges a little deeper than usual… something that separates and elevates it above your inexpensive, boring basics. Finally, it’s probably going to hurt your wallet at first. But when the cost-per-wear rule is applied, over the years, it’ll more than pull its weight in your wardrobe.
Here’s a roundup of items I think fit the bill.
P.S., there are over a thousand (!!) new faces here since last week thanks to a shout-out from Grace, so if you don’t quite know who I am or what my deal is, pop over here and say hello! I genuinely love to see and hear what you have to say. And I am always open to feedback — if there’s a way this newsletter could be more helpful to you, drop me a note.
We love to complain about adult things here, like the return of spray body glitter. We also love to debate the merits of stuff like hair volume, round up great shopping for you, and teach you new terms like “hot girl walk”, “iconic lunch” and “sluffer”. And sometimes, I get in my feelings.
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Wired headphones are fully back. Shelve your Airpods, you hate them anyway.