Is there time for making yourself feel good?
Of course there is.
Here are 6 self care treatments you can do in 20 minutes.
I live in a busy home. With 3 boys, 3 dogs, 2 cats, a corn snake and a husband there is always something going on, somebody needing fed or something needing cleaned. I would love to spend hours every day doing my hair make-up and nails, but in reality I grab 20 minutes when I can every couple of days.
So what self care can you do in 20 minutes? How do you use that little snippet of time to make yourself feel magical, or at the very least human? Read on to find out.
Make your favourite drink, grab your favourite book or magazine and head to a quite room.
If it’s day time you might want to stick with a mocha or hot chocolate, but in the evening if you have a cocktail you love, and you don’t have to drive anywhere, take a few minutes and make it. This isn’t supposed to be a quick glass of wine or a pick me up coffee, this is about treating yourself and allowing some indulgence. Enjoy the anticipation as you make your drink, take in the smells and imagine that first sip. Make the perfect beverage and take time to savour it.
Curl up in a comfy chair, or head to your bedroom and wrap yourself in a soft blanket. Pick up your book, or magazine, and relax. Escape in the words, sip your drink slowly and let the worries of the day drift off.
Have a bath.
We’re not talking about a quick wash to get clean and ready for the day ahead, but a good long soak surrounded by wonderful scents. No matter the time of day grab your favourite candles and light them. Draw a bath of the perfect temperature for you, I like mine hot enough to cook me lobster red, and throw in your favourite bubbles, salts or bath bomb. Hop in, lie back and let your mind wander.
While you soak take in the scents around you and imagine where you could be surrounded by them, I love the smell of violets and often picture myself walking through a field of wild flowers when I’m in my violet scented bath. Let the tension release from your muscles and breathe.
If you love to read, take a book in with you. If you love to sign then belt out your favourite songs at the top of your voice. This is your time, do what makes you feel good.
When you are finished with your soak use your best body wash to get clean and smell fabulous. If you feel you need to pull the plug, let the water drain and wash off under the shower, but try to visualise any worries or stress being washed off and drained away with the water…it might feel strange, but try it.
Step out of your bath refreshed and relaxed, wrap yourself in a warm fluffy towel or robe. If you can take a little extra time to massage in your favourite body lotion. You’ll be ready to face anything.
Put on the perfect make-up.
For everyday some of us use the bare minimum of make-up, some concealer, a bit mascara and a splash of lippy. Like me some people don’t even bother with that. Full face make-up is for going out and special events, so taking the time to indulge can be just what you need for a quick pick-me-up in the middle of a hectic week.
Clean and moisturise your face and let the moisturiser soak in and dry while you choose your colours. It doesn’t matter if you are going for no-makeup-make-up or full-blown diva, pick out exactly what you are going to use before you start.
Apply a good primer if you use one and let it sit for 1-2 minutes before applying your foundation. After this do your make-up any way you like, just take the time to enjoy the experience. I do my eyes first, I can clean up any powder sprinkles or runs and fix my foundation early that way. Next is concealer, followed by powder and my lips are last.
Watch the transformation and never worry if there’s something you aren’t good at, this is for you no one else, personally I’m not great at eye liner, I usually either skip it or use dampened powder and a brush instead. If there’s a particular bit of the process you are good at praise yourself for it, ( I really nailed that colour blend, it makes my eyes look gorgeous; this is the first time I’ve tried inner lips and they look perfect, I’m definitely going to do them again; you get the picture) those kind words of empowerment will stay with you for the rest of the day, repeat them every time you catch a glimpse of yourself in a window not mirror.
If you have a fixing spray give your face a good spritz once you are happy with your look, this is the face you are going to show the world for the rest of the day, you want to feel as good by the end as you did when you were taking the time for yourself. Remember to keep praising your handiwork at every opportunity.
Give yourself a pedicure, with a leg and foot massage.
Our feet often get ignored when we think about self care, and they’re maybe the most important part box our bodies. Your feet are excepted to carry you around all day and they often get squished into shoes that are maybe not the best fit. Lots of us really don’t like our feet so we ignore them, it’s time to stop, love your feet and live yourself. This is one I insist you MAKE 20 minutes for.
Firstly grab a foot spa (if you have one) or a wash basin (if you don’t have a foot spa), fill it with warm water and some salts; Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, your favourite scented bath salts…it doesn’t matter just add some. If you have a favourite essential oil add a couple of drops to the water or choose a blend based on how you want to feel; relaxed – lavender, chamomile and vetivert are great; energised – try some orange, lemon or spearmint; de-stressed – some rose, ylang ylang or bergemot might just do the trick. You could even splash in a few drops of Bach Flower Remedy for some anxiety relief.
Soak your feet for at least 5 minutes, 10 if you can spare yourself a little extra time (you are worth it) and remember to be present in the moment. Enjoy the sensation of the warm water swirling round your feet, breath in the scent from the oils and allow yourself to unwind. When you’ve finished with your foot soak pat your feet dry with a warm towel. This is when you can use a pumice stone or foot file to remove and rough or hard skin.
Take your favourite body lotion, foot cream or massage oil and spend a few minutes massaging your feet and lower legs. Work in small circles and use your thumbs and finger tips to release any tension in the muscles. Pay close attention to the skin around your nails and your heels, really work the lotion or oil in to these areas to moisturise them.
When you are done trim your toe nails straight across and file and rough or sharp edges. If you like finish of with a pretty polish to make your feet look lovely.
Try out a new hairstyle.
Most busy ladies tend to opt for ponytails and messy buns for their everyday hairstyle, I know I seldom have time for more than this. However, every-so-often it’s good to try something a bit different. Spend a few minutes looking online for a different hairstyle that suits your hair length, thickness and texture, there are loads of good tutorials on YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Once you’ve picked one gather together everything you’ll need; brushes, clips, grips, straighteners, curling tongs, hairspray, whatever it is grab it.
Before you start on the styling take a couple of minutes to brush your hair through and give your scalp a massage, working the natural oils through the length of your hair; if you need wet hair to do the style have a quick wash and condition using this time to massage your scalp.
If you need to have the tutorial in hand and then start on styling your hair. It’s best not to try anything too adventurous or too far beyond your skills the first few times, this is about making you feel good so build up your skills and confidence rather than trying something too hard and feeling defeated at the first hurdle.
When you’re done take a moment to snap a selfie. If you ever think you’re hair styling is hopeless, look at the shots of all the great styles you did when you took the time for yourself. You CAN do it and you ARE fabulous.
Give yourself a manicure.
We make and sell beautiful, magical nail polishes, of course a mini-mani is going to be on our self care list. That’s not the only reason though, if your hands look and feel beautiful so will you, I promise. Also it’s a great way to be adventurous about your look without taking drastic measures; If you want to add a splash of outrageous colour but don’t want to dye your hair, aren’t confident enough to wear those bold coloured clothes and just can’t master the latest make-up trends then giving yourself a manicure and finishing off with an on-point colour is the very thing for you.
First make sure you clean your hands and nails well. Use a gentle, acetone free, nail polish remover to clean off any old polish. Once you are happy any old polish has been removed you can shape your nails.
If your nails are quite a bit longer than you want carefully trim them down to a little longer than the desired length. Use good quality stainless steel nail clippers or flat headed nail scissors and take extra care not to catch your cuticles. Once your nails are trimmed down shape them with a good quality file; I always use a fine emery board, nail buffer or glass nail file as they are much gentler on my nails than coarse emery boards and metal nail files which can cause rough edges and micro-tears in the nail and lead to catching, chipping and peeling. It’s best to file in one direction from the edge of the nail towards the middle rather than using a sawing action; However if you need to take of a lot off nail you can “saw” to get the right length, then finish off in a single direction to smooth of the edges.
Once your nails are shaped apply some cuticle remover if you use it (follow the instructions and don’t leave it on for too long) and then apply some cuticle oil and work in well. If you have time this is when you can give your fingers a soak. Fill a small bowl or basin with warm water, for an extra treat add a few drops of your favourite essential oils and some tumbled crystals (use something like rose quartz which is the crystal for self love or whichever crystal is going to be most beneficial to you). Let your nails soak for 3-5 minutes, much longer than this and your nails will become too soft. Pat your hands dry on a soft towel when you are done.
Have a hand massage for a couple of minutes; after applying your cuticle oil, or nail soak if you have time, apply a good hand cream and give your hands and fingers a massage. Use your thumb and fingertips to work in small circles across your palms and the backs of your hands and then push gently from the centre outwards with your thumb. once you have worked the palms and backs of your hands wrap your hand around each finger in turn and gently turn as you pull up and off (you are releasing the muscles and tendons, not trying to pull your finger off). Finish off by gently, and lightly rubbing your hands together to work in the last of the moisturiser.
Now your hands are clean, moisturised and feeling relaxed it’s time to take care of your cuticles. If you applied a cuticle remover there won’t be much to do here but either way take a cuticle pusher, or hoof stick, and GENTLY push back the cuticle from your nail. You are trying to remove any dead skin from your nail and free the cuticles up, not push them so far back that you cause damage; at times when I’ve not had a cuticle pusher to hand I’ve done this with my thumb nail, it’s not ideal but does the job well enough. I would never recommend you trim your own cuticles, this can lead to deep cuts and possible infections if you don’t know what you are doing, you are aiming for gorgeous hands not damaged ones.
Once your hands and cutilces are looking fab it’s time for your nails. If you don’t have time to apply nail polish use a 4 way buff to bring your nails up to a lovely shine. If you do have time for polish use the finest buff to work out any ridges or pitting (this is something I always have due to health conditions), swipe over with a cotton pad dipped in nail polish remover to remove excess oils and apply a good base coat. Apply your colour in 2 coats and finish with a top coat.
Remember to snap a pic of those fabulous fingers, you can even share them with us in the comments or on our Facebook page we’d love to see your mani’s using our polishes (when we launch that is).
Got a bit more time to yourself?
Choose a few of these self care treatments and give yourself a full blown pamper session.