My Bathtime Routine

Winter really is the season of the bath. The nights are drawing in and the cold weather makes the idea of a warm, bubbly bath seem so much more tempting. It is time to break out the candles and face masks.

I am a big fan of the bath. Like lots of people, I find them a great way to relax on an evening and a good opportunity to do a little pampering. Another perhaps more unusual reason why I enjoy baths so much is that I can actually see what I’m doing! I am very, very shortsighted so being able to keep my glasses on is great and makes shaving my legs much easier and less precarious.

I would love to have slightly fancier bath and body stuff but, as PhD student, that isn’t really an option but you don’t need luxury products to get totally relaxed. In this post, I will chat all about my current winter bathtime routine.

bathtime routine products (2)

Ambiance

When it is bathtime, I like to make my bathroom a calm and relaxed place to be. I do a quick tidy up, get my towels all ready, and light a candle. This Oliver Bonas candle is in the Green Tea and Lotus Flower scent, which I love but warning – it can be overpowering in a small room.

Bubble Bath

Every bath needs some bubbles and my current bubble bath of choice is the Imperial Leather pearl rose and forget-me-not. Despite the name, this is not overly floral but the fragrance is pretty and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. This bath cream provides the bubbles and the luxurious bath time feeling we all want for only a couple of quid!

Face Mask

I am rubbish at remembering to use face masks so I find baths the perfect time to apply. I have very dry skin so I only use this L’Oréal pure clay detox mask on my T-zone. You don’t need to use much and it helps to keep my skin clear and blemish free.

Body Scrub

Honestly, I don’t really use body scrubs very often but this Scrub Love coffee scrub came in a recent BirchBox so I thought I’d give it a try. You don’t have to use it all at once as the pouch is re-sealable, which is useful. However, I don’t plan on using it again. It was incredibly messy and although it smelt nice (of coffee and orange oil) in the bath, it left my skin smelling like instant coffee all day long. Also, the scrub did not seem to improve the texture of my skin that much. So all in all – it is a pass.

bathtime routine lisabeth westwood

A Good Book

Whilst my face mask is doing its business, I like to relax with a book. I always have one on the go and I’m currently re-reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford Chronicles. Gaskell isn’t for everyone, as her books mainly focus on lower and middle class life in the North of England, but if you like nineteenth-century writers, like Jane Austen or the Brontës, give Gaskell a try.

bathtime routine cranford lisabeth westwood gaskell

After the bath

I won’t bore you with the details of my haircare or shaving routine. After my facemask is off and I’ve caught up with the goings on in Cranford, bathtime is over. My after-bath routine can be described in one word: moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

I first use the Le Petit Marseillais’ body oil with shea butter, argan and sweet almond oil. This is a French highstreet brand that I love and always get my mum to stock up on when she goes away. I’ve been using their shower gels and handwashes for years! They all have such beautiful fragrances and feel much more expensive than they are. After the body oil, I slather myself in Aveeno shea butter body lotion: this stuff has worked wonders for my eczema and dry skin!

Once all this has sunk in, I’m relaxed and ready to snuggle up in my dressing gown with Netflix. I’m currently re-watching Call the Midwife with tissues at the ready! To me, that is really the perfect winter evening routine.

bathtime routine lisabeth westwood

*links are for information only.*

Advertisements

November Favourites and Highlights

November isn’t actually over year but I have had such a good month that I wanted to talk about it now! Here’s a run down of my highlights and favourites from this month.

Crisp morning walks

Lisabeth Westwood winter woods chilly

I love this time of year: it is getting chilly but too cold, the mornings are still light, and I can walk to work not completely bundled up in scarves and hats. I live a few miles from my university and I’m loving my morning walks at the moment. I get wrapped up, stick on a podcast (current favourites are Crtl Alt Delete and No Such Thing as a Fish), and set off to work. I love the crisp, fresh air and I often make a slight detour to walk through the park for that extra autumnal feeling.

Bourgois Rouge Velvet Lipstick

Bourgois lipstick

Lipsticks. There are just so many out there and most don’t live up to the hype. However, I have been loving the combination of this Rouge Velvet lipstick (03 Hippink chic) and the BarryM lipliner in Runway. It is really longlasting, i.e. it doesn’t leave you with that horrible lipstick ring round your mouth after one sip of coffee. I love this colour – I’ve really been channeling my inner Alicia Florrick (another November favourite, I watched ALL of the Good Wife recently).

I’m going to New York!

I’m so excited for this one! I have wanted to go to New York for as long as I can remember. As a child of the 90s, Friends and the like made NYC look like the place to be. I was lucky to win an academic prize that will fund a research trip to the Big Apple in March. It won’t be all fun but I’m really looking forward to planning my stay. I have the hotel booked (I’m staying at the AKA Wall Street and it looks so fancy), next is flights!

Teaching

I won’t sugarcoat it, teaching is hard and I only have a few seminar groups a week. I’m so impressed for all those primary and secondary school teachers out there, it is so much work! Despite all that work and marking, I have loved teaching this year. My students are so nice and seem to be engaged with the subject, the latter is really all that I’m interested in. The extra money has definitely come in handy this month too as Christmas is fast approaching.

L’Occitane Shea Handcream

Birchbox handcream Lisabeth Westwood L'Occitane

I mentioned this handcream in my review of the November Birchbox and I have really been enjoying it. I get very dry skin in winter and my skin has been loving this cream – it is so rich and moisturising. It is the perfect size for on the go but I have mine on my desk. I think I even prefer it to the Body Shop hemp handcream and that has been my favourite for years!

 

Unpopular Book Opinions

I just logged back onto my Lisabeth Westwood Twitter account for the first time in a year! I had a few notifications from people who might not have realised that my blog was on a hiatus. Back in January, I was tagged for this post by Lydia Wilkins and actually wanted to do the tag – even if it was 10 months late!!

What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like? 

The Harry Potter series. I’m 27 so was the perfect age for the Harry Potter series when it came out in 1997 and I did read – and enjoy – the first four books. My favourite was the Prisoner of Azkaban. But the fifth one was just so BORING. I got the book for my 13th birthday and couldn’t get past the first 100 pages. I had completely stopped caring about Harry – honestly, I found him pretty irritating. I just didn’t really get the hype.

A book or series that you love but everyone seems to hate?

I wouldn’t say people hate her work but people make fun of me for reading Penny Vincenzi novels. She writes these huge novels following the lives of different women. They are my perfect holiday read – especially Forbidden Places, which is set in World War II and I must have read it over ten times. Such a guilty pleasure.

A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did not want them to end up with, or an OTP you didn’t like?

Hmmmmm. The one that came straight to mind was Bella and Edward from the Twilight series. I was talking about this last night actually! Maybe it was just that the character development wasn’t particularly strong but the fascination with Edward never made sense to me.

A popular genre you hardly reach for?

Crime? I did like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo triology as I though Lisbeth Salander was a really interesting character (great name too!). Other than that, I have zero interest in reading about murders and dectectives.

A popular or beloved character that you did not like?

The Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes.

A popular book trope that you are tired of seeing?

The whole girl meets bad boy and falls in love but gets hurt. Then she realises that her one true love is her sweet, shy best guy friend (who has – of course – been secretly in love with her since they met).

A popular series that you have no interest in reading?

Game of Thrones. I tried and failed to read the first one. I feel the same about the TV series too – there’s too much drama. It also gives out the wrong impression about the Middle Ages: it wasn’t an inherently violent period.

What film did you prefer to the book?

Trainspotting! I read the book when I was seventeen and travelling to a university interview. Irvine Welsh is a great writer and I’ve got a lot of his books but the Danny Boyle film is so so good. Ewen McGregor plays Renton perfectly and the soundtrack is excellent.

Book Review: The Girl in the Spider’s Web

The Girl in the Spider’s Nest by David Lagercrantz

FullSizeRender.jpg

This is the fourth in the Millenium series originally written by Stieg Larsson. Larsson wrote the first three (first in Swedish and now in English translation) and they became very popular around 2010. I was working on a campsite on the Adriatic Coast in Italy and every time a family left the site they usually left one of the three original series behind.

Larsson died in 2004 and Lagercrantz has taken over the series. I got this book for my birthday from my sister as I really enjoyed the first three. I loved the protagonists: Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. They had a very interesting connection, and I like that Larsson and Lagercrantz to the same approach to the characters’ relationship.

The publisher calls this a crime novel but I think it is more crime thriller: it is left-field detective work that solves the crimes of powerful criminals undertaken by characters’ that don’t play by the rules. The first three books focus more on Lisabeth Salander’s family whereas The Girl in the Spider’s Web looks more at cyber crime and hacking – common themes from the earlier novels.

Lagercrantz’s Blomkvist and Salander aren’t as convincing as Larsson’s as their internal world and thinking aren’t as clearly represented. But, the plot moves quickly, and the drama is very much present. I read it so so quickly and I kept being surprised at all the twists and turns in the narrative. It isn’t going to win the Best Book Ever award but I very much enjoyed it. At just under 500 pages it is the perfect size for a holiday read for a long-haul flight.

4 stars!