If you hate baths, you’re just doing it wrong.

Whenever I am looking to move into a new apartment (which was pretty much yearly for a while), one of the first must-haves on my list is a good bathtub. There is nothing better than unwinding after a long day by sinking into a hot tub of sudsy water and just treating myself for 30-45 minutes, or however long until your toes start to get all wrinkly and your roommate has to pee.

Over the years, I like to think I have really perfected the art of the bubble bath (a la Monica from Friends), and it is all about setting the most serene scene and then disconnecting. It’s about not overmixing scents, leaving your work in another room, and focusing on being present while you unwind and reset your whole day. A great bath will also lead to great sleep, and that’s an almost promise (depending on when your last jolt of caffeine was, I’m not a magician).

Not everyone is a bubble bath person, but I am a firm believer that if you’re not…you just haven’t done it right yet. Here are 8 steps to the perfect bubble bath experience, so you don’t end up with cold water and Epsom salt in odd places.

Lavender candles

You need at least two candles

Most bathroom light is less than relaxing, but you don’t want to be bathing in darkness either.  At minimum, you should have two candles, and think about the scent beforehand. If you’re going for super relaxing, a clean scent or something lavender-y is the way to go. Remember, your bubble bath will likely be scented, so you want smells that smell GOOD together, yaknow?

Pro tip: do not place them anywhere near your head or hair, or you’ll end up having the worst bubble bath ever.

The Shining

Book or music

Whether you’re a digital reader or still love the feel of a real book, indulging in a story while submerged in bubbles just takes the experience even further. I love something scary, a thriller or old school horror novel (something classic like The Shining), something really compelling so you won’t want to get out.

Wine glasses

Glass of something

Whether you want to unwind with a Pamplemousse LaCroix, a deep red wine, or a smoky bourbon, put it in a pretty glass. Make it feel a little special, and sip on it with your eyes closed. If you don’t want to feel fully grownup with it, get a bendy straw. Who are we to judge?

Lavender oil

Essential oil

Lavender for an evening bath, citrus if you’re doing a morning or afternoon bath (perfect for a Sunday). Pour a few drops into the water, or a little in your hands. Rub them together, and inhale.

Bath caddy

 Leave your phone outside

Sometimes it’s hard, but I try to leave my phone in another room when I take a bubble bath. I take some much-needed separation time from the Insta-story scrolling to actually disconnect. However, I still require SOME distraction, where this cool as hell bath caddy comes in. You can lay out your book, your wine, your essential oils, like a tiny little personalized spa just for you.

Bubble bath

 Bubbles

I would say that the bubbles themselves are one of (if not THE), most key part of a quality bubble bath experience. There is nothing more disappointing than a bubble that bubbles away immediately – we all want to be covered in lovely-smelling bubbles until we are fully done with the bath experience.This bubble bath is THE most perfect that I have ever found and is a must-have.

Clay facemask

 A clay facemask 

 Why not relax and unwind while improving your skin at the same time? Pick something that’s not sliding off your face (ahem, sheet masks), and something that smells nice but is doing work. See a pattern on things that smell good? This clay mask not only smells fresh and great, it is not too tight or uncomfortable on the skin and pulls out impurities and detoxes your pores.

 Lock the door

 Unless your cat’s litter box is in there. Then maybe leave it open a crack, just in case.

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