Self-care. It was the 2018 buzzword and we’re still going hard at it in 2019. How you self-care can really look like whatever you want it to – be it bushwalking or meditating, to playing video games… to spa days.

I’m committed to Sunday Self-Care Day – loads of people choose to use their Sunday afternoons and evenings to give their face, hair and bod some TLC. The difference is, I’m a Style Editor so I get sent loads of free shit from beauty companies to trial. When I love something, I add it to my self-care routine. And so developed the most ridiculously luxe spa day in existence. Well, close to.

Because we can’t all afford to raid MECCA, Sephora and department store counters with our hard-earned, I’ve also decided to share the affordable buys I love. So basically, if you want to copy me (you should, it’s a TIME folks) you can choose between the luxe product I use, or the cheaper alternative.

HAIR

On Sundays I actually do the whole “hair-mask-then-leave-it-for-ages” thing. I’m trying to grow my damaged hair so it’s long and healthy again (news flash, you can’t mend split ends, you can only encourage new healthy growth) so I start with a pre-wash, 3MORE INCHES Pre-Wash Treatment, $57, which actually comes in a cheaper $17 mini if you want to try it without the credit card guilt. You apply it like a mask and massage it into the roots to soften the hair you have, but also encourage more growth.

Then, I wash my hair and add a rich mask – I flit between the Bondi Boost HG Miracle Mask, $39.95 and Aveda Damage Remedy, $55I’ll leave the mask on for 30 minutes wrapped in glad wrap while I watch an episode of Game Of Thrones, which I’m re-watching at the moment.

After rinsing, I’ll apply hair growth serum on my scalp. I have a SUPER pricey one from Sisley called Revitalising Fortifying Serum, $240, that I’ve been using for a few months and it’s been pretty amazing, but I just switched to the cheaper Bondi Boost Intensive Spray, $29.95.

Then I’ll add my styling product and dry it all off as normal.

BODY

OBVIOUSLY I start with a bath. I’ll fill one with either my Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin Bath Oil, $90 – so luxe, it always makes me feel like I’m in some fancy NYC hotel. Otherwise, I’ll go with a Lush bath bomb – my all time fave is Butterball, $5.95 because my skin is irritated as HELL most of the time, and it’s designed for sensitive skin – but god I wanna try the Ariana Grande-inspired Goddess, $10.95. It’s modelled after that amazing liquid she rolls around in for her ‘God Is A Woman’ video clip.

Lush Goddess Bath Bomb, $10.95

I’ll do an all-over body scrub with my Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub, $16.95. This is my all-time fave and has been for years, it’s moisturising as well as hard-working to slough off dead skin cells and *ahem* old fake tan. I’ll do my leg-shaving in the bath too after I scrub – scrubbing beforehand is GREAT for getting ingrown hairs out so your shave is superclose.

Then it depends on my mood – if I wanna be tanned for the week I’ll get out, dry off and apply St Tropez Dark Mousse, $59.99 or Bondi Sands Dark Foam, $19.99 using my Luna Bronze Self Tanning Mitt, $15.95. Word from the wise – buy a tanning mitt with a thumb pocket. It makes it SO much easier to apply! I also find they last way longer than the oval-shaped ones, which always end up with holes where my thumb pokes through.

Luna Bronze @ MECCA Self Tanning Mitt, $15.95

If I’m not tanning, I’ll moisturise my whole body with something really rich or reparative. I was using the La Mer Reparative Body Lotion, $260, but it is OBVIOUSLY like luxe to the point of oblivion (but really did feel nourishing and I love the trademark La Mer scent). Anyway, there’s totally cheap alternatives – another fave of mine if you’re doing all this before bedtime is Aveda’s Stress Fix Body Creme, $59, which is heavenly, like lavender-scented and rich as hell. Even cheaper? I actually can’t fault Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion, $9.99 and it’s what I buy when I don’t have luxe stuff around. It’s suitable for sensitive skin, rich but not sticky, and does the job really well.

OBVIOUSLY I’ll also light a candle. Byredo Biblioteque, $95 is my favourite, but I’m also extremely partial to Ecoya’s Cedarwood & Leather Candle, $29.95.

FACE

MASK TIME! I do two masks, because I can. But also it’s not the worst idea, especially if you have multiple skin issues you want to treat. For me, it’s always dull skin and hydration, and those are two things you need to treat separately. So I’ll start with an exfoliating mask, something that deep cleanses. I have a LOT but my favourites are Eve Lom Rescue Mask, $109, which is honestly worth every scent, Sukin Sensitive Pink Clay Masque, $16.99, and Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, $80.

Peter Thomas Roth @ Sephora Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, $80

Those clear up the dead skin cells and pore gunk, but my skin always needs intensive hydration. So I’ll then go for a sheet mask – sheet masks are great for locking in moisture. My fave fave FAVE is the Go-To Transformazing Sheet Mask, $9but I’m also a fan of Neutrogena’s HydroBOOST Hydrogel Mask, $5.99On the VERY luxe side of life, the 111Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask, $168 for 5, is ridiculously amazing but also quite literally a large chunk of my paycheck.

Dr Barbara Sturm @ MECCA Hyaluronic Serum, $453

Once that’s all done, I’ll add a hydrating serum (Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, $453, or The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5, $12.90) then a rich moisturiser – my new favourite is Votary’s Super Seed Nutrient Cream, $130, but I also love Embryolisse, $38 and Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturiser, $9.99.

Do you froth self-care? You can do some fury meditation, grab a smoothie bowl c/o Kath Ebbs and get the lowdown on mindful boozing at PEDESTRIAN.TV’s SelfishWeekend presented by The House of Angostura this March 16-17. Buy tix here.
Image: The Notebook