Wednesday, July 6, 2016

{Femininity} 30 Chic Days – The Fourth Series: Day 29

One of my favourite ways to feel more feminine is to indulge in ‘boudoir time’.  My version of boudoir time starts between 8pm and 9pm.  If we have dinner early enough and are cleaned up, I retire from television viewing and go up to our bedroom.  I have the lamps on but not the overhead lights; I may have an herbal tea and I spread myself out with all my journals, a book or a soothing magazine such as Victoria.

Part of my boudoir time is taking an extended makeup removal and face wash, perhaps applying a clay mask.  I recently bought a Clarisonic facial brush which I use each morning in the shower, so I don’t use an exfoliant anymore, but I love to apply a clay mask on my t-zone, with coconut oil on my cheeks as a moisturising mask.

While my mask works, I turn on my relaxing spa music and spread myself out over our bed with my journals, a book and maybe a Victoria magazine.  I may have a herbal tea to sip as well, or a glass of water.  I've been journalling more lately.  After about 15-20 minutes I wash my masks off and then change the water in the basin to give a final rinse with clean water and enjoy putting on my serum, night cream and eye cream.  I also apply my lavender body lotion to neck, decolletage, arms, shoulders, wrists and hands.

I pack up all my journals, books and magazines and put them away, then settle into bed with my current book.

There are so many benefits to boudoir time:

  • It is far more relaxing and conducive to sleeping well than watching tv or being on the computer
  • I won't be tempted to work late
  • My eyes won't get scratchy because I'm still on the computer even though I'm really tired
  • It feels feminine and like I am a lady of leisure
  • It feels meditative which is good because I don't do any other type of meditation
  • I can actually feel my muscles relax when I turn on the soothing spa music
  • I love my journalling time and have come up with some great insights and ideas
  • There is no cost – it’s completely free to do
  • I sleep well after this calming wind-down to bed time
  • It feels like I take my self-care seriously when I make time to do this
  • It is a very enjoyable hour or so
  • It feels very feminine and ‘French’ to pamper myself in this way
  • I feel like I am living my idealistic dream life when I do this at least a couple of times a week
  • Doing this slows down time, it punctuates the week and stops one week sliding into the next

If you’ve read or are reading my new book Thirty Chic Days, you may notice I mention boudoir time a few times.  I’m a fan!  What about you?  Do you do anything similar?  I’d love to hear about any soothing evening rituals you might have.


  1. What a delightful picture you paint of boudoir time, Fiona. I sometimes have an early night while husband finishes watching a TV prog, and I tend to have a warm shower and then apply body lotion.
    I don't have a special facial regime, my skin is quite good still as I've always used moisturizer and make up since I was about 13 or 14 (not to school, but certainly at weekends; my parents didn't mind me wearing make up at a young age, and that was young in the 1950s) but I make sure that I remove all make up traces before bedtime.
    I find facial wipes are ideal for this. I wash all make up off (I know, experts say cream if off, but I find washing does the trick for me as I don't wear heavy make up) and then go over my face with a facial wipe and after that I apply moisturizer (I don'd have a special night cream, they're all much of a muchness I find, as long as it sinks into my skin, that's fine.)
    I've not applied a facial mask since I was in my 20s and of course, a 20-something hardly needs such a thing, they have lovely skin (well, usually!) But my regime has served me well because I've managed to keep most of the wrinkles at bay, I'm not like a walnut that's for sure!
    On a daily basis I use St Ives body lotion on my arms and legs and a special foot cream from my podiatrist for my ankles and feet. And then, when I have my evening shower, etc, I use Roger & Gallet Precious Restoring Balm (who names these things? It's body cream! And the light rose fragrance is lovely, but really, the St Ives at a fraction the price is just as good, if not better. The Roger & Gallet just feels more luxurious as it's in a pretty tin! Suckers we are for pretties, aren't we?)
    I have mineral water to drink, perhaps with a twist of lemon, and whatever books I'm currently reading, and perhaps the latest magazine, preferably The English Home or Period Ideas.
    And then, when husband comes to bed he brings us both a cup of Bournvita (sometimes mixed with Ovaltine, sometimes mixed with drinking chocolate.)
    Margaret P

  2. I too like to go to my bedroom to putter around a bit before the rest of the family goes to bed. I recently purchased an essential oils diffuser which I run at night with a mixture called "Sleepy Time" (lavender and tangerine). Filling the room with a soft lavender scent is a nice way to unwind while reading...etc. I've switched to essential oil diffusers over candles, which I'm nervous about with my "experimental" boys around!!

  3. In my research on treating insomnia naturally, I've come across many of these suggestions. In particular, an electronic-free downtime prior to bedtime is relaxing, not stimulating. Your nighttime routine sounds lovely. As a recovering insomniac, I would not read in bed anymore, although I always loved to do that. But journaling is so good, especially to get down any troubling, anxious thoughts that might disrupt sleep. I also used to take a shower right before bed, and now find that taking one an hour or two before bed allows my body to cool down to perfect sleeping temperature (I read that, and it really works). Actually, I often take a bath with Epsom salts, which is so relaxing, as the magnesium in the Epsom salts promotes relaxation as well.
    And I love the word "boudoir"! Sounds so luxurious!

  4. Hi Fiona, as a follow up, I did a little post on creating my peaceful, organized bedroom sanctuary today. It's something I've been playing with for awhile. I loved your idea to hang all your clothes in the closet so I did that this week - even my summer shorts and t shirts. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Love the before bed bath spa time...used to do this as a child, mom knew it was good for sleeping! I have been listening to one of Clarissa Pinkola Estes' audibles as I turn out the lights and am in Kindle has a timer which I set for 30 minutes and am usually asleep before it cuts off...sleeping through the night restfully and waking much more positive and refreshed...she seems to have this effect on most of her listeners...thanks for your posts !

  6. PS I attempted to add to my comment, but my computer had a wobble, but I would like to add that to aid sleep, I use a pillow 'mist' of either lavender or rose. Both are lovely. I also change the bed linen at least once a week, more in summer, and the pillow cases at least twice a week. Were I rich and had 'staff' (other than my husband, I mean, har, har!) I would have fresh white cotton bed linen on my bed every single day. That would be pure luxury.
    I love all the comments on this post, Fiona.
    Margaret P

  7. I don't watch television or Netflix past eight o'clock. I really enjoy my quiet time although sometimes I listen to the BBC radio especially Radio 4. There are radio plays and documentaries. I'm 20 years older than you, so no water or tea for me after dinner.
    My Victoria magazine seems to transport me to a different space. I just bought a new caftan from a Canadian company called Diamond Tea Gowns. They make beautiful lounge wear so my boudoir time is elegant time. I worked on my bedroom surfaces this week as they were getting cluttered and we tend to have too many charging devices and earphones lying about. I feel decidedly more chic !


  8. Hi Fiona! I'm pretty much "good for nothing" after dinner. I'm lucky to get the kitchen cleaned up and usually just veg with my husband. I love to do all these things in the morning. That is my quiet time. After I get out of the shower with my hair in a towel and my robe on, I climb back into bed with a cup of coffee. I'll put on moisturizer and let it soak in and read a little bit. I get up several times to put on another layer ending with a layer of sunscreen all the while journaling a bit. Then I turn on the news while getting ready for work. Sometimes if I take a bubble bath instead of a shower, I will put on a mask while I'm in the tub. Anyways, that's my routine. Yours sounds lovely also!


  9. By the way, I tried to leave a message yesterday and I couldn't confirm that I was not a robot! Lol. I guess I kept getting the answers wrong!

  10. Carla: I kept getting the answers wrong when I tried to tell the computer I wasn't a Robot, too! I couldn't see all the little picture properly, so I just guessed at some of them!

    Madame La-Bas: I am older than Fiona by at least 25 years, but I don't cut out water in the evening. There is a danger that, in preventing the necessity of getting up for the loo during the night, we actually can make matters worse by not drinking sufficient water and actually becoming dehydrated (and thus making the urine stronger and more of an irritant on the bladder - this isn't just me saying this, but the nurse practitioner at my doctor's surgery). So take care to drink sufficient water before you go to bed, even if this means a nocturnal trip to the loo. Sorry if I sound like a teacher-manqué!

    Fiona: what a lovely post this is, I can smell all those wonderful creams, lotions, candles, diffusers that your readers are using! Truly!
    Margaret P

  11. What a lovely post. And a lovely night-time routine. Mine needs work {sighs}. I tend to work until very late because it's quiet then, or I read until I can't keep my eyes open, or watch TV British murder dramas until the last moment. LOL! I used to wrap myself up in a soft robe & have a bath or long shower & do all the lotions & potions thing right after supper (before books & TV) but got out of the habit a few years ago because of my schedule. But after reading this post, I think I might just start the habit again.

    Also, I have to add my voice of support to that of Margaret P just above when she reminds us to drink lots of water even before bed. Medical science has made a direct connection between chronic dehydration & Alzheimer's/early on-set dementia & have linked it to the (understandable!) habit many of us older folk have of not drinking anything after supper so we don't have to get up in the night. But better to lose some sleep than one's mind! They've actually done studies where they've eased the symptoms of Alzheimer's in some patients simply by getting them to drink more water! I won't put links here but there are lots of studies one can find via Google to back this up.

  12. Fiona, how sad I feel that day 30 us looming. I will miss these daily check-ins. PP.

  13. The bedroom is a place of respite for me too...and I do love to soak in our clawfoot tub in the bathroom. Relaxation before bedtime is necessary for me so that I can get off to sleep without too much fuss...
    I read somewhere that TV and computer time before bed negatively affects our ability to go to sleep.

  14. Margaret, your relaxing evening time sounds divine too. Thank you for sharing the details.

    Wool Fairy, puttering (or pottering) is exactly the right term to use. I bought an oil diffuser too, will have to take it up to our bedroom. I love lavender and orange/tangerine together; a friend introduced me to that combo in the 1990s and it's so uplifting yet soothing at the same time.

    Deborah, poor you, insomnia must be the pits. When I read a book before bed, it's never a non-fiction book unless it's soothing. I mostly like a lightweight and enjoyable novel (not murder mystery!)

    Wool Fairy, I look forward to checking out your post :)

    Anonymous, you're right, it is something that mums do for their children. Why should the basics change just because we're older? So, you listen to your Kindle? I didn't know you could do that (mind you I have the base model Kindle). Setting it for 30 mins is a great idea.

    Margaret, I'd love staff too. Fresh sheets every day would be amazing.

    Madame, I love the sound of a lounge wear caftan. It would be so cool to wear in the summer, how lovely.

    Carla, good for you being good for nothing after dinner :) I love your morning routine too.

    Carla and Margaret, I didn't realise that, sorry. I've switched off the word verification function; that's all I could see to change, so hopefully it won't be bothersome in the future.

    I am totally drinking more water now, Margaret!

    Susanne, the great thing about a night-time routine is that you can get the idea to start one and try it out that night. It feels so decadent to do something different too, and it doesn't cost anything. Thank you for the water info, I'm going back to my old habit of having a big glass of water before I fall to sleep at night.

    PP, don't worry, I'll still be here. Just not every day though :) But you can still read my blog every day if you want!

    Hostess, a clawfoot bath, how luxurious and lovely. I've read that about screens too. The blue light wakes up our brain more than other types of light.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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