Try This: The At-Home Morning Spa


At the opposite end of the spectrum from my most put-together self—which involves some very exciting combination of navy fabrics caulked together with brow gel—is my Tuesday morning self, which, if you live in Williamsburg and are an early riser, can be found walking to the Metropolitan Recreation Center at 6:50 AM for a morning adult lap swim. It is the second happiest I'll be all week, carefully edging out third place's Friday tequila soda, but it is my most revolting physical form: thighs packed into a Speedo jammer underneath long cobalt basketball shorts, ripped t-shirt with yellowing pits (more sleazy than Yeezy), and Keen hiking sandals. Should you ever encounter this form in the wild, I am so sorry. Know that underneath the repellent husk is a happy baby who's about to put in some meditative swim time and then pamper himself relentlessly afterwards as a reward.

After chlorine has ravaged my body, sucking it clean of moisture and leaving behind a thin chemical film and a smell I actually kind of like, I go into home-spa mode to undo the damage. It is the DJ Tiesto way of living: Work hard, play hard.

My roommate has headed to work at this point, and due to optimum apartment positioning for open window privacy, I get to be as naked as I possibly can be for this whole experience. (I'll spare you the description, but imagine a Roman statue with a dazzling sense of humor and much less muscle definition.) I turn the shower as hot as it possibly can go, rinse a little while it's lukewarm, and then hop out as it heats. When the steam fills up the bathroom, I put on Environ's Revival Masque and let it sit for five minutes. It's a powerful AHA exfoliant that can be left on for 20 minutes—for five, it barely does anything but cleanse my face, and I like how it feels.

Back into the shower, where I rinse off the mask and lather up a Salux cloth with Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gel—gently, I go to town on my legs and arms, and a little on my torso, just to get all of the chlorine out from everywhere it might be stuck. Then I go back over the whole damn thing with the other Bioderma Atoderm Shower Cream to condition. It's a body double cleanse, because I am a freak, and two body washes is exactly the kind of glamourous ablutomania I suffer from.

The very last step, after the shower, is a light coat of Red Flower Hammam Cardamom Amber Body Oil all over before wrapping myself in an L.L.Bean robe and sitting down to write this. It's lightweight, packaged in a handy spray bottle, and smells like amber—the perfect musky base for whatever scent I'm going to wear that day. From waking up to now, the whole routine clocks in about two hours. Then I put on my navy fabrics and brow gel and head to work, knowing that deep down, my most intimate self is wearing hiking sandals with basketball shorts. But if you can't handle me at my worst... Whatever, I forget the rest.

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by the author.

If you're feeling extra enough to hop on a flight for your spa experience, read all about Montreal's best floating spa here.