There's nothing like sumptuous-looking beauty products or Scandi-inspired packaging to kickstart heavy drooling and nowhere more so than my bathroom. If, like me, your bathroom needs some TLC (I live in a shared house with six others, who, at best, put the toilet seat down after using it), I've found a well-placed handwash or plush body scrub can work wonders, turning an otherwise plain-looking bathroom into a convincingly luxurious retreat. Here are seven of the best bathroom-perking beauty buys:
Best for UTILITARIAN BEAUTY: Meraki
Danish brand Meraki creates topnotch body products made from carefully selected ingredients that eschew parabens, colourants and SLS. This Linen Dew bodywash smells lovely and is fragranced using natural essential oils. The fact that it comes in gorgeous olive-coloured plastic, with a utilitarian pump top and helpful minimalistic white label, is probably just a happy accident...
Best for haircare that's as attractive as it is effective: bumble and bumble
First, there was Surf shampoo, a rather fetching-looking blue bottle that ruffles up hair to beach-goddess status no problem. Then, there was Prêt-À-Powder to bestow gravity-defying, grease-free hair without fuss. Lately, there's Bb Curl, which moisturises and sculpts curls to perfection – and there's bound to be more to come. The emerging theme, though, is that of excellent haircare housed in similarly glorious packaging.
Best for lovely-looking soap: ARTIST ATELIER SOAP
Designed by UK artist Sarah Bagshaw, these gorgeous kaleidoscopic prints begin as hand-drawn or painted prints before some digital "fine-tuning". A champion for incredible artists, Artist Atelier frequently collaborates with talented designers to create some of the best-looking beauty packaging in the biz.
Best for Well-priced luxury: H&M
I've banged on about H&M's brilliant beauty range before on account of its effective formulas, affordable price tags and expensive-looking packaging. Propped up on your bathroom shelves, it really could rival higher-end brands and, though I would recommend giving their eyelash curlers a miss (mine broke mid-curl after two weeks), I've yet to find a bath, body or hair product I haven't loved.
Best for SMELLING UNusual: & OTHER STORIES
Much like H&M, & Other Stories prides itself on well-priced, top-performing beauty. However, their USP lies in unusual-smelling scents: Moroccan Tea (spearmint, brown sugar and orange flower), Fig Fiction (bamboo, wild fig and rosewood) and Havana Blues (tobacco, jasmine and lemon), to name a few. You can pick up the scents in many forms – scrubs, mists, lotions, oils – but, if you ask me, you can't beat their gorgeous hand soaps.
Best for at-home spa: Oliver Bonas
Oliver Bonas has recently expanded its beauty range with heavenly scented bath and body products. A round of applause is in order, since the whole range – exfoliating handwash, bath salts and body cream – is brilliant. My favourite? The extra-soft sugar scrub, which gives legs a good gentle buff. Give it a sniff!
Best for SIMPLE AND SCANDI: Mirins
Hailing from Copenhagen, the stylish Scandi prints are a given. Pair that with wholly natural and organic ingredients and a focus on mood-boosting, aromatherapy-inspired scents, and you have yourself a rather delicious lipbalm. Their other bath and body bits are rather lovely, too.