I Tried a Holiday-Themed Beauty Routine for a Week and My Small Heart Grew Three Sizes

Graphics: Well+Good Creative
At this very moment, I smell like the inside of a gingerbread house. I'm no mind-reader, but I'm fairly certain that the person sitting next to me on my morning subway commute's thoughts went something like: This chick smells like someone dipped her in cinnamon sugar. Like she just came strolling out of the Lincoln Tunnel arm-in-arm with Buddy the Elf. Like she's the kind of person who queues up the Charlie Brown Christmas album on November 1st. And well, guilty as charged.

For the past week, I have scrubbed, hydrated, deodorized, shampooed, exfoliated, lathered, and even bubble-bathed with *only* the beauty products scented to celebrate this glorious season, and truth be told, I have never felt more festive. There's something about literally *wearing* Christmas on your skin that sparks a metamorphosis not unlike the one the Grinch has in the finale of the iconic film. (You know—when his "small heart grows three sizes" in, like, a hot second.)

I'm already a pretty cheery person in general, but the new regimen makes me nothing short of Who-status. Some (shoutout to my roommate) might even say that I'm even being a tad bit obnoxious by making our entire bathroom smell like the holiday section of a department store. But, I protest! That's only because those people have never felt the pure, childlike joy of swathing their armpits with candy cane deodorant, or massaging gingerbread and cappuccino body scrub into their skin, or multi-masking with both evergreen and eggnog-scented face masks.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start from the, er, advent of the whole experiment.

To kickoff my holi-yay beauty escapades, I start with a simple morning shower. When I survey my bag of holiday skin-care spoils, I'm torn between sudsing with two equally yule-tastic body wash products (oh, the dilemma!). So obviously, I do the only logical thing and decide to refresh my body with both. I rub on the scrub first, which exfoliates my skin and leaves the entire bathroom smelling like someone put on a pot of coffee and pulled a batch of gingerbread cookies out of the oven simultaneously. Then, once that's all rinsed away, I follow up with the gentler candy cane wash that adds a refreshing minty aroma to the air.

Once I towel off, I apply a thick layer of peppermint lotion from head-to-toe, and because the holidays are nothing if not indulgent, I then apply a generous layer of gingerbread and cappuccino lotion to my hands and forearms. Ahhh, that's better. I swipe some peppermint lip balm on, and I'm ready to take on the day as my most Cindy Lou Who-like self.

I vary the routine slightly for the next five days, applying whatever products are speaking (caroling?) to me. But the last night is by far the best of all. It's Sunday, and I take my iPad, a pint of vegan Halo Top ice cream, and (duh) my fleet of holiday goodies with me to the bathtub. Once the water is steamy, and ready to slide right into, I once again can't decide between a bath bomb or a gingerbread bubble bath. Well, both it is. After the bomb slowly explodes in the water, I drizzle in a reasonable amount (so, a quarter of the bottle) of the bubble bath, too. The suds swallow me up, and it's like I've been swept into a warmer, more luxe version of the North Pole. I grab Cocokind's Merry Moss exfoliator (which you can find exclusively at Whole Foods) and massage it gently onto my face. Then, once that's rinsed away, I apply the brand's eggnog-scented softening mask. And with nothing left to do, I sink into holiday heaven.

Even though the experiment is technically over now, I'm glad to report that my holiday-boosted routine will live on. As of the time I'm writing this, I still have 14 days, 11 hours, 2 minutes, and 12 seconds left until Christmas—and you better believe I'm going to spend it lathering up with the most festive scents of the season. Because TBH, smelling merry makes me feel merrier, too.

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