It goes without saying: 2021 is the year of self-care.
But what does that really mean?
Self-care is taking the time to do the things you love and that inspire you — guilt free. It’s soaking in the bubble bath, indulging in the foot scrub. We say pour that glass of wine. Sign up for the online yoga class. Journal. And color — inside or outside the lines.
These are the best spots in Philadelphia if you need a bit of pampering.
Master aesthetician Chrissy Dress had the right idea to name her Chestnut Hill day spa/specialty boutique Cure de Repos because rest does cure the body. She offers appointment-only massages and facials at her 633-square foot boutique. The store is also a great spot to buy skin-care products like creams, serums, masks, and more for an at-home pampering session. My favorite: The Sara Happ Sweet Clay Lip Mask ($32), full of shea butter and other lip-softening botanicals.
Self-care time is incomplete without a calming candle burning in the background. Old City Canning Co.’s scented sprays ($16) and reed diffusers ($22) in a variety of scents from citrusy grapefruit to musky sandalwood get the job done. The hand-poured candles ($10+) are soy-based and last for about 20 hours. Have an idea for a scent of your own? Owner Stanford Ponson will consult with you to make a custom scent.
Good Buy Supply Co.’s modest collection of body scrubs, perfumes, and bath bombs are selected from companies that create as little waste as possible in their manufacturing processes. (The store also reuses packaging as much as possible.) My favorite: the shower steamers ($6) — available in sinus-clearing lemongrass, mint, lavender and eucalyptus — to turn my shower into a coveted steam room.
Marsh + Mane is one part spiritual apothecary, one part haven for all things hair. Owner Jenea Robinson stocks the South Street store with tingling masks, essential oils, and luscious hair and body butter. And Marsh + Mane’s sage bundles ($9.50) — that believers smudge to smoke evil spirits out of the house — are among the best in the city.
Penn Herb Company’s Lisa Taormino is the queen of all things DIY. She sells kits so you can make your own beauty products, too. You can buy a kit to make your own hand cream with almond oil, beeswax, and baking soda, decorated with rose petals and lavender buds ($7-$15), or one to make an herbaceous bath bomb made with raw nutmeg, cinnamon, and anise ($7-$15). The Northern Liberties-based herb company also sells a selection of Epsom salts to relax achy, stressed-out bones.
Hands down: The self-care item of the moment is the weighted blanket. You can find a beautiful woven weighted blanket ($298) at the art-inspired Ardmore gift shop, Trace, as well as popcorn poppers, puzzles, teapots, and supersized mugs. Owner Marny Baxt curates items to make your home feel cozy and beautiful, including games, jewelry and art inspired by Philadelphia locales, like a painting of the waters of Kelly Drive.
Dorothea Gamble and Dagmar Mitchell have filled their Northern Liberties specialty store, Trunc, with home goods for purposeful pampering. There are cute prepackaged drink kits like sweet Mexican hot chocolate (from $15) or a jar of cocktail mix ($25); and sleep kits ($24) complete with linen spray, a sleep rollerball, ear plugs, and lip balm for a restful doze.
Just walking through East Falls’ Vault + Vine, which is so much more than a plant store, is therapeutic. Stop at the cafe for a steaming cup of peppermint tea. Browse the perennials. Then pick up a self-love gift kit ($115) with a beeswax candle handmade in East Falls, a Franklin & Whitman vegan mask, a Gold & Water charcoal bar soap, an incense cone made from Philly-grown herbs, and a Printfresh journal. All you need is a soundtrack. (Vault + Vine suggests Al Green’s “I’m Still in Love With You.”)