The Ultimate Bath: I Try 2016’s Biggest Beauty Trends


Raichel Jenkins | Editor-in-Chief |

To hail in the New Year, I’ve decided to try the biggest trends in beauty and spa to decide what spa hacks are really worth the money. After a year like 2016, I think we all deserve a little relaxation to celebrate surviving one of the most tumultuous years in memory.

I tried out 5 beauty trends hailed by beauty bloggers and magazines this year on a college budget in one glorious, ultimate bath. Let me preface this by saying I focused on spa, skin care and relaxation trends rather than makeup etc. I looked for products that were either knock offs of the expensive beauty products promoted by magazines this year or lesser known brands with the same benefits.

  1. Gold Face Masks – Avenue New York 24k Glow — $6.00ultimatebath_goldfacemask2

Let’s not even pretend this feels luxurious like the packaging suggests. It feels slimy and awkward laying limply on the contours of your face while you look like a melting yellow candle. That being said, I will have to admit my skin was more even-toned and glowing when I took it off. The sting of the gel is not unlike the feeling of tea tree oil but I can definitely see the allure if you have blotchy, uneven skin. I liked this more than the usual hydration cucumber masks or traditional spa masks. This is definitely worth trying again if you’re looking at a gold mask under $10. I will say the toning gold feel was temporary and the a couple days later my skin looked like it normally does, maybe you have to do it more often for lasting results.

  1. Bath Bombs – Rose and Remington — $7.29ultimatebath_bathbomb

Who doesn’t want to float in a blue frothy bath with sparkles or wilted rose petals? Again, let’s not pretend there is anything logical about a bath bomb because it doesn’t do much for your skin or your tub. They’re pricey but nothing feels more luxurious than being able to drop $7.00 into the water and literally roll around in it. Rose and Remington’s bath bomb “Happy Birthday” was blue, frothy and had a tiny wooden moon in the center that floated to the top of the water when the bath bomb was done. The bright blue water contrasted with my orange toenails and I admit it felt like a “Treat Yo’ Self” type soak.

Though 2016 was the year of the bath bomb, I prefer a good Epsom salt soak or oatmeal bath. It’s better for your skin and won’t stain your tub, though it definitely lacks the colorful entrance. I suggest my personal favorite, Dr. Teal’s Avocado Moisutizing Bath Salt for $4.99. This is cheap in bulk, and allows a bath junkie like myself to take a bath multiple times a week without looking like a shriveled prune.

  1. Charcoal Mud Bath – Organic Botanik Activated Charcoal Body Mask — $4.00ultimatebath_bodymudmask

This one absolutely wins with me for a luxurious experience. It’s cheap. One box came with three applications and one packet covered my entire body. While an absolute mess than ended up with me washing the tub, tile and surrounding sinks, I would recommend this to your skin care routine. The charcoal and magnetite dries lightly on the skin and when washed off, leaves the skin exfoliated and clear.

  1. Personalized Conditioning Treatments – Shea Moisture Rehydrating Cocktail Mix — $13.99

Let me start by saying this product is clearly marked for curly hair. As a blonde, straight-haired person, I wasn’t the intended market for this product. That being said, it does wonders for split ends and I loved being able to mix my own hair masque for my unique hair type. The package says you will get five uses from it but I would say more like ten for thinner hair. Make sure to wash your hair afterwards to avoid having greasy hair. The package says it can also be a leave in conditioner but I can’t see how that would be possible.

  1. Solid Shampoo – Lush Trichomania Shampoo Bar — $9.00

Being a tight wad, I got the smallest slice possible, thinner than a regular bar of soap. I also thought it was conditioner at first and let it sit in my hair for a good five minutes. Lesson learned, do not leave natural shampoo in your hair for so long. That being said, on second try it was a better experience. The claim that a bar of solid shampoo will last as long as a bottle of shampoo almost proves accurate. I think a normal bottle would last slightly longer but the shampoo bar would definitely make it ¾ of the same time. It does lather and clean your hair but I wouldn’t recommend daily use. It definitely dries out your hair, even with a heavily moisturizing conditioner. If you want to try natural solid shampoo, I’d suggest using it maybe two to three times a week if you wash your hair every day. For me personally, the end result didn’t take away from the hassle of using solid shampoo.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re strapped for cash, a.k.a. every college student, and want to have a spa day, try the body mud mask and a gold facemask. Don’t waste your money on the expensive gold facemasks, cheaper alternatives are out there and, in my skin’s opinion, do just as good a job. Be ready to clean your entire bathroom with the mud mask, in fact, use it as motivation to clean your bathroom after. Skip the expensive bath bombs and choose a good bath salt instead.

The Ultimate Bath turned out to be pretty decadent and I see why beauty trends have been a constant on everyone’s Snapchat news and newsfeeds. Sadly, there is no winning product for the ultimate spa experience at home but there are quite a few entertaining options for a night to treat yourself.