top flight:

bathtime with

Actress and VIOLET GREY bath critic January Jones reviews the best in bathing.



Photography By ANTHONY GOBLÉ

Actress and VIOLET GREY contributor January Jones has many talents and, as her Instagram followers may know, has refined the ritual of bathing (and the bathtub selfie) to an art form. Here, in her new column for The Violet Files, Jones holds court from her tub as VIOLET GREY’s very own intrepid bath critic. Much like a research scientist or a restaurant reviewer, she examines new products each month and delivers her verdicts on the good, the bad, and the beautiful.

This week: Jones assesses the merits of a quartet of bathtime products—plus offers her two cents on bathing etiquette. Hint: Don’t call your boss from the tub.

THE GOODS: I used the Susanne Kaufmann Detox Oil Scrub first. I put it on while I was dry in the shower to avoid any mess, and then got into the bath.

THE RAVES: It left my skin so silky I didn’t need a lotion or an oil afterward.

THE TIPS: I always try to air-dry after my bath or shower to let the scrubs or oils I’ve used absorb into my skin. If you don’t have the time, try patting yourself dry instead of rubbing so you don’t wipe off all that moisture.

THE GOODS: During the same bath I also used the Susanne Kaufmann St. John’s Wort calming bath: It was kind of fizzy at first, so I advise avoiding any additional fizz (like Champagne) while using it—there is such a thing as overfizzing. 

THE RAVES: I loved the smell, and it was super relaxing and left my skin refreshed and calm. Neither product caused my skin to become red or irritated.

THE TIPS: I also used some Honest Company lavender bubble bath and half a cup of Epsom salts in this bath for an extra relaxed experience. I believe you should always use multiple products in your bath, and getting the right combination is key. I would avoid drinking alcohol when you use a salt or detox bath. While all those toxins are coming out, you don’t want the first thing you put back in to be more toxins. I usually have some kind of tea instead—anti-stress or women’s, for balance.

​​​​​3. Eve Lom Cleanser

THE GOODS: I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to cleanser, although I want one that removes makeup as well as dirt. This one had me worried because it came with a seven-step process and a muslin rag, but I followed the directions and it was pretty incredible. The rag exfoliates and the step-by-step massage was actually very relaxing.

THE RAVES: It removed all the dirt and makeup from my face. I was left with some eye makeup because I wasn’t willing to scrub around that area, so I needed a little eye makeup remover at the end, but my skin was pink and glowing. I also loved the smell of it.

THE TIPS: This product works in the morning as well: The facial massage wakes you up and it isn’t a soap, so it doesn’t dry out your skin. I usually don’t wash my face in the morning and instead just splash with cold water to tighten the pores, but I will make an exception for this one every few days. Paul Newman used to wash and/or soak his face in ice-cold water in the morning to wake up and keep young, so that’s my plan—because who doesn’t want to look as good as he did?

​​​​​​4. Yves Durif Comb

THE GOODS: I love to use a wide comb on my hair after I’ve washed it. I was told never to brush wet hair because it doesn’t spring back, and a comb doesn’t pull on your strands as much. Brushing tends to weaken wet hair, which can cause breakage.

THE RAVES: I love to use a thick comb to just untangle, and then I either air-dry or blow-dry and style my hair after washing. This one is perfect for that, and it’s also pretty and doesn’t take up any space.

​​​​​​5. Smythson Beauty Notes Notebook

THE GOODS: I have loved this brand for a long time, and this little book is no exception. 

THE RAVES: It’s chic and tiny and fits in any purse (or on the edge of the tub), and you can use it for so many things. In mine I’m writing these beauty reviews; making lists, including the grocery kind (I go to the market nearly every day, and in the fall my lists feature various ingredients for stews and bisques); and documenting dreams I wake up to and the crazy stories my son tells me so I never forget. 


Unconventional baths such as a “kitchen detox.” Use one pound of sea salt and one pound of baking soda in your warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes. I learned about this a few years ago from Dr. Linda Lancaster in Santa Fe, and I do it once or twice a week. She recommends various baths to rid the body of toxins and metals from flying. There’s another where you sweat during the bath and for another 20 to 30 minutes after the bath. Your body rids itself of toxic elements, so it’s important to drink a glass of water afterward to replenish and rehydrate. 


Make the water too hot or you won’t be able to stand it for too long, and be prepared to sweat afterward! Don’t do this in the morning unless you are an athlete and it’s acceptable to be sweaty at work.


Reading a new book. I just started the fourth book of the Elena Ferrante series and I never want it to end. Read only for pleasure in the bath—a fun biography or hot new fiction; whatever relaxes and intrigues you.


Get your book wet. I have a little metal tray that goes across the bath for my oils and bath salts and a book holder. And refrain from reading anything work related or any emails. I don’t even read magazines or scripts in the bath—they are hard not to get wet. 



Separating from your phone. I recommend leaving it at least 5 feet away—it’s good for the soul and the body. Try to keep it on airplane mode too. 


Drop your iPad. I am just naturally really good at not dropping things into the bath, but it’s another reason to keep your gadgets at a healthy distance. 


Making a call to your crush, or to girlfriends regarding your crush, from the auspices of the tub is generally within bounds.


Call your boss or anyone else who would judge your midday bath.


Eating a yummy pastry with your coffee or tea while in the bath.


Even consider eating yesterday’s takeout in the bath—too Bridget Jones for the likes of you and me!


See The Violet Files’ cover story with actress and bathing beauty January Jones.