How To Have The Best Shower Of Your Life

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Did you know that the average American shower lasts 8.2 minutes? Assuming you shower every day, that's about one hour out of your week — or 52 hours (a.k.a. more than two full days) per year. That's a lot of time to spend in a space that you find less than inspiring, wouldn't you say?

I've always been big on bathrooms, since I'm a beauty editor with approximately one hundred billion products to test at any given time. But, living in New York forces you to seriously manage expectations, with the lack of storage space, bathtubs that are peculiarly colored when you move in, potential mold that you do your best to ignore, and other such problems.

That's why, during my most recent move (which was calamitous and happened this past weekend), my roommate and I bravely decided to make our bathroom beautiful. She purchased a shower curtain emblazoned with a giant pink flamingo (her first choice was Bill Murray's face, which we both initially thought was funny, but later determined would be a tad creepy), and thus started the Great Shower Project of 2015. It's still in progress, and our teeny little oasis has yet to require a proper cleaning, so we'll see how long this actually lasts. 

Here are a few things we settled on for the greatest shower, ever. Feel free to leave your helpful hints and suggestions below — they are much appreciated.
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First things first: The actual shower. After living for two years in an apartment with a showerhead that barely came up to my chest (forcing me to squat when I wanted to get my hair wet), I finally moved to a place with a higher nozzle. This called for a celebration, with the inauguration of T3's genius showerhead filter, which has EIGHT settings to control water pressure for a truly spa-like experience.

The filter claims to remove 95% of chlorine from the water, which theoretically improves the condition of your skin (most notably, it hydrates) and your hair, helping you retain your gorgeous salon color while reducing frizz and dullness. It's the most quintessential upgrade to your shower there is. (P.S. For a cheaper option, many of my friends love Jonathan's filter.)
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Just so we're all clear, no shower experience is complete without a sing-along. These guys manage to be vibrant and chic enough for anyone's bathroom — just stick one to the wall, blast Beyoncé, and live your best life. (Please don't overdo it and fall, though, like this lady.)
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We may not pay much attention (or, let's be honest, money) to the caddy in our shower, but an organized storage unit makes for a much more efficient experience. I love that you can adjust these shelves to make room for larger products, and that there's a special little holder for your razor.
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Okay, this thing has changed the game. I used to store all my products in the corners of my tub, where they'd leave weird black stains, or the water would end up inside hair masks and body scrubs, making them useless. Now, I have four neat little shelves that fit (almost) everything I need, and then some. FINALLY, there's room for my foot-and-hand scrub, and the three hair masks, and that scalp tonic, and the body brush...
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File this one under: "Things you never knew you needed." Essio is a little handle that snaps to your (new and improved, chlorine-filtering) showerhead, and it contains capsules filled with various essential oils. You tilt the capsule down as the water runs over your body and the oil slowly mixes in, adding an aromatherapeutic element to your morning routine. Breathe in that gorgeous, minty steam — you're so fancy.
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Pre-shampoo oil is for anyone with colored strands, or just for those of us with super-dry hair (or scalp). It acts as a cleansing oil of sorts, but with one added bonus: You follow up with your favorite (non-sulfate, please!) shampoo, and the oil helps to defend the scalp, follicle, and shaft from any cleansing agents that are too harsh. After you rinse, you'll be like, "Do I even need conditioner?" It also comes in clutch during the summer, when you've taken a dip in the pool or ocean — it's gentle, but still effective.
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Also gentle, but effective: Purely Perfect, which is currently a shower staple of many an R29er (it earned a spot on our list of next-generation, cult-classic products). The label says to do one pump, but we say to go nuts, and then apply all over your hair, giving yourself a generous, vigorous scalp massage. Rinse out, and you truly won't need conditioner.
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Look, if you're going to give your body a full polish, you might as well do it with something that smells delightful. This stuff is nice because it leaves behind a hint of moisture, so your skin feels hydrated, not raw.
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Speaking of polish, these mitts look cute and harmless, but they're the BEST for sloughing off dead skin and starting fresh. Immediately after you hop out of the shower, follow with a body oil or cream — the more moisture, the better.
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Every facialist I've ever spoken with says the same thing: "Don't wash your face in the shower." Our bodies are better at withstanding heat than our faces, and too hot water can cause inflammation and hurt our skin. Instead, wash your face before you bathe, and then go about all your other business. But, right before you rinse out your conditioner, apply a thin layer of this vitamin C-packed, express facial formula. Then, rinse, towel off, and head to the sink to remove it with cold water — you'll have a brighter complexion to start your day with.
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Yep, your feet (and hands!) could use some TLC. Who better for the job than Essie?
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After you leave your luxurious new shower, it's time to towel off. But — and this is crucial — don't you harshly rub back and forth on that freshly cleansed, soft-as-silk hair. Instead, invest in a microfiber towel, like DevaCurl's, and pat your strands dry. This will help minimize frizz and give you a more polished look that will last all day.
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