Bathrooms

how solid cosmetics are booming in bathrooms

Have you tried switching to solid cosmetics? If not, then there’s no time like the present, as these solid formats are the shape of the future when it comes to beauty routines. It’s out with shelves of bottles and endless ingredient lists, and in with new-gen shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes and soaps that are light on packaging — and preservatives — for a revamped, 100%-responsible beauty routine that’s good for your skin and for the planet.



text, whiteboard: Good for the environment and for your skin, solid cosmetics are set to take over your bathroom cabinet.


© marekusz / Shutterstock
Good for the environment and for your skin, solid cosmetics are set to take over your bathroom cabinet.

Old-school soap is where it’s at

The move towards more responsible and environmentally respectful consumer habits can sometimes — in fact, often — mean taking a step backwards. And cosmetics are no exception, with the solid bars of soap used by our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents slowly creeping back into bathrooms in recent years. And for good reason, since these soaps — suitable for face and body — don’t need any plastic packaging and are kind to skin, so long as you stick to natural varieties.

In fact, solid soaps contain virtually no water — unlike liquid shower gels — which is good news for the environment and which also means that there’s no need for preservatives or chemical additives. With soap, the endless lists of ingredients typically found in standard shower gel labels are largely simplified  — and generally more transparent — with a majority of raw and natural ingredients that are less likely to damage your health.

Another plus point is that the standard solid format is, by definition, portable. That can help cut unnecessary consumption, because there’s no need to buy special travel formats for trips away. Moreover, they’re generally suitable for facial use with gentler formulations than body-specific versions.

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When astronauts ‘have to go’



Duration: 07:24

Going in space feels just like going on Earth, according to NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy. He shows viewers how to pee and poop in space, using bags of water and mushrooms. Credit: NASA Johnson Space Center

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Ten tranquil bathrooms with dark and soothing interiors

A charred-wood washroom and a monolithic, concrete bathtub feature in this roundup of 10 zen bathrooms that swap traditional white walls for dark, moody hues and tactile materials.



a large tub next to a window: Dark bathroom inside Bathroom of Untitled House, UK, by Szczepaniak Astridge


© Provided by Dezeen
Dark bathroom inside Bathroom of Untitled House, UK, by Szczepaniak Astridge



a glass shower door: Dark bathroom inside Untitled House, UK, by Szczepaniak Astridge


© Provided by Dezeen
Dark bathroom inside Untitled House, UK, by Szczepaniak Astridge

Untitled House, UK, by Szczepaniak Astridge

Smooth, dark, concrete characterises the walls and monolithic bathtub of this bathroom, which Szczepaniak Astridge designed as part of a house renovation in Camberwell, London.

The bath is screened by stainless steel Crittal windows that enclose a void through the home and is teamed with a bespoke, polished stone sink. According to the studio, the aim was to design a “place to retreat to, to guiltlessly linger and hang out”.

Find out more about Untitled House ›



a sink a mirror and a window: Dark bathroom inside Pioneer Square Loft, USA, by Plum Design and Corey Kingston


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Dark bathroom inside Pioneer Square Loft, USA, by Plum Design and Corey Kingston

Pioneer Square Loft, USA, by Plum Design and Corey Kingston

A washroom, shower, toilet and sauna are all enclosed in the dark, tactile boxes that wrap around the central open-plan living area of this apartment in Seattle, Washington.

Accessed through frosted glass doors, the bathroom facilities have walls and ceilings lined with blackened wood, charred using the traditional Japanese technique called Shou Sugi Ban, while the floors are covered with dark cement tiles.

Find out more about Pioneer Square Loft ›



a room with a sink and a window: Dark bathroom inside Villa Molli, Italy, by Lorenzo Guzzini


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Dark bathroom inside Villa Molli, Italy, by Lorenzo Guzzini

Villa Molli, Italy, by Lorenzo Guzzini

A palette of serpentine stone, concrete and smokey, natural lime plaster gives rise to the atmospheric interiors of this bathroom in Villa Molli, a dwelling overlooking Lake Como in Sala Comacina.

It forms part of one of the house’s large bedrooms, in an effort

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Real Living’s 20 most beautiful bathrooms



a cat sitting on a tiled floor: Let these stylish bathrooms, ensuites and powder rooms straight from the pages of Real Living magazine inspire you to create the bathroom of your dreams.


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Let these stylish bathrooms, ensuites and powder rooms straight from the pages of Real Living magazine inspire you to create the bathroom of your dreams.

Bathrooms are one of the trickiest rooms to design. From colour, shape and textured tile choices, fittings, hardware, and specific layout decisions, it can be an overwhelming process. As the design can’t be changed and reconfigured easily, it’s also crucial to get it right the first time.

From rustic to modern, monochrome or bright and beautiful, let these beautiful bathrooms from the pages of Real Living inspire you to design a swoon-worthy space in your own home. If you’re not here for inspiration, just sit back and imagine yourself in one of these deep bathtubs, B.Y.O wine and bath bubbles.

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County parks’ bathrooms MIA? Friendly dragonfly?

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:



a flock of seagulls standing next to a body of water: Finn Hilgeman, 2, and his dad, Spencer, toss feed to a pair of geese at Lake Julian Park on Jan. 30, 2020. The pair come to feed the birds about once a week but this was their first trip in a while after January illnesses kept them at home.


© ANGELI WRIGHT/ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES
Finn Hilgeman, 2, and his dad, Spencer, toss feed to a pair of geese at Lake Julian Park on Jan. 30, 2020. The pair come to feed the birds about once a week but this was their first trip in a while after January illnesses kept them at home.

Question: With Buncombe County’s parks, the bathrooms still haven’t reopened. Why is that?

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My answer: Hey, I’m sure all the little tykes “holding it” till they get home have not used any alternate “facilities.”

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Real answer: Lillian Govus, director of communications and public engagement with Buncombe County, answered this one.

“We open most restroom facilities only when those facilities are under full operation (i.e. pools, sports facilities, etc),” Govus said. “With COVID-related closures, we obviously were not at full operation.”

More: Answer Man: New Enka ballfields? County helped pay for them?

The bathroom status is seasonal under normal conditions, as well.

“Every year, we begin winterizing our bathrooms in October and close the restrooms until April,” Govus said. “Out of all of our facilities, we have currently used portable toilets at two facilities, the remainder of our facilities are operating under their status quo in terms of seasonal bathroom availability and activity levels.”

Buncombe County Parks and Recreation operates the Buncombe County Sports Park, Lake Julian Park, Charles D. Owen Park,  Hominy Valley Park, Collier Cove Nature Preserve and the following river parks: Alexander, Bent Creek, Corcoran Paige, Glen Bridge, Hominy Creek, Ledges Whitewater and Walnut Island.

More: Answer Man: Enka boat ramp tough to navigate? And more absentee ballot questions

As a “general rule of thumb,”

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