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Tips on Indulgence From 25 Famous Women

“Bathing is my hobby.” —Oprah Photo: Getty Images

Self-indulgence is really about self-love — and luxuriating in all our whims, desires, and worst impulses for a sweet little break. There’s nothing quite like the rush of eyeing a delectable material good, falling madly in love with it, and dropping loads of cash to become the item’s proud new owner. Only after the high levels of giddiness do the unmistakable signs of panic or guilt kick in. Others might simply take a bath, go out for a decadent meal, or have a single American Spirit cigarette. Below, 25 famous women share their favorite ways to relax and reward themselves, including “Treat Yo Self” originator Retta, Cardi B, and Donatella Versace. Spoiler: if Oprah taught us anything, it’s that baths are the pinnacle of indulgence.

1. Oprah
“Bathing is my hobby. So any kind of bath salts, bath oils, anything for the bath you can get me … I do have a hand-carved tub. Out of marble and onyx … However, it was carved to the shape of my body. I told you, bathing is my hobby … I’m serious about it.” —The Late Late Show With James Corden, March 2018

2. Emma Watson
“I have a bath every single day of my life. And if I can have two or three — amazing. Nothing terrible is going to happen in the bath, so I always find time for that. I’ll take phone conversations in the bath, anything.” —Into the Gloss, March 2017

3. Meghan Markle
“French fries and vino are my vices.” —Delish, June 2018

4. Iris Apfel
“Caviar used to be my drug of choice, but since my husband is on a no-salt diet, I’ve kind of given it up. I still have dreams of sitting down and gorging, though. I love it with a good vodka; I don’t like it with Champagne.” —Harper’s Bazaar, March 2015

5. Lupita Nyong’o
“Meditation is something I’ve always been interested in. It always has felt a little mysterious and out of my reach. Right after Black Panther came out, the day after the Oscars, I went on a ten-day silent retreat. It was a gift. I did it for my birthday. And it was the best gift because, the thing is, my job has two main parts. There’s the acting, and there’s the celebrity. And the celebrity involves a lot of giving. After talking so much, and just expend, expending, expending, to sit with myself and just listen. Our lives are so full of distractions; you go from one distraction to another.” —Marie Claire, March 2019

6. Mariah Carey
“I bathe in milk. Yes, sometimes I use milk as a beauty treatment. I don’t want to give away all my secrets.” —The Guardian, June 2018

7. Emilia Clarke
“Bathtime is a ritual! You’ve got to get the right temperature, you must have good bath salts or Epsom salts and dissolve them properly, and you need bath oils to get some scents going. I don’t do bubble bath — it makes me feel too much like a kid. I have to soak for at least half an hour. If I had time I could be in that bath for three hours, although me having three hours to take a bath is like finding a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow.” —Violet Grey

8. Shonda Rhimes
“I actually like being alone. I spend most evenings reading and taking long baths … The bathtub is the most important thing in my new house. It took me weeks to pick that bathtub.” —O, The Oprah Magazine, December 2006

9. Vera Wang
“My evening really begins when I take a long, hot bath. I light a candle, and I turn on the news and try to catch up. It’s when I can breathe from the day to the night, and that means a lot to me.” —Harper’s Bazaar, October 2012

10. Kris Jenner
“Costco is a passion. Costco is like a massage.” —New York Times, May 2015

11. Cynthia Erivo
“I probably own 20 or 30 bags. As for shoes — is it too much to say I have about 100 pairs?” —Oprah, October 2018

12. Padma Lakshmi
“I don’t know if it’d be called an indulgence but I make my own perfume with essential oils because a lot of store-bought perfumes give me a headache. It’s what makes me feel like me. I make my own formula with a mix of geranium and neroli and mir and rose in different proportions.” —Town and Country, February 2017

13. Grace Coddington
On her Waterworks tub: “The ultimate luxury, because the tub is very wide. I had one in my old apartment. When I moved, this was the first thing I ordered.” —Elle Decor, September 2016

14. Pat McGrath
“For my beauty splurge, I go to amazing spas around the world. I’m a spa-holic.” —Time, September 2017

15. Kerry Washington
“I really love massage — that’s my favorite splurge, I’m a big massage girl. Growing up, it was really about mani-pedis. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but my mom always had her nails done. And my mom’s not a high-fashion person, she’s a retired college professor, really very classically elegant. But she always had her nails done. I think for her, it was less about looking a certain way, although obviously it made her look polished, but it was more about her time and trying to be good to herself. That little bit of massage, that little bit of elegance, that little bit of her saying ‘I’m going to do something special for me,’ as a working mom and a professional who could barely carve out time for herself. It was her saying, ‘This is my time.’” —Beauty Launchpad, August 2016

16. Beyoncé
“I always treat myself to one meal on Sundays when I can have whatever I want. Usually it’s pizza, which is my favorite indulgence.” —Self, April 2013

17. Ina Garten
“When I want to treat myself, I go online and order a huge crusty loaf of sourdough bread from Poilane, the best bakery in Paris. It’s enormous — it weighs about four pounds! — it’s made in their wood-burning ovens, and they FedEx it almost daily right to your door. When it arrives, I cut the loaf in quarters and freeze some for later. Poilane’s bread is dense and flavorful and it’s as good toasted with butter and jam as it is sliced for sandwiches or grilled for bruschetta. Of all the gifts I’ve ever given, a loaf of fresh bread shipped from Poilane was definitely everyone’s favorite! The raisin and walnut breads are also amazing? It’s like a trip to Paris without the jet lag!” —her Facebook, March 2013

18. Martha Stewart
“My guilty pleasure is not at all interesting: It’s a spoon of really good organic peanut butter, or a slice of American cheese from my housekeeper’s drawer. I steal American slices sometimes — in the plastic, it’s so horrible. But it’s such a good snack. I eat pickled herring as a late-night snack before I go to bed because it’s savory and good. I like liverwurst, and I know how bad it is now. I love squeezing it out of the tube and just eating calves’ liverwurst.” —Town and Country, June 2017

19. Nancy Meyers
“Chocolate, 100 percent. It’s an addiction. I worked with a supervisor on a film once who had to be hypnotized so she wouldn’t eat chocolate. I said, ‘Why would you deprive yourself of that?’ I’d never train myself not to eat chocolate. I do not want to not eat chocolate. When we were filming The Intern in Brooklyn, there were so many fantastic shops with gourmet chocolate. I couldn’t get enough.” —Bon Appetit, August 2015

20. Retta
On her ideal Treat Yo Self day: “I am an avid handbag purchaser. So my first stop would Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci. I say this as though I don’t do this every other week. I definitely have an obsession with handbags and I say that it’s because they always fit. The clothes that I like, the styles that I like, they may not always make it in my size, but they always make handbags my size.” —Time, October 2017

21. Cardi B
“I like to do absolutely nothing. I don’t want nobody to invite me nowhere. I don’t want to do my fucking makeup. I don’t want to put tight clothes on. I don’t want to wear heels. I don’t want to do shit. But if I can be with my dude and have a little nasty time, I love that too.” —CR Fashion Book, December 2018

22. Chloe Kim
“I love laying in bed and doing nothing and eating. So if I have my computer with me, and food, and comfy pajamas, then I’m good. I can probably survive for years and years.” —Refinery29, September 2018

23. Nicole Kidman
“I love getting my hair blown out! If I can do that, I feel really clean and good. And a manicure is always amazing, too. There’s something about feeling really clean. Just an everyday thing; I really feel much better if I take a run and then have a hot shower. Because then you don’t even need any makeup because your skin feels so healthy afterward.” —Woman’s Day, December 2013

24. Gwyneth Paltrow
“My one light American Spirit that I smoke once a week, on Saturday night.” —Harper’s Bazaar, May 2013

25. Emily Weiss
“I splurge on candles. I’m addicted to Diptyque Tilleul.” —The Zoe Report, February 2015

Tips on Indulgence From 25 Famous Women