Saturday, October 08, 2011

Spa Day at Home for under $10

Before any big event, like a party or a date, I like to spend the night before (and maybe the whole day if possible) pampering myself. It's also a great way to prepare for a holiday. Knowing I'll be spending a good chunk of time sitting in a car or cramped in an airplane gives me a bit of anxiety so I like to do what I can to get myself good and relaxed beforehand. The following activities are cheap, easy, and fun. So light some candles (I like to use these melon/peach scented tealights from Ikea), put on some good music or your favorite guilty pleasure movie and turn your home into a spa.


1. Start by pampering your skin with a homemade sugar scrub. I say homemade because it's much cheaper to make it yourself. The sugar crystals will act like an abrasive that sloughs away excess skin to get your body nice and smooth and the oils are extremely moisturizing.














Just mix the ingredients together carefully and store in a jar (I like this $3 one from Ikea). I like to use a coarse sugar or even brown sugar but whatever you have around the house will work. You can choose any massage oil in the scent you prefer; I like Stress Relief in eucalyptus spearmint from Bath & Body Works but this ingredient is just for the smell so you can add in what you have (maybe vanilla oil?) or just leave it out altogether. Slather this stuff on your skin while you're in the shower. It's great for rough, dry hands in the winter and getting your crackly feet back to baby soft conditions after summertime flip flop abuse. And my favorite is to use it on my legs to get them shiny and red carpet-worthy.

2. Give yourself a mini facial and get your face fresh and moisturized with a homemade face mask. This is especially essential if you'll be spending time on an airplane because that dry air will turn you into a raisin!












Two ingredients is all it takes. I prefer Greek yogurt because it's thicker and sticks to your face better. And don't use flavored yogurt because the sugar isn't great for the sensitive skin on your face. Just mix the two ingredients together and apply it to your (clean) face. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse with warm water. To take the pampering to the next level, finish off your mini facial with a steaming washcloth on your face. Yogurt is really great for the skin. It has antibacterial properties so it kills germs and cleans your pores and the active cultures are great for treating acne and eczema. Egg whites are great at tightening the skin and giving you a more youthful, energized look. Finish off the facial by putting on some moisturizer to preserve the results.

3. Get a manicure and pedicure at home. I prefer mani-pedis at home because it's cheaper, I can watch trashy television while my nails dry, and I don't have to worry about messing up my nails on my drive home. After a shower is the best time to cut your nails because they're soft and are less likely to chip. After your nails are properly trimmed you can use an emery board to smooth the edges. File only in one direction so you don't damage your nails.

Then use a sugar scrub around your cuticles on both your fingers and toes to get rid of any excess dull skin. Give your digits about 5 minutes with the scrub so that the olive oil has time to penetrate and really moisturize your nails. Then rinse with warm water and then wrap your hands and feet up with a warm, damp towel. Now that your skin is soft, you can push back your cuticles and apply a cuticle oil and/or moisturizer.

If your nails are clean prior to application, the polish will stick better and last longer but give yourself 30 minutes to seal in the moisturizing properties of the oil or lotion before washing your hands and feet with soap and water. Use a base coat to prevent your nails from getting stained and to give your nails a nice smooth surface, which will make it easier to apply the polish. Finish off with a quick dry top coat (I like Sally Hansen's quick dry top coat) for some added smudge insurance. If you're headed on a long holiday and have no room to pack polish for touch-ups, just paint your nails with a clear polish.

Relax and enjoy.

Cheers!

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