When I was in graduate school, I would treat myself to spa services at the end of each semester. A calming facial, an invigorating full-body sugar scrub, and a luxurious massage were my rewards for making it through another four months of reading academic studies, writing late into the night and putting together presentations.
Now, with a 9-month-old at home, going to a day spa is a tall order. What parent of an infant has an entire afternoon or a few hundred dollars to spare?
Happily, I still get my spa fix every now and then by getting my girlfriends together for a do-it-yourself spa night at home! Here’s how we create a fun night of self-pampering:
Set up the beauty bar: Ask everyone to bring their favorite beauty products to share! This is a great way to try out products your friends have recommended without the risk of spending a bunch of money on products you don’t end up enjoying, or that don’t work as well for you. Spa night is also a good excuse to visit a beauty store you’ve been meaning to explore and treat yourself to a new item you’ve been wanting to try.
What types of beauty products could you bring? Our spa nights include:
- Mud masks, facial peels, and face creams
- Pumice stones, cuticle oils, nail polishes and press-on nails
- Salt/sugar scrubs, lip scrubs, hand scrubs
- Lotions and body creams
- Eye serums and gels
- Hair masks
Set the mood: Spa night is meant to be a relaxing time when you and your friends can exhale. Although we spend the evening trying out beauty products, we don’t worry about how we look. Everyone arrives dressed in pajamas or loungewear. Hair is tied back so it’s easier to apply mud masks. Flip-flops are the shoe of choice so we can give ourselves pedicures without messing them up on the way home.
Clear off your kitchen or dining room table and put a clean, inexpensive tablecloth over it. This way, if someone spills product (or wine) on the table, it’s no big deal. Make sure you have enough chairs for everyone to have a seat at the table, or at least enough seating in the room so that no one is left without a comfortable perch.
Light some scented candles and put on relaxing music, or have your favorite chick flick showing in another room for background noise!
Set the menu: Lots of food to nosh on is a must! Ask everyone to bring a dish to share. Healthy, spa-like treats such as cucumber water and veggies with hummus are delicious, but cupcakes and dips are perfectly fine, too. Spa night is meant to be indulgent! Have a couple bottles of champagne on hand, if you’re into that, plus plenty of other beverages to suit everyone’s preferences.
Set up the food in another room. The kitchen is the obvious choice; you simply want to keep the food away from your beauty products and prevent the room where your group is hanging out from feeling too crowded. Make the night feel more upscale by using your wedding china and fanciest silverware – when else are you going to enjoy those beautiful plates and fine crystal?
Set the tone: Spa night is when everyone should feel beautiful, welcome and accepted. While it’s fun to gab while you do your nails and paint your face with mud, it’s not the night to get into heavy topics like politics or religion. Keep the conversation inclusive. If you sense the tone of the night falling off the rails, get it back on track by pointing everyone’s attention to how soft your hands feel after trying out your friend’s hand scrub or by showing off your shiny, polished toenails. We aim for the feeling of a teenage sleepover without the gossip!
A spa night at home is an inexpensive, healthy way to let your hair down (while also giving it some much-needed TLC). The next time you and your girlfriends decide you need to get together, plan an inexpensive spa night and indulge!