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Jul 132012
 July 13, 2012  Posted by  Beauty, Entertaining, Health & Beauty
spa day friends

Anyone who has been to a salon or spa recently knows that it’s a high-ticket indulgence. It can cost hundreds of dollars for a manicure, hairstyle, foot massage and facial mask. So why not do it at home? And why not make it fun with a group of friends? A group can gather for a day of penny-pinching pampering that might be a lot more fun and memorable than a spa experience. Here’s what you do:

Get three good friends (a total of four is a good number) to gather at your home. Provide a light lunch and some wine (essential to this endeavor). Everyone should bring some old towels, their robe and slippers, and any fun stuff they have for a spa day – a mud mask, fingernail polish and nail accessories, a curling (or straightening) iron, and so forth.

Give yourselves facials. Laugh until your mud masks dry, then rinse them off. (Here’s where the old towels come in handy.) Put slices of cucumber on your eyes – it may not do a lot for your puffiness but it sure looks funny and will be worth a laugh. (No one is allowed to take photos to post on their social media page!)

Now for the manicure. Melt some paraffin (it’s cheap – found with canning supplies in the supermarket) and give your hands a paraffin treatment (use a crockpot and be careful it doesn’t get too hot). Dip the backs of your hands into the warm wax and let it harden. Peel off the paraffin for the smoothest hands you’ve had in years. Then give each other manicures. Play with nail colors. Maybe even do pedicures? If someone has a foot bath/massager, bring it.

If you’re so inclined, “do” each other’s hair. We’re not talking coloring or cutting (two things that should be left to a professional), but just styling. Use styling products your already have on hand (or buy some of those small samples in the bins at the store).

Give each other shoulder massages and foot massages. Invest in some scented massage oil or use light olive oil with a few drops of perfume in it (provided no one objects to the scent). Essential oils work well here (orange is soothing). If someone is particularly tense, send her into the bathroom for a “dark bath.” Run a warm bubble bath and light a scented candle, then turn out the lights before getting into the tub. Soak and relax for at least 15 minutes. No interruptions!

Know a few yoga exercises that are relaxing? Do those. At the end of the afternoon, everyone should lie down on the floor or a sofa or recliner and put on some meditation music for 15 minutes. No talking. And no snoring!

You can add or subtract any spa treatments you want – be creative in how to replicate them at home. Talk, laugh, drink wine (or tea, or fruit sparklers, if you don’t want alcohol). Have a good time. Nothing’s more relaxing than that! And it costs almost nothing.

Linda DuVal

Linda DuVal has lived in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region since 1969. She has been writing about the area for most of that time and is the co-author of the new “Insider’s Guide to Colorado Springs,” from Globe Pequot Press. She was a working journalist with The Gazette – the city’s daily newspaper – for 32 years, covering everything from city council to fashion trends, books and authors to travel and food. She has been a freelance writer since 2004, contributing regularly to newspapers, magazines and online sites. Linda owns and operates Pikes Peak On The Cheap.

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