There's nothing that I like more than spending an afternoon at a swanky spa, relaxing, trying out treatments and enjoying some much needed 'me-time'. Unfortunately I'm not the Queen and spa days don't come cheap, so, although I might indulge in the occasional spa treatment, I have now mastered a way to create my own DIY Spa in the comfort of my own home. Are you ready for some serious pampering? Here goes...
You will need:
LOTS of big, fluffy towels
Tea light candles
Step 1: Set the Scene
I hate clinical looking spas. When I book myself into a spa I expect it to be a sanctuary, dripping in luxury, sumptuous furnishings and ambient lighting (I'm not asking for much... ha!) Of course, unless you live in a palace it's unlikely that your bathroom looks like the The Sanctuary, but there are some simple ways to set the scene. Firstly, do away with any clutter and domestic products - you'd never see a box or Persil at a spa would you?! Then light up some candles including a scented one - the more decadent the better. Block out the rest of the world by diverting all your calls to answer phone and turn off your notifications. Eerie silences in a bathroom lit by candles isn't relaxing so download a spa-inspired playlist prior to your DIY Spa evening and put it on. Finally, make sure the heaters are turned up quite high so you're warm and comfortable, place a big fluffy towel in the middle of the floor and get ready for some serious relaxation...
Step 2: Pick your treatments
Deep Cleansing Facial
Recreate that just-stepped-out of a spa glow by giving yourself a pampering facial. You might have noticed that when you have a facial at a spa the therapist repeats the same steps quite a lot. This is to stimulate the skin cells and get the blood in your face flowing faster and closer to the skin, giving you a plumper, more radiant complexion. Start by gently exfoliating your skin with a face scrub. Then apply a luxurious face mask and leave on for 15 minutes while you relax in the bath. To get similar benefits of a facial you need a really rich, moisturising mask like the Oskia Renaissance mask. Rinse the face mask off with a muslin cloth and begin the cleansing process. To effectively cleanse massage it into your skin and wash off with a damp muslin cloth. Then apply a second layer, this time really massaging it in so that it catches any left over dirt or excess product from the mask. If your skin's oily follow with a few drops of toner and cotton wool to wipe away those last traces of cleanser. Finish with a moisturiser and massage it into your skin using circular motions.
After you get out of the bath, gently pat your skin dry and apply a body scrub all over. Try to do this for at least ten minutes so that all the dead skin is removed and the blood around your body flows faster. If your hands are sensitive use a body mitt. Then jump in the shower and rinse it off. While your body's still damp grab a small spoon of body oil and place it under one of the candle's flames (you only need to do this for a few seconds - any longer and you'll burn yourself!). This will heat it up and ensure that it sinks into your skin faster. Apply the body oil all over and prepare for the next part of your spa evening...
Lava Shell Massage
What spa night is complete without a full body massage!? If you can find a willing volunteer (masseuse/partner) get them to join you for the last treatment. It's unlikely you'd have a massage table on hand so try piling a few towels on the bathroom floor and get them to give you there (if there's space), or on your bed (although that might be a bit distracting, ahem...). A normal, full body massage is fine but if you want to try something a little different or special you could try the Lava Shell Massage Kit. It's similar to a hot stone massage, but it uses ceramic shells instead. It's really easy to use - you just fill the shells with a self-heating sachet and, using gentle pressure, massage it all over you back, legs and arms.
Step 3: And relaaaaaaax
By now you'll be feeling quite relaxed and dehydrated so keep a glass of water or some cordial on hand. Then move into your bedroom and lie down. Spend the next half hour listening to music, reading a magazine or book ot just go to sleep.... ZZzZZzzzzzzZzzzz