We all know how great it feels to leave a salon or spa with perfectly manicured nails, or skin so soft to touch you can’t believe it’s yours, and wish that feeling would last forever.
Inevitably nails end up chipping, your skin loses its silky feeling and before long you’re reminiscing about that just-stepped-out-the-spa feeling.
Although you’d love to revisit the salon or spa regularly, lack of time and money often means it’s only a one-off treat. But there are things you can do at home to re-create the spa experience.
Why not transform your bathroom into your own spa for the day and set aside some ‘me-time’ to give yourself some relaxing treatments. Using the correct products and techniques, and taking time out of a busy schedule can work wonders for your skin and make you feel much more confident. Light some candles, dim the lights and lay out some fluffy towels and slippers to get you in a relaxed state of mind.
Start your day by body brushing from head-to-toe. Yes, it may be a bit of a chore to start off with but once you get going, think of the results!
Body brushing is the best way to improve your body’s circulation without actually doing any exercise. Invest in a sturdy, professional body brush like this one from The Body Shop, £7.00, and give your skin a good dusting down. Make sure you start at your feet and work your way up the body in long strokes. Massage the brush in circular motions and always brush towards the heart to increase blood circulation and maximise results.
Body brushing not only increases circulation, it also buffs away dead skin cells, revealing brighter, clearer skin underneath.
Worried about cellulite? We all know cellulite can be a woman’s worst nightmare and with no miraculous cure out there, one of the best ways to combat the dreaded orange peel is to body brush your thighs and bottom every other day and apply a firming cream to target the areas on a daily basis. Soap & Glory’s Sit Tight, £14.30, is a fast-working serum, which drains lymphatic cells and tightens skin. The warm glow it provides also makes you feel like it is really working, and best of all it encourages you to sit down!
You can give your skin a little TLC and buff and preen it to non-blotchy perfection with the right products. The best way to maximise the benefits of a body mask is to exfoliate beforehand. Using a gentle scrub, exfoliate your skin from top to toe in circular motions.
Sanctuary Spa does a great range of home spa products that are effective and smell delicious. The Sanctuary Spa Hot Sugar Scrub, £10.20, warms as it touches your skin and is textured enough to combat any dead skin cells; if you have sensitive skin try a non-thermal body scrub which will be more gentle.
For early mornings, wake up with Champney’s Mediterranean Bliss Body Glow (£25) which is luxurious yet fresh with a gorgeous summery scent. Read our review.
Whilst if you like tropical scents to transcend you to sunnier shores; we love Pevonia Botanica’s Ligne Tropicale De-ageing Saltmousse which is also very firming and moisturising.
Exfoliating twice a week can vastly improve the appearance of skin, and even out uneven skin-tones.
Once you have rinsed off your exfoliator, it is time to apply a body mask.
The Nirvana Spa Hot Detox Body Smoother, £8.50 (available from ASDA) uses white clay to draw out impurities and the self-heating agent kick-starts your circulation whilst easing away tension and stress. If you have sensitive skin try a cold body mask like Ahava Pure Energising Body Mud Mask, £14, a natural mineral alternative with anti-ageing properties to leave skin replenished and radiant.
These body masks smell delicious and make you feel as if you are in a tranquil spa surrounded by gorgeous expensive products.
Whilst your body mask is working its magic you can give yourself a smile even Cheryl Cole would be proud of.
Let’s face it, we all want a glamourous white smile, but we don’t want to give up our coffee and red wine or fork out hundreds of pounds to get a celebrity smile.
High street brands can do the trick, without setting you back a whole month’s pay. Teeth Whitening System, £11.22 from Superdrug, promises to transform your teeth, claiming to make them 7 shades whiter in 2 weeks.
Using the step-by-step kit, apply the accelerator and whitening gel and place the gum shield in your mouth.
After all that brushing and scrubbing it’s time to rinse off your body mask and enjoy a relaxing bath. Add some Nirvana Spa Mineral Rich Milk Bath £8.32 for 400g (available from ASDA), or make like Gwyneth Paltrow and sprinkle some detoxifying Epsom salts, available from local chemists, in the tub. Get the water hot and bubbly, place cucumber slices over your eyes and imagine you are lying on a sandy Californian beach.
After a relaxing soak, your skin deserves a treat so invest in a great body butter to replenish and revitalise your skin. Winning awards time and time again, The Body Shop Body Butter’s are a fantastic way to lock in moisture for silky smooth skin. My personal favourite, Shea Butter, £12.50 for 200ml, has a gorgeous summer scent, which is already giving me that summer holiday feeling. For a fruity, uplifting body butter try the Champney’s Citrus Blush Body Butter, £10.00 for 350ml. Its rich, creamy texture and gorgeous lemon scent leaves skin feeling refreshed and soft all day, perfect for that just-stepped-out-the-spa feeling. Read our review.
Whilst if you require anti-ageing benefits from your body butter, induldge in Pevonia Botanica’s deliciously fruity and fresh Ligne Tropicale De-ageing Body Balm (£55).
Manicure & Pedicure
To complete the pampering day, treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure. Use a pumice stone to buff your heels and liberally apply Botanics Foot Butter, £4.48, to nourish and mend cracked heels. When it comes to applying nail polish do you find it hard to get that ultimate non-chip mani? Look no further. Follow these tips for nails that will rival any ‘just-stepped-out-the-salon’ look;
1. Remove any nail polish with a conditioning non-abrasive remover such as Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover, £1.33. If you have dry or brittle nails, soak them in a small dish of olive oil which will help to re-condition the nail and replenish moisture.
2. File your nails into a shape that suits you, and apply Nails Inc Silver Oil Pen, £12.00, to the cuticles. Rub the oil in a little and carefully push back your cuticles with a cue tip.
3. Rinse the nails in warm water and once dry, apply a layer of base coat which is suitable for your nail type. Jessica does a great range of base coats which help all nail types from dry and brittle to those with peeling layers. Jessica Rejuvenation, £9.95, is a great conditioning nail treatment for dry nails.
4. Once the base coat has dried choose a polish colour, OPI, Jessica and Nails Inc do some of the best nail varnishes around, and apply the colour in even layers. Be careful not to apply the layers too thick as this makes them prone to smudging.
5. Leave your nails to dry for a good hour before applying a sealing top coat like Nails Inc Kensington Caviar 45 Second Top Coat, £12.00.
There you have it. A simple do-it-yourself guide to a sensual, relaxing spa day that can get you beach-ready or just help you unwind from a busy schedule. Now, where’s my fluffy robe?