Sunday, 7 February 2010

Faux Spa

If you are like me you still lurve to pamper yourself, but in "these economic times" it is kind of a strain on the average budget to go to the spa. To help with this issue I have compiled a list of my all time favorite beauty articles/recipes I have found on the web. Enjoy!

The basic relaxation treatment: A long hot bath
You have to wash anyway, why not make that time a bit more special? This doesn’t have to require elaborate preparation. You’ll want an uncluttered bathroom (even if you just push the laundry out of sight for a half an hour) and a clean tub. The more senses you can engage, the better. Commonly, a few lighted candles, a few drops of essential oil in the water, gentle music and maybe some light reading are a part of the setting. Vary your choices to keep the experience fresh or to suit your personal preferences. Bath oils or salts are an inexpensive indulgence. Lowered lights will suffice if candles aren’t convenient.
You can create a similar ritual for the kids if bath time or the transition to bed is usually hectic. The lowered lights and warm water will help to relax them. You can even combine story time or quiet play with their soak. A rubdown with lotion afterward offers a nice opportunity for one on one bonding. You can also use the time to bring awareness to deep breathing and gently massage away any tension they may be holding.
Bath mixtures can be created simply sprinkling into the tub oatmeal or milk (fresh or powdered), citrus, and a few drops of an essential oil. Add another natural oil, such as a couple of tablespoons of almond oil if your skin is dry. Oatmeal is very soothing to the skin. Blend the oats to a fine powder and they shouldn’t clog the drain. Milk is a skin softener and an exfoliant because of the acid it contains.
Eyes on the Prize: Facials
The typical steps to a facial treatment involve a gentle cleanse, exfoliation, steam, a mask, and moisturizing. If you prefer to tone, it is best to do so after you rinse off the mask and dry your skin. Witchhazel is an excellent toner. Creating your own facial/body scrubs is fairly straightforward, and there are hundreds of possible combinations. Basic recipes combine a sugar or a salt plus an oil. The consistency is up to you. Add enough oil to be able to smooth the mixture across your skin. A slightly fancier recipe includes 3 cups sea salt, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon solid oil/butter/cold cream (Shea or coconut butter), 1/2 cup glycerin or honey, a few drops of essential oil.  Here are a few simple recipes to get you started:
  • 1 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons honey, a few drops of essential oil
  • Equal parts brown sugar and oatmeal, add olive oil to moisten
  • Equal measure powdered milk and honey
  • Equal parts coffee grounds and sugar with honey or oil to moisten
For steam, the low tech method is to fill a bowl halfway with boiling water, then drape a towel over your head and lean over the bowl. The steam rising from the bowl is trapped under the towel. Add a couple of drops of essential oil or rose petals for a soothing scent. Treat yourself for up to ten minutes, then rinse your face and neck with warm water.
Choose your mask that fits your skin type. You’ll want to use a clay mask for oily skin and a moisturizing version for dry skin. Make your own mask by blending a combination of aloe vera gel, yogurt, honey, and cold cream or avocado. A gentle treatment for under the eyes involves equal parts aloe vera and witchhazel. Dab gently and avoid getting the mixture into your eye. A wonderful solution for puffiness is to close and cover each eye with a cooled teabag. Relax. For deep moisturizing, a little topical Vitamin E or olive oil goes a long way. Dab a few drops onto your fingertips and massage it into your face before bed. Cover your pillow with a towel if you’re worried about leaving any behind.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Pedicures
The first step is a lovely soak for the feet. Epsom salts are not only inexpensive, they promote healing and relieve soreness and swelling. They are thought to actually help boost serotonin through the increased magnesium level in the body which accompanies their use. The salts soothe itchy and irritated skin. Soak for up to 30 minutes, then follow with gentle use of a pumice stone to remove rough patches. Apply a moisturizing lotion– since you have all the necessary components in place, give yourself a relaxing foot massage as you work in the lotion. Halved citrus fruits can also be used on rough patches on the feet, knees, and elbows.
For Lovely Hair, Acid Care
Mix fizzy water 4 to 1 with citrus juice for a cleansing rinse once or twice a month. An alternate rinse recipe consists of 2 tablespoons cider vinegar to 3 cups water. Natural oils, such as coconut, can be used overnight to deep condition hair. If you don’t have the time to fuss with washing in the morning, simply rub a bit in before you step into the bath, then wash it out when you finish bathing.
Essential oils come in a variety of aromas, but their delicious smell is only part of the benefit. Each has its own special combination of properties and many help heal skin from various kinds of damage. They are usually blended with a carrier oil (olive, almond, grapeseed) before being applied to the skin. The oils are thought to influence our limbic system as we inhale, affecting our emotions. They can be used to calm or boost energy. Three good choices for experimenting at home include:
  • Chamomile for its lovely floral scent and relaxing effect
  • Rosemary is antiseptic and promotes muscle relaxation
  • Lavender is an astringent and helps with bad skin

Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
1 cup sugar 
1/4 cup honey
clean cloth cotton strips
wooden stick or spreader
Dust the area to be waxed, with cornstarch.   Combine the first three ingredients in a clean glass bowl, and microwave for two minutes. Stop and stir your sugar mixture every 20-30 seconds.  Let it cool to a comfortable warmth, and, using a wooden stick, spread a very thin layer onto your clean skin.  Immediately cover the mixture with a strip of cotton fabric.  Briskly stroke the strip several times in the direction of the hair growth, and then, pull the skin taut, and quickly rip away the cotton strip, against the direction of hair growth.   As you proceed, you may need to reheat your sugar mixture in the microwave to keep it warm.  Do not boil it or overheat as you could easily burn your skin.
GERANIUM ZIT ZAPPERFor best results, take a few minutes and steam your face over a bowl of steamy herb broth consisting of roses, sage, thyme, and chamomile.
1 teaspoon powdered green clay
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon yogurt or sour cream
1 drop rose geranium essential oil
Combine all ingredients to mix well. Add essential oil last and mix well.
To use, spread the Zit Zapper mask on your skin, kick back, and let it sit for an hour.  Rinse off with warm water, finish with a splash of cool water.


Milk mask
Dry milk, honey and water. Stir together until it is the consistency of a clay mask and spread on face. Leave for 20+ minutes.

Olive oil in the shower works wonders!

Shimmer body dusting powder

Corn Starch
Some sort of shimmering eye shadow
Cosmetic Grade Fine Sparkles

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in a jar.

I know, I know.
 My list is kind of short, but all of these recipes are my tried and true favorites! Have fun chickies!


Thank you to;


For providing some of the recipes.

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