The Do-It-Yourself Home Spa Party
By Shelly Ballestero
We already know a day at the spa is costly, and going by yourself is not as much fun—not to mention that finding a babysitter is another job in itself. So why not do it all at home?
You may think, How can I do this with kids at home? You can create a home spa and have a blast while creating the theme for the party and getting your kids involved, too! For my first home spa party, I decided on a beach theme because we live in Florida. To keep my kids busy, I had them make the decorations while I made preparations for the spa party.
I invited eight women—not too many, not too few. To lighten the workload and the price, you can have each friend bring one of the fixings for the facial bar. For instance, one person could bring five avocados, the other a large container of yogurt, and so on. Also have each guest bring one toiletry item; these will make up the gift bags.
Peach Zinger (recipe below)
Dessert and Tea
Oriental Trading Company has loads of party stuff for every theme at inexpensive prices, so you can buy most of the decorations and goody bag items through their catalog or Web site—they’re not just for kids! For a beach theme, for example, purchase hibiscus straws for drinks, theme cups, fish tattoos for the kids, plastic leis or hair clips, hibiscus picks for finger food, and a burlap table runner. You can be simple or go all out; it depends on your budget. By the way, the price for all the above items came to $18.95 plus shipping for my party.
Set the Oasis
Music Play List. My choices were ocean sounds, Hawaiian (instrumentals), and Nemo. Use whatever works with your theme.
Decorate. Let your kids help set the scene, or if you don’t have children, invite a couple of friends to come early and help you set up. Use colorful sheets draped over couches and clear plastic or painter’s drop cloths on floors or carpet to add atmosphere and to protect the floors and furniture.
Make Smoothies. Welcome your guests with a Peach Zinger smoothie, made with two eight-ounce bags of frozen peaches (or eight fresh peaches), ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 4 cups almond milk, a dash of ginseng, and a dash of cloves (serves eight). It will spice up everyone from the start.
Don’t Forget the Kids. Create a space in another room where your kids and your friend’s kids can finger paint, face paint, and eat healthy goodies. One of the older kids can supervise these activities. End their time with a fun, kid-friendly movie.
Your Facial Bar
Transform your kitchen, dining room, or living room into your facial fixings section, where your guests can mix their own treatments. Make sure that bathroom and kitchen sinks are close by and prepared for cleansing and rinsing.
Pick the Fixings. Fill clear glasses or small bowls with a variety of exfoliators and astringents. I chose oats, yogurt, smashed avocado, honey, grapeseed or olive oil, lemons, crushed green tea leaves, and essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, and rosemary.
Set the Bar. Put out a tray of the above ingredients. On a separate tray, arrange empty glasses and stirrers for mixing. (Popsicle sticks work great.) Include cotton swabs, cotton balls, and moisturizer. Have paper towels and cotton face towels nearby.
Start Your Facials
Once your guests are settled and refreshed after their Peach Zingers (or other welcoming refreshment), begin your facials. Follow these steps and have fun helping each other create and apply.
- Choose and mix your mask.
- Apply and leave on for 15 minutes.
- Rinse and dry.
- Apply toner and moisturizer.
Use any of the masks mentioned earlier or choose from the following:
- ½ cup of oatmeal, 2 tablespoons of honey, and ¼ of plain yogurt mix into paste. Smooth on and leave for 15 minutes.
- Mix 1 avocado and 4 tablespoons of yogurt spread and leave on for 30 minutes.
- Avocado eye mask: 5 drops of almond oil, half an avocado. Blend and leave on around eyes for five minutes.
- Mix ½ cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons of tea leaves, ½ teaspoon of lemon. Apply and leave on 15 minutes.
Be creative with your masks—anything goes. I found a cool Web site called www.recipegoldmine.com that lists a ton of skin-care masks from which to choose.
If you want to add to your treatments, try massaging movements before applying masks. Depending on skin types, you can also mix your own essential oil with a carrier for massaging before masks. For instance, try these:
- Oily skin: Mix 1 ounce of hazelnut oil, 6 drops of rosemary oil, and 4 drops of lemon oil.
- Sensitive or Dry skin: Mix 1 ounce of hazelnut oil, 6 drops of rosemary oil, and 4 drops of lavender oil.
- Normal skin: Mix 1 ounce of hazelnut or grapeseed oil, 6 drops of lavender, and 4 drops of rosemary oil.
Now for those tired feet, invite your guests over to the pedicure bar, where they can enjoy a relaxing soak and relief for tired legs. Simple ingredients are found in your pantry, or have your guests each bring an ingredient: cornmeal, coconut milk, Epsom salt, olive oil, rosemary sprigs, and honey.
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup coconut milk
1 sprig of rosemary
2 ounces of olive oil
¼ cup Epsom salt
½ cup cornmeal
In a small bowl mix ingredients, then pour into large salad bowl filled with hot water. Soak feet for a few minutes, then reach hand into mixture and exfoliate rough spots. Repeat for each guest.
Invigorating Leg Rub. After rinsing, mix ½ cup of almond or soy oil with 4 drops of peppermint oil and massage into feet and legs to refresh tired legs.
Polish It Off. Have another tray filled with nail polish, remover, and nail files and paint each other’s toenails following the foot soaks and leg rubs. A splurge would be to hire a nail tech from a nearby cosmetology school to do the pedicures.
Top off the spa experience with cookies and tea. Try Tulsi or Roobios tea. The benefits of their antioxidants are wonderful. Try these orange-pecan cookies. They are lower in calories and easy to make.
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp orange extract
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Canola-oil cooking spray
Pulse pecans and sugar in food processor into sand-like texture. Transfer to a bowl and stir in zest and extract. Slowly stir in egg white until a thin dough forms. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Measure 16 heaping teaspoonfuls of dough and roll each into a ball. Place balls on sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 8–10 minutes. Cool and dust with powdered sugar.
Good-bye Gift Bags
Remember that we had your guests bring a toiletry item. In the theme bags you purchased earlier, put items into bags and top off with a tiny soy candle to send off your friends with a glow.
The spa industry makes billions of dollars each year, but walk into K-Mart, Wal-Mart, or Target and you will find a spa aisle. Choose from their wide variety of spa products to find little goodies for your party and gift bags.
Choose from a variety of spa party themes: beach, garden party, Thai, Moroccan, Mexican—just about any country. Even a “royal” spa party would be fun; you could serve high tea wearing an avocado mask and a big floppy hat.
Special occasions such as bridal showers, baby showers, or birthday parties are great opportunities for at-home spa events. Or you could have a Mother’s Day spa party for your church or a girls’ night in. And what about the men? If they’re willing, their wives can assist them in a spa party, too.
The list is endless. You could even have a party of one—just you. Take time to indulge yourself in a milk bath or a relaxing mask while you read that book you haven’t had time to get to.
Taking Care of You
No matter what type of at-home treatment you choose, be sure to take time out for yourself. Schedule an hour in your planner for some “me” time. If you don’t put it in writing, most likely it won’t happen. We women are better wives, mothers, daughters, ministry volunteers, and employees when we take some time to get our thoughts together and relax. We need a break in order to better serve others. What better way to lift our spirits than to release, relieve, relax, and renew!
Shelly Ballestero is a licensed esthetician, make-up artist, beauty editor of Lifestyle Magazine, and author.
Shelly has studied under Emmy Award winner Eve Pearl, head make-up artist for ABC's The View. In addition, Shelly is one of the make-up experts for Jane Iredale cosmetics and participates in the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa conference. Shelly and her husband, Angelo, a worship pastor, live in Windermere, Florida, with their two children.
(Photo of Shelly courtesy of Katie Meehan, www.phfocus.com.)
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