As someone who has worked for more than a decade in the spa industry, I have a number of very good friends with similar technical skills, but my best spa sister is my friend, Cheryl. Whenever we get together for a few days of female bonding, (which we try to do at least once a year), we always end up working on each other. I know that our husbands harbor some kinky fantasies about mud masks and hot oil and pillow fights, but it really isnt kinky at all. Since we both have solid technique, we are actually showing off for each other, with the prize going to whoever gets the other to fall asleep in the shortest amount of time.
The truth, though, is that you dont have to have extensive training to give your best gal pal a perfectly lovely spa treatment. We are girls, are we not? So, most of us have a fair amount of experience in the art of home beauty rituals and that talent can easily be put to work in creating a tandem beauty session that will have both you and your spa sister looking and feeling like youve each indulged in a day of beauty. Now, after reading the remainder of this article, you may find the spa-at-home concept more trouble than its worth, and thats okay too. Almost every spa is set up for side by side spa-goers; but if youre ready to spa at home, read on.
The spa agenda I am going to suggest can easily take place at home using what ever features (jetted tub, shower, etc.) that you may have on-site. The only challenge can be the massage table. While the treatments can be done on a traditional bed or on the floor, the angle in which the person (who is doing the treatment) has to work is always a bit awkward and hard on the back. So, if you must do it this way, limit what you are doing to short sessions and be mindful of straining your back. Another alternative, if you have one handy, is a 6-foot-long conference table or even a dining table. I have used these for demonstrations a number of times. When properly padded with blankets, pillows or a foam pad, they can be quite suitable.
One of the other tricky parts is figuring out who is doing what to whom and in what order. Its no fun to get completely relaxed and then have to give a treatment. So, the best way is to stagger the progression. Below I propose a spa agenda for you and a friend as well as some variations that you can choose from. So, review the agenda together and select the options that are the best for the two of you. Then pick a theme, such as tropical retreat, lots of lavender or seaside serenity and gather treatment products, candles and music that fit the theme. Most of the things you will need can be obtained from your local spa, salon, drugstore, specialty boutique or health food store. I have included a list of a few Web sites where you can find multiple items and some great spa gifts too.
(See resource list for recommendations.)
Non-foaming body scrub/exfoliant OR scrub gloves
Both can be found at a spa or drugstore
Make sure the scrub is more of a body polish and not a shower gel type of scrub or make your own (see Beautiful Body Scrub recipe below)
Super Soaker Body Masque (see recipe below)
Essential Oil (optional)
use one per treatment
painting drop cloths from the hardware store will work or…
mylar blankets (also called micronized foil) the kind you see marathoners wrapped in after a racewhich can be found with camping supplies, work well and are inexpensive.
Last resort…cheap (new) shower curtain
2-3 large bath towels, bath sheets or beach towels (per treatment)
2-3 hand towels (per treatment)
Spa Snacks (such as: fruit, nuts, hummus and pita chips, veggies and dip, truffles, sparkling mineral water, herbal tea, fruit juice, mimosas, etc,)
Large bowl for foot soak (the jumbo salad bowls from restaurant or party supply stores are good, cheap and more charming than a bucket)
Small bowls for masque and hand soak
Body Beautiful Scrub
(Mix the following together for each person.)
This simple, sea salt based scrub is rich in minerals and moisture. Simply move the product around on the skin with light, long massage strokes and be sure to check on your pressure as you scrub your partner as this formula can be very abrasive.
4-6 Tbsp. Sea salt is better than regular table salt because the natural minerals actually nourish the skin.
4-6 Tbsp. Use a plain, natural oil such as: Apricot or Almond.
5-6 drops. This is optional.
Super Soaker Body Masque Recipe
(Mix the following together for each person.)
Body Masks are generally not available to the public because self-application is impractical. But a moisturizing masque for the body is essentially a thicker version of a moisturizer with a combination of ingredients that allow sustained penetration of the moisturizers during the relaxation phase of treatment. To make your own, simply combine the following individual products together.
6-8 Tbsp. Only use a water based formula, the more natural the better and unscented is best. Do not use a body butter.
3-4 Tbsp. An inexpensive clay-based facial masque is best.
3-4 Tbsp. Use a plain, natural oil such as Apricot or Almond. Do not use a warming massage formula or baby oil.
5-6 drops This is optional.
In a glass bowl, blend the product together using a small whisk or new 2 paintbrush. The paint brush can be used to apply the product as well or you can simply apply it with one hand. You may need to balance the ratio of products depending on the consistency and the amount needed. (FYI: A petite female will need about _ cup to get medium-thick coverage.)
Here is the easiest way to carry out the application:
1. After blending products together, warm them in the microwave or place the glass bowl in a larger bowl (or sink) of hot water. Test temperature before applying.
2. Have the person who is receiving, lie face up on the plastic sheet and cover up with a large towel.
3. Have them sit up and using either the brush or your dominant hand, apply the product to their entire back.
4. Have them lie down again.
5. Move to their right side and have them lift up their leg and place their foot down so that their leg is on angle. This will give you access to the underside of the leg. They can also roll over slightly which will allow you to apply product to the gluteal area on that side.
6. Have them place the right leg down and apply the product to the front side of the leg.
7. While on that same side, apply the product to the right arm and hand and then wrap the plastic around that side of the body.
8. Repeat the same procedure on the opposite side.
9. Before closing up the other side you can either remove the towel they are covered with or reach under it to apply the product to the abdomen and décolleté. (FYI: Better penetration occurs when the plastic makes contact with the skin so, they can opt to remove the towel when you leave the room.)
10. After wrapping them up in the plastic sheet, cover them with another towel (in case there is product on the outside of the plastic) and a heavy blanket or comforter
11. Have them lift up their legs slightly and slide a pillow under their knees.
12. If they are comfortable being left alone, you may simply let them relax, or to make the treatment even better, place and eye pillow over their eyes and massage their scalp or gently brush their hair.
13. After 15-20 minutes, remove the blanket or comforter and help the receiver sit up. Offer them a towel to drape with and open up the plastic. They may either massage in any remaining product or remove the excess with a towel.
This natural lemon tonic can be served hot or cool and is thought to be an effective and flavorful way to detoxify the liver, especially when used as part of a juice fast.
2-3 Tbsp. Fresh organic lemon juice with pulp
1-2 Tbsp. Maple Syrupdo not use honey
1 pinch Cayenne pepper
8 oz. Spring or filtered water
Mani & Pedi Supplies
www.footcandy.com This Web site has fun products, spa pedi-party kits and oodles of recipes for fun foot treatments.
Selections include: Peppermint Spa Tea and French Lavender
More spa-inspired beverages than you can imagine
They have a lovely pre-made spa gift set with bath salts and soap