Holidays are approaching at the rate of a speeding train, and I feel like I’m standing on the tracks just waiting for a disaster to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays. I live for the holiday music, the celebrations, the baking, and shopping. I love coziness, and I sincerely wake up every day from around middle November through end of December with the hope that I’ll see a winter wonderland outside my window. I don’t remember the last time a completely stress and anxiety free winter wonderland day happened in my life though. So, until things start working out magically, I’m fully prepared to live out some amazing home spa days.
I’d say it’s well worth it to have emergency spa day packs ready to go for yourself (and maybe for your guests if you feel like sharing).
Spa day emergency pack:
- Face cleanser
- Jar of either homemade mask or packaged mask for your skin type. Make this your ‘active’ duty mask for any problems you might need to address, i.e., acne mask, anti-aging mask, exfoliating mask.
- Jar or packet of a soothing, moisturizing mask. This can also be a thick cold cream that you can layer onto your skin after using your ‘active’ skin mask.
- Face exfoliant/scrub
- Body scrub with an exfoliating brush
- Pumice stone for your feet
- Small towel or head-wrap to keep your hair away from your face
- Shower cap
- Coconut or almond oil, or an oil mixture for a hot oil treatment for hair
- Essential oils
- Epsom salt
- Incense + incense burner + matches
- Eye mask
- Tea bags (can be used)
- Face serum that addresses your particular skin regiment needs
- Face moisturizer
- Body moisturizer
OK, so I know this sounds like an enormous list, but if you have small jars and travel items, these can all fit into a small travel pouch that you can keep in a cabinet to use whenever the need strikes. You may opt to just gather the items together when you’re doing your spa day, but the whole point is to have a ready-made kit that requires minimal effort on your part: it’ll help you stay relaxed!
- Light the candles and the incense. You can turn on some music if you prefer.
- Draw your bath and place the Epsom salts and few drops of your favorite essential oil into the water.
- Run your bottle of the coconut/almond/mixed oil bottle under some hot water to warm it up a bit. Pour the oil onto your hair and massage into the ends and the scalp. Pull your shower cap over your hair and wrap with a towel to keep warm.
- Wash your face with a cleanser to get rid of any residue and dirt.
- Pat dry your face and apply the first ‘active’ mask on. The length of time you’ll need to have your mask on your face will vary with the mask. This will most likely be a shorter duration mask. Lay back and relax.
- When time is up, rinse off the mask. Exfoliate with your face scrub GENTLY. Make sure to not over scrub. You want to provide gentle stimulation, not tear your skin off.
- Apply your soothing mask next. You’ll probably be keeping this one for a bit longer, so you can lay back and close your eyes while you soak. Apply the two (wet) tea-bags on your eyes. Green or black tea works best since the caffeine tightens up the skin around your eyes and re-energizes. DO NOT choose a mint/peppermint variety.
- When time’s up, remove and discard tea bags and rinse your face. Apply your favorite eye mask next. Make sure it’s a moisturizing mask for an extra boost of moisture around the gentle eye area.
- Your skin should be supple and soaked at this point. After you’ve let your eye mask sink in, it’s time to finish up the beautifying ritual for your body.
- Use a brush and body scrub to slough off any dead skin. Sit at the edge of the bath and smooth out your feet with a pumice stone.
- Drain the bath and turn on the shower. Take off your headwrap and wash off completely under lukewarm water. Shampoo thoroughly and use conditioner. You might need to shampoo twice.
- After stepping out of the shower, blot yourself dry and immediately apply your face serum and face moisturizer. Follow up by moisturizing your entire body.
Now put on your coziest flannel pj’s and tackle the hot chocolate! It’s never too late to re-invigorate your holiday attitude by making the decision that it should forever remain relaxing.
Featured Photo: Mario Testino for July 2012 Vogue