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Create Your Own Spa

By Bobbie Thomas

Posted: Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2009

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A modern woman wants to balance her busy life without wasting precious time or money. We often push ourselves so hard that we’re starved of being pampered and crave the special extras a spa retreat offers. However, you don’t have to visit a salon (or be a specialist) to take advantage of life’s everyday little luxuries!

Plan

Book an appointment with yourself, and commit to taking a time-out, just like you would with a spa. Find the space in your schedule and plan for a few hours free from distraction where you can relax and unwind. Enter it into your calendar or BlackBerry, and don’t cancel on yourself!

Prep

Gather all of the materials you will need beforehand so you can devote your time solely to R&R. For less than $40 at your local drugstore, and some items you already have around the house, you can easily transform your living area into a restful resort! All you’ll need is:

• A few candles
• A book or magazine
• Your favorite hair conditioner/shower cap
• Washcloths
• TV
• Robe, shower wrap, towels, pillows, PJs
• Cucumber, lemon, orange
• Pitcher of water
• Raw sugar
• Olive oil/almond oil/lotion
• An iPod/stereo
• Venus Spa Breeze razor
• Moisturizing mittens, gel booties
• Essential oils in lavender and mint
• Spray bottle

Relax and unwind

Envelope your “spa senses” (sight, touch, smell, taste and sound) to ensure a full mind/body relaxation experience.

Sight: Set the scene. Dim the lights, burn candles and find a scene-scape on a cable nature channel. Set aside any magazines or books that you’ve wanted to tackle on your to-do list.

Touch: Get into the bathroom and spoil yourself with little luxuries! Transform your shaving routine into a treat with the Venus Spa Breeze, which features flexible shave gel bars infused with the clean, fresh scent of white tea that indulge the senses while providing a close, smooth shave that make you (and your legs) feel beautiful and refreshed. Leave your hair conditioner in just a little bit longer and add a shower cap for an extra five minutes to trap the moisture into your tresses. Put a few damp washcloths in the freezer and have a few you can pop in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm them. You’ll be able to give yourself a hot/cold facial that really steams your skin and makes you feel like you’re lying in the sanctuary of a high-end spa!

Smell: Essential oils like lavender help relax, while mint will help rejuvenate. Add a few drops to your robe, shower wrap, sheets, pillow or PJs — anything that will surround you with aromatherapy. Mix a raw sugar foot scrub in the kitchen. It only takes 30 seconds and the results are immediate. Just add some natural raw sugar to any kind of foot cream, almond oil or olive oil. (You can even toss in an orange peel for zest.) Last but not least, lock in the benefits of lotion by slipping on a pair of moisturizing mittens and/or softening socks.

Taste: You’ll see cucumber lemon water in almost every spa. Why? Because it’s refreshing! And that is what this sense is all about. Make your own spa water at home by adding a chopped cucumber and lemon or lime slices to a pitcher of ice. Pour sparkling or plain mineral water over your ingredients and shake the pitcher gently to release the flavor. For best results, allow the ingredients to sit in the refrigerator for about one hour before drinking. Sit back and sip, and use a portion to fill a spray bottle so you can continue to hydrate while you refresh.

Sound: This is all about unwinding so you can retreat. Exotic music can carry you away while tranquil tunes can de-stress. Hypnotic sounds and meditation CDs are also great to help focus inward. Create a playlist that helps you melt away into the sofa, whether you want to read those books or magazines you originally set aside, write in a journal or just close your eyes.

Bobbie Thomas is the style editor of NBC’s "Today" show and spokeswoman for Venus brand razors. Her column, “The Buzz,” is published in In Touch Weekly. Follow her at twitter.com/BobbieThomas.

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