Spring is in the air, the daffodils and tulips are in bloom and it won’t be long until we are all wearing sandals instead of cold weather boots and thick, woollen socks. Between now and mid-May is when high-end spas get fully booked up with people who feel in need of a head-to-toe beauty make-over after a long, hard winter.
There’s nothing like being preened and pampered by professional therapists, but with a weekend at a five-star luxury spa costing a small fortune, how about recreating the experience in the comfort of your own home?
The best day of the week to do this is on a Sunday, when you’re likely to be relaxed and free from the pressures of mid-week. Planning a two or three hour window of pampering from about 5 or 6pm onwards will leave you feeling happy, rested and revitalised ahead of a busy week.
Switch off your phone, put on some soft balearic beats to help get yourself in the mood for some downtime. Fancy some inspiration? Olivier de San Nicolas who is the resident DJ at the Hotel Costes in Paris has put together a playlist which is guaranteed to put you in the mood for some serious self-care.
Next, light some scented candles or burn some aromatherapy oils (which are less toxic than candles can be). Our favourites include classics from Jo Malone’s Jo Loves, Diptique, Beatitude and a French company which ships globally called Les Bougies de Charroux – try their handmade blueberry scent which is divine, the large-sized jar size burns between 60 to 100 hours and is a bargain, but high-quality pick for just ten euros.
Now you’ve set your mood, get ready to do some serious relaxing and beautifying. Invite a friend over if you want, after all you can give each other manicures and even back massages.
Make a cup of calming tea, you could make an inflammation-fighting turmeric tea if you like; add a tablespoon of grated turmeric, some raw honey and half a juiced lemon to a teapot and steep for ten minutes before straining and sipping. Or, you could have a metabolism-revving hot water with sliced fresh lemon, or perhaps a champagne glass filled with either your favourite brand of fizz or some probiotic-packed flavoured kombucha.
Have a plate of fresh fruit or some dried superfood berries to snack on to hand if you want.
Apply a hair masque, or oil, and do a head massage to relax yourself and really work the nutrients into your follicles and the tips of your roots. This stimulates hair growth, as well as easing away anxiety.
After five minutes, wrap your hair in a towel keeping the masque on, usually half an hour or so is about right so it deeply conditions your mane. For an inexpensive treatment you can simply apply a good quality organic coconut oil. (Or, you could save this step for before bed and use Drew Barrymore’s favourite trick which is putting on JF Latargue’s dry and thick hair masque and leaving in while you sleep, then washing out in the morning), she says it works miracles, and we believe her).
Next, steam your face, you can use a large bowl, or your bathroom sink, and cover your head and shoulders with a silk pashmina, or a towel. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the water; jasmine works well on dry or mature skin, tea tree and rosemary are great for acne, and geranium and lavender are good for sensitive skin.
Once you’re done and your pores are open, it’s time to apply a deep-cleansing mud face-mask, or whatever your favourite is at the moment. Hana Cure Effect, or May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver are pretty miraculous. For an easy DIY mask, mash half an avocado until it’s soft, add a teaspoon of plain organic yoghurt and one teaspoon of raw honey, plus a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Leave on your face to nourish your skin for fifteen minutes, or longer if you prefer.
After that you could do a relaxing facial massage using Lumity Facial Oil, Nichola Joss shows how to do her own technique – if you would like to smooth your face like a pro.
While your hair and face are being nourished, you could shave your legs. For an extra luxurious touch that leaves your skin smooth for several days, try shaving with coconut oil, or you could use extra virgin olive oil. Once you’re done, dry brush all over before you climb into the shower and use a facial exfoliator, then exfoliate your body all over. Half a cup of olive oil (or coconut oil), a few drops of essential oil, plus half a cup of fine organic sugar will work fantastically as a DIY scrub. Wash and condition your hair (if you’re not leaving your masque in overnight).
Don’t forget your feet and hands: You can give yourself a manicure and pedicure. Cayli Cavaco Reck, who owns Knockout Beauty, which was hailed by Vogue Paris as “New York’s feel-good wellbeing centre” told us that Smith & Cult is a varnish brand that is non-toxic. That’s so important, and something which is widely overlooked, as of course what goes on your body goes in your body. They have some fabulous new shades which will really get you in the mood for summer. “Kundalini Hustle” is a classic red like in the photo above, or you could go for “Lover’s creep” for a deeper vampish red, or “Exit The Void”, which is a powdery, metallic blue.
As an optional next step, run a lovely deep bath. You could add flower petals and magnesium-rich epsom salts to the water for that spa experience, or use a bath bomb that has lots of lovely essential oils, or use your favourite bubbles. Lie back and listen to the music and feel your stresses melt away. At this stage you could give yourself a shoulder and foot rub using coconut oil.
Once you’ve finished in the bath, apply your favourite body oil to damp skin, sealing in the moisture. Then climb into clean pyjamas, grab a good book and curl up in bed on fresh sheets. Jo Malone does a divine citrus-scented linen spray. An early night is the next obvious step, so once you’ve had your three white bedtime Lumity capsules, it’s time to drift off to sleep and awake feeling full of joy and looking gorgeous the next morning.
Has that got you in the mood for spring beauty? Here’s Cayli’s full guide to getting ready for spring, complete with all her favourite products at the moment and her top get-gorgeous tips. Or you could check out the top eight diet essentials for youthful skin. Did you know that sugar causes wrinkles and, are YOU getting your five potions of joy per day?