If you want all the luxury and self-indulgence of a day at the spa, but splashing out isn't on the cards, then it's time to take matters into your own hands! When you're feeling in need of some pampering, nothing beats the full-on spa treatment - and it doesn't need to break the bank...
Set the mood
The decidedly unglamorous surroundings of your bathroom may not fill you with inspiration. So, if you need a little bit of help to get things going, start by creating the perfect ambience. Play some soft, relaxing music, dim the lights, and let a scented candle be the only thing to see by. Pour yourself a glass of champagne, and slip into something more comfortable. Soft cotton bathrobes would be perfect, especially if they are hotel quality.
For instant relaxation, all you need is a kettle and a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil. Add the oil to piping hot water, drape a towel over your head, and inhale the scented steam deeply. A few minutes of this will have you feeling totally calm. If you need to soothe anxiety, lavender, chamomile or rose are all great choices for your essential oil.
A long, hot soak in the tub
Add a few drops of essential oil to your bath before you slip into the hot, steamy water. Almond oil makes a great addition and will help soften your skin for a totally smooth finish. An exfoliating scrub will leave your skin tingling, but if you just want to relax, it may be too vigorous for you. Take care of your hair with an oil mask while you're in the bath and let it sit for at least 10 minutes while you flick through your favourite magazine, after 10 minutes you can then finish with a quick all-over rinse.
Put on your face mask
After your bath, get back into your cosy cotton nightwear and apply a face mask. Of course, there are plenty of commercial options that you might like, but a homemade recipe can work just as well. Try bananas for moisture, or oatmeal for an instant reviving treatment. Yoghurt will tighten your pores. A truly indulgent treat is a strawberry face mask: mash strawberries with ground almonds, mix with yoghurt, and slather over your skin.
Leave your face mask to set before carefully rinsing it off. For a relaxing day, you might want to stick to these fruity masks. Some people swear by mayonnaise, vinegar or mustard, but it can be hard to feel pampered when you smell like food.
Don't forget your feet!
It's easy to focus on the hair and the face - but your tootsies need some TLC too. Dry, cracked skin is a common problem, especially if you're on your feet a lot. To get them sandal-ready and to soften the skin, soak your feet in hot water for 20 minutes. At the same time, squeeze fresh lemon juice over a few aspirin tablets, and mix into a paste. After drying your feet, rub this paste over your feet and cover with cling film, then leave for an hour or two.
For the last word in luxury, after you've rinsed this special softening treatment off your feet, slip into a nice pair of cotton slippers. There's nothing like the sensation of this rich fabric against fresh skin!
Make it a habit
All too often, we get caught up in our routines and hectic daily lives. You'll be feeling amazing after your DIY spa treatment, so don't let that feeling slip away from you. Set aside a weekend afternoon every month, and give yourself a regular taste of luxury, to keep that golden glow for longer!