I recently had the pleasure of spending a long weekend at The Tewsbury Hotel & Spa, a luxurious getaway in the Cotswolds set amongst the beautiful scenery of the English countryside. After a couple of days of much-needed, blissful R+R with my girlfriends (which you can see in tomorrow’s YouTube vlog if you wish), it occurred to me that it sadly wouldn’t be long until the grind of daily life had worn away the magical effects of my stay. Grrrr.
Which then got me thinking – how can we all nail the At Home Spa Experience so that we can feel this good even when we can’t get to a fancy spa? Well, I’ve done some research girls and guys. Pens and paper at the ready, – this is how to ‘spa’ at home and get it right.
Okay so the first thing you have to do is set the mood. It takes some work to erase the memories of Monday mornings spent running around like a headless chicken and replace your bathroom with a feeling of calm and zen but I find that a playlist really helps. This is where I love Spotify because there really is a playlist for every mood already on there. I found tonnes of Spa Music ones, cue xylophones and soft strings.
A great spa experience for me always starts with an all over body buff so that I feel primed and prepped to soak in all of the producty goodness. For my body, I like to use a manual loofah brush in the shower as the long handle ensures you can reach everywhere for full body exfoliation. Exfoliating scrubs are great too, or if you don’t want to splash the cash, just add a small handful of brown sugar to your normal body wash and mix for a DIY scrub. Exfoliating your skin in small circles moving towards the heart is said to aid in blood circulation which is great for glowing skin all over. (Do this on your butt and thighs to help reduce cellulite too – yay!). Don’t forget to buff your feet! Cracked heels are a no-no so get that pumice stone to work at least once a week to keep you perfectly primed for pedis around the clock.
On my face I prefer to exfoliate with an electric brush as I think that the oscillation really helps to clear my pores of all makeup, city grime and dead skin. I have the Clarisonic Mia which was kindly gifted to me though before that I was using the Magnitone BareFaced brush– a more affordable alternative which works just as well in my opinion. As an advocate of luxury for less, I’d honestly recommend going for the Magnitone brush to save money since they’re both equally as good, leaving you more to spend on luxurious skin care products.
Once I’m out of the shower, it’s time for skin treatments that’ll help me to stay soft and supple throughout the week. On my face I love to do masks. This cooling bead face mask is actually from Primark! You put it in the fridge too cool and then you can relax with it on to reduce puffiness and redness and the cold temperature will help to tighten pores. I also got this massage roller from Primark. Again, massaging the skin not only feels great and helps to relieve tension in muscle tissue but it also helps to break up the fat cells that cause cellulite. If you can, why not ‘spa’ with your partner or best friend and take in turns to channel Phoebe from Friends and play masseuse. Whatever you do, just don’t do a Monica… That could get real awkward.
Once I’m all scrubbed, buffed and rolled I want to put some hydration back into my skin so that’s when I turn to my favourite moisturising products. For my face, I’m obsessed with Weleda Skin Food. I got it as a press sample of didn’t expect much from the garish green branding but it so luxurious-feeling! It does exactly what it says on the tin – nourishes your skin to make it feel uber moisturised and glowy. I swear by it and keep an extra one in my handbag as a hand cream. It’s extremely rich so, if you’re prone to breakouts, I’d only recommend using a small amount on extra dry patches. My skin loves oily products and a little of this goes a long way. It’s actually so luxuriously thick and rich that I tend to mix it with my everyday moisturiser which is currently Nivea Day Care with SPF – always one with SPF for anti-ageing. I normally mix them half and half but will add more Weleda if my skin is extra dry and I focus on gently patting the mixture around my eyes to avoid crows feet and eye bags and then I working it into the rest of my skin and neck.
For spa-like body moisturising it’s best to lotion up straight out of the shower when your pores are still open and your skin is still slightly damp for maximum absorption. Slather yourself in body oil or lotion and relax in your robe for 15 mins while it all soaks in. For this I like any rich lotion I can get my hands on and I’m currently loving Garnier Body Repair, an anti-dryness moisturiser with maple sap which seems to really work to help it soak into my skin and stay there all day without leaving me feeling sticky or drying out like more watery formulas. I moisturise my whole body at least once a day after the shower, I think this is so important for soft, smooth skin and for anti-ageing – nobody wants saggy knees at 40.
Now for some great high street products which I find really elevate my at home spa experience. A beautifully scented body wash is a must for me. One that I don’t use every other day so that I can avoid the feelings associated with getting ready for work and instead really feel that I’m having a special moment. Bayliss & Harding‘s Limited Edition Jojoba, Silk and Almond Oil body wash smells devine and the packaging is really pretty too which makes the whole experience see more special. I also adore the Imperial Leather range for a thick, luxurious feeling, silky foam when exfoliating and they too have great scents like Moroccan Spa for example.
For an affordable, spa-worthy pore treatment, I really don’t think that you can beat Neutrogena’s 2-in-1 face wash and mask. I’ve been using it daily for at least ten years now and if I don’t have a spare in my cupboard I panic. Day-to-day I use it as a wash but on spa days, I’ll lather and rinse once to cleanse my face and then I’ll smooth on another layer as a mask and allow it to soak into my skin while I work on my body. The clay formula is great at mattyfying oily T-zones and drawing out impurities without leaving your face feeling dry, cracked and sensitive afterwards.
The Montagne Jeunesse face masks you’ll find in Superdrug are also a great affordable range with everything you could want from chocolate scents to self-heating masks. I’ve worked with them before and they take great pride in this range so you know that you can trust it. Garnier Micellar Water kept in the fridge makes a great toner as well. After showering I like to pour it onto a cotton pad and use it to get rid of any traces of face mask I may have missed.
I’ve mentioned how delicious product scents really add to the at home spa experience which is why I’ve included my favourite deodorant – Sure’s Bright Bouquet. Unlike more deodorants, this one smells really soft, floral and feminine with that underlying choking, chemical smell. I layer this over roll-on antiperspirant for extra protection and a burst of floral fragrance whenever I move my arms throughout the day.
To keep my spa experience lingering all day, I like to layer up scents so that I’m surrounded by luxurious smells for hours come what may. A beautifully scented body lotion really helps with this and my favourites are the Victoria’s secret range which are affordably priced but have deep, full fragrances that last for hours and the formula adds a nice layer of sheen to my skin. Finish off with your favourite perfume, which for me is Chanel’s Chance Eau Tendre, a lighter, fresher version of the the original Chance scent. Perfect for post-spa relaxing.
Hydration is really the secret to great all over skin care and all good spas have water machines around often infused with fruit or cucumber for extra vitamins. At home, while my lotion is soaking in, I like to sit with a hot cup of lemon water to replace the hydration I’ve lost in the steam of the shower and give me some vitamin C which has anti-ageing properties and has been proven to boost collagen and help protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
I hope that this post have given you some helpful ideas on how you can get the spa experience at home. I like to do this most Sundays when I have time. Once I’ve applied my products, I’ll sit with my lemon water and read while they soak in. Then I’ll go on to do other beauty prepping like pluck my brows and do my own gel nails so that I feel fully ready to smash the week. I spend so much less money than my friends on treatments this way and it really means that I wake up on Monday feeling extra fabulous.
Do you have any DIY spa and beauty tips that we could all benefit from? If so, please be sure to let us know in the comments below. It’s great to hear what cool ideas other people have stumbled upon. As I said, I’ll post the actual spa footage from my trip in tomorrow’s YouTube video so that you can see the beautiful surroundings and get more inspiration. It really was breathtaking. I’ll also be back on here tomorrow with a bonus post about something pretty and very exciting so keep your eyes peeled!
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