With New York Spa Week taking over the final weeks of October, proper pampering for the crafty New Yorker on a student budget means DIY facials, pedicures and all-around relaxation regimes. Treating yourself and turning your home into a miniature spa is an easy alternative to purchasing high-priced, upscale salon packages.
To obtain full relaxation, creating a mini-spa starts with obtaining the ambiance found in luxe locations. Dimmed lights, lit candles and rejuvenating spa snacks can all add to a space and create this mood. Whoever said eating the cucumber at a spa defeats the purpose is no expert in creating a true inner glow.
One highlight of attending a spa is the state-of-the-art saunas that most are not lucky enough to have in their cramped apartment. Although not designated as a sauna, and not filled with other relaxed New Yorkers, a personal sauna can be created by leaving a steamy shower running for around 20 minutes. For the best results, close the door to the bathroom to keep the hot steam inside. Cover a small towel in relaxing oils, such as lavender or vanilla, and place it on your face while in your home sauna.
Once your pores have been opened from the hot temperatures of the sauna shower, move on to an avocado, honey and olive oil hair mask that will leave your hair silky, healthy and nourished. The mixture of at least one avocado and one to two tablespoons of olive oil and honey helps damaged hair, as the elements involved are hydrating and nutritional. Apply the mask to your whole head and leave it under the protection of a shower cap for up to 45 minutes.
While the hair mask is setting, an easy, antioxidant-filled face mask can be made with items already in your fridge. Mash a handful of red grapes and mix in white flour until it forms an often chunky paste. Apply the paste and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water to open up pores for more treatment. The grape-flour mask will leave your face glowing.
The best part of a spa day is the much-needed mani-pedi treatment after continuous hours of walking. Aside from regular nail cleaning and clipping, few treatments can be done in a DIY home spa. However, one remedy for nail stains is simple. Just soak your hands and feet in warm water with a tablespoon of lemon juice for at least 10 minutes.
To complete an all-around DIY spa day at home, enjoy a relaxing bubble bath sprinkled with rose petals. While bathing in the relaxing atmosphere, apply a tightening face mask, made by whisking egg whites and lemon juice until the mixture has a foam texture. There is no time limit for tightening skin — the longer the face mask is on, the better the results. Rinse with cold water to close your pores and finish a spectacular spa day.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 print edition. Email Lauren Craddock at [email protected]