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Relax and Unwind: Spa Services for all Budgets

Cari Wira Dineen
April 29, 2011

Open up and say SPA-AHHH. Here are some DIY and splurge-worthy pampering routines to add to your repertoire.

Whether you DIY at home, head to your local salon for, or indulge in a day spa with your BFF, some quality me-time is just what you deserve. Here are ideas for all budgets and needs

And for more helpful tips, check out Care.com's Guide to Managing Stress.

At Home

Cost: Price can range from $10 and up depending on the products.

  • Sequester yourself. Skip TV-time tonight and head to the bathroom with some yummy-smelling candles. We like Tocca Cleopatra candles ($32), which smell like grapefruit and cucumber. Then smear on a face mask, such as Neutrogena's Pore-Refining Mask ($7) or Clinique's Seven Day Scrub Cream ($18), and hop in a bubble bath. Or turn your shower into a sauna: Turn the water on as hot as it will go and let it run and steam up the bathroom. Add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender or rosemary and breathe deeply.
  • Scrub -a-dub-dub. It's time to exfoliate and slough away all that dry winter skin. Try using a loofah or a body scrub such as Change is Gonna Come Body Exfoliator by Mark ($12).  After your bath, pat yourself dry and slather on a thick body lotion or butter, such as Shiseido's new Body Cream ($72).
  • Mini mani/pedis. Soak your tootsies in a foot bath with Tracy Stern FootTea ($11), an herbal tea blend designed to soften your feet. Use a pumice stone to slough away calluses and then rub a peppermint foot cream in. Before you apply polish, pop on Bling Toe Separators from Sephora ($2) which are sure to make your DIY pedi feel indulgent.

    For rough, parched hands, try the best-selling Satin Hands by Mary Kay ($34).  A two step process, you first exfoliate with a special hand scrub. After you rinse, smooth on the delectable hand cream for super soft hands. The softening effects linger after several hand-washings.
  • Facial harmony. Want to glow, girl? Pick up a Clarisonic ($149) or Olay Pro X Cleansing Brush ($25), which spin and vibrate to polish away fine lines, dry patches and oil to reveal a more beautiful complexion.

Around Town

Cost: Expect to spend $30-$50 for a salon manicure and pedicure.

If you've got an hour of free time, now is your chance to head to the local salon. A tip: Wear your flip-flops to the nail salon so you don't have to worry about smudging you toes when you put your shoes back on.

  • Upgrade your regular pedi. Ask for a spa pedicure, which is a regular pedicure plus one of the following: Paraffin dip, masks, mud or seaweed treatment. Or see if your salon offers a Stone Pedicure -- essential oils are rubbed in with the help of hot stones for an incredible foot and leg massage.
  • Get a mini-massage. Many nail salons also offer a chair massage. You can buy a massage for 10 minutes for anywhere from $10-$20.
  • Or get a longer massage.  Need a massage or facial but don't want to make a full day of it?  Massage Envy has locations in 47 states and offers 50 and 90 minute massages. First time clients get a low introductory rate of $39 or $49 (depending on where you live) for a Swedish massage.

At The Spa
Sometimes, you just need to shelf the Calgon and hit the spa. Book a sitter, grab your girlfriends and head to one of these top spa brands near you and try one of their signature treatments. Be sure to get there at least a half hour early -- many spas have relaxation lounges, some even have hot-tub, steam and sauna facilities which you can use as a prelude to your treatments.

  • Go deep. Westin Heavenly Spa's Rollerssage ($125) incorporates heated round crystals that are rolled over your body for a deeply penetrating massage.
  • Let your skin glow. The best complexion reviver is at Bliss: Their Triple Oxygen Facial ($160) intensely cleans, exfoliates, extracts, wraps and oxygenates your face to perfection.
  • Indulge. Pour yourself a glass of bubbly! Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa has a Champagne and Rose Facial ($120) Champagne tones your complexion while rose extract gently exfoliates and hydrates your skin.
  • Get Some Rest. Feel like what you really need is just a nap? Head to a Ritz Carlton Spa, where you can indulge in a treatment aptly named Drift to Sleep ($300). A body scrub followed by a milk bath and massage, afterward you enjoy a 30 minute power nap on a warmed treatment table.
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