The DIY spa experience
Part of the fun of visiting a professional beauty salon or day spa is relaxing in their gorgeous, calming space. Create a similar ambience by decorating your bathroom, living room or a spot in the garden with tea lights, scented candles, clean towels, fresh flowers and some relaxing music. Place a few magazines and cushions around the area so your friends can relax and chill out while they're waiting for their turn. And of course, a few freshly baked treats and a bottle of champagne can top off the whole pampering experience rather nicely!
Conducting a facial might sound intimidating, but if you break it down into small steps, you'll discover it's actually really simple. Pop a shower cap or headband on to keep your hair out of your face, gather your cleansing products and you're good to go!
Step 1. Cleanse
Remove all traces of dirt, oil and make-up by massaging a gentle cleanser into your face and neck. Choose a product that suits your particular skin type, and remove carefully with clean water and wipes. Pat-dry with a soft, clean towel.
Step 2. Exfoliate
Dead skin cells, be gone! Exfoliating is an important part of the facial process to help remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and keep it looking fresh, smooth and healthy. This is a particularly important step for maintaining radiant skin in the depths of winter. Gently massage a facial scrub into damp skin with your fingers, then rinse clean with water and pat-dry.
Step 3. Steam
A good steam will increase your circulation and help the beauty and cleansing products to penetrate into your skin better. If you have sensitive skin, you may like to skip this step. Fill a sink or container with hot, steamy water and stand above it with a towel over your head to trap the steam. Alternatively, use towels that have been soaked in hot water.
Step 4. Mask
Now is the time to give your skin a deep, rejuvenating treatment. Choose a product from the stores that is appropriate for your skin type and will achieve the effects you desire (e.g. hydrating, softening). Follow the instructions on the bottle to apply and flick through one of your mags or books while you wait for the mixture to work its magic on your skin.
Prefer to use a natural homemade mask? Try this yummy recipe.
Banana facial mask
Mash one banana in a bowl with 1/3 cup plain yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of honey. Add some oats for exfoliation if you wish. Mix all ingredients together and apply to your face. Rinse off.
Step 5. Tone
Apply toner with a cotton pad to lock in the mask's effects.
Step 6. Moisturise
Apply moisturiser and a gentle eye cream to your soft, rejuvenated skin. If you're planning to head out into the sunshine, of course make sure you also apply a layer of protective sunscreen. And that's it -- your DIY facial is complete! We told you it was easy...