What are your ideas for a budget-friendly Spa night, at home?
September 10, 2014 1:44 PM   Subscribe

I am in need of some pampering. So is my SO! We are just a little stressed from being busy, but we always set aside a few nights a week for just relaxing. What at-home spa activities do you like to do to help you relax? We have tried giving each other massages, clay masks, and baths. I want to know what you do, or want to do! Snowflake details inside.

We don't really like massages or baths very much because they always end up too sexual. I am really looking for products or devices that are easy to buy, for around $50 or less, that will give us a couple of uses, help us relax, and enjoy each other as a source of relaxation.


(PS - amazon prime is a plus!)
posted by bbqturtle to Shopping (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried DIY bath/body/beauty treatments at all? Things like, instead of using the pricey amino-infused hair mud pack with Moroccan beaver oil or whatever, you use mashed-up banana and molasses or something.

There are a lot of recipes and formulas for these kinds of things, and a bunch of different books with such recipes - and a few books that also have whole DIY spa days at your house, some of them even being for couples (although those tend towards the 'leads up to sexytime' kind of tone); other DIY books often have recipes that say they're more "for men", which is usually a code for "doesn't smell like daisies".

You gotta admit, two avocados and a couple papayas (which would probably do good as hair masks and body masks, respectively) are gonna be hella cheaper than any device.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:08 PM on September 10, 2014

About once a week I'll sit down and give myself a complete manicure. File my nails up real nice with a glass file, rub in some cuticle cream, paint them up with base coat + fancy polish + top coat.

I also have a stash of these little packets of face goop that I grab a few of whenever I'm at target. (They generally have way more options in store than what's on their site right now.) I usually get two uses out of a packet and they make me feel like a fancyperson on days when I'm feeling super zitty.

These are solitary relaxing activities for me, but I suppose if you want to take turns or something lubing each other's cuticles, more power to you.
posted by phunniemee at 2:09 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Baths wind up a lot less sexual when you're each juggling a beer and a spoon in one hand and a bowl of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream in the other. Just saying.
posted by feral_goldfish at 2:10 PM on September 10, 2014 [11 favorites]

Oh, and I had a boyfriend help me dye my hair once and it was actually a whole lot of fun.
posted by phunniemee at 2:10 PM on September 10, 2014

Download some image-saturated guided meditations, the sort that supply aesthetic descriptions, wave sounds, felicitous conceptual frameworks etc. while also inviting you to add your own imagined stuff. Drape yourselves over comfy pillows in restorative yoga positions.

Arrange these positions so that you can poke each other with your toes to signal bliss and/or amusement.
posted by feral_goldfish at 2:22 PM on September 10, 2014

Use one of those shower bombs to scent the shower then take turns scrubbing one another down with a sugar or salt scrub.

Head and face massage.
posted by Fairchild at 2:25 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is great, and everyone should do at-home spa nights at least once a week. (And I could stand to listen to my own advice!).

My at-home spa favorites:

Yoga Toes: I know you're looking for budget-friendly, but once in a while it pays off to invest in something that truly works and will go a long way. Buy the brand name Yoga Toes, not the knock-off's. Your toes need to be naturally stretched and relaxed, and these babies will alleviate so much tension throughout your body and your feet. You can start out wearing them for just fifteen minutes at a time and then build up to an hour. It's recommended that you don't walk while wearing them, which means it will force you to sit on your bonbon and relax like it's your spa day. Especially gratifying if you have fallen arches, or if you're a runner, or (like me) a runner with fallen arches. :(

If you are open to aromatherapy, I can vouch for the effectiveness (and easy-to-cleanness) of the ZAQ Allay Litemist Essential Oil Diffuser. You can find guides online, for free, advising what oils/oil blends are best for relaxation when diffused. (Quality essential oils can be found at mountainroseherbs.com - which also happens to be pyramid-scheme free and for that reason, less pricey). I love putting the diffuser on with a blend of equal parts Bergamot, Lavender, Patchouli and YlangYlang. Now take deep, slow breaths.

The low-investment version of this would be Nag Champa brand incense. The "Super Hit" is the best, but I like their Yoga incense too (not shown there).

Since you're not as in to baths or massages, I hesitate (but think it's a good substitute) to recommend that you find a luxurious body moisturizer you love and will enjoy putting on yourself. I'm a big fan of Dr. Bronner's Orange and Lavender lotion. Smooths on like a dream, no sticky residue, the bouquet is intoxicating.

Download some Tibetan/Buddhist gong music oriented to yoga practitioners. Preferably not the kind with orchestra accompaniment. The more minimalist the sounds, the more relaxing your surroundings become.

I haven't use this, but am looking to purchase it - a neck stress support that would probably be great for the yoga relaxation 'corpse pose'. Likewise, a lumbar back stretcher will give you great relief in your lower back by releasing the pressure on your discs. It feels very good and is easily used even if you aren't super flexible. This can also be done by getting into the yoga "fish pose" with a yoga block or soft folded towel to support your lumbar spine. If you've got flexible quads, I encourage you to do it with your knees bent underneath you. More intense lumbar stretch + quad stretch = relaaaaaxed (once you build up to it!).

Again, not always budget friendly, but invest in a (real) spa quality robe. You can probably find some really good deals online.

Last but not least, some orange sticks and quality cuticle cream (Badger Cuticle Cream is the best one I've tried, and it goes a long long way). Having nice, soft cuticles will make you feel so good. For me, having dry cuticles is as bad as going for a day without a shower.
posted by nightrecordings at 2:30 PM on September 10, 2014 [10 favorites]

Response by poster: What is the point of putting things on cuticles? I've never really thought about the things before today. If I start treating them nice now, will I have to do it the rest of my life or I'll never be satisfied?

Great ideas, and I really appreciate the links, thanks! :)
posted by bbqturtle at 2:39 PM on September 10, 2014

Head, face and foot massages (especially after soaking feet in a footbath with or without fancy oils) are heaven, and not as sexy as other massages.
posted by lollusc at 3:30 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Gentle yoga. Scope out youtube or a video or on-demand. Check ahead of time to make sure you are okay with the style or wing it and laugh if it turns out wrong for you.

Enjoy light take out or make a meal together. This might seem corny but effective and yummy. Modify to suit your needs.

Breathing exercise for 5 minutes. For example.

Scrub skin with a scrub either from a fancy store or homemade, olive oil and sugar mixed with vanilla for example, or a natural scrub brush for dry brushing followed by an oil rub, use a kitchen oil that doesn't smell rancid, oil or grapeseed or sunflower seed or a fancy massage oil. Shower. If this activity can avoid your caveat.

Meditate for 10 minutes or so:
headspace also has relationship meditation not sure if that would suit situation
posted by RoadScholar at 4:48 PM on September 10, 2014

The more minimalist the sounds, the more relaxing your surroundings become.

This is one of the things we do. Make tea or coffee, put on lougewear, dim the lights, light a candle or two (or incense) and just lie on the couch holding hands and listen to some nice ambient-ish music that we like. Other options include

- do your bathing separately and then get some plush fuzzy robes and slippers and tea and sit outside (if the weather tolerates it) and watch the sun set
- peppermint foot cream and food rubs for each other
- the Magic wand is frequently used as a sex toy but you can also just use it to dekink stiff muscles
- find some gentle stretches that will help you shake off and stretch off whatever the day dumps on you
posted by jessamyn at 6:45 PM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

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