SO! Armed with a budget and a fierce mission to help these women feel pampered, I set out (to Target, Dollar Tree, Ulta, Pinterest, and beyond…)!
- Firstly, wine and cute sparkling waters were essential. I did ask people to bring a drink to help contribute and because honestly, when hosting, it puts my mind at ease--that way everyone has something they’re sure to like! I also went a tad crazy on fruits/veggies and a charcuterie board (which, no, is not typically budget-friendly, but was a collab of leftovers and amazing steals I found…it probably deserves it’s own blog post…#charcuterielove).
-I cleaned my house hardcore to ensure dust/dog hair/any dusty distractions were kept to a minimum, since it’s #reallife and not an actual spa, ha! Turned the lights slightly low, put The Devil Wears Prada on TV quietly, and set up two essential oils diffusers (I used Gathering by Young Living in one, and a mix of Lavender and Eucalyptus oils in the other) plus lit a ton of candles all around the rooms.
-My plan was to have a Crock-Pot full of hot towels waiting for the women to “Ahhhhhhhh” relax right when they walked in the front door. Joke’s on me: it was still 103 degrees at 7pm. Oh. My Gosh. The plan quickly changed, and while I still kept the Crock-Pot of hot towels for later in the evening, I quickly doused some of the towels in water, rolled them and threw them in the freezer, along with several drops of lavender and peppermint to help calm and cool them when walking the door, instead. Pretzel shockingly isn’t the best butler, so I answered the doorbell every time it rang, cool towel in (a cute bin in) hand!
-I truly believe in the power of plants and flowers, so had several bunches of hydrangeas around my house (which now is a pretty standard self-care practice for me, as I find they help with managing my depression and anxiety). They helped set a warm, loving, relaxing tone.
-One of the only things that irks me about hostessing is late minute cancellations or people who don’t RSVP. But someone attending and not being prepared for them is super <gasp> to me, and as every woman deserves to be pampered whenever the heck they get the chance, I thought the simple and nice thing to do was set up a little “station” for each of them (for those who couldn’t make it, the foot soak bins made an easy way to deliver the stuff to them later)
-I set everyone’s spa bins around my couch, comfy chairs, and fluffy pillows in my living room, so everyone had a good place to sit and chill while soaking our feet, doing face/eye masks, and enjoy the yummy treats.
-The kitchen table became a nail bar, with soaks, a myriad of polishes, and plenty of nail files etc, and bar area hosted the food & fun drinks.
THE SPA SUPPLIES:
My first stop was Dollar Tree, because, since it was going to be between 9 and 12 women, we couldn’t all soak our feet in my tub (YET! Ha!) at the same time, and I wanted plastic bins they could use so we could do it all the same time while chilling in my living room. It also made it handy for them to take home and continue the ongoing self-care. I honestly had incredibly low expectations of what would be available but was proven greatly otherwise!
At Dollar Tree, I ended up getting:
-Plastic bins for foot soaks, which I personalized with their names in sharpie
-Gel eye masks in blue, green, and pink, that I cleaned, then kept in the freezer until they arrived and they got along with their cold towel
-Bath slippers in white and pink
-Kleenex with inspirational messages on them; I usually get these at Target, so it was exciting to find them here…they says things like “find your fierce” and “you’ve got this!”
-All kinds of pretty nail files and buffers in mermaid, glitter, and floral prints
-Several nail polishes; I own plenty, but wanted extra for the ladies to take home if they fell in love with a color. I was blown away actually by the quality of the LA Colors ones! One coat handled it!
-24 microfiber towels that I used for the Crock-Pot and surprise cold essential oils towels (washed obviously beforehand)
-Mini-loofahs: I wasn’t planning on these, but they came in really fun colors and were a great addition to the take home baskets, or if they wanted to scrub the foot soaks off a bit more (also pre-washed, and then added a drop of peppermint oil to them)
-Colorful headbands to keep those little wisps away while face-masking
-Calm, Restore, and Cool mini candles that made a perfect addition to the take home bins, as they were classy blue containers and smelled wonderful!
At Target I got:
-Pantene Intense Rescue Shots: I’m very, very in love with these and highly recommend them. They smell incredible and make my hair really soft, so I thought they’d be a fun addition!
-Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salts Soaks in Soothe&Sleep, Restore&Replenish, and Relax&Relief. They are hands-down my favorite soaks ever. They’re an amazing price, especially considering how pure they are and the benefits I feel from them. At the party, the ladies chose one of the three for their foot soak, and then I gave them small Ziplocs to take home of any of them they wanted to try. I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Teals and should probably try to get sponsored by them, ha!
-Lotions: I have an insane amount from my Bath&Body Works obsession, but wanted a couple more simple scents, so got the Argan Oil & Lavender from Love Beauty & Planet (I love this brand!) and Soap & Glory’s Buttercream
-Face sheet masks: Not going to lie, they sell these at Dollar Tree but I was too nervous to try them. I’ve got fairly sensitive skin and fully believe in paying a bit more to find brands that work well for you…and you know, don’t cause full hives…so I stuck with brands I know and love from Target. Two of my favorites are Shea Moisture Instant Hydration Gel Masks (several charcoal and several coconut oil), and YesTo brand (several coconut and several cucumber). I happened upon these being on a great deal at Target where you got a gift card for buying $25+, which I think they run pretty often for beauty products, so check out your options there.
-Undereye masks: I’m lowkey (or not so lowkey…) obsessed with these. No idea if they actually do anything for me, but they feel damn great. My favorite is the Que Bella brand. Three masks for under $3, yeah please.
At Ulta I just restocked one of my other weird beauty obsessions: Mario Badescu face sprays. These are fun for after doing face masks (on the regular, I use mine in the morning after washing my face, and anytime I need a refresh mid day because I am one sweaty, hotmess lady). They all have aloe in them, and I love the rosewater, cucumber/green tea, and chamomile/lavender ones! Also, they sell them at Macy’s. And on Amazon…let’s be honest, because I hate Silicon Valley traffic, that’s usually where I order them.
Once the ladies arrived and we all stopped melting from the insanely hot day, we gabbed and ate some snacks, made sure everyone had some type of drink in their hand, and then filled the foot soak bins with hot water + their choice of soak, slapped some face masks on, did our nails, and reminisced on rom-coms. It was so great to see how excited everyone was just over simple indulgences like this! :D
One of the most amazing things was seeing these women truly relax and feel comfy….how many of us hide our real skin and face and hair on the daily is wild. I mean, not judging obviously, mascara is my homegirl. But it was incredible to see everyone’s natural beauty and coziness with each other! Spa nights can be incredibly fun, indulgent, pampering, and fab, no matter the budget or the time. Let me know your at-home spa tips!