Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Naked Germans and face cream- home spa

I've been feeling a bit under the weather. A bit "post-Christmas, pre-summer". A bit fed up of grey days and coughs and colds. I decided this week it was time for a bit of a treat.

I love Spas and alternative therapy treatments. When I was a beauty journalist in the 1980's I was often invited to try the latest new thing. I remember my first flotation tank vividly. I am not keen on water, the dark or enclosed spaces and my heart sank as the therapist showed me the water filled pitch black coffin-sized box she was enthusiastically assuring me would be an amazing experience.But I was brave and the feeling of weightless suspension was well worth the initial panic.

Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosmarinus officinalis

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was introduced to aromatherapy back then too and was fascinated as the masseur explained how everyone has a combination of essential oils which works best for them. She carefully blended mine and I couldn't understand why I always came out of the salon fancying roast lamb until I realised it was probably because she was weekly basting me in rosemary and mint!

Despite my fear of water generally I love hot tubs and Jacuzzis but can't help feeling a bit hippo-like as I wallow in the bubbles. My most memorable jacuzzi experience came on a trip to a German spa - a naked German spa - where there were steps in and out of the large bath which gave everyone in the hot tub a very intimate view of the people climbing in to join us. I didn't realise how intimate the view was until I was already seated and was careful to try and climb out gracefully, keeping my knees as close together as possible to avoid flashing too much of my lady garden.

I was lucky enough recently to win a prize in a local magazine for a variety of beauty treatments, including a couple of facials. Of course I was too proud to admit to the beauticians that you can count decades in between my treatments so I pretended I was completely at home in their quiet, scented rooms with the whale music drifting out at me. Which made it even funnier when they peered at my skin under bright lights and magnifying glasses and questioned me about my "usual" beauty and skincare routine.

I muttered about moisturiser and cleansers. I wondered what they would think if I told them my actual routine. So, first thing in the morning I grab a cleansing/ toning wipe and swoosh it round my face,then examine it hopefully for grime. Smile with satisfaction if there's dirt on the wipe cause it shows I've had my money's worth. That's if there are any wipes left. If not, I might grab a baby wipe or dampen a bit of toilet roll and wipe off the remains of last nights' smeared mascara from under my eyes. Sometimes there are wipes but they've dried out so I run one under the tap. Then I grab whatever moisturiser I've had on special offer at the supermarket and slap it on. Sometimes there might even be eye cream, depending if my friend who sells Avon takes pity and chucks some my way. At night - repeat the routine, or fall drunkenly into bed in full makeup and let the pillow take the brunt.

Any way, as a trip to the Spa is not in my budget right now this week I decided to make the most of my growing collection of sachets. I had amassed a small pile of sample sized beauty products from magazines and since my collection was boosted by my trip to the mall at the weekend I thought it was time to get ripping.

I ran a bubble bath using spa products I discovered cheap in the Eurostore in Paphos, Cyprus when I visisted my mum last year and firmly shut the door. I wish you could wear headphones in the bath as of course every few minutes there was a child hammering on the door. "Mum, I need a wee", "Mum, can I have some milk?" "Mum where is my Buzz Lightyear?" "Mum what's for tea?"

At least since we installed a bolt they can't get in so I am spared the sight and smell of my youngest who seems to prefer using the upstairs toilet for his, shall we say, bigger efforts.

photo.JPG
all thats left of my DIY spa experience.
I managed a face mask, shampoo and conditioner, hair masque  (much better than an ordinary hair mask?!), face mask and split end treatment and a "hot towel facial" using a warm wet flannel in the bath followed by a generous coating of eye gel, face cream and body lotion before life intervened and I had to get back to being mum again.

OK so my DIY spa in the less than luxurious surroundings of my bathroom was not really the same treat as I would imagine a weekend at Champneys would be but when I emerged I felt slightly more relaxed and my skin was glowing nicely.

Also on the plus side, as I wallowed in the privacy of my own bath I had no fear that Greenpeace might mistake me for a whale and show up shouting "keep her wet!"and I didn't have any skinny well-kept women striding around making me feel lumpy and wrinkled.

Having said that if anyone out there wants to treat me to a proper spa experience, you know where to find me - although I would prefer an English style one where clothes are not banned!
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