Sunday, December 30, 2012

Inexpensive Indulgence

Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other. 

-Henry David Thoreau

In an effort to beat the "post-holiday season slump," I decided to treat myself to an afternoon at the spa...right in my very own home! I've been reading an array of recipes about DIY beauty treatments so today I thought I would give a few of them a try. In the process, I came up with a few concoctions of my own. I set up my room with a few candles, some soothing music (yoga workout radio on Pandora!) and I sipped on a glass of homemade "spa water" (water with lemon and orange slices). This afternoon at the spa cost me just under $5.00; that left plenty in my budget to give my beautician a nice tip (hehe).

Here are the treatments I tried:

  1. Dr. Oz's Teeth Whitening Treatment
  2. The "Lemon and Honey" Blackhead Mask
  3. The "Egg White and Tissue" Tightening and Cleansing Mask
  4. The "Brownie Batter" Body Scrub (my own creation!)
  5. At-Home Manicure
The best one, by far, was the "egg white and tissue" mask. Not only did it leave my skin feeling rejuvenated and super clean, but it was actually really fun to do. As it dries, it gets so incredibly tight that you can barely move your face, which I found to be quite entertaining. 

Here are the recipes:

Dr. Oz's Teeth Whitening Treatment 
( taken from

  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
  1. In a small bowl, mix a little bit of baking soda with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. The mixture should bubble slightly.
  2. Using a cotton swab, wipe saliva and excess plaque from your teeth before brushing on the mixture. 
  3. Leave the mixture on your teeth for a minute before gently brushing it off with a toothbrush.  Don’t leave the mixture on your teeth for any longer than a minute; the acid can erode tooth enamel.

A word of caution, I did this without measuring and my whitening solution turned into what looked like a fifth grade science experiment. Definitely take the time to measure these out. 


Lemon and Honey Blackhead Removing Mask

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  1. Cut a lemon in half.
  2. Take honey and smear on the open face of the lemon.
  3. Rub the honeyed lemon all over your face and leave on for five minutes.
  4. Rinse the mix off with warm water and a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil. 


Egg White and Tissue Cleansing Mask

  • one egg white
  • a splash of milk
  • 2 pieces of a two-ply facial tissue

  1. Take your egg white and splash a bit of milk into a small bowl. This mask is best applied with a small make-up brush, so have one of those on hand.
  2. Peel apart the layers of your tissues and rip them into small rectangles and squares. (This is something I didn't do before attempting this mask and I definitely made a mess!)
  3. Brush the egg and milk mix directly on your skin; it will stick just fine.
  4. After applying a few layers of egg white, take the squares of tissue and gently stick them to your face. Apply another layer of the egg white mix over top of the tissue.
  5. Let the mask completely dry; the place where I read about this said it would take 15 minutes but mine took more like 30 minutes. 
  6. Once you are totally dry, peel the mask off your face and wash with warm water and a gentle cleanser. 
Another word of caution, this will make your face extremely tight. The tightness will make you laugh which will be slightly painful. I recommend refraining from looking at yourself while waiting for this to dry; it is really hard not to laugh if you peek. Don't try to peel off the mask until it is completely dry or you will not see the results. If you wait it out, you will see all the dead skin cells on your mask; gross but atleast you know that it worked! 


Karen's Brownie Batter Body Scrub

  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa power
  • 1 drops of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of olive or almond oil
  • A few drops of water
  1. In a small glass bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  2. Next, pour in the oil, vanilla, honey and a couple drops of water.
  3. Apply all over body, massaging in small circles. This is used best in a bath tub because it can be quite messy. 
This scrub smells just like brownie batter which is amazing! It leaves your skin moisturized and refreshed; I would recommend that if you have acne prone skin, omit the oil and use a little bit of water instead. 


To end my afternoon at the spa, I did a manicure on myself. I used the leftover brownie scrub and throughly scrubbed my hands, then pushed back my cuticles and applied the Orly Base/Top coat. I finished my mani off with a fun glittery design on my ring fingers! 

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