It’s the first day of summer.  Spring is gone, summer is here, and there is so much goodness to enjoy.  Here’s a double whammy post to make up for my absence: a home spa night recap and homemade facial masque tips!

But first: Yesterday was one of those perfect days that I wished would never end.  I did some work from a local cafe with a friend, a cafe that happens to be right on a lake.  It was gorgeous there and such an inspiration.  Then, I met a friend for lunch.  The food was delicious and we had a lovely conversation.  I came home and a few hours later, I made my first homemade pizza for dinner, with spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and mushrooms.  Delish.  Then, my husband and I went to The Original Chocolate Bar and got cupcakes, truffles, and tea.  YUM.

HOME SPA NIGHT!

After that, we came home and I took a long, luxurious bath.  I haven’t had a bath in months, and nearly fell asleep in there.  Why do I go so long without taking them when the results are well worth it?  I used organic green tea, Epsom salts, and my Neom Organics Bath Oil, which I found at an amazing discount.  I have all of the scents now, and 2 of some scents, and instead of paying $56 per bottle I paid $15 per bottle — an amazing price!  I liked the smells in the bottles, but when you use them in the bathtub, they just bloom.  True aromatherapy.  All of the bath oils are 100% natural, 70% organic, and made with 30% essential oils.  Thirty percent.  So you use such a tiny amount in the bath for a powerful effect.  These bottles will last a long, long time.  I have not found that kind of luxury anywhere.  Anywhere.

Before getting in the bathtub, I applied my homemade Blueberry Lemon Face Masque.  I’ve been getting into making face masques from fresh (not dried) ingredients lately, such as fruits, free-range, organic eggs, and juices, perhaps because they are available at such an abundance at farmers markets and local grocery stores now.  This masque was made with organic blueberries, ground organic oatmeal, organic raw honey, organic lemon juice, flax seed oil, and a few other secret ingredients. 😉  Scrumptious and pampering doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Once I applied the masque, I sunk into the tub, which is a little bigger than our tub at our old place.  One day I will have a tub in which I can be fully submerged, neck to toe.  Once the fumes from the bath oils, green tea, and face masque wafted up and around me, I forgot where I was and what I needed to do.  It was pure heaven.  And this is why I create my own spa experiences at home rather than dish out up to hundreds of dollars for a one-time experience.

Though, I must say, massages are totally worth it.  🙂  I was in a wedding a couple weekends ago, and the bride, a dear friend of mine, paid for all of her bridesmaids to get either a manicure/pedicure, massage, or facial at a very upscale spa.  I opted for the massage, and as my second professional massage ever, it was by far the best.

HOMEMADE FACIAL MASQUE TIPS

So back to masques.  I didn’t use to like making them from fresh ingredients because they would usually go bad before I used them, or they were too complicated to make.  But I have some tips for this!  Here they are:

1) Make small batches.  And by small I mean very small, enough for 2 or 3 masques and no more.  There are so many recipes I see on the internet and elsewhere that call for 1/2 cup of this, 1/4 cup of that, so that your recipe will yield 1 cup of product or more.  There is no way that all of that product will be used up before going bad, unless you have a spa night with your friends (great idea!) or use the rest as a body masque.  Create a recipe that will yield no more than 2 tablespoons total.  I find that I use between 1 and 2 teaspoons of product for my face each time, depending on the consistency and how much I feel like putting on.

2) Make masques with what you have.  Or, buy ingredients that you know you will eat as well.  For instance, if you already have oranges or bananas on hand, use a bit of one and eat the rest.  Nourishment inside and out.  And if you buy something to use in a facial masque, have a recipe or other edible route in mind for the rest so that you minimize waste.

3) Plan on using your masque within 3-4 days, store it in the fridge, and use them as cleansers.  I like a lot of variety, so I get tired of the same recipe, and I also want the freshest ingredients as possible.  Although drawing masques are not recommended for more than twice a week, masques with cleansing and moisturizing ingredients can be used daily.  Oatmeal, lemon juice, honey, eggs, and other ingredients gently cleanse the skin and leave it supple.  Much like facial cleansing grains made of dried herbs and ingredients are used daily, so can your masques (Though, again, I wouldn’t recommend a clay-based masque for everyday use.).

4) Use a coffee grinder or food processor to grind dried or fresh herbs, and ingredients like oatmeal.  So much easier than a mortar and pestle, which I’d been using for years.  Silly cavewoman.

5) Use few ingredients.  3-5 ingredients are plenty for a masque.  This is because you may not know if you are sensitive to a particular ingredient, plus, simple, nutrient-packed ingredients are best rather than a laundry list of every ingredient you can think of.  Let’s not follow the footsteps of the commercial cosmetic lab industry with their 20-30+ ingredient lists.  Simple is always best, and we find many examples of this in nature.

Do you make facial masques at home?

What are your favorite home spa treatments to enjoy in the summer?

EDIT: Also, this is my 150 post!  You all know that I’m not an everyday blogger, and I tend to have more ambitious posts, which is why my posts are so sparse.  But even though it took a while to get here, 150 posts is something to celebrate!

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, and 4

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