Spa

By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein

“Relaxing massage – $150″. In the current economic climate, this almost sounds like an oxymoron, right? How are we supposed to relax when we’re shelling out money we don’t have for what many would consider an extraneous indulgence? Well, we loyal spa-enthusiasts here at BeautyNews are not about to let some economic crisis stand in the way of our love! So, here are some surefire ways to kick some recession ass – spa style:

Better than the sale at Barneys: In just a few clicks, you can find spa deals just around the corner from your apartment. You’d be crazy to make a spa appointment without first checking http://www.spafinder.com, http://www.LifeBooker.com, or http://www.spa-addicts.com, or calling the spa directly to ask if they’re running any specials that month (Massage therapy schools also have student clinics offering crazy discounted massages). Think like the spa managers – now more than ever, spas are offering deals to first-time clients and students, during off-peak hours and for seasonal and holiday-themed treatments.

Your eyes are closed anyway: If your body is screaming for a massage, suck it up and head to a small neighborhood massage place or chain store that charges around $1/minute. Let’s face it. Massages that cost over $100 for an hour-long massage (that are really only 50 minutes) aren’t necessarily better. In most cases, you’re paying extra for ambiance. The décor and little niceties like robes and cucumber water could definitely enhance your spa experience, but the huge knots in your back really don’t care about that stuff.

Also, remember to savor each minute of the mini-massages you get during your $30 mani-pedi and don’t underestimate the benefits of the 10-minute/$10 chair massage. It’s the best way to spend your nail-drying time and you won’t smudge your nails on that issue of Us Weekly.

The ultimate at-home spa: Sometimes, 15 minutes soaking in a hot bath is all you need. For less than the price of a massage (and the gift that keeps on giving), head to your nearest drugstore, grocery store or spa store or shop online for the best at-home spa products. Get yourself a candle in your favorite scent, pour the whole bottle of bubbles and Epsom salts into the tub, put on a facial mask made from ingredients in your refrigerator (Google some recipes) and turn on some Enya for the ultimate bath experience. Snuggle up in a cozy robe and slippers, do your own nails and catch up on your DVR’d shows and you’ll be more relaxed than ever.

The NON-guilty pleasure: If you do happen to have some extra cash, the spa could be considered one of the best places to spend your money. Not only will you get the pampering you deserve, but you’ll also be supporting an industry that employs many, many people – and that’s a great way to help our economy! So, buy some spa-in-bulk (spa packages often get you a bonus free treatment) and satisfy your spa addiction. Your body, your soul, the spa and the economy will thank you for it.

Originally published April 2009
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