A softer approach to exfoliation, slime stress balls and the latest nail color!
What’s trending? Oh, just slimey stress-relieving goo, totally naked nails and weird spongy-like thingamajigs. Inspired by the latest social and spa trends, these home spa hacks will save you money and give your spirit a boost.
Take a little time out and have fun with these spa and spirit treatments!
A Kinder, Gentler Facial Buffer – Trend: Konjac Sponges
There’s nothing like an invigorating, tingly facial scrub. Until it makes your face raw and red or leaves it super sensitive. Enter the Konjac sponge. It’s gentle, natural and gives you a clean sweep without the sometimes harsh mechanical exfoliation of grainy scrubs and cleansing brushes.
So what is this squishy little sponge? Konjac facial sponges come in a couple different forms. The hard-as-a-rock variety that you have to soak before use and the pre-treated kind that come dampened with nourishing additions like great tea and collagen gel. Check out this Golden Turmeric Face Buff from Pure Sol for an extra dose of glow. You can also find them pre-treated with green clay and charcoal for breakout-prone skin.
A time-honored Asian secret for a couple thousand years, konjac sponges are made from the dried and ground root of the konjac, a plant native to Asia. The result is a texture much softer than a loofah or washcloth and can be used with your favorite facial wash or alone with water.
Totally Naked Manicure – Trend: The Nude Mani
A few years back, the nude mani trend found a permanent place for itself in the mainstream style books. Heck, even The Wall Street Journal ran a story on “The Art of the Nude Manicure,” further punctuating its move from fad to fashion. I personally, love the “barely there” look of skin-toned polishes. Clean, natural yet polished and pretty? Sign me up. And it got me thinking. Why not take it a step further? How about the totally naked manicure—no polish, no acetone, no drying chemicals and no UV drying lights? If you’ve got little kids, manicures are challenging to maintain and if you’re on any kind of budget, well, you know, manicures add up.
I started with a really great manicure at one of my favorite hideaways, the salon inside the Spa at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. Everyone was a little stunned that I didn’t want polish but we got through it, together. The results? Clean, shiny, natural nails.
Starting off with a professional manicure is the way to go and then maintenance is easy. You just need a good nail file and a new buffer (go ahead and ditch that one you’ve had for a decade and get a new one). Here are the quick steps along with product suggestions:
- File and shape. Use a fine nail file like the Tropical Shine 4-Way Nail Buffer. Be sure you don’t get coarse grit files, which are designed for acrylic nails and are too harsh for natural nails as are metal nails.
- Condition your cuticle. Use almond oil or other oil you have in your kitchen and a wooden orange stick to gently push them back. Avoid the temptation to clip or cut your cuticle.
- Shine and buff. My nail tech swears by the OPI Brilliance Buffer so now I do too. It only has two sides so it’s easy and quick to keep your shine.
- Moisturize nails, hands and wrists daily. Use your favorite lotion or pure shea butter.
Make-your-own Ooey Gooey Stretchy Stress Ball – Trend: SLIME!
Do you have school-aged kids? Well, then I’ll say no more. You already know that making slime is about as cool as it gets right now. If you don’t have kids, have you noticed the mega-sized glue containers suddenly popping up at craft stores? Glue is the magic ingredient in slime along with a few other additives and the thing I’ve noticed as a grown up is that a hunk of slime can do wonders for your stress. When you feel the urge to scream into a pillow or down a jelly donut, grab some slime and just breath.
You can find about a 100 million slime recipes out there. Here’s an easy one we like:
- 4 oz. Elmer’s White school glue (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tbsp of baking soda
- Washable Kids Paint (any paint really will do, I like this for easy cleanup).
- 1 tbsp of contact lens solution
Pour bottle of glue into a bowl. Add the baking soda and mix. Mix in the paint until you get the color you want. Add the contact solution and start mixing. It quickly forms into a ball. Once the slime has. Keep mixing until the slime begins to form. Add a few squirts of the lotion. Use your hands to finish up by kneading your slime. Bam, instant stress ball relief! (Warning: it takes a couple tries to get it to the consistency you like and some batches seem to have a mind of their own. Enjoy the process! 😉 )
Got another favorite home spa hack? We’d love to hear all about it in the Comments section below!