Whether you’re single, married, or ‘it’s complicated’, celebrating Valentine’s day in 2019 can extend beyond your significant other. That’s the idea behind hosting a Galentine’s day spa session – cherishing your group of close girlfriends with a spot of DIY pampering. Here are a few fun ideas for a date night with a difference.
Set the scene
- Invite 5-10 good friends
- Comfortable space to fit you all (see above) in your lounge or bedroom
- Someone to take care of the kids while you take care of you
- Spa supplies or a list of what each guest can bring (see below)
- Refreshments: including easy to eat nibbles, some bubbles to toast yourselves with and some sparkling water or iced herbal teas to keep you hydrated
- Candles with a calming scent
Ask your guests to bring
- Lounge wear or pyjamas
- A towel and a facecloth
- Their overnight bags and a pillow (if it’s going to turn into a sleepover)
- Any refreshments (to help share the cost and prep time)
- Thick socks (for pedicures)
Start by prepping your space
You’ll need to use your bathroom sink and mirror too, and you’ll probably want to stock that up with tissues, face cloths and extra towels. When laying out the drinks and snacks, choose your nicest plates and glassware. Temperature is important too – it should be comfortable for people wearing loungewear – shivering is not conducive to relaxation.
A few minutes before you expect your guests, it’s time to set the mood, by closing all the curtains, lighting the candles, and playing soft music. We’ve thrown together a bit of a playlist at the end of this post for a soundtrack that slowly turns up the volume.
Each treatment should ideally have its own area so you can set up all the stuff you need. The idea is that everyone gets each treatment – whether they treat themselves or take turns. Allow plenty of time – your DIY spa time is all about winding down and chilling out.
You’ll need: A large bowl (or sink), nail tools (scissors, clippers, cuticle sticks, files and buffers), cotton balls or tissues, gentle exfoliator, nail polish (Kester Black is a ‘no nasties’ range in beautiful tones), base, and topcoat, remover, towel, warm water, and a lovely rich body butter for the feet
This section will probably take the most time, so factor that into the evening. If one of your friends has a bit of nail art expertise or interest, let them get creative. After all, it’s easy to wipe off any slip ups and start again.
For this, your friends may want to bring some of their own products that they know suit their skin type. Or you could supply products broadly divided into those for more oily versus more dry skin types. You’ll want to have ready access to a sink for this one, and plenty of face cloths.
You’ll need: a head band, cleanser/makeup remover, cotton pads, exfoliator suitable for most skin types, toner, hydrating facial mask, moisturiser
Optional: a towel over a bowl filled with boiling water.
- Remove all makeup and cleanse skin on the face and neck. You may want to do this step twice, or use a gentle exfoliator after cleansing.
- Optional: Pour boiling hot water into a bowl with a couple of drops of calming essential oils for a gentle steam. Orange, rose, neroli or lavender are lovely and mellow. Stay over the bowl and under a towel for five minutes.
- Gently pat dry, and apply the toner with the cotton pad, sweeping lightly all over the face.
- Apply your/their choice of hydrating mask and chill out for the time recommended on the pack. This may be time for a glass of Champagne.
- Rinse mask off thoroughly and apply a moisturiser. For areas that need a little extra TLC, pat on a nourishing, easily absorbed oil like SKIN by ecostore Multi-nutrient Facial Oil
Massage (back, shoulder, arms)
You’ll need: body lotion or body oil
It’s nice to pair up for this treatment, in a sort of ‘You rub my back I’ll rub yours,’ arrangement. Each of you takes turns being the massager, and the ‘massagee’. When it’s your turn as massager, simply ask what your friend prefers – from a light, gentle back rub to a bit of a pummelling involving thumbs and elbows.
A few extra special spa ideas
Create a quiet meditation zone if you have space – for anyone who’s had a hard week
Make some fun treats together – s’mores are a naughty bite of nostalgia
Play a classic movie when the pampering is done. We’ve added a few ideas below (although there are no rules here for what constitutes a ‘classic’)
Karaoke machine or Singstar
Hire a tarot card reader
Or finish with a hair stylist and head out in style to hit the town
Don’t forget the popcorn, with:
- Hidden Figures
- Sex & the City (the series)
- A Star is Born (any version)
- Erin Brockovich
- Whale Rider
- Thelma & Louise
- Nine to Five
And turn up the volume for:
- Independent Women, Pt. I – Destiny's Child
- Work It – Missy Elliot
- I’m Good, I’m Gone – Lykke Li
- Heartbeats – The Knife
- Bad Girls – M.I.A.
- Lovefool – The Cardigans
- You’ve got the Love – Florence & the Machine
- I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
How do you get together and celebrate your friendships? We’d love to hear from you.