You and your tightly wound friends could really use a day at a spa — but thinking about the cost only makes you more stressed. Solution: Host a spa party at home, for hundreds less.
1. Set the mood. Light candles, set out stacks of magazines and snacks, and play relaxing music.
2. Hire an almost-pro. Facialists can charge $100 an hour; manicurists charge extra too. Better: Ask a local beauty school about hiring a student (find one at beautyschoolsdirectory.com). You might pay as little as $5-$12 each for a manicure or $10-$20 for a facial, says Anthony Fragomeni of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools.
3. Get a mini-massage. Full-body massages average about $100 an hour. Hire a pro for chair massages, for about $1 a minute, says Mary Beth Braun of the American Massage Therapy Association.
4. Rent a mobile spa. If cost isn’t a problem but convenience is, bring in the experts. The nationwide chain Relax & Rejuvenate charges $110 per massage, facial or mani/pedi. Find a mobile spa near you at mobilehomespa.com.
5. Zone out.. Pop in a fitness DVD (try The Firm: Power Yoga or Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies, both available at collagevideo.com) and do group yoga to calm down and tone up.