Haus Frau Spa

Life has been kicking my ass lately. I haven’t had a two day weekend in over 3 months, and frankly I’m exhausted. Beauty maintenance has been pushed to a “as necessary” priority, and it’s been a little tough on me!

I came home yesterday from a particularly busy 6 hour lab and knew I needed a little R&R to make it through the rest of the week. Let me present to you: my DIY spa night, for ladies in a pinch or on a budget. (Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a long one.)

First things first, get your products set up and decide on a time line. What do you have available to you, what do you want to accomplish and how much of your day are you willing to dedicate to the experience. I typically try to get in a face mask (or two), hair treatment, body scrub and if I’m lucky, an application of self tanner. More time on your hands? Refresh that mani/pedi!

Brush your hair, run yourself a bath and relax. If I’m going to be doing my nails, I remove all polish at this point and throw my hair mask in the tub. Warming up your hair products usually allows them to better penetrate the hair shaft. I do my biweekly shampoo, apply my hair mask and throw my hair in a friendly bun. I do my first round of Clarisonic at this point (1min) and apply my face mask because I won’t be submerging my head for next little while.

Sit back. Relax. Light some candles if you haven’t already. Find your favourite songza playlist. This isn’t your usual wash-and-dry-my-hair-ASAP-and-get-out-the-door. Give yourself a good soak. I bet you forgot what that felt like, didn’t you?

When you’re ready to move forward with your beautification process, shave your usuals. I follow this with a full body scrub, with the help of my amazing boyfriend treating my back. Have you ever had your back scrubbed? That shit is DIVINE. Have a pumice stone? Why not scrub those toes, because you’re about to drain your bath. I always get sand EVERYWHERE from my exfoliant, so I usually try to give my tub a rinse when I start the shower.

Rinse out your hair mask, remove your face mask and apply your regular conditioner. At this point I do my second round with my Clarisonic. Wait an appropriate amount of time for your conditioner to sink in, loofa up and rinse down.

Once I get out of the shower, I use my leave in conditioner and facial moisturizer, giving it a few minutes to soak in. Sometimes, if I’ve got more time than anyone else in the world, I throw on a moisturizing mask. Time permitting, one of my favourite steps to finish my spa experience is self tanner. Head to toe. Getting a nice faux glow is one of my fail proof feel better moves. I use a fast drying formula, and after a few minutes I’m ready to put on a loosely fitting bath robe!

Mani, pedi, glass of wine. Why not strut around the house in your freshened up new glory? You deserved it!


DIY Gel nails review – Nailene, Essie, Revlon, Quo, OPI

I’m all about saving money. I live with the mentality that if I can do something well myself, why would I pay someone else to do it for me? Then again, I’m the girl who still gets her Mum to cut her hair and frequently self-dyes. I really would do almost anything to save a buck.

I have been painting my nails since I was 8 years old. I love being able to change colour quickly and easily, but I’m tough on my nails and have never been able to find a great polish that lasts more than two days. I absolutely without a doubt cannot stand a chipped manicure, so longevity and quality of product is very important to me. My kit is filled to the brim with Essie, Revlon, Quo and OPI colours and products.

When Shellac and Gel polish technology began to edge its way into the nail market a couple years ago, I was really excited but also very skeptical. The kits aren’t cheap for a girl on a budget, but getting routine manicures are simply out of the question for me. This fall I received Nailene Sensationail Gel Polish Starter kit (89.99$MSRP*) as a gift and finally got to see what all the fuss was about. (Thanks, Chris!)

The process itself is very straight forward, but if you’ve never had a gel manicure the steps could seem overwhelming. Read on below to find out more about the process, my thoughts and what products I recommend for the perfect at home manicure!

Continue reading

Chocolate lovers banana bread

I’m lucky enough to have most Sundays off to enjoy, rest up and relax for the upcoming week. When you have the entire day off and you don’t sleep until noon it’s shocking what you can get accomplished. Usually by mid-afternoon I’m looking for an activity to kill some time and baking is a great way to fill the voids in both my schedule and pantry.

My diet consists of a lot of fresh produce. A LOT. I’m talking 3-4 trips to the market a week. My diet also consists of a lot of bananas. I eat far more banana’s than I know I should, and I very, very rarely have leftover to bake with. That being said, just like most people I get sick and tired of eating the same darn things for breakfast lunch and dinner. This week, I was left over with FOUR browning bananas. I was pretty excited about this because I find sometimes my loaves don’t turn out as “banana-y” as I’d like. Having the proper amount of ingredients in obviously crucial to how any recipe turns out.

Today, my inner fat kid also came out to play and I added a healthy (huge) handful (or three) of chocolate chips. Did I also garnish with chocolate chips? Heck yeah.

Continue reading