Your ten-step guide to affordable pampering

women in red towel and bathrobe

women in red towel and bathrobeWe all like to look and feel beautiful, but busy mums often struggle to find the time and money to spoil themselves in spas, or indulge in beauty treatments at home.


However, with a bit of clever planning, it is possible to factor a few pampering treats into your schedule.

1. De-stress on the cheap

Visiting a sauna and steam room is a great way to relax weary muscles and also clear your skin. But you don’t have to pay for entry to an expensive spa. Many high street gyms and leisure centres now have a sauna and steam room. Entry will probably be free if you’re a member. And if your gym is subsidized by the council, one-off entry costs should be low.

2. Be high street savvy

Getting ready for a big night out is half the fun, but rather than spend a fortune on new products or on beauty treatments – why not visit the beauty counter at your local department store and ask for a free makeover? The assistant may even give you a few free samples to take home.

3. Book a bargain haircut

If you’re feeling down in the dumps, a new haircut will always lift your spirits. But rather than forking out a fortune for a trim, book an appointment with a trainee. Many hairdressing schools advertise for willing guinea pigs, with haircuts costing as little as £5.

4. Be a beauty tester

Beauty colleges operate a similar system – with manicures, pedicures, facials and many other treatments costing significantly less than at a high street salon. The only downside is that most will use low-cost products,but students are usually happy for you to bring your own cosmetics along.

5. Try a home facial

Steaming is a great way to cleanse your skin. If you can’t afford a facial,simply fill a bowl with boiling water, add a few drops of essential oil if you can, position your head above the bowl and cover with a towel. You’ll feel incredibly relaxed afterwards.

6. Brush up your body

A body brush is not only cheap and simple to use – it’s also one of the most effective and versatile beauty aides on the market. Start at the feet and brush in upward strokes towards your heart. This will help improve circulation, reduce cellulite and exfoliate the skin. No expensive therapist required.

7. The DIY facelift

You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive creams to give yourself a facelift. Spend a bit of time massaging products into your skin and it’s possible to achieve dramatic results. Pinch the skin above your cheekbones with fast but gentle movements. Now, repeat the same process across your jawbone. Finally, brush fingers in a rapid upward motion on your forehead.

8. Use multi-tasking products

Rather than fork out for a multitude of different products, invest in a few multi-tasking cosmetics. Buy moisturising oils that can be used on face, body and even hair -or make-up that can be used on lips and cheeks. By having less bottles, you’ll also save space in the bathroom.

9. Soak and soften your feet

If you’ve been on your feet all day, one of the easiest ways to relax is with a foot bath. You don’t need a costly foot spa, though. Fill a bowl with warm, soapy water and soak your feet for 15 minutes. The heat will help improve circulation and relax muscles, and the water will soften hard skin.

10. Downsize your treatments

If you want a quick pick-me-up but don’t want to spend a fortune, ask if your local spa offers express treatments such a mini-manicure. It’s easier to fit these into your daily schedule and they are also much cheaper. If you’re lucky, the treatment will include access to the spa relaxation areas too.

Need a makeover but are pushed for time? Try out our 10-minute makeover!