A day at the spa can be spectacularly relaxing, and spectacularly expensive. A one-hour massage can cost you nearly $200. A body scrub with those fancy showers starts at about $85. Facial? $150, easy. But the spa need not be reserved by rich and desperate housewives if you’re smart about how to keep the costs down and still enjoy and entire day next to the ladies spending a fortune. I recently put a theory to the test at my local, swanky spa–Southcoast Winery and Resort. I deducted that if I made an appointment for a simple service–a manicure and pedicure–I would make the minimum cost necessary ($85) for full-day spa privileges. And once I gained entry, I was going to give myself a fancy scrub and facial, relax my muscles and have quiet time by the pool, sipping champagne.
Getting In: Most spas have a general entry fee if you aren’t paying for any services. But if you make an appointment for a procedure and it meets or exceeds the minimum, chances are you better off because you get both a service and entry. In my case, the service minimum for full day privileges was $85. With a 50-minute pedicure and a half-hour manicure, I made that minimum easily.
Before I left the house I packed up a bag with the essentials.
Inside I have my Carol’s Daughter sun screen, Lalicious Sugar Scrub, Colleen Rothschild cleanser, Young Blood mineral spray, Sapien shave gel and my own razor, because the ones the spa provides are cuts waiting to happen.
So I arrived about five minutes before my 11AM appointment so I could check in a get a locker. I brought my own polish–NARS in an eggplant color–which turned out to be a MAJOR disappointment because the polish chips like cheap drugstore brands…shame on you, NARS!
I love Southcoast Winery’s spa, because they give you a complimentary glass of wine with every treatment. Here’s me cheers-ing the fact that my raggedy hands are about to be tended to…
I did some work while my nails dried, then made it over to the private women’s jacuzzi, otherwise known as the white woman’s gossip den. This is where I was able to really work out the kinks in my muscles. Just as good as a $200 massage.
Steam is an excellent way to open all the pores of your body and prime it for treatment. I went in with my scrub and cleansing balm and sloughed away the deep skin and allow the cleansing treatment to sit on my face for ten minutes…about as long as you can stand to be in a steam room. Funny thing: the scrub I brought must not be too shabby, because on my way in I saw that it was the very same one the spa sold in their shop. Mine is in the company’s newest packaging, on the left.
Then I went to the shower and rises off the products and used my own spa-worthy shave cream and razor. Then finished up with the sunscreen to lounge at the pool with another glass of vino, spritzed my Youngblood “Minerals in the Mist, “and then promptly went into a brief alcohol induced coma, waking up just in time to meet the kids at home after school.
The pool at Southcoast Winery
I spent five hours there, and could have stayed 12, all for $85, a little more than what it would have costed for me to go to one of the strip mall assembly line nail joints. Which would you choose?