Sweet Retreat

Turn a cold, blustery day into a relaxing at-home beauty indulgence.


When it's cold, getting outside may be the last thing on your to-do list. But it's the perfect time to take advantage: Cozy up indoors and indulge in a relaxing beauty "retreat." You can spend a few leisurely hours or make a day of lounging in your own private oasis (no guilt allowed!). To make your at-home spa day complete, we asked top beauty gurus for tips to help you rehydrate your body and re-energize your mind. Just find a patch of indoor sun, light a few candles and hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign. Refreshed and renewed, you'll be ready to tackle just about anything.

Head's Up

Winter's harsh winds and dry indoor heat can leave hair parched, especially curly or coarse locks. Deep conditioning is a must, says Ted Giza, senior stylist with Avon Centre Spa at Trump Tower in New York.

First, shampoo your hair. Bring a towel large enough to wrap around your head into the shower with you. Soak the towel with very warm water and wring it out well. Apply a deep conditioner and comb it through your hair; then wrap your head with the damp towel. For superhydrated locks, leave the treatment on for 15–20 minutes or for the remainder of your beauty retreat; then rinse with warm water.

Play Footsie

Leave fancy footwork to the pedicure pros and focus on a simple, invigorating foot treat, advises Justine Hartel, master nail technician with Hands On in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Relax puffy feet by immersing them in a basin of warm water with a soothing foot soak for 10 minutes. Then exfoliate rough, dry skin with a gritty exfoliating scrub, and massage in an invigorating, superhydrating lotion to revitalize tired feet and legs. Finish with an easy massage.

Saving Face

Janine Conley-Lucht, salon manager for The Heartland Spa in Gilman, Ill., and a mother of four, recommends this easy facial: Wash your face with an exfoliating scrub, or simply use a washcloth to get rid of dry skin cells; then apply your favorite mask.

After applying the mask, roll up a water-saturated hand towel and pop it in the microwave for three minutes. Remove the towel from the microwave, place it in a plastic bag, and wrap another hand towel around the bag. Place the roll under your bathrobe collar. Sit down, close your eyes and enjoy the warmth while your mask penetrates. After rinsing off the mask, apply a moisturizer.For a cool any-time treat, spray on a facial mist.

Body Basics

"A body treatment is a bit difficult to do on your own — especially if you're pregnant," empathizes Robyn Leor, a spa practitioner with the Aspen Club & Spa in Colorado. "But it's easy to reach the most important areas: the belly and chest."

Spread out a large towel or sheet in a patch of indoor sunshine or in front of the fireplace — anywhere that's warm, cozy and private. Apply a thin layer of body mask to slightly moisten your skin; close your eyes and relax. Allow the mask to dry, about 10–15 minutes.

With a dry natural-bristle shower brush or loofah, gently brush off the mask. Use long, fluid strokes, pushing toward the center of your body. Rinse off in a warm shower, using a shower gel and exfoliating gloves. Pat your skin dry and apply lotion or oil.

Taking time to take care of yourself will improve the quality of the time you give to others. So don't feel guilty — dive into your beauty stash and play the day away.