Front Porch Spa Parties!
Ann Thariani shares her tips for a great front porch party she recently had with help from her daughter Maya, 10:
"Our party was relaxing and fun, but be sure to keep your guest list small - unless you have a giant porch! Our limit was four women and two little girls. Let guests know it's super casual - and ask them to bring their own pumice, nail brush and flip flops."
Look around and see what you already have. I already had big pitchers for filling foot baths, lots of hand towels, cotton balls and nail polishes and remover. I also had leftover summer cups, plates and napkins. Choose which treatments to do - I decided just to do pedicures, but if you have time, manicures are fun, too.
On a budget? Shop wisely: I bought inexpensive plastic bowls for soaking feet, emery boards, orange sticks, and a little metal bucket to hold supplies at the dollar store for a total of $14.00.
Serve lemonade, iced tea, or fruity cocktails, and simple snacks. Make sure to have lots of small side tables out for drinks, plates and supplies.
Use bright plastic trays and picnicware to hold pedicure supplies. Use big pitchers to fill foot baths, and refill as needed.
Make your own soaks and scrubs - they're super easy and much cheaper! I used Gilden Tree's Revitalizing Spa Soak, with fresh slices of lemon and mint, but you could just as easily use Epsom Salts and a few drops of olive oil instead. For scrub, I used Gilden Tree Soothing Lotion, and kosher salt blended together.
For moisturizing, I used Nourishing Foot Cream and 95% Shea Butter Balm, because these are really wonderful and you only need a little bit for each person.
When each guest arrives, give them a foot bath, two towels, a small plastic plate and a bucket of supplies (emery board and orange stick). While you're waiting for everyone to arrive, offer beverages and snacks.
Once everyone's arrived, explain that you'll be doing a pedicure that follows four steps: soak, scrub moisturize and protect. Have everyone remove shoes, and stash them under their chairs. Pass around nail polish remover and cotton balls for anyone who needs to remove polish.
Add warm water, 1 Tbsp of spa soaks, a slice of fresh lemon and a few leaves of fresh mint. Let feet soak for at least five minutes.
Put a tablespoon of scrub on each small plastic plate. One foot at a time, have each person massage scrub in up to the ankle. Use a footscrubber or pumice stone to work on calluses and dry skin. Also use a nail brush to clean under nails, and an orange stick to gently push back cuticles. (We avoided using soap and cleansing gel so we wouldn't have to rinse soap off.)
Put feet back in, rinse scrub off, and let soak a bit longer. (You can replace the water at this point, which I did. I kept a large bin handy to collect the used water.)
Moisturize & Protect:
Put 1 1/2 tsp of foot cream and 1/4 tsp Shea Butter Balm on each plastic plate. One foot at a time, lightly dry foot and have them massage in foot cream up to the ankle. Then use Shea balm on heels and nails, or anywhere that's really dry. Wrap foot in a towel, and repeat for other foot. (Offer fresh towels as needed.)
Remove foot baths, refill glasses and relax for ten minutes or so.
Pass around a tray of nail polishes, and a bowl of nail polish soaked cotton balls, to help dry the nails before polishing. Shape and polish nails. Provide toothpicks and white polish to make fun polka dots.
Refill glasses, admire your gorgeous feet and enjoy watching the sun go down with your friends. It doesn't get any better than that!