Spa treatments, tips and tricks for the girl on a budget

We all love to be pampered, but very few of us can afford expensive treatments and regular spa days. If like us, your Netflix subscription, addiction to handbags and the general cost of living is eating into your beauty budget, then fear not, you can still be pampered and preened like you deserve!

We were lucky enough to catch up with Spa and Beauty Therapist, Katie Bohan from Carton House Gym and Spa in Maynooth, Co. Kildare who offered advice to students seeking a bit of R&R as well as first time spa-goer's on what to expect.

Katie trained as a therapist for three years and is currently qualified with five years experience, so we know we're in good hands!

If you could recommend any spa treatment to the student on a budget, what would you suggest and why?
My top recommendation for someone seeking deep relaxation and who’s also on a tight budget would be a mini facial and a 30 minute back massage. It’s the perfect combination for relieving tension and stress from everyday studies and stresses experienced by students and a good deep cleanse will definitely not go unnoticed, especially if you’re on the go and use face wipes everyday! Your skin will be left revived and fresh looking. It also means your make up will last much longer.

From your experience, what's the most popular spa treatments with students?
In my experience, students or younger girls tend to opt for back massages, as they are affordable and are the ultimate stress reliever. You really do get maximum results.

Some people are hesitant about going for spa treatments because they're conscious of their body or the intimate environment- what advice can you offer these girls so they don't miss out on a bit of pampering?
Firstly, I would reassure my client that any personal information or medical history shared with me is strictly confidential and does not leave the treatment room. I would always begin with a brief informal chat and ask if they have any questions or requests. This usually makes my client feel immediately at ease. For a nervous first time client, I would also suggest, when booking, to enquire if there is a couple's treatment room available; that way they can share their experience with a friend/partner.

We love at-home treatments, but what treatment should we splurge on and leave to the professional, if possible?
Personally, I love a good thorough pedicure. You can only do so much at home yourself and it’s usually better to leave the tricky parts i.e cuticles etc to the therapist. Your feet bear the brunt of your hectic lifestyle, poor footwear and are subject to general wear and tear so it’s the ultimate luxury to have them pampered and revitalised! (Unless, of course, you have a phobia of feet, which a lot of people do!)

What's your personal favourite treatment to have done yourself?
MY absolute favourite treatment overall has to be reflexology. It’s an alternative treatment performed on the feet. It’s based on the principal that the feet are a map of the body. Applying pressure to points on the feet which correspond to parts of the body completely relaxes mind, body and soul and creates a deep sense of harmony throughout. If you don’t mind people touching your feet, then this is an absolute must.

Do you think girls need to do any prep before taking part in a spa day?
The only advice I would give to clients in preparing for their treatments is a good exfoliation to remove the remnants of excess tan. Old tan can often transfer onto the therapist, towels and bedding, and streaky is not a good look! If you’re going for a facial, there is no need to wear a full face of make-up. Chances are you'll only waste time trying to remove your favourite waterproof mascara and this will eat into your actual facial time. After all, we work within time constraints and we want you to get your money’s worth and leave feeling brand new. We want you floating out the door!

So there you have it, ladies. A bit of pampering doesn't have to cost a fortune, but can have really long-lasting effects. What are you waiting for?!