Happy Birthday Preteen Diva Queen!

Celebrate your special day at your own home spa

A sampling of Spa Recipes


Photo by Dawn Nikithser

Funky nail color,
trend-setting lip and eye tints,

and refreshing skin care products are essential ingredients for a spa party.

if teenage birthdays weren’t enough trouble, finding something fun to do with your preteen diva queen is often
even more of a struggle.

   It’s a strange age, from 10 years old to 13, when slumber parties are still "kinda" fun,
but then so are boys. Barbie is out, but Britny is in, and teddy bear sweaters are making way for crop tops,
low-slung jeans and platform sandals. What’s a parent to do for their preteen diva queen?

   Throw an at-home spa party — an afternoon or, in the case of a slumber party, an evening
where the girls can get together and play with cosmetics and skincare to their heart’s content.

   They can do each other’s makeup, have facials, "dye" hair (with spray and comb-in colors
that wash right out) and try every color of lipstick they can get their hands on. Bring on the glittery eyeshadows
and shimmery lotions, bust out the cold cream and let them have at it.

   A slumber party is really the best way to do a spa party, as long as you don’t mind the clean-up
your bathroom will no doubt need afterward. Ask each girl to bring their own towel, one that they will not
mind getting makeup on, and something comfortable but junky to sleep in, as stains will certainly abound. A
T-shirt and sweat pants is best, or T-shirt and shorts if it’s summer; you can even hit a thrift store or raid
closets for old men’s button-down shirts, and let them wear them like smocks.

   The girls should also bring hair ties, barrettes or clips of any kind, their own brush and
comb, and any makeup they already have.

   Remember to send a separate note to each mom, asking for "donations" of samples and trial
size makeup and skincare items. Hit up friends and family too — who knows how many "gift with purchase"
items are just floating around, unopened and unused, in vanity drawers and medicine cabinets?

   Next, head to the local drugstore, Walmart or Target type of store and load up on cotton
balls, cotton swabs, disposable cosmetic sponges and applicators, tissues and pre-moistened baby wipes —
very helpful for cleanup without irritating young skin. Get a few jars of cold cream and nail polish remover
as well, and a gentle eye makeup remover such as Almay or Kiss My Face.

   Be sure to check the cosmetic "clearance" shelf if there is one; you can often find unopened
but discontinued colors for next to nothing. Dollar stores are also good places to try, especially for really
odd lip and nail colors — these are preteens we’re talking about, so a good rule of thumb is the odder,
the better!

   And don’t forget about brands like Wet-n-Wild, BonBons, and Jane, lines which all have brand
new makeup in fashionable colors for under two bucks a pop.

   And don’t forget the magazines! YM, Seventeen, Allure, In Style — these are just a few
of the many that are out there. Be sure to read the table of contents carefully when buying magazines not traditionally
geared toward teens, or just tear out any inappropriate articles.

   Ambitious moms might even want to create a special party scrap book composed of articles
taken from a variety of magazines — another good thing to request from friends and fellow moms.


Photo by Dawn Nikithser

and Alyssa get chic hairstyles with the help of Sam and Ashleigh, above.

   Party favors can be bags of applicators, trial size lotions, and a lipstick/nail polish combo.

   For moms with only two or three girls total, or those for whom money is no object, there
are several department store options — Clinique, Lancome, Benefit and Shiseido make skincare combo boxes
and bags with products perfect for young skin. They can be purchased from about $30 to $40, or more if you
want to add products. Those same box sets also make a great gift for the birthday girl, perhaps along with
an appointment with a counter consultant for a makeover or skincare analysis, which most designer cosmetic
counters will do on a complimentary basis.

   Consider also brands like Urban Decay, MAC, Body Shop, and Hard Candy — all very trendy,
hip companies with great colors and good prices. If you are a truly ambitious parent who is not afraid of a
little mess, there are many recipes for homemade hair and skin care. If you want to go this route, be sure
to check with your guest’s parents regarding allergies and sensitivities; many homemade beauty tricks contain
nuts and berries, two things that kids are commonly allergic to.


Photo by Dawn Nikithser
Later, Sam applies strokes of red glitter polish to Ashleigh’s nails.

   Once you’ve figured that all out, hit the Internet and search using the words "beauty recipes."
A Yahoo search resulted in more than 4,000 hits.

   Alternately, try your local bookstore for titles like "An ABC of Natural Beauty Recipes,"
"Recipes for Natural Beauty" and "Nature’s Beauty Kit." Most of the recipes are easily assembled from household
ingredients like honey, oatmeal, mashed fruits and veggies, beeswax and food coloring.

   Pick up some inexpensive disposable storage containers or ziplock bags so the girls can take
their creations home; most of the recipes will keep in the ‘fridge’ for about a week.

   Just remember to have lots and lots of paper towels on hand, and maybe even an apron or two!

   An at-home spa party is a great way to celebrate a birthday for those particular females
in our lives who are — to paraphrase Britny Spears herself — no longer girls but not yet women. It
gives them a chance to play with some of the fun stuff women have without having to deal with the not-so-fun
stuff. That’ll happen soon enough, probably sooner than some of us would like, but for now, let’s just buy
another lipstick.

Spa Recipes

   FOR beauty recipes you can prepare at home, using pure honey, visit www.honey.com/recipes.
These are just a sampling from the Web site:

Honey Cleansing Scrub

   Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 2 tablespoons finely ground almonds and ½ teaspoon
lemon juice. Rub gently onto face. Rinse off with warm water.


Photo by Dawn Nikithser
Ashleigh accents her smile with a dramatic red lip color.

Firming Face Mask

   Whisk together 1 tablespoon honey, 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon glycerin (available at drug and
beauty stores) and enough flour to form a paste (approximately ¼ cup). Smooth over face and throat.
Leave on 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Hair Conditioner

   Mix ½ cup honey and ¼ cup olive oil. (Use 2 tablespoons oil for normal hair.)
Work a small amount at a time through hair until coated. Cover hair with a shower cap; leave on 30 minutes.
Remove shower cap; shampoo well and rinse. Dry as normal.

Facial Toner

   In blender, puree 1 tablespoon honey with a peeled, cored apple. Smooth over face; leave
on 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

Moisture Mask

   Mix 2 tablespoons honey with 2 teaspoons milk. Smooth over face and throat. Leave on 10 minutes.
Rinse off with warm water.

Smoothing Skin Lotion

   Mix 1 teaspoon honey with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and ¼ teaspoon lemon juice. Rub
into hands, elbows, heels and anywhere that feels dry. Leave on 10 minutes. Rinse off with water.

Hair Shine

   Stir 1 teaspoon honey into 4 cups (1 quart) warm water. Blondes may wish to add a squeeze
of lemon. After shampooing, pour mixture through hair. Do not rinse out. Dry as normal.