Budget Spas for a Fall Brush-Up

So, mama. You’ve survived another summer. You’ve plowed through the mountains of back-to-school forms. You’ve signed up the kids for soccer, church school, tap dancing, football, Kumon and Japanese Immersion Tae Kwon Do (SAT preparation class included for additional fee). You’ve wiped away the tears from watching your 5-year-old hop on the bus to kindergarten (your tears, not hers). You have even tried to make nutritious breakfasts of steel cut oats and freshly squeezed smoothies, in lieu of the summertime regime of chocolate donuts and Lucky Charms. Stop right now! You’re working too hard! It’s time you take eight minutes for yourself and indulge in some good, old-fashioned, wasteful “me” time. And what’s good for no one else but you? Yep, the spa.

But, alas, your budget has taken a terrible punch in the form of soccer fees, piano lessons, baby ballet and the never-ending lunch money deposits. You just can’t afford one of those luscious 90-minute body wraps at the more chi chi spas in town. What to do? Resort to painting your own toenails on your cold bathroom tile? Give yourself one of those dubious homemade facials of honey, oatmeal and mayonnaise?

No! Just don’t go there, girls. Those homespun beauty remedies just chain you to the kitchen even longer than you’re there already, and you end up smelling like a baking project gone awry. Luckily, there are several bargain basement spa/salons in town that skimp on price but not quality. So try one of these fabulous venues and take a mini-vacation…until those kids get home from school, anyway.

My friend Samantha recommends Vogue Nails and Day Spa on Elm Street in Jenks, just off the turnpike.  I drag my three little girls there one Tuesday morning, and somehow manage to get myself a full pedicure, plus one kiddie manicure and two kiddie pedicures, for the unheard-of price of $35. (An aside: Before I had children, I scoffed at women who brought their little girls to get their nails done. Such wasteful indulgence! Little girls who get pedicures would surely grow up to be entitled princesses! Now I realize – how else are you going to get your OWN nails done if you can’t find a babysitter?) At Vogue Nails, despite the low prices, quality is not sacrificed. My feet were massaged for almost an eternity, and my little girls were thrilled to find little flowers on their toes and fingers.

Samantha is a frequent visitor, and she raves about the Drybar service, wherein the guest is treated to 30 minutes of shampooing along with a scalp and facial massage that “reduces stress and freshens your day.” Again,  for just $35! Vogue Nails offers the usual manicure and pedicure services – acrylics, shellac – but also offers a wide variety of facials. The Vogue “Lift” targets wrinkles, enlarged pores, and helps tighten drooping and sagging skin: 60 minutes is $65. I treat myself to the Glycolic Acid Facial Peel; this is not so much relaxing (although, hello! Sitting down without doing anything in the middle of the day is ALWAYS relaxing) as prescriptive, but these peels work for me. The peel solution stings a bit, but immediately with the sloughing off of that dead skin, my fine lines are less evident and I look like I only have three children instead of 80. The 30-minute peel is a mere $40. Also offered are Eyelash Extensions, a variety of massages, and a “Body Contour Wrap” that uses a niacin-based cream. When applied, the cream promises to reduce cellulite through a detoxifying body cleansing.  Hmm…worth a try?  Various packages – Vogue Retreat, Vogue Simple Bliss – are also available. So gratifyingly self-indulgent, and so, so cheap!

Another budget-oriented spa is Clary Sage Salon and Spa. Located at 101st and Riverside, the business was inspired by Clary Sage College, a cosmetology school; both are owned by Teresa Knox, a Tulsa native and former dental assistant. The 101st Street location has been so successful that a second location is opening in Broken Arrow and will be Clary Sage’s first franchise. I erroneously thought that Clary Sage Salon was staffed by current students at Clary Sage College – how else could the prices be so reasonable? – but, no, this spa employs only licensed professionals. Only the spa located on Clary Sage College’s campus at 31st and Sheridan employs current students (and the prices here for facials, pedicures, and other various spa services are also crazy low).

Clary Sage Salon and Spa offers a myriad of services such as haircuts and color, massages, waxing of any and all unsightly hair, facials, microdermabrasion and chemical peels. And the prices are ridiculously low. A one-hour facial is $49.95; a chemical peel is $59.95. I treat myself to a facial, and my skin glows so nicely that feel like I can leave the salon without a stitch of makeup– something I haven’t done in 20 years. If you like the salon’s Facebook page, you will be kept in the loop on their current deals as well. They even manufacture their own skin and haircare line, Clary.

Finally, there‘s good old Tulsa Hair Company. I’ve been bringing my three boys to this efficient and convenient haircut spot for years. But for some reason I always felt as if I had to get my own hair done at a more hoity-toity salon. However, when I came home from my last cut and foil regime – and the over $200 bill – not only was my husband completely oblivious to any change in my hair, he required a defibrill-ator to get over the cost. So I decided to try Tulsa Hair Company for myself – and it’s great! Easy, right down the street, and with friendly, competent stylists. I get my usual haircut and highlights for less than half the cost — money I can spend on happy hour or shoes instead! With locations in South Tulsa, Brookside and 21st and Yale, you probably have a Tulsa Hair Company near you. Next time you’re overwhelmed by your hair bill, and underwhelmed by the result, go ahead and try Tulsa Hair Company. Bring your kids along too, because you can knock them out for a mere $11 as well!

So there you go mama — some “homework” for you. Take a much-deserved break from the chaos of early fall and just enjoy yourself.

Categories: Hip Mom