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With the cold weather biting faces and hands, and the warmth of summer memories, it’s important to find ways to fight back.

One way to put up a defense is indulging in a spa treatment right in a dorm room or apartment. But, be wary that some things can just go wrong when a professional isn’t in charge of them.

Here are some scenarios:

I was in the fifth grade and my best friend was about to go to a wedding. I had the brilliant idea of painting her nails red so that she would look “classy” and “older” than she was. Result? My hand was in no way firm and red polish got all over her hand. I didn’t know what nail polish remover was back then, and so we spent two hours using soap and water. We further spread the redness everywhere, making her look very “un-classy.”

Flash forward several years, and another friend and I decide to make our own face masks. We heated up some honey, lemon juice and cinnamon and then started applying the mixture to our faces with gloves. We didn’t feel anything at first, but suddenly searing pain took control. We had underestimated the heat of the mixture and burned our hands and cheeks. Not the best way to treat the skin…

Applying home-made face masks is always the easy part. Taking them off, however, isn’t.

There was one time I spent literally an hour trying to get the gunk of a mixture I made out of my hair and wipe the sink clean. Talk about a sticky situation.

Another time, my friend and I decided to put on a face mask, do our nails and then apply pickles to our eyes. We turned on some rain music and lay there on our yoga mats on the floor. We ended up falling asleep right then and there, waking up to our nails destroyed and our face mask all over the mat.

So, yes. Things happen. At-home spa treatments can cause the most unnecessary experiences. But over the years, I’ve learned that the memories made are so worth it. And the feeling of treating myself to a night of just me-time with some friends is so cathartic.

Here is a list of following tips, face mask recipes and activities you can do with your friends on a night set out to be all about relaxation.

1. The best order to do a “full-on spa” is: tie hair back, put on face mask, wash the mask off, lotion up the hands and feet, do a pedicure, do a manicure — and voila!

2. It’s always fun to have a PG or PG-13 movie playing in the background that hasn’t been seen in ages. Whether it’s “The Parent Trap,” “High School Musical,” “The Cheetah Girls” or “Bring it On,” sometimes a return to simpler times is called for during this me-time.

3. Some easy and exfoliating ace mask recipes include: one quarter of mashed avocado stirred with one tablespoon of cocoa powder and one tablespoon of honey (10 minutes), two tablespoons of brown sugar mixed with two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil (five minutes), a tablespoon of melted down coconut oil and mix in with one mashed, ripe banana (20 minutes) and one teaspoon of plain yogurt mixed with juice made from a quarter slice of orange and one teaspoon of aloe (five minutes).

4. Some products that don’t even need to be mixed with anything and can be face masks all on their own are: avocado, bananas, plain yogurt and quarter cup of powder milk with water that makes the powder a thick paste.

5. Make some green tea to have throughout the at-home-spa. Green tea is full of bioactive compounds including polyphenols that lower the risk of cancer. Green tea also has caffeine — its dose is enough to stimulate the brain without causing the “jitters” that coffee fosters. Green tea has also been proven to lower the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as having the ability to kill a lot of bacteria, lowering risk of viruses and influenzas. This tea is ultimately a calming, healthy drink, perfect for any spa-treatment.

6. Last but not least, remember to leave behind any negativity that the week, month, or year has accumulated. It’s hard to just push away those pesky, negative thoughts, but in order to have a good night, focus on the good, on the positive — on the true beauty that is getting a chance to just live, breathe… smile. No matter how much treating oneself is vital, it’s what is on the inside that matters and that beauty must be tended for and loved by the person beholding it. Never forget that.

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