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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Library Spa--guest post

Guest post from Dayna Lovell, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library

Girls Night Out: Mother-Daughter Natural Spa Program

The second annual Girls Night Out natural spa program was a success. Nine teens, eleven adults and two (unexpected) younger girls had a great time, first working together to make spa products from (mostly) common kitchen ingredients, then cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing. The twenty-two total was a manageable group. I fear had we had the thirty-two expected the program would have suffered.

This year’s menu included:

Two exfoliants; Cornmeal and orange, and Brown Sugar scrub

Two masques; Egg white, lemon and witch hazel, and Chocolate –This smelled good enough to eat!

Toner; Apple cider vinegar and witch hazel

Moisturizer; Rosewater, beeswax and sweet almond oil

This year’s “Take-out” was bath bombs, which we also made.

I have stations set up ahead of time with the ingredients, bowls and other equipment needed. I invite the group to divide itself according to what each pair is interested in working on and everyone goes to a station and gets to work. Stations are arranged in order of the menu, so once all the products are made, everyone begins visiting the stations and trying each item.

We had guests this year. Tammy Sauk is a mom of four and a sales representative for Lemongrass Spa Products. Tammy brought samples, and gave “hand spas” before the program while we waited for everyone to arrive. She brought product to sell and generously raffled a product package at the end of the program. A surprise visit from a WEAU reporter brought screeches from some of the girls who were already trying the chocolate mask. Everyone was good-natured about the visit and it made for a nice little news story: http://www.weau.com/news/headlines/Library_hosts_a_Girls_Night_Out_139069234.html


· There is a lot of set up and clean-up for this program, but the happy participation and rave reviews from both the girls and adult women make it well worth it. I always hear that they would like more programs like this; ones that create a special “date” time for girls and their caregivers. My number one piece of advice is to have plenty of help. I enlisted one of our pages this year and she did a great job.

· Invite guests who tie-in well with your program. You might even find someone like my Lemongrass Spa Products representative to do the bulk of the program. I would recommend offering something that participants get to make themselves. They love this part and they are reinforcing math skills!

· Take plenty of pictures. You’ll need a helper for this and any photo release forms you are required to have signed.

· I discovered an excellent resource for recipes this year, in addition to the many print resources in the IFLS system:


This is literally an index of spas. However, they post an abundance of recipes and only ask for proper citation.

· Recycle! I saved so much money this year by having co-workers save plastic Gerber baby food containers. I soaked them in a diluted bleach solution and then ran them through the dish washer. These served as both mold and take-home container for the bath bombs and for taking home “left-overs.”

· Provide the recipes used and a list of resources used, citing all your sources.

· Get a massage yourself, or at least put your feet up once everyone goes home!


  1. Were only girls and women invited to attend? I ask because I know transgendered youth, boys, and men who are more interested in this kind of thing than i would ever be. I'd rather walk barefoot in cow manure than spread stuff on my face ;)

  2. This is an excellent question--maybe something to think about. Libraries seem like one of the safe places for people to not fit in to gender stereotypes--any ideas on how to be more inclusive? Or if that is necessary?