Welcome to our new Queercents series, Femme Economics. This series is geared toward anyone who identifies as feminine, male, female and otherwise, or who wants to live the more traditionally feminine gender roles in a socially conscious way. Often, these posts will apply to all different gender identities.

Day Spa Do’s and Don’ts:

1. Do ask if you can sign up on your favorite spas’ mailing lists. You will most certainly receive emails for percentages off services. And many spas will senddayspa.jpg you a card for something free on your birthday.

2. Do make friends with your massage therapist/esthetician. Loyalty, good tipping and friendliness can get you free add-on services, can help you get squeezed in at the last minute.

3. Do tip well. How Much? Not more than 20 percent. I always tip 20 percent for everything if I liked the service.

Make sure to ask when you book the appointment if gratuity is included in the price of services. Often they are not, but you don’t want to leave extra if it’s not expected. The spa is expensive enough as it is.

One writer suggests that if it’s a one-time deal (say, maybe you have a gift certificate), that you may not even need to tip at all, if you are not going back. I, personally would only forget the tip if the service was
not up to par; for instance once when a massage therapist seemed to be in her own world while she was working on me.

I like what Elrod M. said on Yelp about tipping a little more than 20 percent for a brazillian bikini wax. Hopefully this will keep your esthetician from telling everyone in the spa how much hair you had on your butt. (Just kidding. They are not supposed to do things like that!)

4. Don’t buy Spa Products. Don’t let yourself be pressured into dropping $400 on a new set of face products which your wonderful facialist is pushing. Often the products are marked up at a spa by up to 30 percent. Only think about buying the products which you loved the feel or smell of during your session and then write them down and look them up for a discount online. Going to the spa makes us feel all happy and like all is right with the world. This is not a smart time to make spending decisions.

Skin is a rather simple thing. Nobody needs more than four face products. Buy some good vitamins and drink lots of water instead.

5. Shop around for spa prices you can afford. There are all different price levels when it comes to day spa.

You can find some waxing and facials at small stores known mostly for their manicures/pedicures. These are the least expensive. Just be sure to ask for a tour of the facility in terms of cleanliness and hopefully the products are not too toxic. A facial might be around $35 (give or take ten dollars depending on the city). You can also find services at good prices like this at a beauty school near you!

The middle of the road tends to be a smaller locally-owned day spa , and maybe not one in the most pretentious area of town. A facial might be around $60 (give or take ten depending on the city).

The highest level is a corporate day spa or a smaller chic spa in a nice area which may be attached to a large salon , hotel or retreat or inhabit a beautiful little cottage. These are fun but are not practical. The service may be slightly more detailed, but you may be paying up to $180 for your facial.

Wonder what you are paying for? Aside from overhead and the training your practitioner has recieved, you are paying someone to do clean-up, make sure towels and equipment are very clean and fresh. You are paying for a receptionist, high quality products and equipment that would be hard to re-create at home. Mainly, you are paying for a relaxing experience, which is why the day spa experience is so popular.