$50 for a 5-Year-Old's Facial -- Why, That's Just Fabulous, Darling

Kids Spa TreatmentsWhat little girl doesn't love to imitate mom and dream of what it's like to be a grown-up lady and indulge in a little day spa pampering? And what mother doesn't love to share part of the whole girl experience with her daughters? My kids have gotten mani-pedis before, is all I'm saying.

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But there's a difference between a little indulgence at the nail salon or glitter sprinkled into freshly braided hair, and the flat-out ridiculousness that comes in the form of $50 facials for children.

No really. Tots staying with their uber-glam parents (or let's be honest -- nannies) at the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles can shell out $50 (plus tip!) to indulge in a 15-minute facial, complete with an "application of a candy-flavoured lip gloss."

Seriously Spoiled Salon in New York has a 10- to 15-minute "mini chocolate facial" that will only set you back $19.95. It's recommended for ages 5 to 8.

Let's not even get started on the creepiness factor of massages being offered for small children. Maybe I'm a prude, but I'm just not OK with strangers rubbing my children. Besides, I hardly think first graders need the tension rubbed out of their neck and shoulders.

In the interest of sanity, here's a list of cheap or free alternatives you can provide for your little princes and princesses when they're feeling like only a trip to the spa will do.

The Superhero: $50 at Beverly Wilshire. "A green-based aromatherapy spray will help your powerful superhero muscles morph back to relaxation during a neck, shoulder, and hand massage."
Alternative: Allow younger brother to spray her with a water pistol ($2.99). Then let family cat walk on her back.
Cost Saved: $47.01, which will buy you at least three boxes of wine if you find a good sale.

Colored Hair Extension: $10 at Seriously Spoiled.
Alternative: Let your little darlings go wild with the washable markers ($3.60). Just make sure they're washable, or you'll be hearing about it for weeks from Grandma.
Cost Saved: $6.40, enough for a latte and a cookie from Starbucks.

Pampered in the Spa: $60 at Beverly Wilshire. "Get your 'paws' pampered after a long day of activities in Los Angeles with a vitamin C hand and foot exfoliation followed by a relaxing hand and foot massage."
Alternative: $4 for a 5-pound box of cuties. Have your kids squish some of the juice on their palms and roll whole ones between their little digits.
Cost Saved: $56, the exact amount of those shoes you were eyeing at Nordstrom Rack.

Ultimate Day of Decadence: $119.95 at Seriously Spoiled. Includes mani-pedi with nail art, hair styling, chocolate facial, glitter makeover, use of pink robe and slippers, and lunch in the Peppermint Lounge.
Alternative: Let them go wild in the backyard with a bottle of Hershey's syrup ($2.25) while wearing your tattered old bathrobe. Hose 'em down and invite them inside for some delicious organic chicken nuggets ($5.99) and Country Time Lemonade ($2.54). Let them choose a polish from the bottom of your bathroom drawer after quickly hiding the condoms in another location.
Cost Saved: $109.17, which is enough for at least one therapy session not covered by your insurance plan.

Ritz Kids Teen Facial: $130 at Ritz-Carlton. "Designed for young spa-goers ages 16-17, this facial begins with a personal analysis of the skin followed by a deep cleansing and a relaxing facial massage."
Alternative: Proactive ($29.99).
Cost Saved: $100.01, which will fill up the gas tank twice after your teen driver has left the family sedan empty -- again.

Would you spend big bucks pampering your kids at the spa?

 

Image © Tetra Images/Corbis

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