Beauty finds

Where Recessionistas Go To Pray: Sponsored Spa Events

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At the Altar of the Spa: Where Recessionistas Gather to Pray to Receive Free Spa Services. (All photos by M. Hall)

Recently, I attended the Pamper Me Fabulous Spa event held in downtown Los Angeles, California in a unique venue: St. Vibana’s Cathedral. How fitting, and ironic that in these recessionary times, the restored former church would host a new type of prayer gathering: ladies praying for complimentary spa treatments. I have read several surveys noting that even in these tough times, people might be cutting back on dining out and clothing, but they are still investing in personal care, spa treatments and gym memberships. As a result, I see a trend of these types of events springing up all over the globe. Having attended a few of these now, I think these are a good idea. You pay a flat rate for a ticket to enter the event and wander from spa station to station hoping to get an appointment. Pamper Me Fabulous offered skin care, hair care, massages and some facial treatments. All appointments were offered on a first come first serve basis. The event was sponsored by Spa Magazine and Pasadena Magazine among others. My advice to Recessionistas looking to make the best use of an event like this one is two fold:

1) Get there early, because if you arrive late all the “free treatments” will be booked up and you will have to go without. If the event starts at noon, get there at noon. If you are more than 45 minutes in arriving, you may loose the opportunity to get your treatments and wander around reading magazines and sipping cocktails.

2) Team with a favorite gal pal so that you can have someone help you scout the event and sign-up for as many appointments as possible. Go with a definite plan of attack. This is a guerrilla operation. You need to have all your Recessionistas or BFFs with you and working it. For example, have one Recessionista sign you up for hair treatments while another compadre runs to sign you up for massages, and another runs to get you all slots at the facial table. You need to work as a team to get the most out of your paid admission price for the event. Pamper Me Fabulous ticket prices ran to $100.00 for VIPs , who received priority sign-ups for treatments. Those who paid the general admission $35.00 ticket price had to scurry to get appointments, as they were first come, first serve.

Pictured: Lucky Recessionistas who scored Massages take over St. Vibiana’s confessional area. Is this the new Recession Confession? I’d love to know what the Pope thinks of this. As someone raised in the Catholic Church, I was surprised to see a former Cathedral as a spa event venue.

Pictured: Pamper Me Fabulous attendees wait in the vestibule for their appointments.

Pictured: Tell me your hair care sins, and all will be forgiven. A stylist works on a client at the old confessional station in the transformed St. Vibiana’s.

To learn more about sponsored spa events in your area, there are a number of good resources you can consult. First up, take a look at the SpaFinder event website listing. They have a good listing of events from around the globe. They have listing for events on their international sites for France ,Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Another great resource is Google, just run a search for spa events in your city and review the results. You’ll be amazed how these events are springing up quicker than our investments are dropping! 🙂

If you are reading from the US, Sassy City Chicks will be offering some upcoming Fashion Events featuring complimentary spa treatments. The next upcoming event is March 29, in Marina Del Rey, California.

To learn more about Sassy City Chicks schedule of events in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas, check their website. If you find a good spa event in your city, please post it in a blog comment so that all Recessionistas can benefit!


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.