By Mary N. DiZazzo

A Tea Spa Party

Ciao bella,

Call in a few good friends at home and relax with more than just a cup of tea. What could be more serene and pampering than to have a "tea spa" in the comfortable oasis of your own home? It's nothing short of great beauty benefits and much fun.

So prepare the setting for a spa-like atmosphere. Play some soft music. Light a few candles. And fire up some incense (possible tea-inspired scents).

To continue with the proper spa ambience, supply the area with beauty treatments mixed up in pretty bowls. You don't have to go any further than your pantry.

For a chamomile scrub combine equal parts fine cornmeal and some brewed and cooled chamomile tea. The cornmeal acts as a natural exfoliant while chamomile tea soothes tired skin. Massage onto face; let dry, and gently rub off and rinse.

An all-purpose astringent is the green tea soother. Combine one cup green tea and one quart spring water. Bring water to a boil; pour over the tea, steeping for 20 minutes; then cool and pour into sterilized jars and refrigerate. It can be used as a refreshing facial splash, an all-natural moisturizer, and sunburn soother.

Chamomile-milk mask. Mix together powdered milk and some brewed and cooled chamomile tea to form a thin paste. Spread over skin; let dry; then rub off gently before rinsing face. The powdered milk smells sweet; is a great exfoliant; and leaves your skin baby soft.

For a refreshing twist your guests might enjoy a peppermint scrub. Mix three parts baking soda with one part chilled peppermint tea to form a fine scrub. Wet face; massage on; scrub; then immediately wash off.

Use these recipes for hands and feet.

Swathe your guests with fluffy white robes and slippers. Stock up on cotton balls, pads, and scented towels.

Don't forget to brew your fav tea to sip and let the beauty therapy begin.

Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!

Have you missed any of Mary's columns in the Post-Gazette? Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns on her website She is a third-generation cosmetologist and owner of Mary for Nails, etc. natural nailcare salon in Andover, and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183. She also sees select clients by appointment in Boston at (617) 742-6881.