Nobody could have foreseen this global crisis but, for those of us lucky enough to remain uninfected and largely unaffected, it does present a slower pace of life. And a break from the grooming standards required by the office, the usual day-to-day and socialising. Because, although we love them, there’s a pay-off for the styled hair, gel nails and lash treatments that make us feel polished and professional. And that’s long-term damage.
Now, with salons closed, and the only people seeing us being close family (or those we’re living with), we have the ideal opportunity to give our skin, hair and nails a break – and a beautifying boost. Here’s how…
Make over your feet: get sandal-ready
Although beautiful shoes and gel nails can be one of life’s joys, they are hard on our feet. The former contributes to the build-up of hard skin, cracked heels, blisters and corns. And the latter? Well, there’s no doubt they leave nails dry, brittle and prone to flaking.
Use this time to rehabilitate your feet. First, remove the gels with a specially formulated solution. (Pick them off at your peril.) Then commit to nightly application of a richly hydrating cream (I like Spa Escape Intense Body Cream) and a few drops of oil (coconut, olive, or almond will do) on the cuticles.
Super-charge your self-care: after applying the cream, put a pair of socks on and sleep in them overnight. It’ll help lock in the hydration.
Banish dry skin: smoother legs for Spring
After months spent hibernating under layers of wool, our legs are most likely drier than we would like to mention. With warmer weather (hopefully) on the horizon and time on our hands, it’s a good opportunity to give them a bit of TLC. How? Start with a scrub (I like Spa Restore Body Scrub), then remove it with a double-sided washcloth for extra exfoliation.
Now is also the time to commit to daily body brushing. Using small circular movements, start at your feet and work upwards. This will help flush out toxins, encourage better circulation and increase cell turnover. The results? Smoother, healthier-looking skin.
Finally, double moisturise post-shower/bath. Apply body oil onto slightly damp skin (this aids absorption), and then seal it in with a layer of body lotion.
Super-charge your self-care: use your body scrub before you get into the shower – it ‘grabs’ dead skin cells more effectively.
Rehabilitate lashes: grow them longer and stronger
Who doesn’t love a lash lift and tint? (If you have never had one, try it – it’s my number-one treatment.) It’s basically a perm for the eyelashes, which makes eyes look more open and lashes longer. This, combined with dyeing them darker, is an instant game-changer. As are lash extensions.
But the truth is, there is collateral damage from both. The perm solution can dry out the lashes, making them more brittle and prone to breakage, while the extensions can weaken your existing lashes. So, when the most exciting social engagement you have is a virtual one, treat your lashes to a break. Then either comb through a lash serum nightly, or use Vaseline (work it through with an old mascara wand). Your lashes will be more supple and more resilient.
Super-charge your self-care: forgoing mascara will also give lashes a rest. The postman will recover, I promise.
Repair hair: get a glossy mane by May
Tongs, hairdryer, straightener, dry shampoo – we all have a styling arsenal that delivers a good hair day when we need it (i.e. every day). But why not use this time to give your hair some respite from the daily damage these tools inflict?
While we all know hair is dead, the way we treat it has an impact on the way it looks. Too rough and there will be breakage, while split ends can travel up the hair shaft and contribute to frizz.
How to nurse your hair back to health? Firstly, swear off heated appliances. Secondly, condition, condition, condition. Use a hair mask if you have one, or conditioner if not – but make sure you comb it down vertically through the hair to cover every strand. Leave it on for as long as possible.
And finally, don’t skimp on washing. How often depends on your type, but leave it too long and you will experience scalp build-up that will compromise the follicles’ ability to produce healthy hair.
Super-charge your self-care: once you’ve applied conditioner, cover your hair with a shower cap and leave for 10 minutes – the heat and humidity will intensify the treatment.
Rosie’s self-care selects