If you happen to be on a budget or strapped for time, booking appointment at the hairdressers or salon is probably the last thing on your mind. Thankfully, all it takes is a little self-made TLC to fool people into thinking you’ve spent a week in a luxury spa – without spending a fortune or resorting to any extreme beauty measures.
10. Hair Refresh
Nothing says ‘trip to the salon’ like coming home with a fresh new hairstyle! If you don’t have time or money for a proper cut until payday, tinting your hair with semi-permanent dye can give wonderful results in just a couple of hours. Apply a box kit close to your natural shade, leave your chosen shade of semi-permanent hair color on for a few minutes and rinse to reveal hair that is a glossier, deeper version of your original locks. It’s still you, but just improved!
9. Eyelash & Brow Tint
Dark, full brows and lashes are a great way to make your eyes sparkle in contrast. This is very quick and straightforward to do at home with a brow and lash tint kit. The overall effect will make you look wide-eyed and refreshed.
8. File & Polish Nails
Giving yourself a full file and polish might take a bit of patience, but the results are always worth it. Firstly, put on a movie and give yourself a relaxing warm water finger and foot soak for around 10-15 minutes. Then, using a cuticle tool, gently push back the cuticle skin to the edge of the nail bed, and follow with a nail buffer to smooth the surface and a file for the edges. Be sure to buff in only one direction, as ‘scrubbing’ back and forth can split the nail. Apply a clear polish on fingers (as no color means less maintenance) and paint the toes a darker shade (with a base coat underneath) to hide any imperfections.
Daily exfoliation is essential for sloughing off the old, dead cells that enable our skin to regenerate and look brighter and healthier. A great way to fit this into your everyday routine is to use an exfoliating mitt or scrub in the shower, and take a couple of minutes to massage the skin in circular motions. As well as exfoliating and helping your skin to feel softer, it will enable your skin to better absorb any moisturizing products you apply afterward and improve circulation to keep the skin in better condition.
6. Put It Up
If you haven’t got the time or funds to get a haircut at the moment, consider a braid to disguise those incoming roots and split ends. There are hundreds of online tutorials and websites to teach you how to master some of the basic styles, and some, such as a chic French twist, look incredibly beautiful but are simple enough to do every day.
5. Instant Glow
Fake the glowing effects of salon facial appointment as inexpensively as possible by treating yourself to a new blusher! Pink and rose-gold colors will give most skin tones a healthy flush, without appearing unnatural. With a clean brush, add a sweep of color across the apples of the cheeks for an instant healthier appearance.
4. Face Mask
Give your skin some TLC for whatever ails it, by treating it to a nourishing mask once a week. If you have oily, spot-prone skin, look for masks which contain kaolin (a clay-substance that draws out under-the-skin impurities), Dead Sea salts or tea tree oil, which is known for its antibacterial properties. Some good masks for dry skin include ones with ingredients such as honey, shea butter, and almond and coconut oils.
When was the last time you applied your lotion head-to-toe? It takes a bit longer, but after exfoliation, you can feel the difference in your skin by giving it maximum moisture all day with a nourishing lotion. Try to apply immediately after you get out of the shower, as the pores will be open and more absorbent.
2. Learn To Massage Yourself
Quite often if we’re stressed or in pain, it shows on our face. One of the most indulgent relaxation treatments at the salon is a massage, but they can be expensive. The release of stiffness and tension accumulated throughout the week can make you feel on top of the world again, but don’t worry if you can’t afford the real deal in a salon! For a quick two-step DIY neck and shoulder massage, all you need is a tennis ball: simply stand with the ball pressed between your shoulder and the wall and raise one of your arms above your head. Then, turn your head side to side.
They say it takes 42 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile. Aside from the energy you’ll save frowning (and avoiding wrinkles), smiling reduces stress, so there’s no greater indicator of glowing health and inner beauty than an air of positivity and an infectious smile. What more convincing do you need?