Dial Down Your Daily Routine

21st June 2019

Summer is the season for beach holidays, weddings and for sitting-in-pub-gardens-sipping-rosé. But while the extra sunshine and the warmer temperatures make us feel happier and more relaxed, they also mean extra time spent in the bathroom as we wrestle with all the beauty preparation they entail once we swap our jeans and opaque tights-clad limbs for swishy skirts and strappy sandals. But there are some fabulous time-saving treatments out there; and sometimes it’s nice to invest a little bit of time in ourselves in the short term, by calling in the advice of the professionals, in order to save us from a great deal of daily faff in the long run…

Lisa Botwright offers a round-up of beauty tweaks available in local treatment rooms and salons that will help make us look and feel our confident best over the next few months…    

Care about your hair with keratin…
If you have the kind of hair that frizzes at the merest hint of any moisture or humidity, then you’ll know that the summer heat isn’t necessarily kind to your hair or hairstyling efforts. A keratin hair treatment can eliminate frizz and add softness and shine, making washing and styling your hair so much quicker and easier. Keratin is a naturally-occurring protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails – and a keratin smoothing treatment heat-seals the hair cuticles with a coating of this protein. The process can take anywhere between one and three hours, and cost between £100-200 depending on hair type, length, and fullness; it’s suitable for anyone who finds they take a long time to style their hair, except for those with very fine hair.

Look into Laser Hair Removal…
Carefree summer dressing is a bonus in the warmer months; but while short-sleeved tops and summer dresses are much more comfortable than thick tights and itchy jumpers, they also mean the added nuisance of making sure our skin is smooth and hair-free on a daily basis. I’m sure we’ve all had the same thought that it would be wonderful never to have to shave (or wax or epilate again), especially as we mop up another cut shin as we get out of the shower, but there is a solution. Laser hair removal is the means of removing hair by exposing it to pulses of laser light that destroy the hair follicle. As prices reduce and technology improves, it’s becoming increasingly more popular and accessible as a treatment. You’ll need several session per area initially, and it’s advised to have them around four to six weeks apart (depending on the area being treated), both for recovery time and to catch the hair at the right time of its growth cycle. And it’s pretty much pain-free; although you may feel the odd twinge or sting on occasions. (One regular user told me that she can go through an entire session and not feel a thing, but at other times it will feel more intense, like a very mild electric shock.)

Make the most of your makeup…
Some people enjoy applying their makeup each morning, but for others it’s a daily chore, especially fiddly, repetitive tasks like pencilling in your eyebrows again and again. Semi-permanent makeup sounds quite a scary proposition (imagine if it goes wrong!) but a skilled and experienced practitioner will go through each stage of the procedure with you thoroughly to ensure there are no surprises. Colour pigment is infused into the skin using a needle or a microblade to add enhancements or definition to the face. The results aren’t permanent, in the same way as a tattoo, as the pigment is only applied to a relatively shallow depth and will fade over time. It’s most commonly used on eyebrows and lips, (although ‘Markle Sparkle’ freckles have become a thing over the last year). “People don’t want to spend more than five to ten minutes applying make-up – especially pencilling or powdering – and it can only look so natural,” says brow guru Kristie Streicher, whose pioneering ‘Feathered Brow’ treatment is popular with Gwyneth Paltrow and Adele. “With semi-permanent make-up, it limits the process to roughly once a year and offers the most natural-looking results.”

Applying mascara each morning is another boring and time-consuming job; especially if your lashes are very straight and you have to battle with the extra fuss of eyelash curlers too. An LVL treatment (length, volume and lift) straightens your natural lashes at the root and gives you the effect of longer, lifted lashes that will last for around six to eight weeks with no false extensions, no glue and no makeup.

Find technology to minimise skin blemishes…
Exposing our skin in lighter summer clothes can also make us feel very self-conscious about things like scars or thread veins. Scars occur for all sorts of reasons, from a childhood injury to an operation, and are formed when the skin produces an excess of collagen to heal a wound. Thread veins are visible blood vessels beneath the skin which branch out, and their visibility is caused by thinning of the skin as we age. Rather than reach for the concealer every day, you could consider a number of pain-free laser solutions available from experienced professionals at local clinics and treatment centres. Pico Genesis FX, for example, is a highly effective procedure, championed by Revere Clinics (in Northwood and Harley Street) over the last two years. Laser light is split through a honeycomb structure, that allows it to penetrate deeper into the skin, and creates natural regeneration of the skin.

Try out a tan the healthier way…
We all know that too much UV exposure is bad for us – and thank goodness we no longer have to bake in the sun to achieve that flattering summer glow. Last year a quarter of sun care products launched in the UK were self-tanners: the British spent about £66 million pounds on the stuff. Salon spray tans have become a lot more streamlined now, and new formulas mean you no longer have to leave them on overnight to ‘take’; they can be washed off in a matter of a few hours. The professional touch also means a much more longer-lasting, even finish – plus the bonus of no orange palms the next day!

Indulge in fancy footcare…
Revealing our trainer or boot-clad feet in sandals for the first time can be something of a transition if we’re caught unawares. One minute it’s grey, wintry and raining outside; the next the sun is out and we spend a hasty five minutes painting our toenails, only for it to chip and smudge in moments. A professional salon treatment, on the other hand, lasts for weeks; especially if you upgrade to a gel pedicure, rather than traditional polish. Unlike polish, gel doesn’t chip or look lacklustre after a few days, and will remain immaculate until it grows out (around two to three weeks).

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