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Just because we can't pop over to our favorite salon for our monthly facial, haircut, or brow appointment right now, doesn't mean we can't give ourselves a little salon-worthy pampering and upkeep at home. In fact, the top beauty experts we spoke to all agreed that with all this extra time on our hands now is the moment for self-care and self-learning.
As top facialists turn to Instagram Live, hairstylists mail their clients custom hair color touch-up kits, and bespoke Zoom consultations become the new normal, it's a pivotal moment for the wonderful digital world of beauty. Experts are increasingly sharing the education and skills we need to tap into our own beauty skill set, instead of relying on others to do it for us.
"It's a great time to reset, slow down, and to put our priorities in check," hair guru Harry Josh explains. Josh is the in-demand stylist behind iconic manes like that of Gisele Bündchen. "If you have the right tools and education, now is the best time in your life to start practicing. No one has this much free time ever!" He's picturing an "army of women" coming out of these strange times indoors with a whole new set of at-home beauty skills.
From the salon-level blow-dry to the glowing facial, and the perfectly-shaped brows, here are a few ways to indulge, maintain, and pamper until we can all run out to experience the real thing.
Practice Your Blowout Technique on Someone Else
If you really want to nail a salon-perfect blow out then try it on someone else first. "When you blow-dry someone else's hair, you understand the ergonomics of it," Josh advises. Whether it's someone who's self-isolating with you or a wig, it's much easier to figure out how to section hair and the mechanics of drying the back of your hair once you've perfected the technique on someone else. "Start watching YouTube videos and practicing", says Josh.
Invest in the Right Tools
"A good hairdryer is important," Josh explains. He compares a high-quality dryer to a high-quality vacuum. If you want the engine to last and to dry your hair smoothly and effectively, do some research, check where the product is manufactured, and make an educated purchase. On that note, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more iconic and highly-rated dryer than his mint-green Harry Pro Dryer 2000 ($249, dermstore.com) which is made in South Korea and France. Celebrity hairstylist Ric Pipino, loves Dyson's Supersonic Hair Dryer ($399, dermstore.com). "They have brush attachments in different sizes depending on your style," he explains.
Invest in the Best Products
According to Pipino, the first step to a good blowout is good shampoo and conditioner that work for your hair texture, "you don't want something too heavy to weigh [your hair] down. Get your arms ready to lift the hair upright for maximum volume." Every person could use a serum or oil and on their ends, according to Josh. "I love Bumble and Bumble's Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer ($28, sephora.com), it’s very nourishing for all hair types and it's weightless. It'll help ends look glossy and add a protective layer for heat."
Brush up on Your Brush Shapes
Paddle? Rounded? Oval? In terms of brushes, each shape serves a different purpose. Want a bouncy blow dry with curls? Then you need a round brush. Beginners or those who just want a smooth 'do and to simply remove curls or kinks should invest in a good oval brush, like Josh's Premium Oval Brush ($50, dermstore.com). A paddle brush comes in handy for detangling hair that isn't thick or curly.
Touch up Techniques for Blondes
Those with not-quite-natural blonde hair, there are a few expert-recommended ways for upkeep until your next color appointment. "I highly recommend not taking matters into your own hands. Almost all blondes are highlighted and doing a single process using at-home color will not give you the results you are looking for at all. In terms of root cover-up, there are many touches up sprays like Rita Hazan Touch Up Spray ($25, dermstore.com) and powders that you can use, and the most important thing is to protect the color to ensure it doesn’t turn brassy. A violet shampoo is perfect for this, like the John Frieda Violet Crush ($10, target.com)."
Virtual Skincare Appointments
The world's top facialists and skin destinations are finding increasingly creative ways to connect with clients on what is traditionally a very hands-on experience. Dr. Barbara Sturm has launched a digital "Skin School", with bi-weekly live masterclasses that last one hour and can be accessed via Eventbrite. These classes cover everything from aging to men's skincare and teen-specific concerns. London skincare guru Andrea Pfeffer has started offering four virtual treatments with the Pfeffer Sal's team of expert skin therapists, from a 30-minute skin MOT to a massage masterclass to an online guided facial that comes with a curated product pack.
Give Microneedling a Try
Make like Sienna Miller and try skin guru Teresa Tarmey's "facial in a box", her 12-Week Microneedling Program ($490, bergdorfgoodman.com). Tarmey has distilled her signature facial into an at-home kit designed to enhance luminosity and revitalize tired skin.
There are six easy steps using three potent skincare formulas: a lactic acid toner, brightening peptides and pure hyaluronic acid serum. But what makes this kit so good is the tools included: a derma roller for micro-needling, a technique that helps products to penetrate further into the skin (Tarmey’s instructional rolling tips are included); a de-puffing, vibrating gold massage tool; and a reusable silicone mask, which is layered over the hyaluronic-acid gel to create an occlusive ‘sheet-mask’ effect, hydrating skin even more.
The kit currently comes with a few complimentary extras including Tarmey's retinol, SPF 50 by Heliocare (because we still need sun protection on our daily walks around the block) and a 20-minute Skype/FaceTime consultation. For a micro-needling taster tune into Tarmey's Instagram for live and interactive explainers.
For grooming your brows at home we turned to Benefit Cosmetic's Global Brow Expert Jared Bailey. He recommends separating brow maintenance into two parts, first trimming and then tweezing.
"Every brow, no matter how thick or thin, will need to be trimmed from time to time." Be extra careful here as Bailey says it can be harder than it looks. "Take a clear gel-like 24-hr Brow Setter ($24, sephora.com) and brush the brow hairs upwards towards the hairline and out towards the temple. Let the gel dry completely then only trim the ends that are sticking too far out past your desired shape."
There are three things to remember when at-home tweezing:
"Brows bring balance and proportion to your face and eyes so it's important you use a mirror where you can see both of them. Avoid tiny magnifying mirrors because you can only see a field of tiny hair versus the actual shape and what it's doing for your entire face.”
"Always use natural lighting. If possible, take a mirror you can prop up and tweeze near a window with even lighting on your face.”
"Use a micro liner like Precisely, My Brow Pencil ($24, nordstrom.com) to fill in your brow into the desired shape before you remove any hairs so you can see which ones need to go and which ones need to stay."
And remember to tweeze in the right direction. "The most common mistake people make when tweezing is removing the hair in the wrong direction. Many people believe that they tweezed too often, when in fact, they've tweezed improperly. To tweeze properly, you must pull the skin tight with one finger and then tweeze the hair in the direction it is growing. Typically that direction is upward or towards the temple versus straight out away from the face.”
Nail artist Kimmie Kyees is responsible for a lot of high-profile celebrity nails. Besides Rihanna, she's also regularly on manicure duty for Chrissy Teigen, Lady Gaga, and Adele. Her top tips for an at-home manicure? "Make sure you wash your hands!" she explains. "Then use a nail polish remover on your nails before applying any polish. A clean surface dehydrated from oils, lotions or any debris from life!" Keeys adds. "Most people polish without first cleaning their nail plate. This is the most common reason for chipping nails. Also, a base coat helps keep color on longer. Use a top coat to seal a great shine." Keeys go-to base coat is Orly's Bonder ($10, ulta.com).
For those looking to get a little creative with their DIY manicures, Keeyes recommends a marble nail or an ombre fade which "isn't very hard to achieve with the right products, perfect for at-home manis!"