As we all adjust to working from home, we’re taking a lighthearted look at the benefits and downfalls on the beauty front…
Sitting here in deeply unflattering leggings and a hat on as my house is very cold (hopefully in a healthy way), I’ve been thinking about the beauty baseline. Working from home is appealing in that you don’t have to get dressed if you don’t want to, and can multitask – ie eat cornflakes and sing along to Stormzy – while typing reports. And yet most of us have a limit, and feel a whole lot better if we do actually wash our hair and wear clean clothes, however un-office-worthy said clothes may be. All this aside from the Zoom and Skype conferencing, of course. We’re assuming you up your game for these, unless you’re going to sit a LONG way away from your screen camera, or you want your colleagues to see a whole other side of you.
As the internet inevitably fills up with memes about the shallower side of life, such as panic over a lack of hair dye maintenance and a fearful absence of blowdrys, we wondered what your limit is – where does the rot stop?
This could be the time you go with the grey … With no hair colouring, we could be just a few weeks away from learning everyone’s real hair colour, as the meme goes. Dylan Bradshaw always has sound hair advice, and he’s urging caution: “Please don’t be tempted to use home hair colour kits … so we don’t have to try and fix the bad hair disasters – remember one mistake can last a very long time.” As one of his clients, Nancy Flaherty, comments, “Perhaps it’s time to learn how to wear a chic 70s style scarf!” Look to Lou Brennan for the loveliest Irish-made scarves (www.loubrennan.com, currently 30 per cent off online). And we feel that hats may be about to become a big trend …
We asked Debbie O’Donnell of Seahorse Media how she’ll be sorting her hair – she is famed for always having a beautiful bouncy ‘do: “Since having my boys I’ve found my hair has become quite coarse and unmanageable, hence I spend a lot of time in the hairdresser. My saviour is Olaplex Bonding Oil, one of the only things that actually helps tame it. A monthly Morroccan Oil Hydrating Mask also makes a difference. If all else fails, a low bun and dry shampoo will have to do. I don’t have a Dyson Airwrap, but if there was ever a time to invest it’s now.”
We intend to sit out the isolation period in a glorious shade of bronze – now that we have actual time to exfoliate, self-tan and endlessly moisturise every limb, why not experiment to find the perfect tan result for future use? We’ll now know exactly how many Isle of Paradise tan drops to add to our face cream – mistakes don’t matter when you’re home. All those body moisturisers might actually get used, too – time to dive in to that forgotten pot of Crème de Corps.
Our skin could benefit from some extra attention, even if expert facials are no longer an option. You could take up double cleansing as a new pursuit – ie remove make-up etc first with a facial oil or balm, and then do a second cleanse with a face wash. You can wear a face mask while you work (I like the Fresh Rose Face Mask, rather than a fabric one, or check out something like Avene’s Soothing Radiance Mask at your local pharmacy). Slap on a hair mask too (the new Pantene Hair Biology masks, at supermarkets, are good value at €8.99, and suit different hair types – I’m going for the Grey & Glowing one to moisturise and brighten white hair).
We asked the experts what to do if you have gel polish stuck on your nails. Kate Verling, director of Mink Dublin, says that this is a big one but until you can get back into salons, you can try a makeshift removal kit from home: “Gently buff the top layer of gloss from the gel polish, so the polish turns almost matte in colour. Cut tinfoil into small squares and cut a cotton square pad in half. Place half the square pad in the centre of the foil square and soak the cotton in acetone or a polish remover containing acetone. Seal up the foil square around the nail and leave to soak for 10-12 minutes. 100% acetone will remove the gel polish that little bit quicker! Ideally a wooden pusher (from any manicure kit you have at home) will safely push away the gel polish. Using a buffer or a soft emery board, gently buff away any excess residue, taking care not to buff too deeply on the nail plate.”
For at home manicures, Verling advises: “Gently push back cuticles and shape the nails, before lathering on plenty of nourishing oil – if you don’t have cuticle oil to hand any carrier oil works brilliantly, such as sweet almond, or even olive oil. Add a tiny drop of essential oil to carrier oil to make it more pleasant. Adding in a rich hand cream, which we all need right now, will protect the skin and keep nails hydrated. Repeat oil and cream step daily, every morning and night. We will be looking after our clients across all our Mink locations when we re-open with complimentary repair and hydrate add-ons to treatments to help clients get their nails and hands back to feeling strong and hydrated again.”
One daily luxury
I’m with Blake Lively on this – and yes, it’s likely to be the one thing we have in common. “One of the very few things that I do every single day is put on fragrance. If I’m not wearing make-up, if my hair’s not done, if I’m walking around in pyjamas – I still put my fragrance on. I will brush my teeth and put on my perfume,” she says. I’m currently very into the smooth and lovely No1 eau de parfum by Stories by Eliza Grace, finding it comforting as well as uplifting – and founder Tonya Kidd-Beggs is Irish.
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