My At Home Hair and Beauty Secrets
I’ve shared a lot of my at home hair and beauty secrets on Instagram Stories during the last few weeks but thought it was time to put them all together in a blog post.
Before I begin talking about hair color, I want to urge you to do a test of the color whether it’s a root touch up or a single process before you purchase the final color. I would pull up a section on the side of your head and test the color on a hidden under layer first and you might want to test two colors to see which one works best. Celebrity hair stylist Chris Appleton also suggested having two boxes of your color on hand before you start applying the final color in case you need more.
That said, the one thing I haven’t had to worry about during the shut down and stay at home order is my hair color. I see colorist Marie Robinson every 6-8 weeks for highlights and root color but in between I use Clairol Root Touch-Up Permanent Hair Color Kit in a light brown shade to cover up my grey. My hair grows so fast that I have to do it every week or two depending on what’s on my schedule. I don’t like the large brush that’s included in the kit so I use a small brush that came with a power root cover up. I try to only cover up the regrowth but Chris Appleton suggested using a wide tooth comb to pull the color down. I don’t know if I would do that if you’ve never used root touch up before. I would also follow the directions to a T the first time you use the product but Marie told me to leave it on for 40 minutes instead of 10 minutes as the directions advise to cover stubborn grey.
Another thing that helps is that I have Marie start my highlights very close to my root line. I don’t like to look like I have roots when I just paid to get hair done. This also helps me go 6-8 week between appointments because the root touch up I use blends seamlessly into my base color.
You can find the Clairol Root Touch-Up Permanent Hair Color in stores but there are more color options from which to choose online.
Another product that I feel helps blend the root color into my hair is the Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask which I’ve talked about before. I use the Golden Blonde which enhances warm and golden tones to bring out my highlights while deeply nourishing my hair. There is also Baby Blonde to neutralizes brassy, grey and yellow tones. There is also Ash Brown, Chic Copper, and Warm Chestnut. Some colors are sold out or on back order but you can find some more masks here.
A product that’s been on my radar but I finally decided to try during quarantine is Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss. I used Crystal Quartz which is a clear gloss. Your colorist probably uses a gloss on your hair after they color it to blend the colors and add shine. I don’t think the clear gloss added that much shine but it did smooth my hair which made it less prone to frizz. Even though it was clear, it might also lightened my hair a little which I didn’t mind but just want to warn you in case you don’t want lighter hair. There are also seven colors that tone and add shine. I haven’t tried the color version yet but if I did, I’d choose Golden Hour. There’s even a gloss for platinum which isn’t listed above. A gloss at my hair salon is $50 while this gloss is only $14.
When I need a quick fix between color and root touch up, I use the Madison Reed Root Touch Up because they have a color that matches my hair. There is also a Clairol Nice’n Easy Root Touch Up Powder that has five shades.
Another popular power root touch up is Color Wow Root Cover Up. In their powders, you buy a paler color to match your highlights and a darker color to match your base color to mimic the look of highlights. If your color is sold out, you can find more options here, here, and here.
In order to preserve my hair color, I always use Fekkai Technician Color Extended Color Vibrancy Shampoo and Conditioner. Kristin Ess also makes a wide range of wonderful hair products.
There are so many people trying to figure out how to cut their hair and bangs at home. I’ve always trimmed my own hair but I’ve spent 10 years watching how my stylist cuts my hair. My biggest piece of advice is to only cut your hair dry, especially bangs. It gives you a better idea of the shape and you won’t cut your hair too short. I will sometimes just trim a few tiny millimeters off the bottom of my hair and even just that little bit will give my hair a boost. I will also pull it up and out and cut it on an angle to create some light layers. In general, I don’t like having the ends of my hair cut into and thinned out because it makes me look like I need a haircut.
The best selling hair cutting shears online are on back order until May 18th but I just use a really sharp pair of regular scissors and they work fine.
I’m sure YouTube has a million tutorials but if you want to learn from the master, Frederik Fekkai has been posting hair cut and color tutorials on his Fekkai Instagram Stories.
Luckily, it’s easier to give yourself an at home facial. I’ve been seeing Leah at Mario Badescu for over 15 years and she’s given me some great advice over the years. She always suggests putting on a mask after a shower which has softened and steamed your skin and using a washcloth for exfoliation.
You could also steam your face over a pot of boiling water you’ve taken off the stove or use the Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer.
The mask I have used for years is the Mario Badescu Healing and Soothing Mask. I love that it doesn’t get hard and flaky in case you leave it on longer than expected.
Due to the stress of everything that’s been going on and eating too many carbs, my skin was having a bit of a meltdown for the first few weeks. I decided to try to go back to products that I’ve used in the past which included Glyderm Cream Plus 12. I am mad that I stopped using this product for a while because it worked a miracle on my skin after the first night. It’s a bit advanced and does cause a burning feeling so you may want to start with the lower Cream 5 or Cream Plus 10 in the beginning. I apply it at night after toner and really rub it into my skin on my face and décolletage. I let it set before adding Chanel Sublimage La Crème over top.
Quarantine has given me extra time to use all of my beauty gadgets. I’m trying to use the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device. I love how the round nodes really carve out your cheekbones and define your jawline.
My LED light therapy mask that I love is sold out but this 7 Color Light Therapy LED Face Mask is a great price and has very positive reviews. LED light therapy has been used for years in salons but it’s so nice to be able to use it at home now. Blue light therapy is helpful for acne and red light has always been used to build collagen. I’m interested to use the colors for hyperpigmentation now too. You must close your eyes with the LED masks so it’s great time to listen to podcasts since you can’t look at your phone.
A lot of women are worried about their eyebrows now too. My advice is to let them grow in and tweeze them sparingly. Only tweeze stray hairs underneath and never tweeze the top of your brows.
Tweezerman makes the Rolls-Royce of tweezers and you can send them back to the company for sharpening.
If you’ve over plucked or find that your brows are sparse, I love RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner for helping grow in my brows. It really does work too.
I really miss being able to get my eyelashes dyed right now but I can dye my brows at home. I read a story on Vogue.com about using Just for Men Beard Dye to dye your eyebrows because it doesn’t run. My advice is to go lighter than you think you want to dye your brows. I use light medium brown and it’s still pretty dark. I might try light brown next time.
I sometimes do my own manicure at home in between salon visits but I really miss getting pedicures right now. Instead of soaking my feet, I will remove the polish, cut, file, and buff my nails, and use Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover before pushing back my cuticles, and then I’ll jump in the shower. After the shower, I’ll use cuticle oil and lotion to further push back my cuticles. I let it soak in for a while before I buff them one more time before I apply base coat, two thin coats of polish, and a quick dry top coat.
This Professional Stainless Steel Nail Clipper Travel & Grooming Kit has every tool you would need all in one place and it’s a great price at $9.99.
I have no idea when our nail salons will reopen so I’m happy I stocked up on all the products I needed before quarantine began. This 14 piece set of files, buffers, and nail brushes will help get you through especially if you have a full house.
I can’t decide if the Stedi Pedi is the most amazing or stupidest product I’ve ever seen. I do appreciate that it has a light on it for when you are trying to paint your toenails at night.
I’ve used Quimica Alemana Nail Hardener Strengthener Polish Treatment for years and it’s the reason I have such healthy nails. You can use it alone or as a base coat. Just let it dry before you apply your color polish.
The chicest women in New York like Lauren Santo Domingo and Aerin Lauder only wear pale nail polish. I do too and Deborah Lippmann Baby Love is my go to color. Naked is perfect for pale pedicures since it’s a little more opaque.
The only choice for a top coat is Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. It works best if you do a proper manicure or pedicure but there have been times I’ve done a manicure five minutes before I’ve had to leave the house and it really does dry quickly.
I keep a bottle of CND Essentials Nail & Cuticle Oil by my bed and by my sofa so I can apply it throughout the day. It’s especially necessary now with that we are washing our hands fifty times a day. I follow up with Weleda Skin Food which I also apply to my feet at night before bed.
Now that we have more time for self care, I love to use Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish a few times a week in the shower. It’s especially good to use before you plan to use a self tanner.
Since the Glyderm has worked so well on my face, I just ordered the Glyderm Hand and Body Lotion to use all over. The heat is still on in my apartment and I’m hoping it will help with the dry skin on my legs.
Until the Glyderm arrives, I’ve been using the Augustinus Bader Body Cream that I splurged on for Christmas. I mostly use it at night so I wake up with soft skin. It’s supposed to help with anti-aging and cellulite too but I can’t speak to those claims.
Everyone I know is dealing with anxiety and insomnia right now. I use Gold Bond Ultimate Overnight Deep Moisturizing Lotion a half hour before bed. It’s not a miracle cure but I do feel like it helps me go to sleep easier.
I hope these products help you look and feel a little better during these trying times.