from Life & Style | Beauty & Fashion – Gulfnews.com
Here’s how to let your hair down during the summer holidays with minimal visits to the salon
- By Natalie Long Editor, tabloid! on Saturday
- Published: 00:00 May 28, 2011
- Vacations are all about taking time off — from work, chores, commuting — and this summer, I plan to take time off from my beauty routine, too. I want to be as far away from my hairdryer as I am from the photocopier this July; I want to pick up my eyebrow pencil and tweezers as little as I want to reach for the red proofing pen; and I certainly don’t want to spend lazy sunny afternoons at the nail salon.
Yet fear not, my highly groomed readers: I’m not resigning myself to a series of frizzy-haired summer snaps on Facebook. I’ve found three ways to cut your beauty routine down to zero time — with 100 per cent pay-off. Read on.
Hair: Brazilian Blowout
Much has been said about the life-changing qualities of keratin treatments, and it’s all true. If you’re looking for manageability, less frizz and ability to wash and go, then the treatment is your key to easy summer hair. My fellow frizzies, picture this: You spend the day at the pool or beach and don’t emerge looking like Medusa once your hair dries on the beach. You head to the hotel, wash out the salt and five minutes later, your hair is dry, straight (but not flat), shiny and supersoft — no straighteners required. I am evangelical about it. This summer, it gets even better with the Brazilian Blowout treatment, which gets rid of the pesky 72-hour down time that used to be the issue with keratin treatments: the product is applied, your hair is straightened — and then washed right away, meaning you can swim, put it behind your ears or even in a ponytail right away (although that would be a waste of great hair). The treatment is available at Ideal Image Salon, and takes about two hours for medium-length hair. It lasts at least three months before a re-application is required, and just wears out, leaving your hair, if it’s anything like mine, back in its depressing natural state, but not damaged.
Top tip: If you’re thinking of colouring your hair, do it before the treatment — otherwise you have to wait two weeks after the straightening.
– From Dh1,500, Ideal Image Salon, Al Bustan Rotana. Call 04-2828774.
Nails: CND Shellac
It’s not new on the market but this nail-treatment-sceptic just tried it, and I’ve decided it’s my summertime saviour. While I’m generally able to make my bog-standard nail polish last fairly well on holiday — less typing means much less damage to my manicure — it’s liberating when you know there won’t be any chips for two weeks. Shellac goes on like a nail polish — basecoat, two layers of colour and a topcoat — but instead of drying time, there’s curing time under a UV lightbox, which means they are instantly dry and pretty solid. Because it’s a polish, it stays thin and looks far more natural than other gel nails, although if you’re looking for length and sculpting, you won’t get it here. The polish soaks off with acetone in about ten minutes. The only caveat is that the colour range isn’t huge, although they had a pretty pink coral that I loved. French is also available.
Top tip: The jury is still out on whether the UV light used to set gel nails and polishes can cause skin cancer (you’ll spend about 2 minutes 20 seconds per hand under it), but some precautionary pre-mani sunblock wouldn’t be a bad idea.
– Manicure, Dh140 (French, Dh150); pedicure, Dh160 (French, Dh170). Removal costs Dh30. At NStyle salons around the UAE.
Eyebrows: Dynamic Brows
This is one for the light-haired and lacking in brow among us — or anyone looking for serious, long-lasting eyebrow shaping. I’ve always been of the opinion that once the brow battle is over, the make-up war is half won. With neat, shapely and, for me, visible eyebrows (I only wish my hair was as pale blonde as my eyebrows), foundation, blush, mascara and gloss are all you really need to add for an easy summer face. I tried the Dynamic Brows, a new treatment which shapes and colours brows, lasting around four weeks. I’m three weeks in and it’s still looking good (if I say so myself). Firstly, choose your shape — something salon pluckers don’t always give you the chance to do. Pick from stencils modelled after your favourite celebrity (mine belong to Uma Thurman) although the therapist should also advise you on what will work for your face. The stencil is outlined with eye pencil (hurrah! they both match), then the skin and hair is tinted within the boundaries with the appropriate dye. The last step is waxing away the hair outside the stencil, and plucking if needed.
Top tip: The tinting and waxing means that you may have very dark brows and redness for about six hours after the procedure, and the brow darkness may last at least a couple of days, so there’s a little down time. We recommend scheduling a How I Met Your Mother marathon the same evening.
– Dh250, at Dubai Ladies Club and Sisters Beauty Lounge, Dubai Mall.