By NICKY CHAMP
It’s the start of July and that means one of two things; you’re either pumped because you’ve estimated you’ll be receiving a nice little cash bonus shortly or you’re depressed because you’ll have to shell out more clams to the tax man.
Either way, these new and improved beauty tools allow you to save (time and money) on trips to the beautician/hairdressers by achieving professional looks at home – minus the diy disasters.
1. Gel manicures.
Good news for fans of smudge-free, chip-free nails, no longer do you have to pay $50+ for a gel manicure with the release of at-home gel polish kits.
There are still some concerns over the use of UV lamps used in gel manicures as the nail industry isn’t regulated but Opallac (available through Priceline) utilises LED technology – which is not harmful to skin and carries no more risk than mild sun exposure or strip lighting.
Opallac creator and director, Ruby Serobian says: “Our LED lamp is safe to use and long lasting, [and] there should be no risk over over-exposure.”
However, if you do want extra skin protection (I do, call me paranoid) you can wear fingerless gloves or apply a sunscreen to your hands prior to application.
The Starter Kit, $99, pays itself off after two uses and includes everything you need; a UV LED Lamp, three fairly decent gel colours: red, dark red and pale pink, a top and base coat, plus shine and soak solution and removal wraps.
How-to: the process is exactly the same as it is in the salon. Begin by filing and shaping your nails, roughen the nail surface with a light buff then apply the base coat. Cure this for 90 seconds then apply your first coat of colour, cure for 90 seconds, repeat this and finish off with the top coat and seal. Finish by swiping nails with the shine solution.
Tip: follow the instructions and apply the coats thinly, otherwise you end up with globby-looking nails that peel off easily. I also find gel manicures slightly weaken my nails so in between applications I like to use a strengthening product like Sally Hansen’s Complete Care 4-in-1 Treatment.
2. DIY balayage highlights.
If like me, you’ve dabbled in balayage and found yourself looking at the colourist painting dye on your hair with a fat brush and thought, ‘I could totally do that,’ well, now you can.
L’Oreal Paris released the first at home Ombré kit, Préférence Wild Ombrés, last year, making it easy for you to replicate the dip-dye look at home.
How-to: squeeze a small amount of product onto the provided brush; start halfway down your hair and lightly comb the product through. Apply more coverage towards the bottom to get the graduated look. Leave it on for 15 minutes then apply another layer and wait another 15 minutes. Rinse, shampoo and condition. Or better still take a look at the video below:
3. Trim your split ends at home.
If you are happy with the style and length of your hair, you can extend the time between appointments by trimming your split ends at home with this genius little trick.
Video note: you can easily get the gist of the trick by the 40-second mark, no need to keep watching.
How-to: section of parts of your hair – not too thick – and twist it around to reveal the broken and flyaway split ends which you simply trim with scissors.
If you’re thinking of doing this fairly often it’s a good idea invest in a pair of sharp hairdressers scissors because I know what you’re thinking, ‘maybe I’ll just give it a bash with the kitchen shears first, what could possibly go wrong?’
4. DIY fringe trim.
If you sport a fringe and your hairdresser doesn’t offer free fringe trims, considering trying a new-fangled hair cutting clip like Bango.
How-to: brush fringe downward and slide the clip in making sure it’s straight, pull it down an extra centimetre or two (you can always cut more off but never the other way round remember?) and cut straight along the clip for a blunt fringe or cut into the zig zags for a textured fringe. You can also use it for sweeping side fringes and short layers.
What are some of your favourite beauty DIYs?