Never use a dog nappy to tint your eyelashes!

Never use a dog nappy to tint your eyelashes! That’s just one of the wacky DIY beauty treatments tried by TRINNY WOODALL in lockdown… so which are worth staying home for as salons are finally set to reopen?

During lockdown, with salons closed, many women feared for their beauty regimes. But as facial hair sprouted, eyelash extensions dropped off and hairstyles grew out we weren’t beaten, turning instead to various DIY home treatments.

For the past few months I’ve had to adapt as much as the next woman — my eyebrows were never going to tint themselves; I had no intention of letting my colleagues see my roots peeping through on Zoom calls for my beauty brand Trinny London either.

It helped that I’ve long been an advocate for self-care. I know how to perform a decent facial massage on myself and have always had the confidence to apply rejuvenating products.

For me, lockdown became an opportunity to up the beauty ante. Trying out various home treatments, emboldened by the knowledge that if things went awry I’d be spending so much time at home it wouldn’t be a disaster, put a positive spin on the situation.

I shared many of my — sometimes rather out-there, I admit — experiments via videos that I posted to my social media channels in the hope that other women would feel encouraged to have a go, too.

During lockdown, with salons closed, many women feared for their beauty regimes, writes Trinny Woodall

I also used the fact that my meetings were all being held via Zoom — I normally dash from one meeting to another —to my advantage. My new normal sees me routinely turning off the camera so I can apply a facial treatment in privacy, while still effectively engaging with the work conversation. It may sound a little eccentric to others but it works for me!

I’m sure others will have become similarly efficient at managing their time. Let’s face it, women have had to since lockdown has had such a huge impact on our lives. 

Worrying about beauty treatments may seem almost frivolous, but actually, feeling happy with how you look plays an important psychological role in helping you cope.

DON’T BE BROW BEATEN 

Beautifully tinted brows can make such a difference to the way you look — in particular how young you look.

Like the hair on our heads, your brow fades to grey over time. It also tends to gradually take on a downward arch, which can be ageing. 

That’s because as you go down life’s path, the skin above your eyes slackens; a downward brow will exacerbate that, making you appear more hooded.

Pictured: Ms Woodall’s eyebrow tint

But you can raise that arch by putting colour on the tiny invisible hairs above the outer arch rather than below it. 

Trust me, this simple trick can lift your brow by up to half a centimetre, opening up your eyes while framing your face in a way that visually lifts it.

I’ve used the same lovely therapist for my brows for years, and she’s great. It never occurred to me to try myself, but lockdown gave me no choice — I bought a Mylee brow and lash tinting kit from Amazon and was delighted with the result.

It was easy to apply. Just ignore the instructions regarding how long to leave the dye on — it’s far better to add it then wipe it off again after just a minute, before adding additional layers the same way until you are happy.

Verdict: DIY 

 

I’ll admit some of my home beauty treatments have been more successful than others.

Having a go at tinting my own eyebrows was a revelation — I was so delighted I doubt I’ll pay to get them done professionally again.

However, a misguided experiment aimed at dealing with the facial hair that every woman of a certain age will have experienced left me convinced that’s a job best left to the experts.

Meanwhile, tinting my hair is something I’m so well practised at I could carry on doing that for myself. But going to the hairdressers is a simple pleasure I’ll never willingly give up.

From today, therapists are finally allowed to get back to work on our faces — eyelash treatments, threading and facials can go ahead again. And hurrah to that — I’ll certainly be going back to my six-monthly Botox treatments, which I’ve been having for 20 years.

But we can’t be complacent. The spectre of regional lockdowns hangs over us, meaning we could end up kept out of our salons again. With that in mind, here’s my take on some of the DIY treatments I used during lockdown.

At least you’ll know what to try at home — and what to avoid!

MY CLOSE SHAVE WITH HUMILIATION

Reader, I shaved my chin. Someone on Facebook said she’d done it and the hair hadn’t grown back, so I conducted an experiment where I shaved one side and plucked the other with tweezers.

I live-streamed this on Facebook, to the horror of women up and down the land.

At first it seemed a brilliant idea — the work of a mere moment to remove that post-menopausal fuzz. But those onlookers were right to be appalled. I was plagued with stubble for days afterwards and will never let a razor near my face again.

Thankfully, the hair hasn’t grown back thicker. Now that threading is back on the salon menu, this is a treatment I’ll stick to getting done professionally again.

Verdict: Salon

GIVE YOURSELF A FINGERTIP FACELIFT

Every woman should learn how to massage her own face properly: it’s relaxing and great for your skin because it boosts blood flow while helping toxins drain through the lymphatic system.

It also costs you nothing, the only equipment you really need being your own fingers. Start at your chin, massaging with the tips of your fingers in an upward motion towards your ears and then down to your collar bone, then release. Repeat ten times on each side of your face.

It’s no good massaging your face in tiny circles — you just move the toxins around under the skin. My way means those toxins are actually channelled out through the lymph glands.

Move your fingers around the earlobe in small circular movements, to stimulate the lymphatic nodes which can get blocked. As you do it, you may notice a refreshing tingling as the lymph system is stimulated.

A great fix for bags under the eyes is to press a forefinger either side of the top of the nose — then quickly release it and re-apply ten times.

Finally, spend a couple of minutes pressing your thumbs hard into the skin under your cheekbones, moving upwards along the bottom of the bone as though you’re re-sculpting them.

Try doing these simple motions for ten minutes every day for a couple of weeks and you should see your skin glow and the shape of your face change as the puffiness under your eyes recedes and your cheeks appear more defined.

As well as my fingers, I also use microcurrent devices such as FaceGym Pro or NuFace that stimulate slack muscles. I use them for ten minutes and my skin looks more toned and lifted.

Verdict: DIY

AN EYELASH TINTING DISASTER

Lockdown meant losing my eyelash extensions, she writes. Pictured: Ms Woodall’s at-home lash tint

Lockdown meant losing my eyelash extensions. By the time they’d all dropped out, my eyes looked really bare and I needed to encourage my lashes to grow back as lush as possible.

Having seen how healthy my nails were looking after I’d started massaging castor oil (a nut oil) into them, I wondered whether my lashes would benefit, too. I’m also a big fan of peptides as ingredients in products that rebuild skin.

Working on the assumption they could also help to rebuild my lashes, I bought some liquid peptide from skincare brand Medik8.

I carefully applied the peptide just before bed, after removing my mascara thoroughly.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF NEEDLEWORK 

Normally considered a salon-only treatment, I’ve been doing micro-needling at home myself for years, using much smaller needles than you’d get during a professional treatment and making sure I never draw blood.

Micro-needling is a derma-roller procedure that pricks the skin, sending it into repair mode, which generates collagen for smoother, firmer and more toned skin.

It can also help with scarring and wrinkles.

Micro-needling is a derma-roller procedure that pricks the skin

In a salon, they use needles that go to a depth of 1 cm, but at home I would never go deeper than 0.5 cm and would advise any newcomer to start with 0.2 cm.

I do this up to three times a week, usually combining it with a retinol treatment — Indeed Labs does a good entry-level retinol product you can pick up from Boots for around £20, while Medik8 has a top-end version called R-Retinoate that costs £135 for 50ml.

You massage the retinol in straight after — the needling helps the product penetrate the skin even more effectively. I do it at night and next morning my skin feels glowing.

It’s always best to apply retinol at night and wear sun protection during the day, as you should anyway, because it makes skin more sensitive to the sun.

Good derma-roller brands include Swiss Clinic, Nannette de Gaspe and Teresa Tarmey.

Do make sure you clean the equipment with surgical spirit after every use.

Verdict: DIY

I must be clear here that this is not a product developed for use this way, so if you decide to copy me you should do so with caution as there’s an element of risk. I then added a small amount of castor oil over the top. This regime worked better than I could have hoped; my lashes are longer and thicker, so much so I don’t plan to have extensions again.

However, I had much less success when I came to tinting my lashes. On a mission to give them some colour, I was unable to find Q-tips or cotton wool — Q-tips to apply the tint and cotton wool to protect your under-eye area from the tint.

So I decided to improvise with the soft inside of a dog nappy.

This is one experiment that didn’t work — not surprisingly the nappy fell to bits all over my face.The other challenge is that you have to keep your eyes closed while you apply the tint.

Of course, this is not a problem when someone’s doing it for you in the salon, but much trickier at home, especially when you’ve got the contents of a (clean) dog nappy disintegrating down your face.

The result wasn’t terrible, but it would have been a much simpler process if I’d had those basic items in the bathroom to start with.

Verdict: Salon

GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE MATTER

There are some wonderful quick-fix products for when your roots come through.

Rita Hazan and John Frieda do a brilliant root spray, while Josh Wood has a great brush-on colour. They’re only temporary fixes, though, so I used a Wella box tint every three weeks.

I did a good enough job, and it helps that my hair is quite dark.Blonde hair, however, is more complicated, because you have to lift it, which is riskier. I think permanent colouring and definitely highlights, which I didn’t attempt, are something that’s best left to the professionals.

Verdict: DIY for roots, salon for anything more permanent

VACUUMING IN A SPACE-AGE MASK

This treatment uses red LED lights to rejuvenate the skin — the theory is that the light stimulates collagen production, which in turn plumps up the skin, improves skin tone and reduces lines. 

It also seems to help with circulation leaving you with a lovely glow.

I love using one made by The Light Salon. It’s a mask, so it’s hands-free — a strap over your head holds it in place, meaning you can potter about in it while it gets to work.

This treatment uses red LED lights to rejuvenate the skin — the theory is that the light stimulates collagen production, which in turn plumps up the skin, improves skin tone and reduces lines

I wear mine for ten minutes at a time, with the battery pack tucked into my bra while I vacuum. 

Salon treatments use stronger bulbs, but this at-home version is still highly effective — my skin certainly seems more radiant for it.

Verdict: DIY

  • Trinny Woodall is the founder of Trinny London, the portable, stackable, make-up range. Shop at trinnylondon.com where her latest product, Lip Glow Bella, has now launched.

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