The coronavirus pandemic has thrown us into lockdown, with beauty services no longer available. But before you panic, these expert-approved hair, skin, brow and nail products are here to get you through.
As COVID-19 continues and new restrictions on both services and gatherings have been put into place, your regular beauty treatments like brow grooming and facials are no longer operating. At the time of writing you can still head to the hairdresser, but only for 30-minutes.
It may not seem like it now, but there are upsides to skipping your regular appointments. There’s also a tonne of at-home DIY solutions to get you through lockdown.
So before you freak out, we’ve sourced the next best thing to the professionals – expert approved.
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We currently don’t know how long these new regulations are in place for, but for me, I know that anywhere between two to six weeks and my regrowth is visible, my ends seem frayed and split, and my colour has faded. If you’re trying to grow your hair – yay for you! If you’re not, I feel you.
Luckily, there’s a load of at-home hair colour options available both in supermarkets and online that range from all price points and hair needs. Before purchasing, Hair Stylist and owner of Sydney’s RAW Salon Anthony Nader says it’s worth checking in with your hairdresser.
“Ask your hairdresser if you could go into the salon and get the same colour cocktail that you would normally have and get them to explain what to do,” he says.
“This way, you’re getting the professional advice from your hair stylist firsthand with the do’s and the don’ts of how to make your home hair colour look like it’s been created at the salon instead of in your laundry tub.”
Can’t get to the salon? “If you’re in the supermarket aisle and looking for a hair colour, the best advice that I can give is to read the directions on the box carefully,” says Nader.
“If you have a semi-permanent or a permanent colour that is all over, this colouring is slightly easier than creating a full head of highlights from the supermarket shelves. Instead of being creative at home with a concoction of colour, stick with the one block colour and this will tide you through hopefully until hair salons can be trading again.”
Lots of salons are now offering at-home kits for their clients. Like nationwide salon Edwards And Co, who launched colour kits including all the tools, dye and developer you need to get you through until your next appointment. They’ve also launched an IGTV series on Instagram with helpful resources and demonstrations on how to DIY.
If you’d prefer not to DIY dye, Anthony suggests using dry shampoo. “For those of you that don’t want to take this commitment of colouring hair at home and want something more temporary, you can use a colour dry shampoo and give the roots a once over with spray and your grey hairs will now be gone,” he says.
At-home Hair Colour Kit ($44.90 – now offering a free trial, at The Shade)
Salon-grade permanent hair colour delivered to your door and free from nasties like ammonia, PPD and parabens. After a quick survey to find out your hair health, perfect colour and experience with DIY dying they’ll prescribe you with your ideal shade and kit. It comes with everything you need from the dye, developer to the equipment and aftercare.
Clairol Natural Instincts ($15.99, at Priceline)
Made from 80% naturally derived ingredients this box dye is body+soul approved. Semi-permanent and made from coconut oil, aloe vera and no ammonia or parabens. Smooth it over hair to enhance your natural colour and disguise regrowth or greys in less than 30 minutes.
Every brow expert will agree that there’s never been a better time grow out your hair. Every 90’s supermodel will also agree – citing that they wished they’d never plucked! So with that being said, embrace it and leave them alone.
If you do need to tidy up your eyebrows though, Hannah Mutze, the National Brow Artist for Benefit Cosmetics Australia, suggests going easy with the tweezing and only plucking the middle, or where needed.
“Avoid tweezing hairs every couple of days as this disrupts your growth cycle. Instead, put aside time every two to four weeks (if your brows grow very quickly, every week is OK) to remove strays all at once,” she says.
For proper tidying or shaping she recommends this method, using three tools. “You’ll need tweezers (opt for a slant tip pair for ultimate precision), a spoolie brush and a brow pencil. Ensure your brows and surrounding skin are clean, then brush your brows into shape. Use your brow pencil to trace an outline around each of your brows. Use this outline as your guide and tweeze away all of the hairs that grow OUTSIDE of the lines.”
In the meantime your best options are to go for brow gel and semi-permanent tints.
Benefit 24-Hour Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel ($45, at Benefit)
Use a clear gel to tame and set hairs into place. Embrace the bushy trend and comb them up and outwards towards the temples.
Maybelline Tattoo Brow Gel Tint ($12.47, at Chemist Warehouse)
This innovative gel lasts three days and works like a semi-permanent tattoo. Using the wand, swipe over your natural brow arch, let it set then peel off. Hairs and skin are left evenly tinted and full.
For skincare fanatics, now is a great time to start using powerful ingredients like at-home peels and retinol as you have limited exposure to the sun, pollution – or people for that matter. But it’s also important to understand your skin and leave it alone if you’re not used to using a lot of actives or products.
If your skin requires more attention, get in touch with your dermatologist or skin therapist who may be able to offer you online skin consultations via Skype or FaceTime and help you keep up to date with your current routine or prescribe you new product.
Home-grown heroes like Alpha-H are offering 20 minute complimentary live online skin consultations, where advice about a tailored routine and personalised products can be prescribed.
Kiri Yanchenko, founder of Amperna, offers a Holistic Skin Coaching service, which focuses on lifestyle factors as well as skin health. “Holistic skincare focuses on exercise, a great diet and stress relief as well as the right products to help people with their skin,” she says.
“A high-quality active regimen is important, however it’s important to make sure you don’t overdo it and run the risk of compromising your microbiome. Remember the less is more approach. Don’t over wash your skin and now that you have more time; don’t pop or squeeze breakouts as it can lead to the bacteria spreading, worsen the pimples by pushing the clog deeper into your skin, or cause scarring.”
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel ($240 for 60, at Mecca)
Always wanted to try a peel? Now is your chance. Depending on your skin type, these Dr Dennis Gross peels come in extra strength and gentle and work to resurface the skin to refine skin texture and tone.
Amperna Rescue Probiotic+ DS Soothing Serum ($50, at Amperna)
If your face starts to freak out bring it back to balance with soothing ingredients like those found in this serum. Copper and zinc replenish the barrier while calming irritation.
Removing your gel polish at home is one thing, and a DIY mani is another. Take this as an opportunity to let your nails recover from all those hardcore nail treatments and chemicals. Go for a naked mani and allow them to breathe.
Mavala National Trainer Tracey Winder agrees, “Now that the time is available, invest extra care into your hands, nails and cuticles, particularly with all the strict hygiene practices in place. Indulge in a methodical home manicure that treats every area with natural, nourishing remedies,” she says.
“Look for ingredients that include vitamins, minerals and amino acids, all essential for healthy nail growth. Incorporate an exfoliant for all areas and follow with treatment products, ‘sealed in’ with gloves for an overnight treatment. Hand cream should be your best friend during this time!”
Mavala Scientifique Nail Hardener ($19.95, at Mavala)
Boost your nail rehab time with this hardening treatment. Keratin works to strengthen and repair week nails prone to splitting, breaking or after removing Shellac, gel or SNS.
Kester Black Rest and Repair Wonder Mask ($24, at Kester Black)
Packed with antioxidants like organic white tea, fermented rice, kefir and vitamin E oil, this nourishing cocktail of goodies will restore your nails in time for your next appointment.
More essential coronavirus reading:
Read up on what the government lockdown means for you, understand why Aussie doctors are up arms, be aware of the ‘hidden symptom’ of COVID-19 carriers, prepare yourself for the long-term mental health effects of the pandemic, get your sweat on at home with these free online workouts before reviving your over-washed hands with this DIY balm, and then console yourself with these unexpected joys.
Anthony Nader is a Hair Stylist and owner of RAW Salon, Hannah Mutze is the National Brow Artist for Benefit Cosmetics Australia,Kiri Yanchenko is Founder of Amperna and a Holistic Skin Health Advocate and Tracey Winde is Mavala National Trainer.