Holiday beauty prep
So many parties, so little time. Extend the best looks in beauty, from hair, to skin to nails, as far as possible into the soiree season.
“It’s a great time to try a professional blowout,” says Vancouver-based Judy Brooks, co-founder and President/CEO of Blo Blow Dry Bar.
• Dictate the terms of what you want — whether it be voluminous hair for an event or a blowout to last you three days.
• Cream shampoos will shorten the length of your blowout’s life, so seek out clear, purifying formulas.
• Avoid touching and brushing as much as possible. “This will add the greasiness back into your hair and take out the volume.”
• Use Velcro rollers on the crown of your head the day after your blowout, but skip brushing. On the third day, apply dry shampoo to roots. Brooks likes T3 Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo because it tints greasy-looking roots. She follows by tying hair into a sleek ponytail.
• Resort to using satin pillowcases to cut down the frizz factor. It really works!
“People start to get into trouble with their skin around this time of year,” says Toronto-based dermatologist Paul Cohen.
Since acne, redness, chapping and rosacea are exacerbated by the drop in temperature Cohen suggests looking for a lightweight moisturizer that suits your skin’s needs. “Make sure it’s not too greasy or dry.”
• Shed dead skin. “Start with mild, weekly at-home microdermabrasion,” says Cohen.
• All skin types can benefit from Vitamin C-laced products — one of Cohen’s favourite antioxidants. “It can give skin a healthy glow.”
• Cohen says lots of people experiment with quick-fix fillers and Botox this time of year, but recommends a two-week buffer period in case of bruising. If you’re in the market for professional microdermabrasion or peel, (which can help clear acne), give yourself at least two days before the party to allow for redness to vanquish.
Perfect your brows and body on the next page …
“Eyebrows are the most important feature on your face — they’re the first thing you see,” says Tatyana Gubanov, a stylist at Vartali Salon in New York City.
• There are no hard or fast rules for when they should be waxed. “It can be done a week or even a day before. Maintenance is easy if you keep the shape,” says Gubanov.
• Gubanov says a professional brow wax can be better than plastic surgery. “Waxing exfoliates skin and picks up the hair that’s invisible to your eye, like peach fuzz and stray hairs.”
• If you have dark hair and wax a week before, you may see some regrowth, so take a tweezer to rogue hairs — just don’t attempt to reshape.
• Use clear mascara to brush hairs upward when tweezing and to set the brows in place.
Silky holiday frocks demand just as silky skin, so your best bet to achieve a healthy glow is to exfoliate the night before your event. Kate Kotyleva, a technical training director for Dove Spa Canada suggests using a dry body brush made with natural fibres (synthetic can scratch) to then rub in circular motions. Start at the feet and move towards the heart, which helps stimulate blood circulation making “skin look even and plump.”
• Drier skin types benefit from oil-based sea salt or sugar scrubs. “It’s a double treatment, because it exfoliates as it nourishes,” says Kotyleva. Use the same way as a dry brush, but if you need to shave, make sure you do post-scrub, or the day before to avoid irritation.
• "The colder the temperature outside, the richer your cream should be," she says. Look for moisturizers with Omega 3 and 6, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, evening primrose oil and shea butter, which shields moisture and keeps it inside skin.
• With all the hand shaking on the party circuit, try this DIY tip for smooth hands: Buy cloth gardening gloves from a hardware store and cut off the fingertips (this protects your manicure). Apply a thick layer of cream to hands, and wear both to bed. Look for products with silicone. It creates an protective layer so the moisturizer can penetrate.
Whether you’re heading to the salon or going it alone, take heed of this nail tips for a long-lasting manicure.
• A square shape with rounded edges is best for longevity, says aesthetician Asmeret Ghebreslassie of Sweetgrass Spa in Toronto.
• Nail oils (like neem oil) and cuticle creams keep nail borders looking smooth and hangnails at bay. Apply at least every morning and night.
• Cuticles and nail beds must be squeaky-clean pre-polish for the colour to create a long-lasting bond. Use water to remove residual oil, and make sure to paint an extra horizontal line along the nails edge (near your fingertip). This seals the colour, says Ghebreslassie.
• Apply hand cream immediately post-washing. “The drier the cuticle, the more quickly the polish will chip,” says Ghebreslassie.
• Apply a clear topcoat on the second or third day to prevent future chips. If you do see a minor chip, don’t sweat it. Unless it’s an “absolute emergency” and you own the exact shade, Ghebreslassie says you won’t get the same effect and coverage attempting on your own.