Being a woman isn’t easy. No matter how we spend our time — retired, business owner, stay-at-home mom, lady of luxury or everything in between, there are still certain beauty standards to which we are all held. I wish I had the time and resources to have all of my beauty needs taken care of at a salon, but unfortunately that’s just not the case. There are certain things that I highly recommend you get done by a trained and qualified professional, but trying some of the things below at home will allow you to work around your schedule and save a little bit of money.
NailsIf you wear artificial nails, this one may not be for you. If you are au natural like me, you can complete your look quickly and easily from the comfort of your couch. The word on the street is that nudes, metallics and pastels are the hot nail colors for spring. Since I generally paint my own nails, my color choice is based on ease of application. Dark and glitter-based colors are more challenging for the amateur’s hand to put on neatly. I love OPI products and find that “Bubble Bath” is a nice color that lasts. It just gives a nice, sheer, pink look that lets your nails show through. My new favorite choice for spring is OPI’s “Mod Hatter.” It looks like a cappuccino color in the bottle, but goes on very sheer with a subtle cafe au lait tint. Another great thing about wearing lighter colors is that they seem to last longer — chips are almost immediately visible with dark colors, which means more time removing and reapplying. A few tips for your at-home manicure. Be gentle with your cuticles. Use the appropriate tools to push them back or trim them and make sure to soak them first. Invest in a high quality nail file so you can get the shape correct. Before you paint, make sure to wash your hands and remove any oils or debris from the nails. Don’t paint just before bedtime — there is nothing like bedprints to ruin a great manicure.
Hair RemovalThis can be somewhat of a tricky procedure, but it can be done at home if you exercise proper precaution. I have a salon grade wax warmer at home, which is a quick and convenient way for me to upkeep my eyebrows and other facial areas as needed. Most people don’t recommend waxing your own brows (me included); instead it is better to work on areas that don’t require such precision (hypocritical, I know, but I’m a risk taker and wax my brows against better judgment). There are other chemical depilatories that you can use at home, such as facial Nair and cream-based removers. Those are too harsh for my skin type, but I know plenty of women who use them and are happy with the results. The key is to read the directions carefully and use with caution. Of course good old-fashioned tweezing can also do the trick, but it’s a bit more time consuming. No matter which way you choose, be sure to wash your hands, face and any tools you’ll be using before you begin. Otherwise, you risk introducing germs and possible infections to your skin — never a good look.
HairI know many men who cut their own hair at home, my husband included. Unfortunately, most of the ladies I know don’t have the kind of cut that they can trim up on their own. Coloring your hair is something you can do at home if you have the proper equipment, attention to detail and patience. I should first clarify, when I say “coloring” I mean one color. Highlights and lowlights must be done in a salon under an experienced hand. If you do an all over color yourself, it is best to use professional-grade products. Take time to consult a certified cosmetologist to get a recommendation for what color level is best for you. I personally believe we are all born perfect and highly recommend staying within a close range of your natural color. Make sure to have all of the items you need for smooth application and to ensure that your color looks great. I prefer to apply my color with a hair color tint/dye brush, so I mix my ingredients in a hair color bowl. Some people like to mix their color in a bottle and squeeze it on their hair — I just don’t think that gives the best coverage. You may want to invest in latex gloves and a cape to protect your clothes and skin. It is important to keep the color out of your eyes, which can make washing it out of your hair on your own a bit awkward this first few times. No matter what your beauty routine consists of, your look is not complete without putting on your smile — it’s a free, one-size-fits-all, must-have accessory. To find more at-home beauty tips, log on to the Mieshel Image blog at www.mieshelimage.com.
Shelley Davis Mielock
Shelley Davis Mielock is a certified business image coach and the founder of Mieshel Image Consulting, a Lansing-based firm that specializes in image development for individuals and businesses. She is also a co-host of In Her Shoes, a a weekly women’s talk radio show. To ask Shelley an image question, please e-mail her.