‘I’ve taught myself to thread my brows’
Sonia Haria, beauty director
Confession time: I have only ever had my eyebrows professionally threaded, waxed or tweezed since I started meddling with the thick, black ‘caterpillars’ above my eyes at the age of 15. (High maintenance, me?)
Back then, it was £2 for a quick brow tidy that would only take around 10 minutes, but it brought more shape and definition to my face than any eyeliner or mascara I tried. I was hooked – and for the past six or seven years I’ve been going to brow whisperer salon in London. Daxita can hunt out an arch from nowhere, removing very few hairs at a time to maintain a natural shape, but it’s so well done I reckon it rivals Botox in how ‘awake’ it makes me appear.
大发体育网站And then lockdown came, and I was left to fend for myself. So instead of picking up the tweezers like any sane person, I taught myself to thread my own brows. Threading is, after all, an ancient Indian method of hair removal and being of Indian heritage, I naively thought I would have a knack for it. I spun the thread in between my thumb and index finger, as a YouTube tutorial advised.
To begin with, I removed hair from my thigh, to get the technique right. Catch the hair swiftly enough, at the correct angle, and it pulls it from the roots without too much discomfort. I then progressed to my brows, only removing a few hairs at a time. It left a clean finish and it’s easy to maintain a good-looking arch. Of course, I can’t wait to get my brows back to the nurturing care of my expert brow threader, but I’m thrilled I’ve learnt a new skill in lockdown. And I now know I won’t physically combust if I don’t have them professionally maintained.
Sonia’s top tip: To find how much thread to use, measure an arm’s length, cut and tie it into a loop.
‘I became my own skin doctor’
Annabel Jones, beauty editor-at-large
Despite the fact that I’m in my 40s, I prefer a simple approach to skincare. I cleanse, apply serum and moisturise, and that’s always been good enough – until lockdown. Suddenly, my resilient complexion began to rebel. I developed a pigmentation patch on my left cheek; dry, tight skin that no amount of moisturiser could fix; and my complexion took on a tired-looking tone that was turning duller by the day.
Lockdown was ageing me and I needed to up the ante – fast. I rushed to get my hands on , which comes with assurances that it is as effective at getting rid of pigmentation and fine lines as one could hope for in a cosmetic product. I applied it twice a week to start, followed by every other day – alternating with a luxurious natural facial oil, which is as soothing as a cashmere blanket on a cold night.
Cleansing had to get more targeted. I continued with, which keeps the skin’s protective barrier at its optimum pH, but I introduced, which became my saviour as I watched my skin get clearer each day. On instruction from cosmetic doctors, I applied , to brighten.
I was advised to let each layer of my skincare sink in properly, so I would brush my teeth before applying, then my moisturiser. I became vigilant about SPF and experimented with a few before landing on Estée Lauder’s Perfectionist Pro Multi-Defense Aqua UV Gel SPF 50 with 8 Anti-Oxidants, £36大发体育网站, which incidentally makes a great primer. In the end, my dry patches subsided, my colour is more even, and I swear my face is firmer. Lockdown has made me appreciate that smart, targeted skincare really does work.
Annabel’s top tip: Make sure your skin is thoroughly clean, as any oily residue will prevent active ingredients penetrating.
‘I cut myself a lockdown fringe’
Maria Lally, commissioning health editor
I blame Normal People. Actually, I blame a photo of Jane Birkin with the ultimate French-girl fringe that I saw on Instagram a few weeks into lockdown – which planted the idea. But as soon as I started watching the BBC series based on Sally Rooney’s novel – in which Daisy Edgar-Jones sports the most flawless fringe as Marianne – I got hooked on the idea of cutting my own.
I’ve never had a fringe: my hair is thick and wavy and becomes unruly in rain. But during lockdown I had time to experiment; I was itching for a change, and I figured I could grow it out if it went wrong without too many people seeing it. I watched tutorials on YouTube and – don’t judge me – practised on my six-year-old daughter, who had also wanted a fringe. When hers turned out well, I decided to go for it.
大发体育网站After investing in some proper hairdressing scissors (a must, try Boots), I created a ‘fringe triangle’ (remembering not to cut wider than the outer corner of my eyebrows), clipping back the rest of my hair with sectioning clips. I started small and went slowly, stopping often to reassess. The tip that kept coming up time and again was this: cut vertically. Your scissors should be pointing upwards, gently snipping away, rather than horizontally taking chunks off.
My verdict on my own efforts? I love it. It has an unfortunate habit of turning into 1990s boyband curtains by the morning, but wetting it and blasting it with the hairdryer soon sorts that out. My friends tell me I look younger (probably because it covers my forehead wrinkles). But have I gone on my salon’s waiting list so my usual stylist can tweak it? Absolutely.
Maria’s top tip: Always cut or trim your fringe when it’s dry – if you cut it wet, it will spring up slightly when it’s dry and look too short
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