Predictably, hair appointments were the most popular treatment we were wanting, with nearly half of all beauty bookings made for a much-needed hair cut, closely followed by hair colour including full highlights and balayage, as well as essential root touch-ups.
If you’re still waiting for your appointment, here are the top trends for this summer. Last year’s bob (voted most popular haircut in 2020) stays top of the hair hit list – with French bobs topping the list and many A-list celebrities from Alexa Chung to Penelope Cruz sporting the look. For many the simple action of having unwanted inches cut off is like a metaphorical weight being lifted off their shoulders, and there is a definite shift towards lower maintenance hair styles for spring.
If it’s a change of colour you want, then why not follow in Gigi Hadid and Sarah Hyland’s footsteps and go fiery red? White blonde has also become more popular over lockdown, and chalky pastels from last year remain high in the rankings of favourite new hair colours to try.
Next up were facials and hair removal treatments, no doubt spurred on by months of being indoors and the start of warmer weather encouraging us to shed our extra layers of clothing. The pandemic has changed our attitude to many things, and one of them is beauty. A more laidback lockdown lifestyle means that, for many, the full coverage make-up and full-on high maintenance nails and lashes so popular pre-Covid are unlikely to be making a return. This spring it’s all about a fresher, more natural look as we cautiously emerge like butterflies tentatively testing their new set of wings.
A more natural look however, still requires some time and investment to get and keep skin in glowing condition. Whilst there are a myriad of new at-home – and worth the investment – beauty gadgets to try, nothing quite beats a professional facial. Winter weather, staying indoors for so long, central heating and a lack of sunlight all play a role in causing havoc for our skin, as do the compulsory face masks which have caused a huge rise in skin complaints such as maskne. Talk to your facialist to find out what is the best first post-lockdown treatment for you. It may be a simple hydrating facial, a peel to brighten winter-weary skin, dermaplaning or pore vacuuming – or even a straightforward facial massage to help remove some of the tension many of us are holding in our jaw and forehead. Our favourite? The Dermologica Pro Power Peel Facial at At Sisters for a fresh and glowing finish.
Brows have been a big focus throughout this past year, thanks to our faces being half covered most of the time. And whilst rules are easing, masks will continue to play a big part in our lives, so make sure your brows are in good shape.
Luckily, big, fluffy brows are in right now, so for those who can’t or have resisted the temptation to pluck their own they’ll be totally on trend. Keep yours in shape with a mini-brush or spoolie and some clear brow wax, for big brows that will stay in place all day long. If brows are still patchy despite being untouched for so long then simply fill in sparse areas with a brow pen or pencil. Better still, book in for semi permanent make-up which means every day will be a good brow day. Medical technician and beauty magician Ann Oliver Harvey uses computerised technology to enhance brows (and lips and eyes) for a totally natural finish with astonishing results. Working at salons across the region, she is well worth tracking down.
Unruly brows can be quickly tamed by threading, which is available at beauty salons and department stores regionwide. A quick and natural way of removing unwanted facial hair from the follicles (and more accurate and delicate than waxing) why not get them to check over your chin for pesky strays at the same time? The new trend for laminated brows is sure to take off again now we can get to salons. This two-step perming treatment for brows involves correcting the natural shape by setting the hairs in place.Perfect for anyone with naturally unruly, flat or downward growing brows, eyebrow lamination can change the direction of growth to create a more uniform look with a higher arch and a much more desirable brow shape which lasts up to six weeks. Plenty of salons offer lamination, including Auton Style in Durham, Skin at Hooker and Young, Ponteland and The Beauty Room, Newcastle.
Un-pedicured feet are another unwanted byproduct of lockdown – so book in a pedi to get feet sweet for sandal weather. At-home pedicures may keep on top of dry skin but nothing beats the professional pedi to get feet summer-ready and leave you feeling a whole heap better too.
After a year of WFH, our backs have more knots than a tree trunk, and many of us are in dire need of a massage. Don’t underestimate the difference a deep tissue massage can make to how you feel – and look. Better posture and no more niggling pain are just two of the immediate benefits. Book a hot stone massage to help tight muscles relax a little more (we love Jesmond’s City Retreat’s Elemis Deeper Than Deep hour-long version). Spas are also reopening so perhaps now is the time to take a day off and invest in some TLC from someone else. For a proper (no pain no gain) Thai massage, head to Marleena Thai Massage in Stanley, or Sabai Thai Massage in Middlesbrough.
Lockdown Beauty Rituals To Stick With
With the extra time we all had in the morning thanks to WFH we hope body brushing became part of your daily ritual. If it didn’t, it’s never too late to start. A great way to boost circulation, minimise cellulite and keep skin supersoft and glowing, grab a bristle body brush and spend a minute or two on calves, thighs, tummy and arms – always brushing towards the heart.
There are loads of great new tools to help improve the efficiency of your facial massage to boost circulation and stop saggy muscles. With many made out of precious stones, the Gua Sha tool (often in jade or rose quartz) incorporates an ancient massage therapy that eases facial tension and reduces puffiness. A facial roller has the same effect. Use with a serum so as not to drag the skin.
Lockdown has allowed us to review much of our beauty regime and with eyes becoming more of a focal point, and with professional lashes out of reach, more and more of us have turned to lash serum to enhance our own. Regular use (it is worth remembering to do it daily to begin with) will result in stunningly long lashes which are all your own – no salon required.
We’ve all spent a long time on Zoom wondering how we could improve our complexions quickly (and without too much make-up). Just 20 minutes of a powerful face mask formula can transform grey and tired-looking skin. Pick one to suit your current concern (whether brightening, pore minimising, tightening or rehydrating) and use twice a week, or as directed, to keep skin looking clear and healthy.
When it all became too much, a retreat to the bathroom saved many a tormented soul over lockdown. It’s vital to understand that ‘time out’ is as important for our mental well-being as it is for squeezing in some extra beauty treats. Lock the door, light a candle and slip into a luxurious, sudsy bath for some valuable head space. Prosecco optional.