I love a face full of slap and a set of sparkly nails as much as the next girl – but even more than that, I love sleeping in and not spending millions of pounds on going to the salon. So here are the tricks of my trade on how I manage to not look feral on a day-to-day basis.
DISCLAIMER: Use your own judgment here… Some things aren’t super-good for you (some people say Shellac might damage your nails and there’s loads of stories about dead-people-preservatives in Brazilian blow dries) but hey – this is a risk I’m personally willing to take to look amazing.
Once it’s on, this eyeliner is smudge, budge and cry-through-Zac-Efron-movie proof. It lasts for 48 hours so you can sleep in it, if you’re so inclined. Trouble is, it’s a bitch to apply with the provided liner, so save a brush from your usual brand and dip that in the ink instead.
Two eyeliners? Sue me. This pen is super easy to apply, even if you were rubbish at colouring within the lines as a kid. It takes 30 seconds to give yourself Amy Winehouse flicks, either intentionally or because you messed up your cat eye. Again.
IT’S NOT GREEN, DON’T WORRY. The lipstick turns a pinky shade that suits everyone. Some people say it reacts to your own lips, so that it’s slightly different on whoever wears it, but I don’t know if that’s true. It lasts for ages and is coffee and eat-proof.
If you’re in a real rush you can use it as a cheek colour too.
For me, this is the most perfect shade of red lipstick. Plus, it last FOR AGES – and unlike some overhyped brands I’ve tried in the past (*coughs* MAC), doesn’t stain your lips or turn into little weird balls of wax when you eat something oily.
Why red? Red lipstick just makes you look ‘finished’ and done. You could get away with wearing just this and some tinted moisturiser if you were in a real rush.
Eyelash extensions, £40 every four weeks
(Tweet me @peachesanscream if you want the number of my lash lady).
It’s debatable how much time this actually saves you as it takes 90 minutes once a month, but I look like Bambi once they’re on, and they make me look fresh-faced and perky even when I feel like I’ve crawled out of the grave.
I saw a lovely lady called Ashlene McCormack who drew a thin black line on my top eyelashes. I chose her because she used anesthetic numbing cream. She’s a trained make-up artist so can help you pick the style, colour and shape for your eyes (and practices with a pencil first to show you how it’ll look). You might wonder why I still use eyeliner on top of this. Answer = the skin at the corners of your eyes is too thin to tattoo a cat-flick on. Also, I didn’t want to tattoo on a trend, I just wanted something that would make my eyes *pop* when I had the extensions on.
Gel nail varnish, from £10
I go to a friendly place near my house every month to get a colour put on. The secret is to either go for a neutral colour that goes with everything – or something bright and brash that goes with nothing. Or glitter. In fact, just go with glitter.
There have been a lot of scaremongering stories about these places in the press, saying you can catch all manner of lurgies from their tools. My opinion: you can do the same in the swimming baths. But if you’re not keen on using a nail bar, you can almost always find a good deal on Groupon, Wowcher and Living Social.
Oh, and another tip: when it starts to grow out, paint a contrasting colour in the half moon below and you can get another two weeks out of your manicure.
Brazilian blow dry, around £90
I scout Groupon, Wowcher and Living Social for a Brazilian blow dry deal every 6 months. Reason: it makes my hair silky, soft and stops it from splitting so easily. Especially good as MY HAIR NEVER GROWS. They say you should get it done every 4 months, but I’ve found 6 months is just as good for me. Also, I’ve never bothered with the special sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners, because, lazy.
This dries your hair and gives you a Kate Middleton-style blow dry in the comfort of your own home.
Disclaimer: I’ve never used this, but our editor Holly swears by it, and her hair always looks perfect.
Holly says: it genuinely is the greatest thing ever. It sucks your hair in like some kind of magical vortex and then it just comes out curly. WHAT SORCERY IS THIS
I can never be bothered with root upkeep, and ditched the red hair because it made my bathroom look like there had been a murder scene after every 4 week touch-up. So now, I bleach my hair (using Clairol Nice And Easy in the lightest shade possible, but I’ve kinda messed that up a bit, so you might want to go to a professional here) and then buy 2-3 different coloured tubs of this hair dye and put on handfuls of random colours on my hair until I’ve covered it all. The colours can be mixed together and you get a cool ombre/sand art look. You can also mix it with hair conditioner and sleep with it in your hair (again, at your own risk…).
Why is this a lazy/quick thing? Well, because coloured hair is easier to make look nice: a messy sock bun in greasy rainbow-coloured hair always looks nicer than on plain locks.
I don’t have a beard – yet. I use this for tinting my eyebrows. It’s cheaper and easier to use than the standard dye kits.
Sensitive or bikini line hair remover cream, about £3+ per tube
I’m not going to recommend a brand, because if it doesn’t work you’ll send me hate mail. Again, use at your own risk, but I would much rather stand bow-legged with a stinking handful of cream on my nether regions than go through the time/pain/torture that is getting a bikini wax.
I go here every two weeks to get my hair braided in to a mighty fine updo. The styles lasts for ages – my longest stretch has been five days before I got bored of it. I only go every two weeks to mix things up a bit/am lazy.
Free blow dries
I check Twitter, Gumtree and local beauty schools to see who is giving out free blow dries (they usually do it when they have students who need the practice) because this means I won’t have to style my own hair for about two days. Pro tip: rolling your hair up at night and/or tying it up in a silk scarf will make the blow dry last twice as long.
Spend those extra 20 minutes in bed I’ve granted you wisely.
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