Best beauty products for home pampering

The last month of lock-down has provided me with the opportunity to scrap make-up routines and look after my skin, face and hair a bit more. With no opportunities for eyebrow threading, bikini waxing or blow-drying… I’ll never felt more of a need to pamper myself at home. With this in mind I have round up some of the products which are making me feel glamorous at home.

Face

Chantecaille

Chantecaille Hibiscus Soothing Mask – This indulgent face mask is the ultimate pick-me-up. I like to apply a mask on Sunday night to revitalise and relax my skin before the new week. The Chantecaille Hibiscus mask feels and smells delicious thanks to the grapefruit extract it contains. The cream is rich in Vitamin C (which we all need lots of at the moment) and only needs to be left on the skin for 3-10 minutes to see the effects and improvement in complexion.

Murad

Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 & Night Fix Enzyme Treatment – With all the sunshine we’ve been experiencing recently, I’ve been on the lookout for a great moisturiser which incorporates a good SPF protection. This nourishing cream has a blissfully light texture and a lovely citrusy scent. For an extra hit of hydration massage the Night Fix Enzyme Treatment into your skin before bed. Not only does this magical product repair the skin, it also helps you have a more restful sleep.

Paula's Choice

Paula’s Choice Super Hydrate Overnight Mask – For no fuss pampering try Paula’s Choice super hydrate mask. Apply a generous layer before bed and let it work its magic overnight (you can wash off or leave on). This mask is gentle and great for all skin types, promoting healthy skin and hydrating damaged skin. Ingredients include Cloudberry and Reishi Mushroom, a lovely selection of Nordic ingredients that are meant to be particularly good for sensitive skin.

REN

REN Perfect Canvas Cleanser – I’ve always liked REN products for their simple and effective approach to skincare. The tri-phase formula is a all-in-one cleanser that gently removes dirt, make-up (including waterproof) and SPF. Great for all skin types, the product is made with sunflower, meadowfoam and grape seed oils and extracts which helps combat dryness and replenish the skin’s protective barrier. It’s a jelly texture which transforms to a milky oil when used with water. When using before bed I recommend following with the indulgent Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream… you’ll wake up with a dewy, glowing complexion.

Body

rabot 1745

Rabot 1745 Three Shell Scrub – Rabot 1745 products are made in the UK, but offer the tropical essence of St Lucia. Since 1745, the Rabot Estate has farmed cacao on the Caribbean paradise of Saint Lucia. In 2018 they launched their range of cacao-infused products. I fell instantly in love with the Three Shell Scrub. Needless to say all the products smell wonderful, this scrub has a marzipan scent which reminds you instantly of summer. The scrub is made from scoops of island shells and it will gently exfoliate your skin, so you feel transformed after every shower. Try the whole range and find a scrub that suits you the best.

Decorté AQ Hand Cream – With all this essential hand washing my skin has been really suffering, so the Decorté AQ moisturisers have been a life-saver. This hand cream is light and absorbs quickly into the skin, avoiding any sticky residue. The cream improves elasticity and luminosity but it also good for visibly reducing wrinkles and age spots. I’ve also been enjoying the Revitalizing Body Cream which has been nourishing after stints in the sun.

Hair

leonor greyl

Leonor Greyl Masque à L’Orchidée – For thick, dry or frizzy hair these Leonor Greyl hair products are a saviour. This mask was my favourite of the products I’ve tried – the mask is formulated with plant ceramides that strengthen the hair, film-forming silk proteins for unparalleled shine and botanical oils to increase hair flexibility. I found that after use my hair felt extra soft and was much more manageable for blow-drying and styling. I also recommend trying the Shampoo Crème moelle de bambou to pair with the mask if your hair is extremely dry.

SachaJuan Over night hair repair – My hair is highlighted and fine so I am prone to bad split ends… as a trip to the hairdresser is not possible I have been trying hard to take care of my hair with masks and treatments. The SachaJuan Over Night Hair Repair is one of my favourite recent discoveries. This popular product from the cult Swedish brand and should be applied in the evening through the lengths of the hair and left on all night. In the morning it can be, but does not need to be washed off… making it a blissfully easy product to incorporate into your beauty routine. The hair repair has a lovely floral scent and uses sea algae and minerals to ensure the hair is left silky smooth and extra strong. For coloured hair I also recommend trying the Colour Protect Shampoo and Conditioner, even after one wash my hair felt like I’d been to a professional salon.

Living Proof

Living Proof Triple Detox Shampoo & Whipped Glaze Color Care – Living Proof offer everyday luxury haircare. Use the Triple Detox Shampoo in place of your normal shampoo, and try to leave on the hair for 1-2 minutes before rinsing out for the best results. This product will remove a build-up from hard water (a real issue in London), styling products and pollution. I promise your hair will feel super soft and shiny after. I’m also enjoying using the new Whipped Glaze Color Care, this styling product is ideal for those with highlights who feel the colour is beginning to look dull. Apply to damp hair after every other hair wash and leave in the lengths of the hair.

hair products

Schwarzkopf Root Retoucher – Four weeks of lock-down in and I already feel massively self conscious of my speckled grey roots. The Schwarzkopf is a quick and easy fix… a temporary root spray that will cover any unwanted greys and washes out after one wash (I may never need to have my roots dyed properly again!) If like me you are trying to wash your hair less while staying in try the Schwarzkopf got2b Dry Shampoo, it gives an instant (but long-lasting) refresh and has a lovely clean fresh fragrance.

Nails

CND – A monthly manicure has always felt like the biggest treat to me and it’s one of the small pleasures I’m missing the most at the moment. So I was very excited to receive these CND nail supplies to try at home. The vinylux range is like a 7-day shellac, without the need for UV light or salon equipment. The colours are creamy and rich and the varnish lasts incredibly well. For the ultimate nail care, invest in the CND treatment essentials – RidgeFx nail surface enhancer smooths the surface of your nails instantly, while the award-winning SolarOil hydrates your nails and cuticles, ensuring stronger healthier nails.

Paul Edmonds Salon, Battersea Power Station

I’ve often heard stylish friends mention Paul Edmonds as a hairdresser worth visiting, but it wasn’t until a few months ago when I was treated to a pre-Bafta party blow dry, that I noticed the care and attention the Paul Edmonds staff pay towards their clients.

Paul Edmonds salon

Last week I went to check out the newest branch of the Paul Edmonds empire, a super slick salon in Battersea Power Station. With a lot of building work still going on, the salon – though just a short walk from the main road – wasn’t easy to find. Eventually I reached it, and the staff were quick to welcome me, taking my heavy bags and offering me a drink.

Paul Edmonds salonPaul Edmonds salon

The salon is spacious and luxurious, with big mirrors and geometric windows. I particularly loved the fully reclining leather chairs in the hairwashing area, they were so comfortable I nearly fell asleep while having my hair washed!

Paul Edmonds salon

I was lucky to get Taylor as my colourist for the day. Taylor, though only 21, is known for her balayage skills, and won the L’Oreal Professional Star Award in 2018. Needless to say, I was in very safe hands so I let Taylor decide on a tactic to make my hair look more summery. We chatted away while Taylor painted sections of my hair with a half head of balayage.

Paul Edmonds at Battersea Power Station is the UK’s first exclusive Shu Uemura hair and beauty salon, a beauty brand I have always admired for their brilliant haircare and beauty products. After my colour, my hair was washed with the new Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Shampoo (made of Japanese rice, and containing both proteins and moisture) – ideal for post colour washing. I also loved the Urban Moisture Conditioner which contains Moringa Oil for hydration and was indulgently massaged into my hair and scalp.

After washing, Lizzie cut and styled my hair. We decided on a minimal trim to bluntly level out the ends. Then she added a tousled wave with tongs and added texture and shine with a variety of products, including Shu Uemura Ample angora which gives volume (to prep the hair) and Shu Uemura Color Lustre dry cleaner which gives the grit you need for the beach wave effect. For additional shine I was taught that adding the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue on the mid lengths to ends of the hair, while drying the hair, is perfect.

Paul Edmonds salon

I left the salon feeling proud to show off my hair, and in the last week have had three unprompted compliments on my hair colour and shine.

This is a hairdressing brand which more than deserves its reputation as one of London’s leading hairdressers, and the new Battersea branch is a lovely location in South London to be pampered and preened at.

I was a guest of Paul Edmonds salon.

Book an appointment or buy any of the products here.

Thoroughly Modern Mrs: A Transformative Experience in Chiswick

Feeling clapped-out, broke and blue post Christmas, a bizarre haircut and increasingly baggy features fuelled my growing sense of inadequacy and of being generally unfit for human society. Not wanting to look at myself, I didn’t want others to either and had taken to going out with the dog on her unavoidable twice daily walks under cover of darkness, – happily not so hard in winter. Then two things happened that changed everything.

One was bumping into the magician Tanya Christianssen of Nordic Beauty Services and the other was a meeting with an extraordinary hairdresser Robert Boca, who uses scissors like Michaelangelo used a paintbrush.

Tanya has featured in these pages before, but she has a new machine. It works like a time machine, not in a ‘zoom forward fifty years’ kind of way, but in a wonderful ‘look as you did when you had TONS OF COLLAGEN and were VITAL’ kind of way. She was realistic. “Elizabeth you really need a course of treatments, but for today I can make you look refreshed and rejuvenated and at least help you feel better.” And she did, using an infra-red laser thing on my face which felt warm and comforting and made a lovely soft ‘glooping’ noise. And the impact on my “it’s all over for me,” mood was instant.

Nordic Beauty Chiswick

But it was on a pre-Tanya walk with Nellie-the-Wonder-Dog, in strong winds and driving rain that I spotted Nic Ladha the hairdressers, lit up and inviting across the green. So Nellie and I soaking and bedraggled made our way to the salon. It was after six, and gratifyingly empty save for one man, so we went in, creating two puddles on the floor where we stood. The salon was snug, comfortable and welcoming, as inviting inside as it had looked from outside in the storm.

The man told me his name was Robert and asked how he might help. I said: “I’d like a long layered bob.” He looked at me with some surprise. The last time I’d been to a hairdresser on the High St. I explained, “I asked for the same thing and came out with what looked like a short back and sides by way of a pudding bowl.”

I neglected to say that since then, given the amount of times this scenario has similarly repeated itself in various salons –with for me, varying degrees of psychological distress – I’d taken matters into my own hands and simply cut it myself.

“Take a seat,” he said. “And I’ll show you how we might help it grow into the cut I think you want.” I did. And he did, saying things like. “The weight here needs to be taken out. It’s very uneven.” He was confident, assured and I trusted him immediately.

“Please can you cut it now?” I said. “I have a customer now, he replied. I am really booked up. Can you come back on Friday? I have a cancellation.”

And so returning on Friday, looking more human thanks to Tanya’s time machine, I discovered why Robert is so in demand. He really is a genius with a pair of scissors.

He said: “It’s good you have curly hair. It’s very forgiving. If you had straight hair, you’d have looked very odd with this last cut you had.” This was not the time to own up. And whilst Robert must have wondered who on earth on the High St. was being paid for doing this to people, he didn’t ask.

Robert, I was learning, is a genuinely warm, generous and thoughtful human being. I felt as uplifted from our conversation as I did from the brilliant haircut he so expertly delivered. And in that place, whilst the eponymous owner Nic also chatted quietly with a long time contented client as he coloured her hair, I felt re-connected to the human race. I was restored by the simple pleasure of being there and feeling positively transformed as my hair began to fall beautifully around my face.

I left, still clapped out, but no longer looking it, still broke, but feeling like a million dollars. And not blue. I felt ready to face the world.

Nic Ladha Hairdressers is situated across the Rd. from Turnham Green Station.

Tanya Christenssen :Nordic Beauty Services is just across from Chiswick Park station.

Written by Thoroughly Modern Mrs, Elizabeth Kinder.