By Gabrielle. Photos by Ben Blair for Design Mom. // This post is brought to you by L’Oréal Paris.
Manicures and pedicures. Hair cuts and hair color. Trimming your bangs. Event Makeup. Hair removal. Tanning sprays. Eyelash extensions or fake eyelashes. Eyebrow shaping.
I have tried all of the above. Further, I’ve tried them all both at home and in salon settings. L’Oréal Paris reached out about their new at-home color, Preference Mousse Absolue, and I thought it was the perfect excuse to discuss what type of beauty routines you prefer to do in shop versus at home. I’m always curious about how people handle their beauty and grooming habits.
In general, I love the idea of taking care of as much as I can at home. It’s best when I don’t have to interrupt my day with an appointment and can take care of grooming tasks late at night if needed. But I’ve also noticed that if I don’t make appointments for certain tasks, I push them off until it reaches the point of ridiculousness. So I’ve had to find a balance. Here’s how it breaks down for me:
Certain tasks, I prefer to do at home — specifically eye brow shaping and hair removal. I’ve tried laser hair removal and thought I loved it, but ultimately found it wasn’t very effective for me. I’ve tried waxing, too, but those in-between times when my hair is growing out until it’s long enough to be waxed don’t work for me. So at home, I use both an epilator and disposable razors, and I’m satisfied with the results.
Tanning sprays and self tanners I’ve abandoned altogether. I don’t even pull out bronzing powder. I wear spf every day and have stopped pretending I have a tan. I don’t have anything against tanning lotions and sprays, and I could probably be talked into putting on a tan for a particular event. But it’s far from a priority for me.
Manicures and pedicures happen at a nail salon, or if I don’t have the budget, they don’t happen at all. I have tried to perfect the at-home mani-pedi, both as a teen and as an adult, and found I simply don’t have the patience to a) do a good job, and b) sit still until the paint dries. So these happen in a salon, or they simply don’t happen. Happily, a salon pedicure will often last me a month or more — my toenails grow at a snail’s pace, so that’s not too hard to manage. My hands are another story. I keep them so busy, that even the best manicure will chip within a day — so I don’t even bother to get a manicure unless I have a conference or event coming up. One exception, I’ve tried shellac manicures and they’ve lasted for a week+! But, they weaken my nails so much that I can only indulge in a shellac manicure on a rare occasion.
For hair tasks, I’ve gone back and forth over the years. When I wore my hair pixie short, Ben Blair would give me haircuts at home, and I would use at-home hair color as well. With really short hair, trims are needed every 3 to 4 weeks, so taking care of it at home was much easier than making an appointment. Plus, these were the grad school years and money was tight, so the at-home services were a huge help to the family budget. Best of all, I didn’t need to track down a babysitter for hair appointments! Dealing with everything at home just made sense all the way around.
These days, I make salon appointments for color and cuts — color is monthly, cuts and trims are more infrequent. I try to look forward to these appointments — to think of them as a time to relax, or maybe read an actual magazine, but if I have a deadline looming, leaving my desk to go to the salon can drive me nuts. Other times, I might make the appointment well in advance so that I’m not caught off guard, but then something comes up and I have to cancel.
So sometimes, when I simply can’t fit in a hair appointment, but my roots are awful, I go with at-home color. In fact, it happened two weeks ago when I was on the epic roadtrip. I wanted to color my roots before we attended a wedding in Salt Lake City, but I didn’t want to search out a salon for a one-time visit, so I used Mousse Absolue — #400, Pure Dark Brown — in our hotel room and took care of the roots myself. No fuss, and no abandoning Ben and the kids mid-vacation while I took care of my hair.
The application was simple, and I loved the color, but the biggest selling point for me is that the excess color can be saved. If you’ve ever colored at home, you know that once you mix that color, you have to throw out any that you don’t use right then. But with Mousse Absolue, you can save the unused portion for a future touchup. Yay for less waste!
I’ve thought about what an ideal grooming system for me would look like, and I can’t figure it out. I tend to remember things like needing a pedicure at 11pm, when I’m putting on my pjs for the night. Ideally, at that moment, I would be able to call an amazing nail expert and they would arrive at my house a few minutes later, and the pedicure would happen in my pjs, in my house, super late at night, while I worked on my inbox. Same with hair. Right when I step out of the shower in the morning, and remember my roots need attention, I would love to be able to call and have an appointment as soon as the kids are off to school. But of course, it doesn’t work that way. So I fit in grooming where I can.
How about you? How much grooming do you handle at home, and how much do you hire out? Also, if you could have a stylist or beautician come to your home, instead of going to the salon, would you prefer that? And lastly, are there any tasks that you absolutely won’t do at home? I’d love to hear how you manage your grooming routines.