Beauty: At Home vs. Hiring Out

August 14, 2014

L'Oreal Mousse Absolue Design Mom1

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.

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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:

WAXING/SHAVING
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.

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TANNING
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.

NAILS
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.

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HAIR
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.

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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!

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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.

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 plum August 14, 2014 at 8:19 am

You look perfectly adorable and so youthful in these shots!

Clearly, whatever beauty routine you’ve adopted is working tenfold! You look twenty-five.

#ageain’tnothinbutanumber

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2 Design Mom August 14, 2014 at 11:19 am

Twenty-five? Hah!

Ben took these photos of me after I colored my hair on the roadtrip. It must be that Utah sunshine creating an optical illusion. : )

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3 ohio12 August 14, 2014 at 8:20 am

I am turning 40 this year and over the last few years I realized that I want and need to take care of all of these grooming items more diligently. It comforts me that even Design Mom does not get regular manicures or salon wax! I feel a little down on myself when all my grooming isn’t perfect, but when I try to keep up with all of it all the time, it starts to feel like a chore instead of a luxury. I can sit for a pedicure and enjoy it, but the time I got nails and toes done, I was looking at the clock, ready to get on with my LIFE!

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4 Design Mom August 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

“I want and need to take care of all of these grooming items more diligently”

Yes. That surprised me as well. I think I assumed that with every birthday I would want to do less grooming, but instead, my instincts are to be more consistent about it.

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5 Amy3 August 14, 2014 at 11:56 am

I’ve found the same desire to be more diligent about grooming as I get older.

I prefer to do as much as I can at home to avoid the expense and the time spent in a salon. Plus I don’t always like idle salon chit-chat. I just want to sit quietly.

I don’t color my hair, but since it’s short I have to get it cut every 2 months at least (I’d love to do it more, but … it’s expensive). I also do my own toenails, but only because your toes are far enough away from people that imperfections aren’t as noticeable. I’d never do my fingernails! I just keep those short. All tweezing and shaving is done in-house, and I don’t try to pretend I have a tan either. :)

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6 Heidi August 14, 2014 at 8:36 am

Isn’t it funny how everyone is so different? I get my hair colored/cut/and extensions added every 2 months. It’s a huge expense-but now in my late 40s with ever thinning/graying hair-I have to go to the professionals. I never, ever get my nails done. I paint my toenails at home-and keep my fingernails short. I do my own brows-but a few times a year I will get them waxed-and I’m always amazed at how much they look when they’re professionally done. So I’m basically low maintenance except for my hair.

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7 Hayley August 14, 2014 at 8:53 am

I only have a few greys (at the moment, they multiply daily!) so I currently use a ‘Root Touch Up’ kit at home. It has a little brush, and a tray where you mix just the amount you need. I do it to avoid waste – I seriously use a blob of colour and a blob of developer, so one box lasts me over a year. I would hate to buy a new product each time (both because of cost, and the environmental concern about such potentially toxic chemicals being thrown away).

I do my own nails, I’m good at it, but I always struggle to WAIT long enough, as you do. The most important thing for me is to go to the bathroom first. The number of manis I’ve ruined trying to pull my pants up!

Also, I wanted to mention the survey I agreed to take when I clicked over here. I thought it was a survey about Design Mom, and I am happy to give my opinion to help you improve the site (in fact, I love being consulted as a reader). However, it turned out to be all about cars, what I own, what I might buy… It seemed like pure market research for a car company, and that was a big turn off for me. Just thought I’d let you know.

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8 Design Mom August 14, 2014 at 11:21 am

Thanks for the heads up on the survey. It’s run by my ad network and it doesn’t pop up for me so I forget it’s there. I’ll check with them and see if I can turn it off.

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9 Hayley August 15, 2014 at 1:32 am

Oh, that makes total sense that it is served by the ad network. The survey itself wasn’t problematic, it was how it was worded made me think it was something to do with the site itself which made me feel a bit misled. Of course, now I’ve taken it, I can’t get it to show up for me either, as I wanted to check whether I was misreading based on my expectation that it was a Design Mom survey. There’s a good chance it was clear and I misunderstood. BTW I love how open you are to reader feedback.

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10 Beatriz August 18, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Same thing happened to me… and I had the same expectations about the survey. I did it but I keep getting that pop-up.

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11 Ms Lollypop August 14, 2014 at 9:28 am

One day, I decided to ask my husband to paint my toe nails. I thought he would not do it. But guess what, he did! He did an ok job. He draws as a hobby, so he does have some art skills, so I think he will improve by the next time I ask him. I cut and filed my nails before he painted them, so I did some of the work.

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12 Design Mom August 14, 2014 at 11:22 am

Love that! Sounds like the sort of thing that could turn into a happy little ritual.

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13 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay August 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

I thought that first pic was Maude at first!

I have cut my bangs too short too many times. Including when we were waiting for our birth mom to give birth to our daughter. The nerves got to me and I just kept cutting. Lots of photo evidence of that one with our newborn.

Some things in my life are better left to the pros.

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14 Design Mom August 14, 2014 at 11:23 am

I’ve only had bangs since June and have yet to trim them myself, but I’m always tempted!

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15 Dee August 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Ha, I thought it was Maude, too.

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16 Tasneem August 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

I’m big on doing things myself. I always do my own nails and brows (and other hair removal). Coincidentally, I also did the laser hair removal but it didn’t take as well as I was hoping so I still have to shave here and there. For the last 6 months I have been dyeing my hair purple and since this is something that needs to be done every few weeks I do it at home rather than going out. I definitely agree with the thought that doing stuff at home is easier because you don’t have to interrupt your day or be away from the family to go to an appointment. Although i will be going to get my haircut professionally at the end of this month as I want to get bangs and don’t trust myself to do the initial cutting.

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17 Julie August 14, 2014 at 9:46 am

What epilator do you use/feel works best for the money? I’ve had similar experiences w lazer hair removal & am interested in trying something new.

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18 Design Mom August 14, 2014 at 11:27 am

I’m currently using this one. I like that it keeps a charge for a long time, so it’s great for traveling. I’ve used an epilator for my underarms for maybe 6 years or so. Since we moved to Oakland, I’ve also been using it for my legs, but I can’t decide if I like it or not.

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19 Lori August 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm

How is the pain level for you? I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but I just couldn’t get through it!

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20 mamalang August 14, 2014 at 9:54 am

My haircut is the only appointment I’m consistently good at. A few years ago I realized that a haircut could be achieved on a lunch hour. Now I schedule my appointments 6 weeks ahead for my lunch time, and put it on the calendar. I very rarely have to reschedule, the kids are already taken care of, and my hair never reaches critical mass.

Coloring I rely on my husband to help me handle. I’ve developed a taste for colored tips, and he does a great job. It’s way cheaper than going to the salon, and I’m cheap.

I’m in the same boat with nails though. Every once in a while I can repaint my nails not long after a manicure, but sitting still and not using my hands is soooooo hard.

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21 Doris August 14, 2014 at 10:12 am

Gorgeous. I’m a salon girl for highlights and root touch ups. My question is how did you get your hair so glossy in the last pictures? Flat iron? Blow dryer? Help a fellow curly hair girl out please!

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22 Design Mom August 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

Roundbrush + hairdryer + patience. : )

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23 Emily F August 14, 2014 at 10:42 am

You are the cutest, love your sunglasses (and bangs!). I’ve never colored my own hair but since moving to a small town three years ago my hair has really suffered. Literally I’ve only had 2 hair cuts/colors since we moved here in 2011. I wait until we go in to Albuquerque but I really need cuts more often (and color too, oy, all this gray). But I have never had a manicure in my life. I don’t paint my nails ever. I always have my toes painted at least and generally get a pedicure a few times a year. Waxing at a salon if I live hear one but I tweeze my eyebrows on my own most of the time. I just don’t have the time to drive 2 hours each way for salon appointments!

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24 Lisa August 14, 2014 at 11:17 am

I’m a 42 yr old moatof 3 lil ones, and I dread sitting in that chair getting my hair done. I wish I could twitch my nose like Samantha and my grays would be covered. I only go the the hair salon 2-3 times per year, and do touchups at home. I will try this mousse you used next time. I do get my gel mani and pedi done every 3-4 weeks, and I make myself enjoy the relaxation time. As long as I know Ive cleaned the house beforehand, I can enjoy it. I also get my lashes tinted monthly. It’s a short appointment, and saves me the time of applying mascara daily. I especially hate removing mascara, so lash tints are perfect for me. I just curl my lashes and go! Hair removal is all done at home. Twice per week I get up early to give myself a facial. I buy only the best products, and they’re very effective. I don’t tan or self tan these days. Like you, I apply my spf (always chemical free) daily. When my daughter is a little older, I hope to enjoy salon time more… with her.

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25 Design Mom August 14, 2014 at 11:29 am

I’m intrigued by the idea of eyelash tinting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it, but it sound like something that I would like!

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26 Vera August 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

I used to get them tinted too in my early twenties it was part of the facial “pack” my beautician offered. Then I realised that it’s not that crucial as my eyelashes are very dark anyway (and I love mascara), so I stopped after a few years. For women (or men :)) with lighter eyelashes it’s great though!

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27 Sally from Little Hiccups August 14, 2014 at 11:25 pm

My eyelashes are not naturally very dark so I used to get them tinted when I was younger too but haven’t had it done in years. I mainly got it done because my eyes are quite sensitive and I would find myself rubbing at them a lot which would lead to a lot of smudged mascara!
Eyelash tinting was a great solution for this but I just don’t have time for it anymore. So instead I walk around with black, smudgy eyes! Shh… let’s pretend it’s an intentional part of my look ;)

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28 Alysa August 19, 2014 at 8:41 am

I tinted my eyelashes with a friend in college — she did it often. It was fun because we did each others and we had a good time. It doesn’t thicken the lashes though, just darkens them, so if your lashes are already dark it probably won’t do a whole lot. I bet Olive would love it! :)

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29 Lisa August 14, 2014 at 11:19 am

I should add that you are so pretty! Your routine (even if not exactly that) is definitely working well for you.

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30 Camille August 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I have six littles a few years younger than yours and have had the same problem with manicures not lasting more than a day and the shellac weakening my nails…until recently! I found a polish that stays nice like shellac for about a week but goes on like regular polish and can be removed easily with nail polish remover. I LOVE it! It’s changed my nail routine. I’m still not very good at applying it myself, so I’ve taken the polish with me to the nail salon and have them put it on when I have the time and cash. Polish is CND VINYLUX. Totally fabulous!

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31 RobinW August 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I have been trying to let my gray come through, after having had to abandon salon coloring (my at home attempts have sucked…I just have too much gray now). But…I have to say, I hate it. At 43 (and with almost-2-year-old twins), it’s just too much gray to rock right now. So, thank you for this rec! I’m going to try this new color and see how it goes. xx

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32 Sally from Little Hiccups August 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm

You look so young in these shots! I actually had to go a double take as at first glance I thought it was Maude!

I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my hair. I have it ombré so I don’t have to touch up the roots. That way I can get away with just getting it coloured once a year after enough of the blonde ends have been trimmed off to make it no longer look intentionally ombré.

Having bangs helps when I’m too lazy to deal with my eyebrows although of course it means having to visit the hairdresser once a month for a trim otherwise I can’t see! I’ve only ever cuty bangs myself once and I did such a terrible job that I’ve never tried it again!

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33 Nina August 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I do everything at home. I can’t stand going to salons, it’s so boring! I wear my hair long and have learned lots of cool braiding techniques on pinterest to keep it looking neat. I’ve taught my husband to give me trims. I’m not getting grey hair yet, but when I do, I’ll go for the semi permanent hair colors and do it at home. Body hair..razor, mani/pedi’s I do myself. I enjoy it as it’s a good excuse to sit in front of a movie that’s so bad it’s good. If I could afford it, I would get a good lesson on how to apply make-up and get a kit that works for every day. That would be helpful. I’m so glad you asked thiesequestions because I’ve always wondered what other women did. My assumption has been a lot more!

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34 Emily August 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Isn’t it funny how we have different habits and abilities and opinions about what’s worth hiring out and what can be done at home?
Unlike you, aside from shaving my legs and underarms, I mostly go to a salon or threading bar to get rid of unwanted hair–it’s so much more painful and uneven when I do it myself! I’m totally converted to eyebrow threading, it takes about 3 minutes, has no hot wax, a super-accurate removal, and I’ve never experienced redness or irritation.
On the other hand (haha!) I almost always give myself home manis & pedis–painting my nails is super calming to me, I’ve gotten to be at least as good as any nail tech I can find in my town, and with Sally Hansen’s gel-like kit, it lasts almost as long as a real gel does for me (about 5 days).

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35 Ms. Amy August 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I DIY everything except for my hair. Part of that is financial, and part of it is priority. My hair is colored every 5 weeks, and I just don’t find the at-home products to be as effective for me. I trim my own bangs as needed, and get actual cuts only 3-4 times per year. I think the color is worth the expense. I feel more pulled together when I know my hair is glossy and free of grey roots. I’ve always done my own pedis, and recently bought an at-home gel manicure kit that I LOVE. I’ve never been a big believer in manis because I am very rough on my nails, but this is a game changer. I currently have glossy, chip free red nails that are on day #10!

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36 Tasha August 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm

This cracks me up because I have recently noted to myself that I need a real haircut!!! I have had long hair and bangs since I was four. I love hearing about first-timers because I forget how creating bangs is a BIG DEAL for many, but not me. I have even learned how to “thin” them by watching my stylist carefully! That said, I hate to go to a salon to get anything done. I feel so weird sitting there. But I am in great need of some layers, highlights and the works…it’s been two years since I did it all. I trim my hair by making a tight ponytaily, pulling the elastic to the desired height and cutting there…works for me!
Nails! I can’t paint and have zero patience, in fact I am doing a pedicure in a few minutes on my porch and know it’ll drive me nuts. I should go get this done. There are an enormous bunch of options available these days for pre-painted, glossy press-on (use glue) nails that glam up my fingertips in 5 minutes for a night out. If you haven’t tried this, do it!
I haven’t tried waxing or eyebrows in salon, so I guess I’m pretty self-sustaining, LOL. I wish I found it a pleasure and a treat as others do, but it’s just not me.
I DO love trying new beauty products and makeup is fun! I have yet to try a “smokey-eye” and wonder if it’d look like I expect. I also enjoy watching how-to videos, why are these so mesmerizing!?

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37 mom in mendon August 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Pretty you!! xox

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38 Tania August 14, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Loved your pics, so cute! When I lived in a city (Honolulu) I didn’t do anything myself and I’d say I was much more high maintenance. Nail fills/manicure standing appt every two weeks, once a month hair/pedis/waxing. I also was intense about weight management (expensive gyms/yoga/tennis classes) & looking good. Since I’ve moved to Maui, I changed my grooming habits as I make less money now and it isn’t as convenient. Plus I no longer wear pencil skirts/heels to work in a downtown environment, I’m gone boho/hippie/casual. At first I had stopped fixing my hair or even wearing makeup to work and I gained a bunch of weight too. I’m newly single now and have decided to step it up again but less so than I was before. I do some in between pedis at home but am still staying away from acrylic nails (just simple short and clean nails). No longer color my hair but get a good quality cut every two months, spend about 5 minutes with a flat iron cleaning up each morning. Simple 5 minute clean make-up mostly but with one pop if going out at night (either smokey eyes or a strong red lip). Working out and eating right but my workouts are very mellow and low cost as I can keep it. I try to get cardio outside, daily burn app for strength and I use free apps like MyFitnessPal. Instead of having tons of tailored clothes, I stick to some black jersey stretch basics that will still fit me as I lose weight. The most expensive thing I do is dermatologist treatments to fade melasma but it’s so worth it and no more than I’d have spent on other over the counter skin care. No more salon waxing, I have a bikini razor, a Japanese face razor and tweezerman. I haven’t tried an epilator yet but wanted to, which one do you use?

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39 Rebecca August 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I abandoned at-home manicures years ago, after an unfortunate incident. I was in the bathroom, shaking a bottle of nail polish, when it slipped out of my hands and hit the tiled bathroom floor. Yes, globs of polish and shards of glass EVERYWHERE. Never again. It’s a good excuse for a little salon pampering now and then.

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40 Dee August 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I do everything myself at home minus mani/pedis. I’ve pretty much always done my own hair. I *just* started doing my brows at home. I used to get them threaded but repeated practice/youtube viewing has given me the courage to do them at home regularly.

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41 rachael August 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I’m an esthetician and if you struggle with having the shellac weaken your nails you need to use a nail oil (preferable Solar Oil), apply it twice a day. Solar oil is absorbed through the shellac and will strengthen and hydrate your nail and cuticles :)

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42 Rheagan August 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I live overseas, with a tiny shower, and an even tinier hot water tank. Shaving became a major hassle! So last year, I started having my legs waxed at a salon. I go every 6-8 weeks or so, and I have found that my leg hair is definitely thinner and less noticeable. I haven’t gone back to shaving yet! Like Lisa above, I had my eyelashes and eyebrows tinted last time, and I couldn’t believe the difference it made. Like wearing mascara – without the mess!

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43 Mrs. LIAYF August 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I do most of my self care at home, and I’m fairly low maintenance. SPF every day, with a tinted moisturizer on top, mineral powder, mascara, and a nude lip. I luckily have thick, wavy hair with a nice natural color, so I self-do a semi-permanent color 2-3 times a year at home. I wish I had a proper curl, but it looks nice straightened with a blow dryer and round brush. I can also let it dry natural overnight and wear it wavy – one weekends in pigtails.

I used to have very long hair – primarily because I have SEVERE hair cut trauma. I would wait more than a year to even have my hair trimmed, and then would cry after the haircut and call in sick to work the next day. Finally, I realized that a nice medium cut is better for my mom lifestyle, so I just try to stay at that length. I’m still nervous about my hair, so I don’t get it cut often. But, when I do I am very specific about what I want and go to a stylist who will comfort me. :)

I do my own nails – no polish usually on hands. Professional mani/pedi 2-3 times a year just as a pampering. I used to wax bikini/legs at a wonderful spa that used pineapple oil after waxing – what a lovely smell! It became too expensive after kiddos, so now I do my own shaving. I have never waxed eyebrows or underarms, and have always groomed both at home. I’m not sure what a professional eyebrow treatment would look like – I’m so nervous about my hair that I probably will never try!

As for nails – manicures/pedicures twice a year for pampering (the rest I do at home).

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44 Tasha August 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Great that you can do “blow-out” at home, I’ve never gained the knack! A big basket of brushes will attest to it, LOL!
BTW – Try a root touch up kit (Clairol is my “go-to” box) for those few weeks inbetween Gab, less time, odor…and for me, ugly roots!

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45 Heather August 14, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I do my mani/pedis myself. I’m in love with Butter London nail polish and their gel base and top coat. Makes my manicure last much longer than anything else I’ve tried.

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46 Christie August 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Looking great, m’dear! Whatever happened to that series you were going to do about beauty/transformations? You were going to do a little something each month, starting with your bangs, and report back?

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47 Julie August 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Salon/professional: manicure/pedicure, haircut, eyebrow shaping (via plucking), and lip wax
Home: shaving other body hair

I don’t chemically treat (color or straighten) my hair, so that’s a non-issue.

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48 Naomi August 14, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Overall, I am pretty low maintenance but I’d like to get my nails done professionally more to stave off my penchant for nibbling. Icky, I know.

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49 Suzanne August 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm

My husband bought an old-fashioned, metal safety razor, a shaving bush and a shaving soap. I tried it and love the shave. Because the razor has only one blade, I don’t get razor burn or ingrown hairs. Best investment ever.

I started going grey when I was 18. I highlight at a salon about twice a year. I would love to do it myself but am too afraid to try. As for hair, I keep it long and don’t need a hair cut often.

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50 Colleen August 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm

I am wondering about the sunscreen, do you put it on your body or just face? What kind do you use? I want to use sunscreen because I know it is good for you but I just can’t make myself on a regular basis because I hate so much how it feels!

I get a salon hair cut about every 9-12 months, which is fine for my medium long hair (naturally wavy but I usually blow dry and straighten). I have never dyed my hair but I’m 26 so I guess time will tell! I do like to get a pedicure as a treat but generally I just do one on myself every 2 weeks. My feet are very ticklish though. I hardly paint my fingernails because, like you said, it just doesn’t last!

Generally I use disposable razors but I tried Veet on my legs a few weeks ago. I was hoping it would last longer than shaving before I went on my vacation and it made my legs feel so nice! I swear my hair grew back softer and it did last a couple days longer, too… smelled awful though!

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51 Alisha August 14, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I’m 31 but have had gray hairs since I was 14- no joke. And the rest of my hair is dark, so they’re obvious. They’re mostly under the top layer of hair, though, and I love my natural color, so I don’t color my hair. I shave, tweeze and do my own pedicures at home. (I have a steady hand and perfectionist tendencies, so I do a good job). I hate polish on my fingernails, and I hate long nails on myself. So I just keep them short. I get my hair trimmed every 2-3 months at Mastercuts. Overall, my grooming habits don’t cost a lot and don’t take a lot of time. And that makes me happy!

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52 debs August 14, 2014 at 10:02 pm

I thiught that this might be something that you and your readers might enjoy………….. remembering that the best person you can be is yourself :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs

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53 Colleen August 15, 2014 at 12:05 am

I’m 36 and I hate salons! Small-talk is torture for me and making appointments and getting babysitters are also on my list of peeves. Luckily, I’m fairly low-maintenance. I’ve used facial moisturizer with SPF since I was a teenager and embrace my pale Irish skin. I am intrigued at the idea of lash and brow tinting, but again. Appointments and salons. I paint my fingernails once or twice a year and my toenails a bit more often than that. My nails haven’t ever been a big priority though I’ve always admired pretty, natural nails on other women. I like getting my eyebrows threaded occasionally, but don’t do that more than once or twice a year either. I found this crazy spring tool on Amazon for upper-lip hair removal and it is fantastic! It’s just like threading, but easier to use. I’ve started getting the occasional grey hair but have just pulled them out so far. Ha! I do realize that someday that might not work anymore. :)

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54 Kelleyn August 15, 2014 at 7:01 am

Your hair always looks so lovely! How are you keeping your hair from breaking! I have curly hair also and send to flat iron it! How do you keep it from breaking. I feel like as I am getting older it is becoming more straw like. Love to see I am not the only one with crazy hair.

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55 Tanya August 15, 2014 at 8:12 am

I try to do as much at home too; with lots of little ones I try to save my appointment time for health care or massages ;) I like to sneak on in once a month. Like you if I have a specail occasion I will sneak out to a pro. I love the idea of the root touch up and will def give that a try!!! Wondering what pther hair product you use? My oh natural hair has gone from nice waves to crazy curly/frizzy over the course of having my children. Your hair looks so good wondering how you get it to stay like that :) Mine usually gets thrown up in a top know to combat the mayhem !

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56 Kate August 15, 2014 at 8:13 am

I will actually PREACH about this product… normally I tip towards the higher end of maintenance – like to get my brows done every few weeks, manicures when possible, and hair cuts every couple of months. I have naturally dark hair, and have been graying since high school so I have tried every hair product up and down the aisles and in salons.

BUT, when I was pregnant and after I had my son, I developed a slight allergy to hair dye. Everything bugged my scalp, even Aveda…. except for Preference Mousse… its so simple, painless, and the color actually lasts on those pesky grays.

#300ForLife

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57 Ann August 15, 2014 at 9:07 am

Wowzers! That’s a great product! You look like a teenager!

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58 Katie Harding August 15, 2014 at 9:46 am

I am totally lazy but I swear I could never do half as good a job as the professionals so I’m one of those girls that gets her hair cut and colored every twelve weeks or so and I also get my eyebrows waxed once a month! I do occasionally treat myself to a pedicure but only in the summer, otherwise I’m practically maintenance free :)

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59 Susan August 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm

You look like a model!

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60 cath August 18, 2014 at 4:48 am

Gabrielle, you look amazing!! AND ….thin!! I know you had 6 kids but it’s hard to believe! Amazing!

Well about beauty routine, I too tend to do more grooming as I get older. I used to wax, bikini area and legs, in a salon, like most French women do, but these last couple of years (I just turned 46) I noticed I have less and less hair; so now I shave my legs once a week and I use tweezers for the occasional longer hair, and I have saved a lot of money that way.
I’ve just started to get a few grey/white hair and I would like to use some kind of product to cover that, but I’m afraid to mess it up at home. I might invite an experienced friend over to supervise my actions. Is it really easy to do?

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61 Design Mom August 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I think it’s super smart to have a friend help you the first time (or every time) you try it at home – preferably, someone who has had their hair colored at a salon before so they know how the stylists section out the hair. When I need help, I recruit Ben. He makes sure I don’t miss any spots! : )

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62 Anna August 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I get my eyebrows threaded about every 8 weeks–I’ll never go back to waxing, plucking, or shaving my eyebrows! I have the gel manicure kit (UV light) and I do my own pedicures whenever I feel like it, and rarely do manicures. I love going to my hair stylist, and I have a high-maintenance pixie, so I spend a lot of money (relatively) on going for a cut color every six weeks, with a quick trim inbetween. I rarely get facials, and I shave my legs with disposables perhaps less often than others. I think I’ll do laser hair removal someday. I embraced my pale skin, and use Neutrogena Dry Touch sunscreen lotion during the summer. You probably could get professionals to come to you–there’s that new app PRIV in NYC, for example–but it’d cost you. Sometimes I don’t mind paying for convenience, but everybody has their own price-points that feel reasonable, and mine are rather low for beauty.

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