Life moves quickly in London – between your job, your commute, your social life and meal times, it can be next to impossible to find a moment to yourself. When you are rushing around in the city air, your skin and hair bear the brunt of the damage, showing visible signs of stress, UV damage and plain old dirt. Anyone who has ever blown their nose after a tube journey will know what I’m talking about…
It can be tough to balance city life with regular TLC, but every London girl needs to have a few beauty tricks up her sleeve to keep her feeling fresh and confident at all times.
Here are a few of our favourites!
Get experimental with all-in-one make-up products
Handbag space is at a premium when you are on the go in London. Make the most of a packed tote or a tiny clutch by stocking up on time-saving, space-saving all-in-one make up products.
Colour palates have risen in popularity in recent years so there is a great selection on the market at every budget. Choose a palate in neutral shades which includes at least one pink or apricot shade (these can be used on lips as well as cheeks). Practice applying the colours with your fingers so you can save even more space by forgoing a brush. Nars and Mac are probably the best in the business when it comes to colour, but Cosmetics a la carte and Illamasqua are 100% born and bred in London.
Multi-purpose crème sticks are also going mainstream. Nars’ The Multiple is a proven classic – use it on lips and cheeks for an instant glow.
Invest in long-term beauty solutions
There are days when you don’t even have time to apply a fresh coat of mascara (and refuse to be one of those girls who applies blurry makeup on the tube). So why not streamline your beauty regime with a few long-term solutions? Getting your eyebrows and eyelashes dyed every few weeks will eliminate the need for brow powder and mascara, while gel nails save you from chipped nail polish and weekly manicures.
Have a foolproof ‘bad hair day’ solution
There’s no avoiding it - everyone has a bad hair day from time to time. If you don’t have time to pop into the salon for a blow dry (and let’s face it, who does?), you better have a foolproof plan for dealing with your bad hair days. And a hat won’t cut it.
Keep a few clip-in hair extensions on standby to add volume to limp hair, or pad out a messy up-do. Or go the whole hog and have semi-permanent hair extensions bonded into your hair. Natural hair extensions will add volume, body and length to hair that tends to get greasy or flat. Pop into one of London’s most reputable salons such as Vixen and Blush in Clapham or Shoreditch to find out what sort of extensions would be right for your hair and ensure that you still look great even on your worst hair day.
Multi-task in your down time
Your free time is precious, so make the most of it by multi-tasking. Send emails on your smartphone while getting your hair cut, or eat your lunch while having a pedicure (just be kind to your therapist and try not to choose anything smelly).
However, this philosophy does not work with every beauty treatment – you don’t want to be suddenly distracted when you’re having a bikini wax, for instance.
Beauty magazines have been preaching the benefits of exfoliation for many years, and it is particularly important when you live in a city like London. All day long your skin is being exposed to dust, smoke, fumes and microscopic pieces of dirt which become lodged in your skin, clogging up your pores and leading to dryness and acne. By choosing a good facial exfoliator, you can slough away this layer of grime before it does real damage and keep your skin fresh. It’s hard to beat Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate, which is suitable for daily use even on sensitive skin. But Lush’s range of apricot scrubs are a good budget version which also smell great! – Pick one up at the Soho, London shop.
It’s the oldest trick in the book. Wear SPF15 every day, come rain or snow, and you will protect your skin from premature aging and sun damage. Most foundations, concealers and CC/BB creams come with in-built sun protection these days, but it’s always a good idea to carry a travel-sized portion of a light facial sunblock with you at all times, just in case.
What are your tips? Do you do any of these already?