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7 stress-busting beauty hacks from top local salons

Lockdown #2 may be wreaking havoc with our beauty appointments, but in the meantime, here are some tips from local hair and beauty whizzes on how to calm the chaos and stay gorgeous until December.

Constant corona news (none of it very good) and living and working – or trying to work – cheek by jowl with a chaotic household has left me frazzled. It’s time to give ourselves a bit of TLC – you’re worth it! *swishes hair with Jennifer Aniston-esque elan*

Take a bit of time out to de-stress and pamper yourself with our top-to-toe guide to calming beauty treatments you can do at home, from the top notch teams at Berkhamsted beauty establishments Cecily Day Spa, Alchemy & I and the Koha Skin Clinic. Just make sure to lock the bathroom door.

So what can we do at home right now?


“When feeling anxious, our team know it’s time for some self-care with relaxation methods such as massage,” says Nikki Marsh, Spa Manager at Cecily Spa.

1. Hug yourself calm

“Give yourself a hug to ease shoulder tension. Cross your arms across your chest and hold your shoulders. Squeeze each shoulder three times, then work your way down your arms with your hands, pressing and releasing down to your wrists,” recommends Nikki.

“It’s not an immediate fix, but it can help us feel more calm, level-headed and at ease. It also reduces our blood pressure and relieves tension.”

2. Palm-based massage

Hand massage

And what about targeting those knots and twinges with these very simple techniques using just the palm of your hand. Simples.

“I start with my head, placing the heel of my hand on either side of my temples and gently push upwards, hold and release,” explains Senior therapist Hollie of her self massage technique. “For my hands and arms, I again use the heel of my palm to move slowly along my forearm – from elbow to wrist. Then, just keep repeating the process from my palm to my fingertips and around the mound of my thumb.” Now that doesn’t sound too tricky, does it?

3. The soothing skin saver

“There’s no better method for relaxation than a facial! It gives your skin a gorgeous glow and washes away the stresses of day to day life,” says another of Cecily Spa’s Senior Therapists, Anna. So here’s what she suggests:


“Start with cleansing twice, removing with a muslin cloth – the muslin will also provide a gentle exfoliation which aids the removal of dead skin cells.”
“Follow that up with a clay-based mask that’s left on for 5 minutes and, after washing off, use a toner. If you want an extra treat for your skin I always recommend following that with a sheet mask as they’re saturated in hydrating, brightening, or anti-aging ingredients which gives your skin an extra boost! Then, apply eye cream and moisturise!” God that sounds good.

4. Beauty sleep, and silk pillowcases

You may not be able to book the salon appointment you long for – that day will come we promise – but there are a few easy additions to your skincare regime that you can add in now.

Silk pillowcase

“Getting a full night’s sleep is vital for supporting mental wellbeing,” explains Nurse at Koha Skin Clinic, Elena. It can also be important for giving our skin a healthy glow! My advice is to practice a healthy bedtime routine, one which involves putting the phone away and turning the TV off about an hour before going to sleep.”

Elena also recommends sleeping on clean silk pillowcases, which are gentle on your face, reducing friction that can cause irritation and breakouts. Another one for the online shopping list.

5. Maintain (and tweak) your regime

You’ve heard it a million times before, but with all the extra stresses on our plate right now are we really taking the ten minutes (yes it is just that!) a day our skin needs?

“Nothing helps me relax more than a good skin routine,” says Fortunata Oleszkiewicz, Clinic Manager, Koha Skin Clinic. “Every day, take the time to wash your skin and feed it with moisture and vitamin D. My top tip is to include retinol in your routine if you’re not already. It can give your skin a much-needed boost by reducing fine lines and evening out skin tone.”

6. Inject some va va voom with a blow out


“I always find that styled hair gives me a new lease on life,” saya Natale, Principle Alchemist, Alchemy & I. “It doesn’t matter what’s going on, with a fresh look, I feel more confident and positive about life. Without a doubt, a blowdry is my favourite style. Sleek, smooth and, most importantly, simple to recreate at home for those quiz nights, video catch-ups and work calls.”

“Firstly, clip the top part of your hair up. Next, take a small section and use a round brush to comb through it while applying heat from your hair dryer from above. Then, wrap your hair around the brush while continuing to apply heat – but always ensure that your dryer isn’t too close as this can cause damage! Finally, just unwrap the hair from the brush and repeat!” Scheduling that one in for C.O.P Friday.

7. Revive yourself (and your locks) with an at-home treatment


“My hair is my crown!” says Sam, Principle Alchemist at Alchemy & I. “For some TLC if I feel down, I love using conditioning treatments to give my hair extra shine. One of my favourite products to use for this is the Philip Kingsley Elasticiser.” (I can totally vouch for this product, FYI, it’s a lifesaver.)

“To make the process extra special, and to recreate that salon experience, I always do a full scalp massage while applying it to my hair. Start by running your hands through your hair, from front to back. Then, use your fingertips to make circular motions on top of your hair, using as a light or hard a pressure as suits you. Then repeat on the back of your head, and on the sides! For an extra treat, finish off with some gentle circles behind your ears.” Now, surely we can make time for that?

Find more ideas here


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