While we would love to indulge in high maintenance beauty habits, the truth is that as mamas our routines need to be super streamlined and our beauty fixes need to work some serious overtime. Whether you’re on a beach vacation or coping with Dubai’s intense heat, these are our top 3 go-to solutions that minimise effort and maximise on that fresh summer look.
LVL Lashes at Salon Ink
A fresh looking face, with minimal work for those hot summer days? Yeah, right, that’s the Hollywood version. Personally I tend to gravitate towards the simplest solution, which means no make-up at all. Not a great look mamas…I’ll tell you that. No matter how many 5-minute make up ideas, all in one-foundations and water proof mascaras I throw in my bag, I just can’t get it done. Am I tired of looking seriously un-glam on a daily basis? Well, yes mamas I am. Will I change the way I approach my daily makeup routine? Probably not. But then the other day, I found the solution to my problem- I would get an eyelashes perm. Yep, curl those little blighters up and make ‘em stay there for at least six weeks.
I’ve tried eyelash tinting before but it really doesn’t make that much difference, sometimes what you need is a lift to look good, mamas! So I booked myself in at Salon Ink to force my lashes into a bend and stay. The procedure is called LVL Lashes and semi-permanently curls up your lashes. An LVL treatment is pretty quick and easy, 45 minutes all in all and doesn’t require any preparation or major aftercare (just don’t wear mascara or wash your eyes for the first 24 hours).
The lovely lady who did my lashes was a real pro, thank goodness, as I’d imagine that putting mini- strips of perm liquid onto short lashes on an eye that keeps blinking and twitching does require a fair amount of practice. I personally found the first few minutes a bit claustrophobic on the eye (if you can possibly imagine what I mean) but once you get over that bit and realise that you are about to look great, you kind of relax and actually even fall asleep (this mama did!). The fact that you get a neck and shoulder massage plus a hand massage while waiting for the curl is definitely a mega plus!
As previously confessed, I am the lazy type when it comes to make up so I decided to go for a tint at the same time as a curl which added another 10 minutes to my treatment time. I woke up just as the little plastic strips were being removed from my lashes and I was being asked to check out the results. Holy smoke- check out those lashes. I can’t believe this will last for 6 weeks (will keep you all posted) because they are just awesome and have totally opened up my eyes – no mascara required. Eyelash perming with a tint at Salon Ink is this mamas new bright-eyed secret.
Beach Park Plaza Centre (opposite Jumeirah Beach Park)
Tel: +971 (0) 4 3854402
Highlights at Sisters Beauty Lounge
After many a colour drama, my desired shade of blonde was more orange than golden and I looked like I’d had a date with a bottle of ‘Sun-In’ (remember that stuff mamas? Yes, unfortunately so do we.) I have visited countless hairdressers and perfected an accurate (in my opinion) speech of what I expect of them.
I have taken pictures of celebrities, of friends and even of my sons gorgeous creamy blonde locks but to no avail – my hair still never looked like it had just spent a few weeks on a Caribbean beach, gently bleached by sun and sea. (Of course the fact that I’m not blessed with the most beautiful locks coupled with chlorine hasn’t helped!). With my roots going from ok to unbearable overnight, I did a little research and booked in with Georgia at Sisters Beauty Lounge, Jumeirah Village Mall for a half head of highlights and a cut.
This isn’t the most cutting edge (no pun intended) salon in Dubai – the interior is fairly basic and with no windows the lighting isn’t great but there is a really friendly and relaxed vibe and you can just hide away for a couple of hours (and really who wants to be spotted through a window while having their hair done anyways?). A lovely bubbly blonde (I’m definitely of the opinion that you can judge a stylist based on their own hair), Georgia won me over immediately with her extremely approachable manner and gently but persuasively advised against my request for baliage (where colour is painted onto hair for a more natural effect), based on my hair type and instead suggested a few alternatives, showing me a colour chart and explaining what would work best with my ‘natural’ shade. She also explained that a colour very similar to my own would be added to break up the blonde and minimise the ‘regrowth’ meaning less visits to the salon each year. I felt confident – and as Georgia got to work mixing colours, I settled in with a magazine (there’s no WiFi here which meant a complete switch off from work for a couple of hours) and relaxed.
With my hair divided into parcels of foil, I waited for the magic to happen – and Georgia regularly checked on each section to make sure that it was all working as it should. A few magazines later (and with Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power of Love stuck on loop which did get ever so slightly irritating), my hair was ready to be washed and a delicious smelling conditioner was massaged into my scalp – bliss. Back in front of the mirror and a quick trim later, Georgia began to dry my new do and a gorgeous colour started to emerge. My new highlights had added depth to my very fine hair, creating texture and an illusion of the natural sun-kissed look I wanted. Georgia is this mamas hair savior, specialising in colour but excelling in just ‘getting it’, she created my Caribbean holiday hair with zero fuss and a huge smile. For any mamas out there looking for natural highlights and those lovely creamy shades, Georgia is your gal!
Half head highlights and a trim cost AED 490 including blowdry for medium length hair. Half head highlights on medium length hair start from AED 345.
Sisters Beauty Lounge
Jumeirah Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 342 0787
TITO Gel Wear Mani/Pedi at Tips and Toes
It’s nearly always sandal season in Dubai – but with summer hols upon us I wanted a mani-pedi that would guarantee gorgeous nails to last an entire vacation (or a couple of weeks at least), particularly now that the kiddos are at home leaving far less time for regular manicures (which by the way I very rarely do). The answer = a signature gel mani/pedi at Tips and Toes with their own TITO brand of gel nail polish which is super strong, chip resistant and promises to stay put for up to three weeks.
If you haven’t already pampered yourself at the large one-stop beauty shop that is Tips & Toes signature spa in Barsha, now is the time to go, with 20% off your TITO Gel Wear pedicure when you book in for a TITO Gel Wear manicure at the same time. The salon is very zen like, decorated in the T&T signature red and purple and with seriously comfortable mani/pedi chairs that are more like mini sofas complete with fluffy cushions and are ideal for just blissing out. Colour chosen (Tutti Frutti, a bright and beautiful neon pink that just screamed summer), the therapists got to work while I sipped on a green tea and just stared into space (in the way you do when you’re a bit short on sleep and not accustomed to sitting down without being climbed on by a small person – you get the picture mamas). At this point, the offer of an in-chair neck and shoulder massage was too good to be true and mama jumped at the chance, zoning out for a wonderful half an hour while polish was applied. For anyone who hasn’t had a gel manicure before, the beauty is that there’s no waiting around for your digits to dry and so 45 mins later I was up and out of there with a perfect pink mani/pedi.
The TITO Gel Wear polish is supposed to last 2 weeks and at time of writing, exactly 2 weeks later, my toes still look flawless and the polish on my hands has withstood a fortnight of swimming, nappy changes, washing up etc and has only just started to lift a little. Am resisting the impulse to peel and am confident I can get another few days out of it (and will go to get it removed properly if the urge doesn’t get the better of me.)
A Gel Polish Combo (Manicure and Pedicure) costs AED 260
Tips and Toes
Plot #376-2558, Umm Suqeim Road
Al Barsha 2, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 4 341 2020
Eyelashes, hair and nails taken care of – these mamas are ready to face summer head on.