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Beauty, Opinion

Self-care is Beautiful: Four Principles to Get Us Through Lockdown

Self-care is by no means a frivolity during these unusual lockdown times. I say ‘by any means necessary’ to get you through each day: in essence, whatever makes you feel like you, can only be a positive thing.

I heard the word ‘coronacoaster’ this week and it couldn’t be more reflective of what we’re all going through. For me, some days the continuous juggling of home-working, home-schooling, home-keeping and home-loving goes smoothly, other days can be like wading through treacle. Not that different to life BCV (before coronavirus) but the parameters have closed in on us (along with our daily steps).

There’s an abundance of expert beauty knowledge and experience being generously shared online, (see Emily’s summary of Tech-savvy Stylists). Brands demonstrating flexibility in how they connect and serve consumers, and those that have embraced the tech literally at our fingertips, will stand in good stead in building loyalty with ‘their people’ ACV (after coronavirus).

Having had the benefit of a few weeks experience of this, I’ve thought of four principles of self-care to help us through.

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Image: George Bohunicky on Unsplash

GO WILD

Now’s your chance! Shave your head (or perhaps you could be tempted by a rebellious undercut?). Grow a tache. Experiment with that hair colour you’ve always been tempted by. Grow out the colour you want to change once an in-person appointment with a qualified hairdresser becomes a possibility.

Practice your fake tan blending skills (unlikely that anyone is going to see your legs on Zoom whilst you get it how you want it) – I’m a fan of Tan Luxe’s gradual tanning. Let daily straightened hair return to its natural curl without the concern of rain on the commute turning it to frizz. My youngest is desperate for electric blue dip-dye hair from Lime Crime. And why not, what could really go wrong? And it will grow out … eventually.

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Image: Baylee Gramling on Unsplash

GO NATURAL

One of the first memes that went around as we settled into lockdown life was the fact that everyone’s true hair colour would be appearing within three weeks, the perfect time to embrace those greys which is a fact of life after all. There are a plentitude of shampoos to enhance natural colour, why not try the Alchemic range from natural-ingredient brand Davines.

Friends have spoken about how liberated they feel not having to wear make up for the past few weeks, even though we’re doing more video conferences, being self-conscious without ‘your face on’ seems strangely old fashioned. Personally, I do enjoy wearing make-up, it might take me a bit longer to get there but I’m definitely feeling that ‘less is more’ than before.

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Image: Kevin Laminto on Unsplash

GO ROUTINE

Structure makes my world go around. And needing to be in control of what needs to happen when (that’ll be the client services director in me). With COVID-19 that has been blown out of the water, so creating a new self-care structure can really help.

My small step towards routine is to finally get to grips with my dusty Philips Lumea (along with helpful app to track treatments). It has made it out of the bottom drawer, been charged and I’m one treatment down. Summer, I will be ready for you!

A self-care routine doesn’t have to be complicated and in fact the simpler the better, sometimes just taking a bit of time out to wash your hair, paint your nails, trim your beard (not mine, obviously) or spritz your favourite fragrance can lift your mood and help you reclaim a tiny bit of control.

But most importantly, if you don’t have the energy or inclination to embark on a multi-step skincare routine, that’s ok too and help is at hand.

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Image: Brittany Neale on Unsplash

GO GOOD

Some brands have really come into their own during coronavirus. Nursem (as mentioned previously in Brands Responding to Covid-19 Beautifully) is the ultimate. You buy a product, they send a months’ supply to a nurse, it’s simple, caring and needed and a helpful way for us to select products that do good. Other brands like BYBI put a call out for people to nominate their NHS Superheroes who deserve to be sent a pick-me-up care package.

Thinking of others can help us shift the focus away from how we’re feeling, doing those good deeds, sending a small pampering gift through the post, can show we care even if we’re not together. For Mother’s Day this year my kids created a spa in the lounge: the effort they made in setting it all up (think reception area, registration form with spa logo, welcoming herbal tea, you name it!) meant far more to me than splashing the cash on a present.

After spending time clearing out our cupboards (again back to that feeling of control) I’m also reviewing my accumulated stash of beauty products and using up those samples I’d saved for trips away (as who knows when that might be again)?

And finally, don’t save that beautiful Laura Mercier Luxe Body Collection Gift Set your best friend bought you for Christmas for special occasions, use it every damn day because it reminds you to feel like you again. Beautiful.