DON’T be a DIY beauty disaster!
With spring in full swing, all those spring and summer weddings coming up, and the weather looking brighter, we all want to feel and look our best.
But with the recession still biting, and all those efforts needed to keep groomed, waxed, smoothed and polished to perfection, it can mean paying top dollar for the top treatments just isn’t possible.
But doing beauty on the cheap, or doing it yourself, can end up with less than pretty results.
Red or burned skin from waxing gone wrong, matted hair extensions with bald patches, fake tan which screams more carrots than Caribbean – DIY beauty disasters mean trying to save money can be more costly than you might think.
We have top tips from beauty experts about hair extensions, waxing and fake tan – and horror stories of what can go wrong.
Take eyebrows for example, try to remember less is more. If you are looking to shape your eyebrows, make sure you stick to the tweezers.
Don’t even think about touching them with a razor, including the strip in between the two brows, according to St Annes beauty therapist and HD Brows specialist Naomi Bardusco.
She says anyone thinking of waxing needs to be really careful as the skin around the area is thin and delicate. It’s best left for the professionals.
She said: “It is difficult not to over-pluck the brow area.
“Thicker eyebrows are in now, so don’t overdo it. Remember your eyebrows frame the whole face.
“If you do something yourself and it goes horribly wrong, go to see a professional. They may be able to help and sort it out.”
Leaving some things to the professionals, when it comes to beauty, seems to be the main message to save your appearance, pride and in the long-run your cash.
CHERYL Cole is reportedly a fan, as is Katie Price, and hair extensions are more popular than ever.
But doing it ‘on the cheap’ could come at more of a cost than you might expect.
James Woods, from Blackpool Body Piercing Clinic, has been working with hair extensions for 27 years.
He frequently sees clients who have tried to attach extensions at home or gone to salons lacking the right expertise or high quality products.
With the Prom season and spring and summer weddings fast-approaching, he is worried people may end up causing themselves serious damage.
He said: “I have girls and ladies come to me in tears, some too embarrassed to even take their hat off because they have bald patches.
“Sometimes when people have put their own hair extensions in, they stick them to the scalp itself.
“This causes a major problem and can cause traction alopecia or total alopecia.
“If glueing the wefts to the hair, they need to be taken out after two weeks max.
“They need to be attached about a quarter of an inch down from the roots.
“The quality of hair is important. It needs to be virgin European hair. If you buy Asian processed hair, this has been bleached in acid, had the cuticle removed and a silicone bond over the top.
“Initially it feels smooth and shiny, but when washed, the coating comes off and it can become tangled and knotted.
“When people do their hair extensions at home or go to a cheap salon, they might think they are saving money, but in the long run it can actually cost them more to get things fixed.
“You also have to make sure you put them in neatly or they will go loopy, and when you put a brush through can break your hair.
“One girl who came to me had been doing her own and had to keep doing them because they created bald patches, she was glueing them straight to her head.
“I had to get her a lace wig to wear while her own hair grew back. After three months, I was able to give her extensions, which looked natural and she was happy with.
“I want to warn local women to be careful with hair extensions, because they are so popular these days, especially if doing them themselves.
“And to reassure them help is at hand if it goes wrong.
“I can give them a free consultation and advice. Hair extensions shouldn’t look like extensions, they should just look natural.”
Tracy Pennington, from Fleetwood, spent three to four years putting in her own hair extensions but ended up regretting it.
The 27-year-old said: “I was sticking to them to my head and used to take them out every week.
“Clumps of hair started coming out.
“So I went to see James and straight away he was so helpful. He got me a wig at first while my hair grew back and then did new extensions for me, which I was so pleased with.
“They looked really natural.
“It really boosted my confidence and make a big difference. I would never do my own extensions again.”
THE English weather can leave us all feeling a little pasty so you might decide to get some colour by faking it out the bottle.
Not only can fake tan go too dark, it can go patchy, you can be left with orange hands from application and it can transfer to, not only your bed clothes, but also the person you are sleeping next to!
There are several dangers associated with the DIY self-tan.
Michelle Bagshaw, from Minola beauty salon in Lytham, says the most common problem is people not exfoliating thoroughly before applying the colour.
She said: “This leads to the tan going patchy, or sometimes people don’t leave it on for long enough, again leading to patches as it develops more in some areas than others.
“Another common mistake is to apply the fake tan without removing hair a couple of days before, so then when a person waxes or shaves the area, it strips the colour.
“Or if they shave their legs and then immediately apply the tan they can react to it. So it’s best to do the hair removal a couple of days before.
“Of course when applying fake tan, you need to wear gloves to make sure you don’t end up with orange hands.
“And once it has been applied, you need to be careful. You can’t go to the gym and start sweating because it will go patchy, or do things like the washing or you’ll end up with white wrists!
“Also bear in mind if you share your bed with a partner, the tan can transfer onto them too and leave them with an orange mark.
“If people do have a disaster with the fake tan, it’s patchy, or they have overdone it, we can help correct it. We can exfoliate to help it fade and then fill in the gaps.
“And it’s not always necessary for people to come in to the salon.
“There are things you can use at home, such as lemon juice and whitening toothpaste, to help the tan fade.”
WAXING is probably something best left to the professionals, as there are a whole host of things which can go wrong.
Common problems include applying wax when it’s too hot, not pulling the strips in the right direction, which can lead to bruising of the skin, and not using after-care products.
Skin can be left red, raw and even in some cases, burned.
Michelle, from Minola, says: “We have had a few people come to us with burns after they have tried waxing at home.
“We had to send a couple of them to the walk-in centre because they were quite bad, but to get burns that severe is rare.
“You really do need to test the temperature of the wax before applying, and the best place to do this is the inside of your wrist.
“When we do a professional treatment, we always test the temperature.
“The other big tip is to make sure you read the instructions.
“We’ve heard of people who have placed the strips designed to be warmed just between your hands in the microwave – leading to burns.
“And after-care is important.
“We did once have a lady who did not apply any after-care product after waxing at home and, because the pores are left open, she ended up with an infection. Also the strips need to be pulled off in the right direction, or it can lead to bruising.
“But if you do get bruising, arnica gel can be very good and if you have burns or red, raw skin, try using a cold compress.
“Of course, with burns, you should probably get them checked medically.”