Recreating a spa treatment at home requires gadgets a little more than Epson salts.For facials that make a real difference, gel manicures that can be done at the kitchen table, and a foot bath that soothes, we sought out the most highly reviewed and innovative personal care instruments available in Canada.
HOT AND COLD FACIALS AT HOME
Before launching her eponymous skin care line, Charlotte Tilbury was a celebrity makeup artist and a product developer for beauty brands. She worked backstage at designer fashion shows, which led her to hand-mix special creams for the models that could help mitigate the effects of travel, staying up too late, hangovers and smoking.
In 2013, she launched Magic Cream (the silky and rich formula works both as a glow-inducing moisturizer and base for a full face of makeup). Today, her skin care and makeup line is sold in the poshest department stores in the world. Her newest creation is the Charlotte Tilbury Cyrotherapy Mask (cold can be great for puffy eyes and skin tightening). This mask goes in the freezer for 30 minutes before being strapped to the face and gently massaged into place.
Many professional facials involve a gentle steam before extraction (which is when a facialist manually cleans out blackheads and blemishes from the skin) as the warmth preps pores for a deep cleanse.
This Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer can be used at home to prep skin for a clay face mask or over-the-counter peel. If a mask is too intense, use the steamer to promote circulation (skin will be dewy and flushed after nine minutes) and apply a soothing serum right after.
GOING DEEP ON PORES
Not for the squeamish, this vibrating skin scrubber and blackhead remover has two adjustable silicone cases for face washing. Here’s how it works: wash face in cleansing mode and rinse but do not dry. There is a lift mode (facial massage), as well as Ion+ (to remove gunk from pores, whiteheads and blackheads) and Ion- (to help skin absorb skin care products). A pre-steam treatment would be a great way to prep the face for this.
THE OTHER KIND OF FACE MASK
Once celebrities started posting selfies in their LED masks (light-emitting diode) that make them look a little like Jason from Friday the 13th, everyone wanted one. While the technology is effective at treating everything from acne (blue) to fine lines (red), light therapy takes time. Moving it from the spa or dermatologist office for treatment makes consistent treatments much easier, but the trade-off is the strength of the wavelength and the cost (some masks runs in the thousands).
The DRx SpectraLite Faceware Pro is for someone who commits to their routine and wants to invest both time (three minutes day for 10 weeks) and money. This one uses powerful red and blue lights to treat acne, fine lines and discolouration.
Soothing foot massager
A soothing foot massage can ease soreness and pain. It has other health benefits like improved circulation, stress release and can even help with better sleep. Having a foot spa for home, one that can give a light massage while keeping water warm and bubbly, absolutely beats a warm bucket of water.
Improves blood circulation:
Due to a sedentary lifestyle, many people don’t use their feet muscles properly, thus impeding good blood flow. Also, tight, pointed shoes–especially high heels–hinder circulation. Ten minutes of foot massage daily helps in transporting oxygen to the body’s cells, which is essential for overall health.
Helps in relaxation:
After a tiring and stressful day, a foot massage is a soothing and relaxing way to relax, particularly after a long day of standing and walking around, as the feet tend to swell up. Massage and reflexology of 5 to 10 minutes before going to bed can improve feelings of general well-being.
Promotes better sleep:
The best time to do foot massage is before going to bed. A soothing and relaxing foot massage improves the blood circulation. This helps in getting a peaceful sleep.
Relieves body pains:
This is the best part of reflexology. If done carefully, it treats pains and aches such as headaches, migraines, and neck pain, lower and upper backaches.
Improves mood and fights depression:
Foot massage and reflexology helps in fighting depression. Certain points on the feet are helpful in alleviating depression symptoms. Massaging these points or applying pressure to them for a few minutes 2 or 3 times a day can help relieve symptoms of depression.
Makes feet healthier:
One easy way to help keep your feet healthy and free from foot problems is a regular foot massage. It helps stimulate the muscles around your feet, lessens stiffness and even reduces pain in the ankles or the heels. Plus, a short 5-minute foot massage daily will make your ankles strong and flexible, thus preventing unpleasant ankle and foot injuries.
Alleviates swelling (edema)
Regular foot massage during pregnancy can help reduce the effects of edema, which is swelling in the feet and ankles due to fluid retention. This is very common during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester.
NAILING GEL POLISH AT HOME
Chipping or smudging a nail straight after a manicure used to be really frustrating, but gel polish changed that process (it dries in under a minute and lasts up to four weeks). The only downside is that a gel manicure requires a salon visit because of the LED lamp. This Le Mini Macron kit has everything needed for a DIY gel manicure, including cherry red polish, a single finger LED lamp, nail file and 10 remover pads. (When those run out, gel nail polish remover pads can be purchased on Amazon.)
The first thing people usually ask is which brand of gel polish I should choose. In my opinion for doing gel nail polish at home, each brand has its own pro and contra. CND Shellac requires no buffing on nails (so it’s gentler) but costs more. Gelish or Daisy DND, have a lot more colors to choose from and certainly more affordable. But there is more buffing process involved in application and removal process so it’s rather harsh for the nail. CND Shellac tends to stay for 14 days or more on nails. Compare that to Gelish that stays up to 21 days. CND Shellac has a long shelf-life time, something to consider too especially if you want to stock them up.
One best way to find out is to try them out. You may go to a salon and see what and how the nail technician does your nails. Then see which one stays longer on your nails as everyone has different nail condition. Some people has better application with one brand while not on the others.