Clever spending

Summer beauty: Salon vs DIY

Looking great doesn’t have to be high maintenance – or expensive – when you combine the best salon procedures with the most effective at-home strategies. We asked the experts when it pays to save and when to spend a little more…

Richard Ward Couture Hair Clay Mineral Masque

Richard Ward Couture Hair Clay Mineral Masque

The hair mask

Salon: Shu Uemura Infusion Hair Ceremony, £45, Metrospa - a rich oil-infused hair conditioner.
DIY: Richard Ward Couture Hair Clay Mineral Masque, £23, Metrospa.

The verdict: "Hair treatments are the foundations of your hair styling, so I always encourage clients to invest what they can on quality products, rather than go for cheap high street options," says celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward. "That doesn't mean you always have to go to the salon - there are lots of superior products on the market you can use at home. The Richard Ward Couture Hair Clay Mineral Masque is great for fine hair and leaves it ultra glossy and full of volume. And because it's highly concentrated, a little goes a long way.'

Eyebrow shaping

Salon: Eyebrow threading, £17, Blink Brow Bar. Cotton thread is used to quickly remove hairs and shape the brow.
DIY: Tweezerman mini-slant tweezers, available in a range of bright colours, £12.50, Boots.

The verdict: "Eyebrow shaping is critical to get right - too severe and it can be ageing. So it pays to see a professional, especially if you want a corrective shape, new shape, or are thinking about shaping your brows for the first time," says beauty professional Amanda Bell. "You can then maintain the shape easily yourself at home. I recommend Tweezerman tweezers, which are slanted and great at gripping the hair at the root. If skin is a red afterwards, apply a little calendula cream to soothe."

St Tropez Bronzing Mousse Self-Tan Kit

St Tropez Bronzing Mousse Self-Tan Kit


Salon: Spray tan, £25 for one session, Fake Bake.
DIY: St Tropez Bronzing Mousse Self-Tan Kit, £25.69, Boots.

The verdict: "My favourite at-home product for faking it is St Tropez's three-step kit," says celebrity make-up artist Kym Menzies-Foster. "It contains St Tropez body polish, moisturiser and tanning mousse for a perfect streak-free finish. While it costs more or less the same as a professional spray tan, the results are excellent and you can apply it lots of times - so you don't have to worry about scrubbing it off in the shower!"

The facial

Salon: Skin-specific facial, around £45, Saks Hair & Beauty.
DIY:Dr Bragi Intensive Treatment Mask, £10 for a single mask.

The verdict: "A great facial will give your skin a glow that lasts well after the actual treatment - especially ones that are 'prescriptive' and designed for skin's individual needs," says Amanda. "Although salon treatments can be pricey, the massage that accompanies them is great for de-puffing and stimulating the skin. While it's nice to splash out for a treat, there are some amazing home treatments available for a fraction of the cost. For gorgeous, plumped-up and smooth skin, try the 15-minute Dr Bragi Intensive Treatment Mask."

Simply Wax hair removal strips kit

Simply Wax hair removal strips kit


Salon: Bikini and half-leg wax, £46, Aveda Salons.
DIY: Simply Wax Hair Removal Strips Kit, £4.09, Boots.

The verdict: "You get what you pay for when it comes to hair removal," says Kym. "A razor will give quick results but the hair soon comes back. Go for waxing and you can enjoy fuzz-free legs for three to six weeks. For a special occasion I would visit a salon, but for general maintenance there are plenty of good at-home options, like the Simply Wax range by Otylia Roberts (the lady who brought the Brazilian to the UK) which is especially good for those with sensitive skin."

Eyelash tinting

Salon: Eyelash tint, £18, Blink Brow Bar. Lasts for up to six weeks.
DIY: Colorsport Black 30 Day Mascara, £8.25, Boots.

The verdict: "Choose a shade that is intense but not too inky and you will be amazed at how much definition to your eyes you can achieve - and without any smudges from ineffective waterproof mascara," says Amanda. "If you're a little nervous or have very sensitive skin it's best to visit a salon where the eye area is treated gently to minimise irritation. If you regularly tint your lashes, I would recommend doing it at home. Colorsport 30-day mascara is a new hybrid product which you apply with a mascara wand. The results are fantastic."

Pretty Feet exfoliant

Pretty Feet exfoliant

The pedicure

Salon: CARITA Exclusive Pedicure, £58, Metrospa. More of a 'foot facial' than a pedicure, the treatment includes a massage with intensive moisturisers.
DIY: Pretty Feet exfoliant, £5.99, Boots.

The verdict: "A spa pedicure is a wonderful luxury but if it's one you can't afford, there are lots of excellent products you can use at home," says celebrity manicurist Pippa Hebden. Pretty Feet (they also do Pretty Hands) is an exfoliant that doesn't require water - when the cream is massaged in it breaks down the 'honeycomb', releasing the exfoliating waxes to leave feet smooth and conditioned.'

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