In our Netflix-watching, Ocado-delivering, JOMO (that’s joy of missing out) celebrating age, it’s easier and more appealing than ever to spend time at home. 69% of Brits now prefer staying in to going out, according to a recent study by L’Oreal.
That preference, coupled with a time-short lifestyle induced need for speed and convenience, is having a knock on effect on our beauty habits. Though pampering remains paramount for many (the study went on to say that 24% of women use a hair mask every week), rather than traipsing to the salon for our weekly touch-ups we’re looking for the salon experience to come to us. Not to mention professional results without having to spend a small fortune on, erm, professionals.
“I’ve definitely seen a rise in at-home beauty treatments,” says Millie Kendall, CEO of The British Beauty Council, who explains that, as well as tapping into our desire for convenience, the at-home salon speaks to an increased interest in our beauty routines. “We’re looking more at preventative methods and protecting our appearance, which inevitably requires more regularity.”
“We've seen triple digit growth over the last two years in at-home devices” says Georgia Day, Space NK’s head of editorial and content, who says that NuFace facial toning devices (from £167) and the FaceWare Pro, £430, from Dr Dennis Gross, a light therapy mask that tackles acne and wrinkles are particularly popular. They’re not cheap - but whilst the initial outlay might dent your bank balance, these gadgets can be used time and time again, meaning cost per use they’ll work out much cheaper than the salon version.
While once upon a time at-home products might have spelt DIY disaster (I’ve inadvertently turned my hair purple on more than one occasion), social media and the abundance of How To tutorial videos has meant that we’re now properly equipped to go it alone. “We have so much more information at our fingertips. We want to be the expert - so we use what they use.” says Kendall.
And with a wave of new salon-standard kits and gadgets, even cutting edge treatments can be tried from the comfort of your sofa. Teresa Tarmey, the super facialist who counts Sienna Miller and Victoria Beckham among her clients, recently released at-home skin kits which promise to bring her A-list treatments to the bathroom, saying “I wanted to offer something that clients could do themselves at home that really worked.” The ice-cold Cryoball, £129, (a favourite of Beckham’s) can be massaged over clean skin every morning to lift and sculpt the face, de-puff and boost radiance. The micro-needling kit, £350, offers a safe and effective way to tap into the popular salon treatment which stimulates deep tissue repair, leaving skin plumped and glowy. After one use my skin looked brighter, smoother and more even in tone.
Launched last month, The Light Salon’s Boost mask, £395, offers high-performance LED facials from the sofa. Previously exclusively available at a select few salons, the beauty editor-approved treatment delivers red and near-infrared wavelengths to stimulate collagen and elastin, boost circulation, even skin tone and lessen the look of wrinkles. “We believe everyone deserves great skin,” say founders Laura Ferguson and Hannah Measures who developed the mask in super-light silicon for maximum at-home comfort (I’ve worn it whilst cooking dinner).
A traditionally risky at-home procedure, DIY hair colour has also been given an expert spin thanks to online bespoke colouring service, e-Salon. Complete the online consultation and a team of colourists will mix a custom hair colour which is then delivered to your door. The service includes all over colour and highlights from £7. And when it comes to looking after it? At the beginning of the year Olaplex launched its first at home shampoo and conditioner which contains the same strengthening and repairing patented technology as the salon treatments, with the DIY version costing £48 for a set of two that have lasted me 10 or so washes so far. Lore’s nourishing dry hair masks, £38 for six, treatments previously available in the hairdressers chair at the London chain Taylor Taylor, can now be worn at home for great results. “Applied to dry hair for maximum absorption, they’re non-drip so you can wear them in bed as an overnight treatment with no residue left on your pillow. Just comb the treatment through from root to tip and twist into a bun,” says Taylor Taylor creative director, Jenny Perrson.
So are the beauty salon’s days numbered? According to a recent report by beauty e-tailer Cosmetify, we could save up to £3,700 a year by doing our beauty treatments at home - a hefty sum indeed. Being a fully signed-up fan of the at-home salon (my Cryoball currently sits alongside the fish fingers in the deep freeze) I’d certainly be inclined to pocket the cash and spend it on a holiday instead. But for that pre-swimsuit spray-tan I’ll be leaving it to the experts - whilst a whizzy gadget might ensure streak-free application, it can’t clean the brown smudges off the bathtub afterwards.