Salon chez vous

Liz Taylor channels Cleopatra --the queen of the home beauty ritual as well as the Nile It seems that almost no one has enough time these days.  Women who once wouldn’t have dreamed of skipping their monthly hair appointment are now cringing as they try to camouflage their roots. They just can’t find time to get the salon.

Others are groaning at the site of chipped nails, cracked heels, or dull and clogged pores. Quelle horreur!
Darlings, all these beauty catastrophes can be easily handled at home. And here is some more good news, if your budget is tight you can save a fortune by becoming your own beautician.
You can buy the same quality products that spas use to pamper you and get the job done on your schedule. If you have children you can put them to bed, in front of a DVD or home-work, and set up “salon chez vous”. It may take a little work but family can be taught to respect “you time”!
You will still need a professional to give you a fabulous cut. It is also a good idea to let them do a base colour or highlights, too. But you can keep your hair looking rich-girl fabulous in under an hour using home hair colour between salon visits.
If you are brunette and your budget is tight, you can probably manage your own colour at home. Blondes and redheads really benefit from the professional touch a few times a year.
L'Oreal Dream Blond is a dream to useForget any horror stories you have heard about home hair colour. It has come long way; you can get fabulous results. All the companies have great help lines that let you talk to professionals for free. I also love the L’Oreal Paris website www.l’ . It has a spiffy application to help you pick your correct product and colour. It is foolproof. Now they have also have application videos for first timers. I used the L’Oreal Paris computer with my friends — both colour virgins — to select their hair colour product and shades. It was fabulous.
My hair coloring tip is to check your colour every 10 minutes. Some brunette shades develop faster and you can rinse them out after only15 minutes. Some blonde shades may need a few minutes longer to lighten. Use caution and check carefully in the mirror every five minutes the first time you use any new product.
Salons charge a fortune for deep-conditioning treatments. One salon I visited recently charged $50 for a single treatment. While these treatments can make your hair shiny and manageable, there is no trick to doing them at home. All you need is the product, a comb, a plastic shower cap (I save them from hotels) and maybe a heat source. Think about putting a towel in your dryer on high for a few minutes to get it toasty. You can even get an attachment to turn your blow dryer into a bonnet dyer for less than $6. I use a hot towel or soak in a steamy bath.
Bring home the pampering of Chaz Dean's exclusive salonI like deep conditioning treatments such as the luxurious Wen Re-Moist Hydrating Mask. It’s a perfect blend of natural and botanical oils to condition and revive dull, lifeless hair. The aromas are transporting. Apply, relax and revive. $72.
ER Fusion from White Sands will heal you hair for a month with only one treatment. White Sands is the hair secret of hot Hollywood insiders. It is where the pros go for hair solutions. The products are pure genius.  ER Fusion is an intensive reconstructive hair treatment which restores hair to its youthful condition. The product creates a clear micro-shield to seal in color and softness and self-adjust the colour in the hair. A complex set of amino cystines repair damage while lemongrass extracts enhance color with a high gloss. $26
Don’t neglect your skin. Dull, dry, or oily skin with clogged pore can benefit from at-home spa treatments too. Dermatologists can work wonders with laser and peels, but at home exfoliations and masks done on a regular basis can leaves skin glowing and soft. Good skin care should be gentle. Bad care irritates skin, causing inflammation that experts say can age the skin! Do not steam or ice your skin. Extreme heat or cold breaks little blood vessels called capillaries. You will spend a fortune to have them lasered off your face. Use a clean cool or warm wash cloth instead.
Clarins Blue Orchid Oil for Dry Skin a treatChoose a masque for your skin type. Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask is a fabulous treat for dry, tired, and dull skin. Elizabeth Grant’s Torricelumn Caviar and Avacado Rehydrating Mask will leave dry and normal skin dewy and refined looking. Biotherm’s BioPur Pore Reduce is a one-minute mask that unclogs poses, and tightens and brightens complexions . It is not harsh, and it leaves skin soft.
Pure honey is a natural moisturizer and makes a great mask for normal to dry skin. A beaten egg white or a large spoon of plain yogurt can benefit oily skin.
Relax with the mask on for at least 10 minutes. Remove the mask, moisturize and apply eye cream. If your skin is dry, you may want apply rich oil such as Vitamin E oil, pomegranate oil, Clarins Blue Orchid Oil or NovaMosit (essential oil blend) as an additional treat.  Your skin will be glowing and soft. You will feel relaxed and fabulous.
The salon mani-pedi has become a ritual for working women. Many consider it a luxury. But these days, too many of just don’t have the time. And the cost can add up. Darlings, nothing says tacky, cheap, or unprofessional like old, chipped polish. It looks so awful.
Doing your nails at home is a snap. If you don’t have time for a manicure, just take off any old polish and file your nails, then slap on a top coat. You are clean and “polished” in mere minutes.
Shop for supplies at your local beauty supply; I like Sally’s Beauty Supply and Ulta. Use a base coat and quick dry and a top coat. Buy a quick dry nail spray so you can move around a bit as your nails dry, but be careful: it only sets the top.
lf you have cracked heels or rough skin on your feet — and who doesn’t? — try a Ped Egg. You can get one for about $10. It looks like an egg with a cheese grater on the bottom. Do not soak your feet Ped Egg is brilliantbefore you use it, just follow the instructions. It will remove dead rough skin from feet faster and easier than many pedicures. The Ped Egg is brilliant.
File or clip your nails straight across, then soak your feet, preferably while having a relaxing bath. Use a delicious scrub such as Olay Body Thermal Pedicure which heats up or Aromafloria Feet Sake Foot Scrub that has tea tree oil and other ingredients to relieve tired feet and heavy legs.
Do not let anyone cut your cuticles. Push them back with a towel and call it a day. Use this technique on your hands too. Dry your feet. Let your nails dry, then apply a base coat and two coats of nail colour. After about five minutes, brush on a top coat. You can now stretch out for an hour while your nails dry.
 Don’t forget to use nail-drying spray after about 10 minutes. Put a rich cream on your heels. Heel-Tastic is a rich balm in a stick. It contains dimethicone and blend of natural botanical oils including Neem oil. It is effective for healing dry cracked heels. You can find it in most drug stores or at  We also like Theraplex FT for dry scaly skin and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E.
Darlings, now can relax on your own bed – how delicious!
Manicures are even simpler than pedicures. Remove polish before a shower or bath. Then file in one direction. Keep nails short and oval – the square is out! Wash your hands if you did not bathe. Push back your cuticles gently with towel. Follow the same polishing sequence as for feet. To make my “at-home-spa-mani ” special, I treat my hands and arms to St. Ives Apricot Renew and Firm Renew and Firm Scrub. It contains glycolic acid, so it helps to keep any brown sun-spots at bay, and leaves skin super soft. It is only $5 for a lavish spa treatment with my mani. I use it for pedicures too. Deluxe pedicures done by dermatologists and podiatrists include glycolic peels, you can get a similar result by regularly suing this type of scrub.. Buy it in any drugstore.
Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream --a divine classicIf you are polish jinx who always smears, you will get better with practice. But until then even a jinx can have perfect polish with Sally Hansen Quick Care Clean-Up for Manicures. This pen wipes away polishing slips in seconds. Also try Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream with Apricot Extract. It is a classic that is hard to beat at any price.
Painful and unsightly corns and calluses need a doctor’s attention. Do not cut them, seek medical attention. 
Darlings, from the top of your gorgeous head to the tips of your fabulous feet, your body needs loving care. You can see it as chore and bore, work fit only for paid minions. Or, you can learn to embrace the ritual of caring for you. If you do, I promise you will look better, feel more relaxed, and — as a bonus — save a whack of cash.

Slash your beauty budget, The hair issue

Currently I am a"Dream Blonde"I was born a beauty addict; I’m convinced it led to my career as professional beauty maven. Growing up, I devoured not only beauty products, but beauty books. I read them all. In the not too distant past, celebrities used to sell beauty books instead of product lines. I preferred the books. I particularly liked tomes that dripped with glamour by old-time movie stars. They seemed to have an endless supply of tips and tricks gleaned from the best movie studio make-up artists and hair dressers. Styles change over time, but it’s amazing how useful all I learned from ZsaZsa Gabor and Sophia Loren and many others still is today.
Sophia Loren stated in her beauty book that any beauty worthy of the name should know how to take care of her skin and nails, and be able to keep her hair flawlessly coloured. I agree.
Don’t wrong. I adore and depend on my talented beauty-makers. There is no way my skin would look as it does without the ministrations of my fabulous cosmetic acupuncturist Fang Wang. Nor would I like to be without my talented stylist, Ebony. Every time I move I go through the challenge of finding a new hair stylist. Sometimes it can be a painful drama.
I’m a big advocate of sticking to a beauty budget. I always have been, even before the current recession. I like my hair to look perfect and rootless, so I hit the salon every six weeks. I like it to move and swing, so I need a stylist at a price that I can afford. I can always tell when a woman is over her head with her stylist. She lets her hair go too long between appointments. I don’t get it. It’s better to go to someone you can afford so your hair can look fab all the time than to go to a fancy salon you can’t afford.
We all have different needs. Girls with manes of glorious curls may visit the salon only four times a year. They swear a talented curl-cutter is hard to find and worth a splurge. At only four times a year, if it’s in your budget and works for you, go for it.
But even on my six-week rotation, I still do my own between-appointment touch-ups. I used to buy professional colour supplies from the beauty supply store, but now the at-home products are so good, I just stop by the drugstore. My stylists know I will be regularly touching-up my tresses. None of the good ones have had an issue with it. Most of them have offered tips. If your stylist reacts negatively against a little home touch-up, dump them. Lately, one even reads of stylists recommending home hair colour to their wealthy clients when asked. Celebrity stylists such as Frederic Fekkai and Oscar Blandi among others even offer their own home hair colouring products. The days of home hair colour snobbism is over!
Knowing how to do my own hair has also let me keep it shiny and pristine while traveling. It has allowed me to stay on a budget too. I have neither the cash nor patience for a salon visit every two weeks. This way I spend an hour at home, instead of the languishing at the salon. I read or work during the 20 minutes of “processing”. Then I just dry my freshly-glossed locks, and I am good to go. Touch-ups are so simple that I have coloured my hair in hotel rooms before events. I didn’t leave a single stain. The alternative would have been trying out a strange salon and stylist.
Darlings, this is not some arcane beauty editor talent. Recently one of our contributors noticed that her professionally-coloured and highlighted hair was in desperate need of a touch-up. She had been away from home for months. She needed to attend a few formal functions with her executive husband. Obviously, she had to look stunning and flawless. She had never coloured her own hair. Simultaneously while chatting on Skype, we used the L’Oreal Paris online computer to select her perfect shade and product. The computer suggested L’Oreal Superior Preference. Thanks to the numbering system, she could buy it easily in a foreign country. She followed the directions and my tips. She says will definitely be colouring again. Her hair looked and felt sensational. She loved its texture and fullness, as well as the rich brunette colour. She also liked the $8 price tag.
L’Oreal Paris has new collection of Decadent Chocolate shades in Superior Preference that look gorgeous on brunettes.
West coast editor, Alice Farnsworth has been visiting me in Atlanta. Ever since she permed her hair, she has not been able to find the right ahde of hair colour. She also found it really hard to cover her grey. Alice is not alone; many readers complain about this problem. So while she was here, we used the Clairol online computer to find her ideal shade. To her surprise, we settled on a medium golden blond called Beeline Honey in the Perfect 10 Nice N’ EasyAlice had been using a light brown and it was too dark for her, but she really is not a blond. Perfect 10 is a high-gloss permanent colour that works in just 10 minutes. It smells fabulous. Alice liked that it had two applicator tips — a comb for her hair and a regular nozzle for her hair line. It made application a snap. Her hair came out shiny, manageable, and free of all grey. The colour choice was sensational too, just what she had been looking for!
Over the years, I have used all types of hair colour. In Moscow, I brought my own to my stylists, until I worked for Russian Vogue.
I have tried a variety of blonds. I have yet to find one I don’t like. Currently, I am hooked on L’Oreal Paris Superior Preference Dream Blonde. It is the crème de la crème of home colour, at $15. But it leaves hair silky and without a trace of brassiness. I use only half a box at a time, so I splurge.
The online computers offered by Clairol and L’Oreal Paris can help you choose your shade and products. They are like having a staff of stylists to help and are better than the panel on the box. They offer different options as well as give professional tips. Both companies have help lines with live experts too. 
There are products to gloss your hair, cover grey, highlight, or keep your salon colour fresh between visits. The number of women who colour at home is growing.  Recently, The New York Times reported this: “Asked how the economy had changed their spending habits, 15 percent of 1,000 American women who have their hair colored professionally said they now color it at home, according to a recent survey by Mintel, a market research firm. Another company, Information Resources, said dollar sales of a popular Clairol product, Root Touch-up, shot up 20 percent over the last year.”
Darlings, home hair colour is fast, fabulous and practically foolproof. It is also a great way to stretch your budget. If you choose not to colour and can rock a silver fox do, that’s gorgeous too. It seems the recession is here to stay for a while, but that does not mean your beauty regime has to suffer. Darlings, as I always tell you, it has never been easier or more economical to be beautiful.