Salon Or Save? Beauty Treatments You Can Do At Home

This last week has been a hive of London Fashion Week and Oscar preparations – and it’s not just the outfits. My body has been scrubbed, primped and primed beyond recognition in the year’s longest (andbest) getting-ready session ever!

2014 Zoe would have headed straight tothe salon for all the grunt work to be done by a pro. 2015 Zoe (complete with new purple hair - coming soon on Yahoo Lifestyle!) is watching the pennies.

Today I’m going to tell you about some treatments you can do at home, and how much it could save you. Then you can decide whether you’ll keep going to the salon or not!

By Zoe Dubs,

Pearly Whites

A bright, shining smile can really make a photograph pop but a red wine and coffee habit can quickly dull your nashers like dishwater.

Teeth whitening involves using chemicals to bleach your teeth lighter so a qualified dentist is recommended. Teeth whitening carried out in beauty salons by staff without the proper dental qualifications is actually illegal, let alone dangerous.

You can get home bleaching kits which are less potent but are a lot cheaper than the real deal. However, home bleach kits may risk your teeth becoming sensitive and your gums irritated.

Don’t worry, there are lots home alternatives which are less bleach-focused and use more natural ingredients. I like the Blanx Intensive Whitening Treatment £11 and the Blanx Stain Removal Toothpaste.

They use a unique formula based around Arctic Lichen, which is not aggressive on tooth enamel, and particles which polish and whiten the teeth.


Salon cost £300+

Save cost: £10.99 for the treatment + £6.30 ongoing

Conclusion: It depends. If you’re going for the full American style 5-shades-lighter effect, get it done by a professional. You risk burning your gums and heightening teeth sensitivity if done incorrectly.

If you just want a quick fix up and a brightening boost, try the home kits and use a whitening toothpaste every other day to keep it up.

Golden Girl

It’s a bit cold to be bearing some skin but when you need to flash the flesh, a fool-proof golden tan can be tricky to master. You’ve heard all the horror stories about patches, streaks and that tell-tale biscuit smell so a salon spray tan is often a foolproof way to get that glow.

There are several salon services available starting from a basic spray at £20, right up to spraying on a Spartan six-pack for £60.

For a DIY job, I like the St Moriz Instant Tan Mist £4.99 – the spray is less likely to streak than traditional lotion formulas and it’s much quicker!

If you’re looking for a one-off, wash-off product, the St Moriz Perfect Pins Leg Tanning spray is easy to apply and you don’t have to commit to the colour. (or the mistakes!)


Salon: £30 for a full body spray

Save: £4.99 for a bottle of fake tan spray

Conclusion: Save. The DIY market for fake tan has grown from strength to strength and it is now easier than ever to get a professional result at home. For best results, I recommend getting a tanning mitt to rub product in – and get someone to do your back for you!

Lovely Lashes

For a guaranteed super selfie, it’s all in the eyelashes. Long eyelashes really make a diference – they’re my “if you could only do one thing” choice. False eyelashes can have too many memories of ‘going out-out’ and seem weird in the daytime.

Eyelash extensions involve tiny, feather-light individual lashes glued on top of each of your own eyelashes. The process itself takes about 45 minutes but the result is a really high impact, yet natural, flutter.

The lashes will last for a few weeks, providing you steer clear of oil-based makeup remover and will fall out naturally with your own eyelashes.

BE WARNED. Eyelash extensions are an expensive habit and once you get it done the first time, it’s very hard to not want to have them ALL THE TIME.

One of the home alternatives I’ve been raving about is the DIY individual lash kit – these are about a tenth of the price and are just as good as the professional job – providing you’ve got a steady hand!

I like this kit by Eylure £6.50 and once you’re a pro, you can upgrade to the finer salon-quality extensions, available on eBay


Salon: £70+ for a full set

Home: £6.50 for a pack of individual lashes

Conclusion: For a one-off and a special occasion, go to the salon. Unless you’ve got a steady hand and don’t mind touching your eyes, the process can be quite finicky and very frustrating. If you get extensions done regularly or are the master of false eyelashes, it’s worth giving it a go yourself!

Photo-proof Facial

This might be controversial but I am undecided on facials. Having a facial is lovely and relaxing though it can be very hit and miss until you find your favourite facialist.

A facialist will use specialist products to exfoliate and cleanse the face, whilst boosting circulation to the skin.

You can get similar results at home using a radiance boosting cleanser and moisturiser, alongside some facial massage techniques to stimulate skin renewal.

I love the Burts Bee’s Radiance Royal Jelly range - I’ve been using it for the last few weeks and already notice a difference in my skin texture.


Salon: £30+ each time

Save: £40 for products (30+ applications)

Conclusion: Save. I spend most of my facials asleep, and I don’t always get on with the products used. The results of a facial are often maximised after a few goes, and the cost can add up.

TOP TIP: If you want instant results - why not fake the good skin look? I like the Skin Veil by Cosmetics A La Carte which gives my skin a diffused, soft focus look in seconds. (Our secret!)


All together, the full salon cost of teeth whitening, a spray tan, false eyelashes and a facial could cost you up to £450. Doing it all yourself would only cost you £70. Just think what you could do with that extra cash!

What are YOUR beauty preparations for a special event? Do you have any tips to save money on beauty treatments?

Tweet us @YLifestyleUK and follow #girlsOTG for more updates from our Girls On The Ground bloggers!

By Zoe Dubs,