From workouts to makeup and blow outs, here’s a list of places to help update your look without being a time-suck
Whether you’re juggling work with a growing brood or a SAHM trying to meet all your family’s needs, finding a window for some ‘me-time’ can be tricky. And while you wouldn’t change life with the munchkins for anything, it’s normal to be wistful for the old days where you could take a bit of time to get in shape or get glammed up.
But there’s good news, mama! There are some simple solutions, which don’t take hours on end, to put a little spring back into your step. We’ve pulled together eight options in the city for time-poor mamas who need to look good quick.
Electro Muscle Stimulation – Body Express
This is a full body workout in a fraction of the time it would take to achieve the same results at the gym. In fact, they claim that a 20-minute training session is equivalent to around 5 hours spent at the gym. Trainers use Electro Muscle Stimulation training to work on multiple groups, or they can focus on problem areas and target deeper muscles. The medically-approved machines stimulate the body using electrical currents which cause the muscles to contract.
This means EMS training is a great option if you are trying to regain your fitness and strengthen muscles in the hope of getting in shape, as you negotiate the steep ‘back to exercise’ curve quickly. But also for those that are already in shape and want to achieve the next level.
Listen to Music
Put your records on! It’s an easy one and can be done in conjunction with other things. Research from the University of Missouri has shown that listening to upbeat music can lower your stress levels, improve mood, boost our immune response and even lower our perception of pain. Even better if you can throw your arms in the air and dance around. It’s amazing endorphin-booster and these little lifts on the inside can make all the difference to how we feel and ultimately how we look on the outside. Psychologists have found that listening to music for 25 minutes every day for at least 10 days will help to prevent back pain and make you sleep better – which will lead to better skin, posture and energy levels. Perfect!
Read more: Check out some great music events happening around town in our events calendar!
It’s that time of year again: the temperature and humidity is rising, as is our frizz. For those on the go, the only solution is the Brazilian Blowout, where the hair is coated with a protein layer that smooths the shafts down. One of Hong Kong’s best at this treatment is Elaine Swanson, who serves up Prosecco and sweets at her boujis salon in Soho. Hugely popular and an HK hair styling veteran, Elaine’s personality – and indeed the whole atmosphere – is a little like being at a talented friend’s apartment.
She can deliver a knockout blowout in around an hour, plus a care package of shampoo and conditioner is included in the price. With proper care, this treatment can last three months.
Bright, pearly whites can literally brighten up your entire face, and we all know that all you really need is a great smile and not much else to look put together. Teeth whitening has become a growing trend in Hong Kong and Dentists Smith & Jain, in Central, (who also run the gorgeous Bayside Dental in DB), are the go-to folk for this treatment. They offer in-house whitening – where the brilliant Sari Laakso perfects your smile, or for those on a tight budget – there is also a home-kit that is designed to work for you personally.
Makeover Sessions & Make-Up Tutorials
A makeover session will do wonders for your confidence and put a spring in your step. In Hong Kong it can be hard to find a place you can trust (that isn’t trying to sell you products) – step forward Jo Worthington if you’re craving star treatment at an affordable price. Having built up more than 12 years experience in styling and makeup, you can rest assure she definitely knows what she’s doing. Her great passion is helping ordinary women explore the art of makeup by creating new looks. Besides working with individuals, Jo also does groups which would be great for getting the girls together. Prices start from just $300. But for those that are even tighter for time, she has started her own YouTube channel which means you can practice at home, in your own space, knowing you are being guided by an expert.
Colour & Style
Get a good cut, colour and restyle. One of the quickest ways to freshen up your look is to ensure you’ve got a style and colour that suits your features and style. Benjamin Amey of Alchemy Boutique Salon is the grand master of styling and colour. He’s the go-to-guy for Hong Kong’s most glamorous, and can guide you through everything from the classic balayage, ombré and colour-melt styling to more adventurous cuts and neon hues. Getting a good haircut might be just the boost you need.
Not all facials are created equal – so if you’re opting for an express one, it does pay to seek out the experts. That way you know that quick doesn’t necessarily mean a rush job. The Four Seasons Spa is an industry leader for Hong Kong, and we highly recommend the new Mask 3 Facial. It’s one hour but you essentially get three treatments in one. Using the luxe Epicuren lifting masks, which help reduce the appearance of fine lines and reveal a refined, glowing complexion. The first tightens, the second detoxifies and oxygenates, and the third boosts skin with lysine, the amino acids, essential for producing collagen. If you have the time to spare – you can include a body scrub or back and neck message – extending the treatment to 90 minutes.
Blow Dry at Airplay
If there’s one thing we have learned from the Duchess of Cambridge – it’s the power of a good blow-dry. It’s quick and painless and yet it can transform your look. We love Airplay, who bring so much fun to the primping concept. The half-up styles are also a great option for those that just want to vamp things up a little. Best of all, it takes just 45 minutes for them to perfect a style that would likely take ordinary folk hours.