By Alison McGill
All signs of a double vax summer point to a return to some semblance of life normalcy. Friend hangs, restaurants, weddings and the office are all making a comeback. Are you ready?
In the spirit of rebirth, it’s time to get tuned up, rebooted and ready to rock post-pandemic life. You are likely not feeling your best at the mo: weight gain, tiredness and general lack of mojo. Trust when I say a personal a style reno on every level—fashion, hair and beauty—will make you feel you again.
I tapped three image experts to share their best advice on how to beautifully emerge from your COVID cocoon.
Reset your wardrobe
It’s time to Maira Kondo it. Most of your clothes have been stagnating in your closet for 16 months and if you’re like me you can’t wait to toss your pandemic-acquired leisurewear. “Re-evaluate where you are with your wardrobe and lifestyle and how they are working together and represent you,” says Toronto stylist Tara Williams. “It’s been a long time; styles change, we change.”
Williams recommends keeping these three things top of mind when it comes to wardrobe purging: fit, quality and relevance. “Fit is the foundation of a good wardrobe. I’m not only talking about whether clothing is a little tight or loose. Does the garment compliment your body? Are you comfortable in it? Does it make you feel good? If not, pass it on.”
When it comes to quality, this does not necessarily equate to cost, but rather how the items look. If it’s as amazing as he day you purchased, it’s a keeper. Relevance is the last thing to consider. “If you haven’t worn the item in the last two years, let it go,” says Williams.
Once you’re sorted, add excitement to your wardrobe with things you love now. Williams says start with the classics: great jeans, amazing shoes and colourful tops, jackets and dresses. If a return to office is in your future, invest in pieces with great prints, patterns and silhouettes. “Have fun, feel good—we all need that!”
Cut that hair!
I don’t think I have missed anyone more than my hairdresser during pandemic times. In the words of Fleabag, hair is everything! After months of half-cocked at-home root touch ups and DIY cuts, it’s time to get our hair back in order.
“Right now there is a big focus on low maintenance when it comes to cuts, colour and styling,” shares Ian Hearth of Storm Hair Group, an Aveda salon collective in St. Catherine’s and Fonthill, Ontario. “Rooted colour looks achieved with balayage, ombré, colour melt and root smudges have been on trend for a while and will continue to be big because they are easy maintenance.”
Hearth reports natural texture is also huge. Curls are being embraced by all—they are a forgiving style choice if you need to go longer between appointments. “People are very into more organic looks and minimal styling efforts. It’s all about hair looking and feeling healthy.”
To shake up your style without a major cut or colour overhaul, Hearth recommends adding some lightness and brightness to the hair surrounding your face or create new and interesting textures with hot tools. “Irons can be used in many different ways to add dimension and give hair a fresh feel.”
Consider facial rejuvenation
Many of us are wearing the effects of lockdown on our face. “It is one of the first places signs of extreme stress surface,” says Derma Najjar, founder of Toronto’s D Luxe Lab medical spa. “In the era of virtual communication, you notice it more as you are spending so much time in front of a screen staring at yourself.”
For this reason, Najjar reports the demand for medical cosmetic treatments skyrocketed in 2020. People have had time to research and get educated about treatments and are looking for ways to turn back the COVID clock. “We are tired of looking tired,” she says. “Pre-pandemic someone may have been apprehensive to take the plunge and try a certain service. At our clinic, we are seeing women and men come in with confidence and they are serious about a treatment plan—they want to look and feel like themselves again.”
Of course, the rejuvenation route you choose will be budget dependent. Najjar says skin treatments can cost anywhere from $400 to $3,000; non-invasive injectables start at $800. In terms of what she recommends, there are several services that are quick, easy and will definitely get your groove back.
“Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is wonderful for skin resurfacing,” Najjar shares. “Laser services and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy are effectives way to treat fine lines and wrinkles, acne scarring, pigmentation and sun damaged skin. Injectables prevent loss of collagen and combat signs of ageing. Some people have experienced significant hair loss due to covid stress and are coming to us for JetPeel Transdermal Infusion, an innovative, needle-free method of hair restoration.”