After one of her followers praised her "flawless" no-makeup selfie last year, Vancouver-based beauty blogger Gina Shkeda opened up about the procedures she's had done to achieve her gorgeous look.
"Girl I have micro bladed brows, lash extensions in and lip injections - I don't even look like this. You're flawless," she wrote on Twitter.
The refreshing lesson gleaned from this exchange showed us that the curated lives of those we admire aren't always as they seem.
While going entirely makeup free can be jarring for some, it's possible to feel confident without cosmetics, even if that means getting a little help from some non-invasive procedures, as Shkeda did — with the exception of her lip injections.
Whether you want perfect brows or a glowing, even complexion, the beauty procedures below are safe, low maintenance and require little to no recovery time.
Average cost: $350-$600
Not everyone is born with luscious full brows. Most fair-haired women and men will attest to the fact that without a little help from makeup, their brows are virtually non-existent. Enter the latest and greatest in semi-permanent makeup known as microblading.
The procedure, which Shkeda mentioned, sees an esthetician adding hair-like strokes to a client's brows to fill in gaps, define them and, in some cases, entirely reconstruct the eyebrow.
"It's a safe and effective procedure when done by someone experienced," New York-based dermatologist, Debra Jaliman, told Health.com, adding that the procedure "must be done under sterile conditions, otherwise you can get a skin infection like staph or strep, even herpes."
Those who invest in microblading leave with enviable eyebrows that won't wash off with cleanser or in the pool. There's no down time associated with the low-risk procedure and each session takes roughly two to three hours to complete.
2. Lash lifts
Average cost: $50-$80
The beauty universe has been obsessed with eyelash extensions since the procedure started popping up in Japan and Korea in the early 2000s. Those who have it done generally love the results, but hate the upkeep. That being said, lash lifts are a fantastic, low-maintenance alternative to costly extensions.
So what's involved? Essentially, a small rod is placed against your eyelashes and a perm solution is applied to curl them. The results are surprisingly impressive, instantly making your lashes look longer and fuller.
Lash lifts are also less expensive than extensions and can last up to eight weeks, depending on your lash cycle. The time invested in the procedure is minimal as well. Have half an hour to kill? Get a lash lift for an instant beauty boost.
3. Organic or all-natural spray tans
Average cost: $50-$200
Tanning beds have been on everyone's no-no list for years, but we can't deny that our complexions improve when that summer glow is in effect. Imperfections and even dark circles become less obvious with a sun-kissed glow.
However, the risk of melanoma and associated skin diseases just aren't worth hitting the tanning bed or baking in the sun. The safer and equally effective alternative is a spray tan and one using all-natural ingredients is even better.
While DHA, the active ingredient in tanning products, has raised some eyebrows, the general consensus is that it's quite safe, as long as it's not inhaled or used improperly. For a natural-looking tan that won't turn you orange, enlist an experienced airbrush artist who is skilled at controlling the level of tanning product applied to your skin.
4. Facials & laser skin resurfacing treatments
Average cost: $150-$2,500
Getting regular facials is key to how songstress Alicia Keys maintains her perfect makeup-free complexion. Most spas target their facials for specific skincare issues, so it may be overwhelming to pick the right one initially.
A microdermabrasion facial can almost immediately improve the overall texture of your skin, heal hyperpigmentation and increase elasticity. The procedure involves a trained esthetician using tiny exfoliating crystals to remove dead and superficial layers of skin to reveal fresh, new skin.
Aside from minor redness, microdermabrasion facials require no down time. A single treatment takes about 30 to 45 minutes, however, multiple treatments are recommended for the best results.
For other skincare concerns, lymphatic facials, acne facials and brightening facials are always available. And if facials are just not cutting it anymore, laser skin resurfacing treatments may be the next step. Always consult with your dermatologist first, as this treatment requires more healing time and aftercare but still qualifies as fairly non-invasive.
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