Newscasters have long been synonymous with glamour and a pristine, smart appearance: bright shift dresses or trouser suits and court heels are complemented by a shiny and perfectly coiffed bob or updo, with flushed cheeks and subtle smokey eyes. Fast-forward to lockdown, however, and those slick professional touches have had to be a thing of the past.
Though lockdown in the UK is slowly lifting, hair and beauty salons are closed for a further four weeks. Social distancing is still firmly in place, too, which means having a mobile hairstylist or make-up artist perform their glam services also breaks the rules.
Unruly eyebrows and root touch-ups aside, for those of us working from home, we need only throw on some mascara and a bright lip for a Zoom-ready face, but for those in the spotlight who are having to make do alone – then face the nation with the DIY results – it’s nerve-wracking to say the least.
Refreshingly, newscasters in the UK are proving unphased. Over the last ten weeks, we’ve (quite literally) been looking at them now more than ever as TV news viewing figures have doubled in recent weeks. As such, the pressure to maintain their signature groomed look has only increased, but with our newsreaders left to their own devices.
The DIY advocates are led by Naga Munchetty. The BBC newsreader ‘couldn’t stop herself’ from performing an at-home haircut, keen to maintain her chic pixie crop, and took to Instagram to document the inch she’d chopped off herself. Maintaining a short cut requires regular trims, so much like Nicola Sturgeon, who we exclusively reported has been cutting her own hair, too, a shorter ‘do requires upkeep, it’s understandable she’d reach for the scissors. With many of us sighing over our split ends each morning, its something we can relate to.
The BBC’s Emily Maitlis is also team DIY. At the beginning of lockdown, after cutting her husband’s hair, she revealed on Twitter that she’d previously worked in a hair salon, so the bouncy blow-dries she’s continued to sport throughout lockdown are likely her own impressive handy work.
Some (like most of us) are using lockdown to hark back to a low-key, low-maintenance look, with weather presenter Carol Kirkwood leading the camp. Her staple glossy waves and coral lip combination was previously her signature, but since, she’s been sporting straighter, natural locks with grown-out layers and pared-back make-up.
Channel 4’s Cathy Newman revealed to the Guardian last month that her grooming team were still semi-responsible for the glowy make-up look she’s maintained, but the handy work has been all her own. ‘Lisa, our head of makeup, put together foundation, cover-up, mascara, blusher and every brush under the sun for each presenter,’ she said.
Our newsreaders are set to be a dab hand in the beauty department by the time hair and beauty services re-open on July 4.