Get ready for the Grand National

Get ready for the Grand National

The Grand National is just around the corner and the world will once again stop in its tracks as 600 million people watch around 40 horses and jockeys line-up to tackle the iconic Aintree Racecourse live on television.

The three-day event, which is running from 12-14 April, will be packed full of top-quality races.

If you’re attending this year’s Randox Health Grand National you will no doubt want to look your best and here at Champneys HQ we’ve been gathering some of the best beauty tips and treatments to help you stand out from the crowd at the big event. We’ve also collated some fashion tips from experts.

6 weeks before

Treatments for your skin

Treatments for your skin

For any special event you want your skin to glow and there are lots of beauty treatments that can help; from quick hand and feet touch ups to full body treatments.

Barbara Daley, owner of Barbara Daley Hair & Beauty, recommends having treatments on your skin around six weeks before the Grand National:

“With preparation for any big event it's all about timing. I would recommend starting with your skin. Hydrated and glowing skin is a must for an all-day event like Ladies Day and allows your makeup to go the distance. I'd recommend beginning a course of facials at least six weeks before to lighten and brighten the skin.

“I always recommend having a full body exfoliation before any all-day event. It gets your skin ready if you're wearing tan and just makes you feel amazing.”

Body Wraps

Body Wraps

Body wraps are relaxing treatments that help to hydrate your skin and offer you complete relaxation and blissfulness. Sarah Baker, the founder of wellness and lifestyle brand Balanced Babe, shares her favourite body wrap.

“I like doing infrared sauna body wraps - the infrared rays work internally and help you burn a lot of calories and can help you sweat out any excess water weight. A lot of women have issues with water weight whether it's from hormones, too much booze, too much sodium, or just not the right types of foods.”

1-2 weeks before

Get your hair cut

Get your hair cut

How soon before the big day should you get a trim or root touch up? Barbara Daley, who was voted 2018 UK salon of the year by Marie Claire and is the official hair and beauty partner for this year's Ladies Day at the Randox Health Grand National, has some recommendations:

“We advise clients to have their colour done around ten days before, as it's likely you'll be busy the week of any event and it gives your hair that few days to settle in without losing its shine.

“With an event like the Grand National you are at the mercy of Mother Nature and come rain or shine your hair can fall flat. Whether it be an unpredictable heatwave, like we saw last year, or the more common British drizzle, most hairstyles will struggle to compete with the moisture both produce. I always recommend carrying an ‘emergency hair aid kit’ in your handbag consisting of a small comb, a bungee and a few grips. Ask your stylist for a few simple styles that you can do yourself should the weather take its toll.”

Use a skin peel formula

Use a skin peel formula

Hayley Hall, who runs a beauty and lifestyle blog, says it is important to get rid of dead skin before the event:

“Apply a gentle skin peel formula every few days for a week or two beforehand, to rid the surface of dead skin and reveal a brighter complexion. It’ll help your skincare sink in better, your makeup to sit perfectly and your look to last all day. They come in all sorts of mask and overnight treatments, so you can find one to suit your needs and budget.”

Freelance writer and makeup artist Emma Campbell, who runs the blog What Emma Did, also recommends getting a facial peel:

“I’d recommend getting a facial peel or a hydrating/plumping facial around 3-4 days before the event. This will freshen up the skin and also prep the skin so that your treatment products work better and deeper over the next few days. Come the day of the races, you’ll have the best conditioned skin!”



Spa facial treatments cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate the face, to leave your complexions feeling fresh and smooth with a healthy glow. Sarah Baker (who is she? Blogger, therapist etc) explains why facials are important: “A facial about a week before the big day will also help - I don't like doing facials too close to events as sometimes blemishes that are embedded show themselves to be extracted soon after a facial.”

Sian Victoria, who blogs about her love for travel, fashion, food and beauty, recommends trying a Biologique Recherche facial: “To get your skin glowing and feeling fabulous before any big event I would highly recommend a Biologique Recherche facial.

“The facial is bespoke and tailored to your skincare needs, the products are made of pure natural ingredients such as marine, botanical and biological extracts to cleanse, sooth, unclog, hydrate and renew skin.”

A few days before

Try a gel manicure treatment

Try a gel manicure treatment

Getting your nails prepped is always an important aspect of getting ready for any big event and the Grand National is no exception. Beauty blogger Hayley Hall suggests getting a gel manicure:

“Invest in a gel manicure to keep your nails chip free; there’s nothing worse than doing your manicure and ruining it within a few hours, so swap up for a gel manicure that lasts up to two weeks with no chipping or flaking.”

Emma Campbell agrees that opting for gel nails are a great choice.

“Gel nails are probably the best option, as they are gentle to your nails, affordable to have done, and you can choose a colour to match your outfit! They’ll stay glossy and secure on the nails if you have these around 2 days before the event.”

Here at Champneys we offer a 25-minute gel nails shape and polish treatment. Our skilled technicians will file and shape your nails before applying Jessica GELeration polish.

Consider using fake tan

Emma Campbell believes in the week leading up to the Grand National you should consider applying fake tan, “Fake tan during the week running up to the event so you don’t have to rely on a spray tan or instant tan on the day. If it rains, this will have disappointing results, so build your faux tan gradually!”

Fashion tips for the meet

Fashion tips for the meet

If you’re attending the Grand National and are still dithering over what to wear you should take a look at these fashion tips.

Allie Davies, a Liverpool blogger who runs Tie Dye Eyes, says the most important aspect of choosing your outfit is for you to stay true to yourself:

“There can be a lot of discussion around what people wear to the Grand National, and it's not always positive, but I always tell everyone to stay true to themselves. Whatever you want to wear, whether that be a mini skirt or a midi skirt, a bright and bold dress or something more subdued, a huge statement hat or no hat at all, just be yourself and wear it with confidence, that's the key.

“Have fun and make the experience as enjoyable as possible. In Liverpool, we're all about looking our best and having a good time, but we're also all about making others feel great too.”

Picking clothes for the Grand National

Barbara Daley adds: “People always ask advice for what we are looking for as a judge for the Style Award at Ladies Day and it's so hard to say. I am always searching for someone with great personal style, who has thought about their total look, not just the clothes you're wearing. Sometimes it's a case of how you put them together with your hair and make-up. Accessories play a big part now too. We're predicting statement earrings will be massive this year and it's about tailoring your hair to compliment not compete with your ear wear. That means if you're wearing an ear cuff, you may decide to go with an asymmetric style that shows it off; if you have a larger dangly style you wouldn't want them getting lost in lots of curls so a loose wave or sleeker style may be a better option.

“My final tip for racegoers is all about footwear. It is so important to get this right. We see so many young girls who spend a fortune on shoes only to be seen carrying them home in a bag at the end of the day. Don't do it to yourself ladies! Choose a shoe that you know you can go the distance in, break them in at home a week before and invest in some cushioned insoles for when they do start to ache. Stilettos may look great on the runway or dance floor but not near the racetrack, skinny heels are out.”

Emma Campbell thinks that the less is more trend will be popular amongst racegoers this year:

“I think this year the less is more trend is bigger, with fascinations and headbands with details being the main trend. I’d opt for fascinators in shades of grey, cream and black if you have a block colour outfit. If you have a printed outfit, choose hair accessories or headbands with floral details to match the colour of your dress.”