You may not be able to visit the salon for your regular appointments right now, but don’t let that get in the way of looking and feeling fabulous. From tanning to manicures, here’s everything you need to know to become an at-home beauty pro, ready to face the outside world again.
If your nails are usually covered in glossy gel, it might feel like a downgrade going back to basics, but playful colours and taking your time with application will make your DIY manicure look salon approved.
Start by making sure your nails are clear of any old polish. Trim down to your desired length - cutting straight across to give a square finish. This is much simpler than trying to create a rounded or pointier shape. Then use a file to buff the freshly cut edges. Move the file in the same direction with each stroke, rather than back and forth, as this can weaken the nail and cause breakages. Next up, apply a strengthening base coat before sweeping on your colour. It’s always best to apply two thin coats of polish rather than one thicker layer, and apply with a stroke down the middle of the nail first, before filling each side. Once your paint job is complete, finish with a gel-effect, clear, top coat. This will create a plumped up and super shiny salon-style finish while helping your varnish last. Wait a few minutes, and once your nails are totally dry, dot a little nourishing cuticle oil on to each finger and massage in - this will hydrate and protect to make your manicure last longer.
From visible roots to an overgrown fringe, your barnet is probably not looking its best after weeks away from the professionals. All is not lost though as there’s plenty of ways to give your tresses some TLC.
If you’re a colour-lover in desperate need of a quick fix, try a box dye. At-home formulas have come a long way in recent years and they’re gentler on your strands, as well as easier to use - just make sure to follow the instructions carefully. If you’d rather leave permanent colouring to your stylist, look for products to help you become the master of disguise. Shade-boosting shampoos will help to protect your tint for longer, and when it comes to regrowth, use a root powder around your parting and hairline. Simply swipe on over dark or grey roots and brush through for seamless cover-up that lasts all day.
Avoid cutting your own hair - this rarely ends well and can take months to grow out again. Instead, get clever with styling. If your fringe is resting on your lashes, try brushing it to one side and holding in place with pretty hair slides and a mist of hairspray. If your extra-long locks are starting to channel Rapunzel, perhaps use this time to teach yourself braiding (there’s plenty of tutorials online) or add some bounce while hiding split ends, by wrapping random sections around heated tongs for a few seconds to create loose curls. If all else fails, a messy bun is always a winner!
For those who are devoted to in-salon hair removal, it might be time to get your DIY on. Whether you want to shave or wax, it’s always best to exfoliate first. This will remove any dull and dead skin to create a clean and smooth surface to make de-fuzzing easier.
If using a traditional razor, always shave in the bath or shower - a dry shave will lead to irritated skin and you’re much more likely to cut yourself. Use a shaving foam or look for razors that have a clever built-in moisturising bar to make it easier to glide over legs while protecting your skin. Post-shower, pat your legs dry with a towel before rehydrating with a natural-based body oil or lotion.
Waxing is known for those ‘ouch’ moments but if you can handle it, you’ll have smoother, stubble -free pins for twice as long. Waxing strips are easy to use and totally mess-free. Press onto legs, leave for a moment, and then pull up (against the direction of natural hair growth) in one quick, movement. Avoid going over the same patch twice and don’t use any lotions for the rest of the day to let your skin settle.
Whether you like a fluffed-up natural shape, or neat and defined arches, tackling your brows at home can be daunting. The best way to start is by mapping out the shape. This involves holding your brow pencil vertically alongside the edge of your nose - the start of your brows should line up with the tip. Next, hold the pencil at your nostril and line it up to the outer corner of your eye - the end of your brows shouldn’t go any further past this point. If you like to have a higher arch shape in the middle, find this by lining the pencil from your nostril across the centre of your eye - the spot where your pencil meets your brow is where your arch should be. Draw a dot at each point and use it as a guide to fill and colour. Only tweeze outside of this area, and always pluck sparingly to avoid any gaps. Use a very fine pencil to draw individual strokes in the same direction as your natural hair growth to fill any sparse patches, and a clear gel will tame any strays while boosting shine.
Exposing lockdown feet giving you the fear? Cracked heels and chipped nails are easy to rectify with a bit of TLC. Treat your feet to a pedicure a couple of times a week, and you’ll be sandal-ready in no time! If you have very rough and dry skin, no amount of lotion will fix it. You need to buff away the tough patches first - a traditional foot file will tackle these areas brilliantly. You can also get baby soft soles minus the hard work by investing in an electronic buffer - it’ll banish roughness in minutes. Next up, slather your feet in a hydrating cream before bed and pop on a pair of socks. This will lock in your product and give your feet an intense treatment while you sleep. A daily dose of a light lotion over heels will help keep them in good condition, finish off with a sunny coloured polish. Hot pinks and reds are universally flattering and are always chic for the warmer weather months.
The power of a fresh tan should never be underestimated. A golden glow can boost your confidence ten-fold and help you feel ready to face the outside world again. There are so many options when it comes to colour, but if you’re new to tanning, always opt for a gradual product. Apply it all over instead of your usual body lotion each morning, and your subtle, sunny shade will build up daily for a natural-looking tint. The gentle application means there won’t be any harsh lines or the risk of waking up a scary shade of orange!
If you’re looking for a quick colour-boost, a tanning foam is easy to apply, and you’ll get a faux-glow immediately. Always use a mitt to sweep on the mousse in a circular motion, as this will avoid any tell-tale streaks. Ask somebody to help you with hard to reach areas like your back and remember to wash your hands after application - patchy, brown palms will definitely give the game away!
Keeping skin hydrated will keep your bronze looking fresher for longer, so apply a generous amount of moisturiser all over, each day for a boost.
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