You would think that with all this free time, us beauty junkies would be self-caring like crazy. The truth is, being at home during a pandemic, dealing with uncertainty and cabin fever, has caught me in a sluggish Netflix/couch cycle instead. In the 45 days that I’ve been home, I’ve had very little energy or motivation to treat myself.
And come to think of it, when I have done at-home pampering sessions, it’s usually because I’m actually going somewhere. My pampering efforts of deep conditioning treatments, eye masks and manicures are mainly motivated by a special event, a sunny vacation or the need to reset after a busy work week. Indulging in an at-home spa session just to stay home when you’ve already been home just feels so…anticlimactic.
That is, until I finally snapped out of my funk. I was bored out of my mind one particular evening, and I needed a break from my phone and from Netflix. So I headed to the bathroom and I started plucking my eyebrows; a task I haven’t done in years since I get my eyebrows routinely threaded by a professional. To my relief, the eyebrow task was completed without regretful consequences. I then proceeded with a facial mask, and while it soaked on my face, I painted my nails. Those 30 minutes of grooming, after weeks of being a sluggish, sloppy, couch potato, instantly boosted my mood. I felt normal again.
If this sounds familiar and you also need to snap out of a monotonous funk, here are eight little pampering treats that are guaranteed to improve your mood, make you feel refreshed, and more importantly, make you feel like beautiful you again.
Remove unwanted hair
Eyebrows: Look, I miss my eyebrow lady too. But Bert & Ernie isn’t the look we should be achieving during this pandemic so it’s best to keep the tweezers handy.
Face: There’s something so satisfying about using an eyebrow razor to scrape off the little peach fuzz on the face. Bonus: your skin will actually look and feel so soft and fresh, and don’t worry, I promise that your hair will not grow back thicker.
Body: I treated myself to laser hair removal a few years ago (read: best decision of my life) so my bikini, legs and under arms have since been hair-free. That said, a little shaving trick I learned from my laser lady: use hair conditioner to shave! It softens your hair before you shave it, and it’s much more moisturizing on your skin than shaving cream is. So keep this in mind when you run out of shaving cream. You’re welcome.
Give your hair a special treatment
For the hair that we do want to keep, be sure to give her some extra love. A lot of us will be dealing with dry ends and unkept hair since our visits to the hair salon are halted, so now’s the time to do your weekly hair masks. If you’re out of hair masks, you can soak your hair in coconut or almond oil for extra shine and nourishment. Another good thing to do to your hair: take a break from heat styling. No need to blow dry or straighten your hair on the daily right now. Let your hair dry naturally, use a quick-drying hair turban (I love this hair turban by Aquis), or loosely braid your damp hair to add some natural texture.
Enjoy a facial mask
You might as well slap on a facial mask while you work from home (not while on a Zoom meeting though…), binge-watch Netflix or when you hop on a Zoom video with the girls. It’s the perfect way to use up all those free sheet masks you received as promo, or even that expensive facial jar you bought and never had time to indulge in. What if you run out of face masks? Just mix together honey and plain Greek yogurt for a natural moisturizing mask.
Exfoliate your skin and lips
This is my favourite natural beauty trick. Mixing coconut oil and sugar (or sea salt) makes such a great body scrub, and it’s much healthier for you. For extra spa vibes, I like adding a few drops of lavender or rosewater oil, et voilà: a natural, effective and luxurious body scrub made at home. Remember to save a small portion for your lips, too.
Stick to your regular skincare routine
It’s easy to fall out of your skin care routine when you’re in the slug phase, but just like I hope you’re still brushing your teeth and showering, it shouldn’t be too hard to stick to your daily/nightly skincare routine. Since you’re not wearing as much makeup, it’s actually an incredibly beneficial time to reap the benefits of these products.
Give yourself a Mani & Pedi
I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to deal with the awkward growth of shellac or gel nails (if you’re one of the unlucky ones, see here). My idea of an at home manicure is just a classic soaking, filing, shaping, moisturizing and two coats of regular nail polish. I love this shade Buff & Tumble from Sally Hansen. It’s the perfect clean, nude shade.
For pedis, I love using bright colours, like Happi by Zoya. It just makes me smile to look down and see coral toes even if I have nowhere to go. Soaking your feet in warm soapy water is one of life’s simple pleasures that I tend to forget about. For the ultimate foot soaking experience, add a few drops of essential oil (my favourite combo is lavender and peppermint), or add a few drops of bubble bath soap. My all-time favourite one is the Calming Soft Lavender from HelloBello. Finish off with a softening foot cream and top with a joyful colour, and you’ll feel like a million bucks.
Put on some light makeup
Okay, hear me out: regardless if you connect to Zoom meetings or if you’re currently unemployed, it doesn’t matter. A little bit of makeup does wonders to your mood. My advice is to choose the basic essentials that actually make a difference to your face. For example, my problem area is darkness under my eyes, so concealer is my ultimate must-have. When I don’t wear concealer, I look really tired (I’m sure the added hours of screen time don’t help either). After weeks of consistently looking at that tired reflection, I knew I needed to grab my trusty concealer again. It instantly brightens up my eyes and face, and in turn, brightens up my mood. If I feel like zhuzhing things up (admittedly, I always do), I groom my eyebrows with an eyebrow gel, I dust on a a pretty blush and I finish off with a clear lipgloss. That’s it. That alone makes me feel so much better.
Spritz your favourite fragrance
Wearing perfume has been a habitual part of my daily routine since I was a teenager, and you can thank my Middle Eastern roots for that. We just love perfume. It might seem pointless if you’re at home but putting on a favourite fragrance is an instant mood booster. I mean, when you smell good, you feel good. My ultimate signature fragrance is Amber by Nemat Perfumes. It’s such a beautiful, fresh, clean and light scent, so it’s actually “appropriate” for lounging at home. Other light fragrances that I love for that fresh-out-of-the-shower feel is Another 13 by Le Labo and You by Glossier. These scents bring me to happy places.
And there you have it! Eight simple ways to beautify ourselves when we need to get out of our funk. These little sessions are the perfect way to use up our collection of beauty products, and when we run out, we can easily create natural versions to feel a bit more refreshed, relaxed and gain a little touch of normalcy.