Before you destroy your eyebrows and ruin your nails, bookmark these 7 salon-like DIY beauty treatments you can do at home
This is no time to be reckless
I’m back to Googling DIY beauty treatments in the hope that I’ll finally learn to tweeze my eyebrows in a way that they match. Instead of having two caterpillars chasing each other across my forehead, I always end up tweezing one too much or too little. The right eyebrow gets an arch, the other fall flat and I end up with a constant look of quizzical judgement. Not hot when you have daily video calls and interviews to do.
“Why not just let it be, who even cares right now?” Well, I’m a major face sweater, and that gets up in my brow area and congests my pores. Don’t pinch your face like I’m the only one who gets eyebrow pimples.
It’s not wholly a matter of vanity. It could be purely for hygiene. Maybe you’re looking up DIY beauty treatments after the salons shut down to get a little spruce-up and feel like some version of who you were before our lives moved indoors. And after one too many cracked nails and wrecked cuticles in your attempt to rip off those gel nail extensions, you cry out for professional help.
We’ve scoured our archives, bookmarks and favourites tab for the best DIY beauty treatments to replace most of the services you would get at the parlour. Some can be done with basics you would already have at home, other treatments may require you to do a bit of online shopping for tools. If you’re looking for more step-by-step guidance, then these will surely help.
7 salon-like DIY beauty treatments you can do at home
Threading your upper lip and eyebrows at home
Threading can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to your brows. Sometimes your skin can get stuck in the thread and you can give your self a little cut in the process.
Even once you get a hang of the hand movements needed to get the high content thread (or your pick of ‘threading threads’ on Amazon, we like Organica) to glide across your skin, getting the right shape can be a challenge. If you’re willing to take this on as a new lockdown-but-not-really-lockdown hobby, then check out how Christina Ahilwale of Jean-Claude Biguine does it. She shares hacks to tame that unwanted facial hair.
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‘Sugaring’ for body hair removal
Sugaring refers to a DIY beauty treatment that involves the use of a doughy, sticky mush you can make at home with sugar, water and lemon juice to remove your body hair.
Sounds pretty simple, right? And it is, once you manage to make the sugaring paste without completely burning the sugar. Be mindful, the temperate can get really hot and you may end up burning yourself.
What I like about sugaring is that this hair removing mush can be stored and used again. It’ll take some practice to get your movements down, but I prefer this to the boxed hair removal strips which just seem tedious and wasteful. I’d stay clear of the bikini area and leave that for the real pros.
Removing gel nails and extensions
There were quite a few nail-related accidents taking place when the lockdown first came into place last year. I think we all realised that it’s not as simple as just pulling the gel nails off to get rid of them. It’s a testament to the quality of the nails you got done that they don’t come off so easily.
But when you’re in a fix and your nails are growing out underneath, click-clacking your way on a keyboard or on your phone can get annoying.
Despite the many hacks involving dish soap, hair oil, and an array of tools, we found this tutorial of the foil and acetone technique useful and safe to get the nails off with the least damage done. You just need some patience to get through it.
At-home pedicure beyond a soak and scrub
I have a problem that might gross you out a bit. I hate wearing footwear in the house. I’ve been lectured by my parents enough about the many dangers and possible health hazards of going barefoot all the time but I just can’t bring myself to cage my feet when I don’t need to.
The barefoot life has meant that I get more wear and tear on my heels. I befriended a pumice stone long ago and would give my feet a gentle scrubbing once in a while but didn’t have the patience to do my own soak at home.
In the lockdown, I realised how lucky I had previously been. I had been spoilt by Mukeshji, my go-to pedicure master at the nearby salon. The state of my feet became a sad affair and I decided to take the time in the day to give myself this pampering session. You can do a standard soak, pumice polish and nail clipping. Or, take it a step further for some self-care by adding in foot scrubs, tools like cuticle pushers and trimmers which you can get online.
DIY beauty treatments for an at-home manicure
I’ve never been a manicure person, mostly because I’ve been a nail bitter for most of my life. If my nails do grow out a bit, I always manage to scratch my face. So I keep them short. But I will admit I’ve been jealous of my colleague’s perfectly manicured and painted fingernails on more than one occasion. The only beauty indulgence she partakes in.
You need a few tools to give yourself a salon-style manicure at home. Nail cutters, a filer, cuticle pusher, and you can invest in some cuticle oil if that’s your jam but even simple jojoba oil or a rich moisturiser would do the trick. You can add in or subtract steps to make it as easy or lavish as your mood demands.
Deep conditioning DIY hair mask
Every couple of months, I’d treat myself to a hair spa at the salon before getting the routine hair cut. Especially when my hair got very long and distressed because of neglect. But there are plenty of at-home DIY hair masks that can step in to give your hair the nourishment it needs.
A favourite has to be the banana hair mask among all the hair DIY beauty treatments because it’s just so moisturising. Bananas are full of vitamins like potassium, Vitamin C and E, as well as biotin, which makes hair healthy and more manageable.
Honey locks in moisture, retaining it for shiny and luminous hair. With antibacterial properties, it soothes the scalp. This is one of the best DIY hair masks for chemically-treated and coloured hair that’s thirsty for hydration too. I’d recommend putting this in a blender rather than trying to mush it up by hand because getting clumps of banana stuck in your hair is no joke.
A de-puffing facial massage
After numerous piercings, tattoos and excited/angry pets, I’d like to believe I generally have a high pain tolerance. But nothing made me tear up faster than when parlour didi would do my eyebrows. Especially the sides near my temples. I always wear waterproof mascara these days.
The thing I looked forward to the most was the 5-minute facial massage that followed, usually with some aloe gel. A well-done facial massage can not just be destressing but help bring down puffiness after a late night of binge-watching the latest true crime series, bring some lustre to dull-looking skin (even if it’s temporary) and induce some lymphatic drainage.
Try this DIY massage technique demonstrated by cosmetic dermatologist Dr Niketa Sonavane. All you need is some facial oil.
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