5 Beauty Treatments to Add to Your At-Home Routine
From longer eyelashes to natural facelifts, what can we learn to do at home while salons are closed?
With salons closing for months a time lockdown has taught or perhaps forced many of us to adjust to life without our usual pleasures. Some may not care for manicured nails or a curly blowdry but for others, they are a staple suddenly removed from our regular schedule.
Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. I have no interest in shellac nails but I do like to get my hair done and have my eyebrows kept tidy — they do shape your face after all.
Here are 5 at-home beauty treatments that I have picked up over lockdown and will continue to do once the pandemic ends.
1. Eyebrow Tinting
I used to tint my own eyebrows on occasion prior to lockdown but now it has become a staple in my at-home beauty routine. It is so quick and simple. You can buy a tinting kit from any good pharmacy for under €10 and they tend to last for up to 12 applications. Remember to do a quick patch test 24–48 hours before your first use and then follow the instructions. The tinting lasts for up to 6 weeks and is absolutely comparable to salon tints. At such a cheap price you can keep your eyebrows looking vibrant by tinting them as required every few weeks.
Although I tweeze my eyebrows weekly I look forward to getting them waxed again on occasion at a salon. I will however be continuing to tint my eyebrows at home to keep them bolder long-term.
2. IPL Laser Hair Removal
Throughout lockdown, I have splurged on a few items online. It started with AirPods and has ranged from a treadmill to plain white designer tees. One of my best purchases I made at the start of 2021 was an IPL at-home laser hair removal system. After intense research, I bought the Braun Silk Expert Pro 5 which set me back €375.
I had always wanted to get laser hair removal treatments done but I could never guarantee I’d be able to afford the treatment which is required on a regular basis. Although expensive, an IPL system would save me a lot of money long-term if I ever went ahead with laser hair removal.
The system has ended up being one of my best purchases. The Braun system requires you to use it once a week after shaving for 4–12 weeks until your chosen results are achieved and from there use it once a month as required. I started using it for my legs, underarm, and bikini line and could not be happier with the results. It does not hurt and I only ever feel a quick pricking sensation if using it over an area where I missed a hair with my razor.
I’m delighted to be coming out of the pandemic with no hair from the eyebrows down!
3. Eyelash Serum
I have extremely sensitive eyes and over the past few years have switched to using natural mascaras. I had always wanted eyelash extensions but it isn’t something I have the time or money to invest in on a regular basis and I did not know how my eyes would react to them.
During lockdown, I have barely used mascara to give my eyes a break. Although it was by choice, it made me wish I had longer and thicker eyelashes that don’t need mascara to be noticeable. I decided to look into eyelash serums and when I found one called UK Lash that was vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free I decided to try it out. I was ecstatic to find that my eyes did not react to it at all.
Eyelash serum requires patience, results are not instant. The serum nourishes your lashes reducing breakage and allowing the hair to grow longer and thicker. I have been using my serum for 3 weeks and have already started to notice a difference. I am excited to see what happens with further use.
A tube of eyelash serum is not very expensive averaging around €40 but it does only contain 3ml and for best results long-term there should be continued use.
4. Gua Sha Skin Facial
I’ll admit before lockdown I had never heard of a Gua Sha and I first came across it on TikTok. Gua Sha is an ancient Asian healing practice in which one uses a massage tool and pulls it across the skin using a generous amount of pressure to improve circulation. Gua Sha’s benefits include draining the lymphatic system, easing muscle tension, and helping with symptoms of chronic pain often tied to inflammation.
To start, buy your Gua Sha tool from an Asian health or beauty store. I am seeing many brands jump on the trend and release expensive rose quartz tools but the cheaper versions from Asian stores are just as good, if not better. Once you have your Gua Sha tool, prep your skin with a hydrating mist and facial oil to ensure it is plump and hydrated (I use rose water and argan oil). Then follow a YouTube tutorial on how to get the best results using your tool.
I recommend finding videos by Chinese skincare professionals such as the video below by Sandra Lanshin Chiu.
Continue your Gua Sha routine as often as daily or 2–3 times per week and you will notice, as Sandra Lanshin Chiu says, more radiant and beautiful skin and more lifted and sculpted features. Gua Sha tools can be very fragile so be careful not to drop yours!
5. Face and Neck Steamer
One thing I have not attempted at home is to give myself a facial comparable to what skin professionals can do. I haven’t done the research and know I’d end up spending a ton of money on products I would barely use. However, I did invest in a face and neck steamer and it has ended up being a brilliant purchase.
The steamer is simple to use — add water and turn it on! Make sure you have a clean face and then sit with your face about one foot from the machine. Steamers will come with different instructions for time parameters but I tend to steam for around 8 minutes.
There are many benefits to steaming your face. Dr. Dennis Gross writes on his website that “steam not only cleanses skin but hydrates at the same time. The warmth makes you sweat a bit, too, which increases your circulation. This effect gives you a healthy glow post-steam.
A professional facial steamer can pull sebum, a naturally occurring oil, from your pores. Sebum keeps skin and hair hydrated, but if it gets trapped, it causes blackheads. Your steamer will help you remove sebum from where it shouldn’t be, clearing up your pores.
After you steam, your pores open up, which makes them so much more receptive to your other products. If you really want to see the effects of your serum or moisturizer, steam your skin first.”
What I like most about steaming my face is how incredibly clean it feels afterward. I follow a steaming session by applying a face serum and moisturiser and it makes my skin feel like a million dollars.
To date, I have managed to avoid bleaching my hair at home or cutting my own curtain bangs but I am glad I have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and discovered that there are many beauty treatments that you can successfully do at home.
Set some time aside to treat yourself to some at-home beauty treatments. You might just find your inner beauty therapist.