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8 Best DIY Beauty and Grooming Tips

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COVID isolation was a DIY lab. Self-care was the norm when we were left on our own, without access to hair and nail salons, barbers, and day spas. Although business has resumed as usual, home treatments are as important as before. We can do the job in a pinch, or when we are just trying to save pennies. Here are eight top home tasks with new products to make it easier.

1. Get a pedicure

This is one of the most difficult at-home grooming routines. To do all that shaping, filing and buffing, you need a steady hand and a limber body. For a painless pushback, remove any old polish and soak your feet for about 30 seconds in the tub. Avoid cutting the cuticles as they protect us against infection.

For a spa-like experience, add bath salts to the water and use a multitasking pumice such as the Spongeables PediScrub in a Sponge Foot Buffer $5+ ($3, ulta.com). This will smoothen the soles and sides your heels (see tip 6 for difficult calluses). Use a towel to dry your feet and then trim the nails with a nail clipper.

Finally, file the edges using an emeryboard. Apply a lotion or body cream to your feet. Apply polish without smudging with a foam toe separator such as the Rolabling toe Separators ($5, Amazon.com). Also, use an ergonomic-designed bottle topper like the Olive & June The Poppy Manicure tool ($16, Target.com) for more control. It’s great for people with arthritic, clumsy, or shaky hands.

2. A flawless self-tan

It’s no longer difficult to get a sun-kissed glow on your body. The new mousse formulas are deliciously fruity and coconutty and have skin-enhancing ingredients such as hyaluronic, botanical oils, vitamin A, vitamin E, and aloe. They also come in realistic shades. A tanning mitt such as the MineTan Bronze On Application Mitt ($7 at target.com) is essential for smooth application. The updated combination of mitt, cream formula, and hydrating ingredients means that color buildup is eliminated even at dry areas like the elbows, knees, and heels. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Gel ($35, Amazon.com) can “tan” in just one to two hours. Or, a sheet-and-PJ-proof formula such as Sol by Jergens Medium Soothing Tanning Water Mousse ($24 at Target.com) will give you a stress-free overnight tan for eight hours.

3. Use under-eye concealer in the right way

Dark shadows can make us look tired. Concealer is great for daily use, but the wrong or ineffective application can make things worse. Here are some tips. Make sure to prepare the area under your eyes with an eye cream such as the Tula Glow & Cooling Balm Brightening Eye Balm. It acts as a primer for your makeup and keeps it from looking dry or clinging an hour later. You can choose a corrective color in a gold or peach depending on your skin tone. It’s hydrating and comes in a formula like the Benefit Boiing!

To cancel out blue/purple discolorations, use Bright On Undereye Concealer ($24 at Ulta.com or L’Oreal Paris True Mix Eye Cream in a Container ($13 at Target.com). Concentrate your concealer’s placement at the inner corner of the eye, where the darkness is concentrated. Blend the concealer towards the outer eye using a broad stroke. For a gradual fade, use a small flat makeup brush or your finger for gentle tapping. Keep in mind that concealer does not cover wrinkles or crow’s feet, so let your eye cream work its magic. You only want to give your skin a more refreshed, rested appearance.

4. Give your face a relaxing facial

Many women are starting to adopt this new routine. You’ve probably had a facial at a day spa. The way the aesthetician applies creams, masks, and other products is just as important. Although it is not a facelift, you can use your serums and creams to stimulate circulation, reduce swelling, improve expression, and smoothen wrinkles. Use your fingertips or a Depuff Jade Stone Face Roller ($10 at Walgreens.com).

Apply gentle pressure using slow, smooth movements. Massage from the middle of your face to your forehead, under-eye, and temples. Next, massage your neck from the jawline to the hairline. You can store a chilled roller in the refrigerator to reduce puffiness. It is not a good idea to work in an inward or downward motion, as this only encourages gravity.

5. Eliminate foot calluses

Thicken heels and hardened skin on our feet and toes can make sandal weather less enjoyable. A pedicure can be great for maintaining your feet, but foot masks are the best way to exfoliate and soften stubbornly rough skin. These booties contain a combination of acids, such as glycolic, lactic, salicylic, or fruit enzymes. Although the “peel” can seem a bit gross, the result is a satiny sole. The shedding process continues for approximately a week to ten days. These treatments are gradual. The Baby Foot Original Exfoliant Foot Peel ($25, ulta.com), Boscia Fruit Acid Smoothing Foot Peel (Amazon.com), or the Earth Therapeutics Soft and Smooth Gentle Peeling Foot Mask ($3, for 1 set, target.com). These are safe for the individual, but they can cause open sores, red blisters, or diabetes.

6. Take care of your eyebrows

Both men and women know that mature brows look different for each person. They are often long, unruly, and undisciplined. They can curl and spring in unexpected directions. You will need a pair or small scissors such as the Tweezerman’s Brow Shaping Scissors & Brush ($20, Ulta.com), or any other delicate pair for your nose hairs. Also, you will need a spoolie or clean toothbrush. You can brush your brows up and trim any long hairs sticking out above the brow line. After shaping, brush your brows and apply a Clear Brow Gel like the CoverGirl Easy breezy Brow Clear Setting Gel ($10 at cvs.com). This is also a great tip for guys. You can use a tinted gel such as the Glossier Boy Brow ($16 at glossier.com) to blend gray hairs with darker ones.

7. Make dull hair shine and make it look healthy

Although we complain about hair loss, locks that lack luster are a real problem. A hair mask is usually the best option, but things have changed. Glossing and glow serums offer a faster and more effective update. These treatments give your “car a healthy, glowing shine that looks almost like a freshly washed car”. Although gloss and glaze can be interchanged, it is important to choose a clear formula that you can sandwich between shampoo or conditioner.

Drybar Liquid Glass Glazing Rinse ($34 on sephora.com) is a good example. Dove Hair Therapy Ceramide Brilliant Gloss and Olaplex No.9 Bond Protection Nourishing Hair Serum ($28 on sephora.com). Another option is Repair ($7 at target.com). These leave-ins increase sheen and vibrancy, and reduce frizz, no matter if you are blonde, gray or blond. Simply shampoo, condition, blot, and then apply to your hair before blow-drying.

8. Do a quickie manicure

Long decorative talons look trendy but shorter lengths are more practical for buttons, pulling on leggings and jeans, and texting. This is the fastest way to remove old polish and cut nail length. If you have to trim length, use a nail file and a small, round clipper. Larger, straight-across cutters are only for toes! You should keep the length consistent for all 10 nails. A mix of long and short looks messy. You should aim for a slightly round shape or a “squoval” (a combination of oval and square). Use an emeryboard to smoothen rough edges. Avoid seesawing which can weaken nails.

For a healthy, polish-free sheen, buff the nails with a foam cube such as the Flowery Blue Max 4-Way Buffer Block ($2, ulta.com). To soften the cuticles, apply cuticle oil before pushing them back. To ensure that polish adheres to nails, dip a cotton swab into polish remover. To speed things up, you can use a one-coat, quick-drying polish such as Essie Expressie Quick Dry Nail Polish ($9, Ulta.com), or Sally Hansen Insta Dri Nail Color ($6, ulta.com). To seal the color, start in the middle and work your way around. Tip number 1: Use the handy gadget to help you use your nondominant hand. It will take you less time than standing in line for a cup of coffee.

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