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We all unexpectedly have a little more time. It’s easy to waste the days (and nights) in a haze of Netflix and Disney Plus, tearing off another packet of cookies, and grieving over the plans you had to cancel, but we could make good use of those weeks instead. (If you like, and if you have the inclination to do so!) We will never again have the opportunity to revamp our beauty regimes the way we can now. So if you want to be productive with that time, here are eleven beauty tasks you can do while in lockdown, which will also benefit you in the long run.
1. THROW OLD COSMETICS
Each cosmetic product has a small glass symbol, which is accompanied by a number on the packaging. This is known as the PAO (Period After Opening) number and is essentially the expiration date of the content. Beauty products don’t last forever, so it is important that we regularly sort what we have in our supply and throw away anything that is not safe to use. Products can be anywhere from 3 to 24 months long so you might be surprised how much you should get rid of! There is no point in keeping expired, potentially harmful, and unloved parts. So why not start something and make a commitment to sort your supplies every season?
2. Give your hair a break
We spend so much time drying, straightening, tonguing, and curling that our hair can get all kinds of stress. Not only is it a great idea to treat it with a regular moisturizing and smoothing mask to inject back in what was lost, but these weeks at home are also a great opportunity to reign in the heated equipment and enjoy a little more of the dry shampoo. Try adding a day or two to the life of each wash by focusing on tied-back looks, eliminating the need for daily overstyling, or even investing in a silk hair pack and taking advantage of all of the amazing benefits it brings.
3. Start taking some supplements
Supplements can be life changing and I try to take them every day to boost my immunity and the body’s ability to work like it should. There are so many amazing nutritional supplements out there now that are also said to help improve the performance and appearance of your skin, hair and nails. Making them part of your daily routine could bring benefits in the months to come. While we are all stuck at home with the time to remember to take them, this is the perfect opportunity to develop new habits.
4. UPDATE YOUR SKINCARE REGIME
Our skin needs are constantly changing, so what worked for you this time last year may no longer be enough. You may experience more breakouts, dryness, or greasiness. Your skin may be showing signs of aging or just duller than before. Similarly, you may have been able to resolve previous problems so that these powerful ingredients are no longer needed on a daily basis. Write down three things about your skin that you love and three things you want to improve while looking at your current skin care regimen to see if there is anything to add or remove. You can benefit from some vitamin C or retinol (more on that here!) Or a simple exfoliator to get rid of the dullness. You may need to avoid releasing ingredients or invest in weekly treatments. However, take some time to consider what works for you – and which products support it.
5. EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT
If you’re a little shy about sporting bolder colors, looking trendier, or trying new things in general, this is the time to get fully involved. During the blackout period, the most exciting or public event we attend is a trip to the supermarket. So you’re not afraid to wear something to work and realize that you are completely uncomfortable halfway through the day. Wear this bold berry lip around the house to get used to the way you look. Hug a heavy khol liner or cat flick so you can perfect your technique while hanging out with yourself. Have fun learning new eye shadow techniques or contours. They know you can take them off when you just can’t feel them.
6. CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES
Something that is often overlooked but can make the biggest difference. Cleaning the brushes is a tedious task – but it has to be done. While we should all clean our brushes regularly, it’s easy to slip by for months and saturate our tools with makeup, dirt, and bacteria. This gets carried over to your face each time you use it, causing breakouts and irritation while preventing your products from performing at their best. Thoroughly cleaning your entire collection not only will remind you of all the great things you have, but it will also ensure that your products (when you use them) are performing at their best. Read my full post on why and how you should clean your brushes here.
7. REDISCOVER OLD FAVORITES
Sorting out your supplies offers more than one benefit: rediscovering the lipsticks you forgot, finding your favorite concealer at the bottom of a makeup bag, or even fishing out the gadgets you haven’t had time for. Make the most of it, have fun and use the time to indulge yourself.
8. APPLY REGULAR FACE MASK
You might be forgiven for thinking that face masks are a superficial and excessive step in your regime – and they’re often the first to go when we’re short of time or money. But if you use them wisely, they can really help strengthen your skin in ways you didn’t know was possible. This unlocks a smoother, lighter, firmer, and more hydrated surface, which ensures that both skin care and makeup are performing at their best. Taking a little time off once or twice a week, especially when we have the time, putting on a mask can be of great benefit. If you need a little inspiration, here are some of my favorite face masks right now.
9. FACIAL MASSAGE INCLUDE
I’m such a fan of facial massages, especially for their blood flow stimulating properties, but when I’m tired I always take five minutes to massage my skin in front of the bathroom mirror because you can tell the difference immediately. With over 300 pressure points on the face, a massage stimulates the muscles and the lymphatic system to lift, tighten and drain swellings. Your skin feels fresher, plumper, more radiant and overall less tired. Manual lifting and massaging of fatigue is incredibly uplifting, both physically and mentally, and a great way to start the day. (You can read more about facial massage and learn some simple techniques here.)
10. Sort your bed table
Your bedside table should be a sacred place, reserved only for the tools you need to get a good night’s sleep and emerge and feel good the next morning. With a growing number of mugs, wrappers, gadgets, and unnecessary items storing up, it is probably a good time to start from scratch and allow only the essentials to find a home here. (A noble beauty job if there was ever one!) My bedside table only contains my most used night creams and serums, a pillow spray, lip balm, eye mask and ear plugs … What about you? (See what’s on my bedside table right now.)
11. MANI / PEDI AT HOME
You may not be able to go to a salon right now, but if you pamper your hands and feet weekly you can prep and buff them if you can. Soaking in warm water with some body oil will help soften the skin, nourish dry areas, and evoke a moment of calm. A little peeling is sufficient, as is a generous amount of cream and a 4-way nail file.
If you’re looking to make positive changes, write yourself a weekly beauty to-do list and cross everything off as you go. That way, you make a commitment to treating your body the way it deserves to be pampered and ticking off all those beauty chores.