DIY fixes for at-home beauty maintenance


Worried about your beauty routine when you won’t be able to make appointments? Here are some steps you can take at home to keep hair, nails and skin in check

There are some beauty treats that feel more like a necessity. Having good hair, nails and skin makes us feel more confident and happy. And grown-out Shellac and visible root growth simply doesn’t put a smile on your face.

As much as we joke about how much product we will save on not having to wear makeup to the office everyday or the joys of just being able to throw hair in a ponytail, feeling content with our appearance is really important to our mood. And at times like these, we need any lift we can get.

If you don’t feel like you without your mani, or worry that your hair will start to look unloved in the coming weeks, here are some DIY beauty steps that can look pretty impressive when done right.


How to take off Shellac/gel polish at home:

You will need a bottle of acetone nail varnish remover, cotton balls and a roll of tin foil. Buff the surface of your nails with a coarse nail file until the polish is no longer shiny. Then soak a cotton ball in foil and place it on the nail. Wrap the nail with the cotton wool in place in a small piece of tin foil. After 10-15 minutes, the nail polish should swipe right off the nail. If not, they need to soak for longer. Wrapping hands in a towel, keeping them warm, while nails are wrapped in foil, will help it work faster.

Nailcare going forward

Keeping nails short is more hygienic as we try to keep hands clean. File or cut nails down regularly. As we wash our hands more thoroughly and more often, you may find your nails feel dry and chapped. Your cuticles may start to suffer without a usual professional treatment too, so keep cuticles and skin hydrated by using an effective moisturising handcream like something from E45 or try the new Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel. Now is a great time to look after the health of your nails by using a strengthening polish too.


Learn how to use the tools you have at home

Resist the urge to splash out on hair tools if you don’t need them. Technique is really important, and you might create more hardship for yourself like Marian, below.

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😬😬😬 So much to worry about in these strange days, including – forgive me for being so shallow – the fate of my HAIR!!! Without my hair, I am NOTHING. I disappear, become invisible, I cease to exist. So I panic bought this Babyliss thing and …. 😬😬😬😬 The only hair thing that’s ever worked for me, apart from a hairdryer, is the Big Hair thing. The rest have CONFOUNDED me with their impossible instructions and the necessity to have at least 5 hands in order to work the feckers…. (*dashes them to the floor in a burst of tearful, frustrated rage*) Indeed I will dash this Babyliss Secret Curl machine to the floor if I ever disentangle it from my head… 😉 . . . #blowdry #longhair #babyliss #babylisscurlsecret #babylissbighair

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Instead, keep an eye on Peter Mark’s social media in the coming weeks. The salon has started a series called #homehairhelp on its social media channels to help customers look after their own hair at home. New videos will go up regularly, and followers can submit styling queries by emailing or on social media using the hashtag #homehairhelp. Learn how to use specific tools, the best products for your hair type or how to remedy a specific issue such as thinning hair or scalp problems.

Help your colour last

This is a tough one. It would of course be impossible to replicate salon results at home, and DIY hair dye is not for the faint-hearted. There are steps you can take to extend your hair colour for the time being. A colour boosting shampoo and conditioner can help lift your shade and stop it changing in tone. Natural and dyed brunettes can try the Redken Colour Extend Brownlights range. Blondes should try Tigi Catwalk Fashionista violet conditioner and platinum or white hair can be brightened with PRO:VOKE Touch of Silver colour care shampoo.

If you’re conscious of greys, a few swipes of the L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch Precision Instant Grey Concealer Brush is available in a range of shades. It also washes right out, so you don’t need to stress about making any errors.

Failing that, embrace accessories like thick hairbands and distracting hair scrunchies and slides. No doubt you’ve picked up a few pieces in previous seasons that are lying forgotten in your wardrobe.

Simple brow maintenance

For now, try to maintain the shape by just plucking stray hairs. Grip the hair with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible, and pull in the direction of hair growth. Don’t pluck above the brow, and don’t do anything drastic with the shape that you may regret. Brushing brows in the right direction, filling in with powder or pencil and using a gel to keep hairs in place will make all the difference to how tidy brows appear as we wait to resume our usual appointments. And yes, we know you’re bored, but do not overpluck.

Yes, you can still attain your power brow

Tinting your eyebrows at home is straight-forward. The Eylure kit is very affordable (though stocks seem to be low online). Your eyebrows will obviously look darker, but also fuller as fairer hairs darken. Always read the instructions before starting, do a patch test 24 hours before, and use a petroleum jelly on the skin around the brow area to prevent staining the skin. Mix the semi-permanent dye, and apply to your brows with a spooly brush. Stay one or two shades lighter than your hair colour — avoid going too dark or matchy matchy, which can result in nightmare brows. The results should last two-to-three weeks.

Maybelline Tattoo Brow Longlasting Gel Tint is another affordable option that lasts three days. Peel off the tint after 20 minutes and your brows are ready.  It will really make a difference to your makeup-free days at home.

Tackle excess hair — with caution

If you’re going to miss your usual threading treatment, don’t fret. You can tackle a minor moustache or chin hair issue at home. It’s not pleasant but the handiest way may be to tweeze the hairs as you see them. It doesn’t involve any prep, is quick and you have control over what hair you remove. 

Hair removal creams should definitely be avoided by anyone with sensitive skin, and be aware that the hair may grow back darker. But they are an effective way to remove stubborn hairs, if your skin can hack it. DIY waxing strops are not for the faint hearted of course, but may get you out of a fix if the hair really bothers you. Shaving hair on the face should be avoided, as you will be able to feel stubble and regrowth after a day or so. Whatever option you choose, be sure to gently exfoliate in the weeks after to prevent ingrown hairs. 

If you are missing a laser appointment, it may be annoying to have to deal with hair regrowth. According to Paula at Urbana laser clinic in Dublin, if you are in the middle of a course of treatments and will now miss a session, there is no need to worry about your long-term results. “The important thing is not to panic, this is completely normal. When you restart your sessions this will reduce again, the reason for this is that we have just missed a few growth cycles of hair growth,” Paula says.  


Elizabeth Arden’s training manager Anja Skytte-Mosbaek shares some tips on ensuring your skin is well-looked after with all this time at home. She says that spending a little more time cleansing morning and evening will enhance the performance of your whole regime. Massage your cleanser, such as the Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil, into skin really well as a way to relax at the start and end of your day. Starting at the temples, make three large inward circles around the eye area, covering the cheeks, nose and forehead. Use your index and middle fingers to cleanse around the lip area, in a scissor-like motion before rinsing off thoroughly.

Multi-task while you take care of work emails and jobs around the house with a face mask. And all this time at home means less sunlight, so you can safely try treatments with ingredients like AHA that gently peel the skin. Keep a good hand cream next to your laptop to apply to your overwashed hands, and treat your feet with a rich moisturising cream while you’re pottering around the house in your slippers.

Relax and unwind at home

If a regular spa treatment is part of your wellness ritual, you can create something similar at home. Use relaxing scents, such as essential oil diffusers, calming incense and soothing balms. Splurge on the Mal diffuser (€50), Sacred Elephant incense (€15), or The Nature of Things Energise and Uplift essential oil set (€35), from thekind is offering free shipping and a free bar of soap with every order until the end of March.