A close media friend (who’s doing marketing in the aesthetics field) and I were talking over WhatsApp the weekend before the “circuit breaker” act was implemented, and I casually asked her: how has business been? She replied with possibly the most relatable answer, ever: “We’re doing okay, I mean, there will always be vain girls out there.”
The following week, all non-essential services had to be closed temporarily, and suddenly that meme on girls getting out of the stay-home phase with overgrown gel nails and un-touched-up hair roots hit so much closer to home. But, when there’s a will, there’s always a way — the last thing we want is to go from hot to flop. Here, some ways to keep yourself groomed at home, from our favourite beauty service experts themselves.
P.S. These beauty service experts are doing you a big one now, so don’t forget to extend your support to your favourite ones once stores and freelancers are open for business again.
Related article: ELLE’s Beauty Desk: #WorkFromHome Beauty Favourites
How to shape your brows
You will need:
Brow pencil with micro-tip
Clear brow gel
Brow scissors (preferably with a rounded tip)
Wide mirror (not small magnifying ones)
“Trimming your brows is like trimming your bangs; it may sound easy, but you have to be meticulous with it. Start by getting yourself to a well-lit area, no shadows on your face. Take the clear brow gel, and brush the brow hairs upwards towards the hairline, and outwards towards the temples. Let the gel dry completely, and trim the ends that are sticking too far out past your natural brow shape.
When tweezing, it’s best to first map out your desired brow shape with the eyebrow pencil to segment out the brow hairs that need to go. Then, pull the skin tight with one finger, and tweeze the hair in the direction that it’s growing in (to prevent ingrown hair).” — Rochelle Paz, National Brow Artist of Benefit Cosmetics
How to remove (falling) eyelash extensions
You will need:
Natural oil (coconut and olive oils are good)
Lash serum (if available)
“Steam the eye area for about 10 minutes so that the hair follicles will start opening up. (Ed’s note: you can do this after a hot shower, or fill a sink with hot water and let the steam do its job.) Dip the cotton bud into the oil, and swipe it along the lash line area where the lash glue is put. Remember to keep that eye closed so that the oil doesn’t get in. After each swipe, give it about five minutes for the oil to break down the glue, then continue till the lashes gently fall off. Keep a keen eye out for any redness, or burning sensations — stop immediately if this happens. If not, repeat the process for a maximum of 30 minutes. Wash your eyes with a gentle cleanser or micellar water, to remove any excess oil. Apply a lash serum to soothe the area and stimulate lash growth.
For more stubborn lashes that refuse to come off with natural oil, don’t force it or you’ll risk irritating the eye area. Your best bet is to wait till stores are open again, and get it professionally removed by a lash expert.” — Rebecca Chuang, freelance lash, nails and brows expert at @flutterytips
How to remove gel manicure
You will need:
“Do it like how your regular manicurist would — drench the cotton wool in acetone, put it on your nail, and wrap the finger in foil. After 10 minutes, remove the cotton wool and foil, and the gel polish should start to soften and flake. Buff the bits off the nail.
Don’t replace acetone with nail polish; the latter doesn’t contain enough acetone to remove gel polishes. In this case, you can only grow out that gel manicure. When your nails get too long, file them instead of cutting, to prevent your natural nail from breaking. In the event where you chose to peel of the gel polish — which you should never — buff the nail to smooth out rough edges, then apply cuticle oil to strengthen.” — Audrey Wee, co-founder of I Love Nails
How to touch up hair roots + DIY a home hair treatment
You will need:
Box dye in one or half shade lighter than your roots
Hair mask of your choice
“Middle-part your hair first. Then, squeeze the hair dye out in a bowl, and spread it on your roots in an alternating left-right fashion, till all roots are covered. Use a brush and gloves for this process for precision work, instead of spritzing the dye out from the provided bottle.
If you are dyeing all of your hair, start with the roots first, then mix in warm water into the remaining hair dye for the length of the hair. This is to ensure that the ends don’t look darker than the roots, especially if you’re trying to cover up grey hair. The diluted mixture also reduced ammonia in the hair dye, too. After washing you’re the dye out, apply your hair mask of choice, and wrap your hair in a warm towel. Let the towel cool down fully before removing it to prevent any moisture loss from the hair follicles. Wash your hair thoroughly, and you’re done. You’ve just completed a simple salon hair treatment, at home.” — Christvian Goh, session hairstylist
How to DIY a home facial
You will need:
Your favourite cleanser
Wash off masks (according to skin needs, chill it in the fridge before use)
“Start your mini spa day with a thorough double cleanse. Take your time, immerse yourself in the fresh scent and cooling feeling of the cleanser. Move on to a chemical exfoliator; massage that into your skin gently — it promotes cell regeneration and removal of dead skin cells that build up over time. Have on hand your favourite wash-off masks (super refreshing on the skin now that they’re chilled). Proceed to do a multi-masking act — clay mask to detox, vitamin c mask to brighten, etc. Put it for the recommended duration, and after washing it off, your skin should already look plumper and more radiant.
Then, apply a generous amount of moisturiser to your skin and release tension from your facial muscles by incorporating a lifting massage with your fingers. Do a sculpting motion by forming a hook with your fingers, placing your thumbs on your chin as an anchor. Stroke upwards along your jawline, to the lower and upper cheek area, temples, and undereye area. Relax, indulge in this massage, and repeat this action 10 times.” — Rachel Lin, head trainer of Porcelain