With week 8 of the global pandemic upon us, now more than ever, we are all working from home. This column was supposed to be focused around my early morning hacks for a stylish school drop-off before a day of working from my home office. Well, minus the school drop-off, we are all spending our days from our – ahem – home office, whether that be an actual desk, your breakfast table, or your bed. To avoid living the meme that instructs us that “8 pm is the appointed time to remove your daytime pajamas and change into your nighttime pajamas,” I wanted to share my at-home beauty hacks to keep you looking semi-put together for all those Zoom meetings and FaceTime calls. (PS did you know Zoom has a feature to “enhance” your appearance? It’s like a soft filter and I encourage everyone to click that box!)
First off, let me say that we are all showing our “natural beauty.” And by that, I mean, our real hair color (mine is white), our actual puny blonde eyelashes, gnarly finger and toenails, and perhaps some unwanted peach fuzz on various unmentionable places. All hail our aestheticians and hairdressers for they shall snap the economy back into action once the government finally reopens them. But until then, I have found good luck and passable results during some at home “spa days” and a few amazing online products I want to share. #notsponsored
- Madison Reed hair color. Ok, so I’m a redhead naturally (who is going not grey, but white). Red is THE hardest color to maintain. I haven’t done at-home hair color since college when I was going for a funkier look, and am not keen to revisit those days. I’ve relied on root spray and headscarves until a friend recommended Madison Reed. After careful consideration and in-depth examination, I decided to give it a shot. At best, it might work; and at worst, it would be horrible but no worse than the 2 inches of white now framing my face, and heck, I was already wearing ball caps and headscarves every day anyway. They take you through a thorough online quiz to determine your best color. Their recommendation for me was a light brown which is a NO WAY in my book. I instead opted to “try on” their virtual samples through the live selfie filter option they offer and settled on something called Marigold which more closely matched my usual gold/copper formula. I added a golden glaze to treat it with afterward, and a week later I was quite pleased with the results. I opted for the minimum processing time for safety’s sake, but know if I do it again, I’ll need to leave it on a little longer for better coverage.
- Flamingo razors and waxing. I’ve been a Flamingo razor user for a while, and I love their creamy, foamy shave cream. But I’ve lacked the bravery and the pain threshold to attempt at-home waxing, I decided to give it a shot. The pre-made wax strips come in two sizes – one for the face and one for the body. They face strips were great and worked on brow, lip, and chin with no problem. They come with moisturizing post-wax wet wipes to remove any sticky residue, as well as a roller pen of a calming serum to help soothe recently plucked skin. For the body strips – the jury is still out. It’s the same concept, only larger strips. I think the biggest challenge is positioning yourself to get the right leverage and angle to make them work. I will try it again, but it got the job done sufficiently enough for me to feel comfortable for a socially distanced weekend at the lake.
- Magic Lashes. Probably my most treasured and only consistent guilty pleasure in life is my eyelash extensions. As a fair-haired gal, I was not blessed with beautiful lashes. Quite the contrary, they are thin, fine, and blonde. Life without eye makeup looks like baby rat eyes on me. Always has. So eyelash extensions were life-changing for me. I’m part of a “lash club” where I pay monthly and get to go every week for fills, which is my favorite half-hour of the week. You can imagine, this was my greatest concern when things started shutting down. The lovelies at my lash studio reached out to clients with a decent stand-in alternative to bridge the gap until our next fix, I mean fill. Magic lashes are basically your old school strip lashes but on steroids. They use a patented technology adhesive similar to static stickers for your windows… no messy, goopy glue sticking your eyelids shut. And it’s administered in a liquid liner pen applicator. Easy peasy. While they’ve not quite lived up to their durability claims (waterproof… mine came off in the shower; multi-day use…after the shower, I didn’t try to sleep in them), they do the daytime trick nicely and helped me see with new eyes!
- I’m not one for manicures but I love my gel pedis. My toes were looking pretty bad, but my friend Carla Hatler and her Lacquer nail studio came to the rescue as they quickly pivoted as much of their business online as possible with at-home nail kits. I ordered the gel removal kit and spent an hour with my toes wrapped in foil watching episodes of Schitt’s Creek and the polish practically fell off. Now, I’m not prepared to try to at-home gel pedi available at CVS, but I did swipe on some regular old color I had on hand, after a nice scrub and foot mask to knock off some dead skin, and I’m happy to say I’m proudly donning flip-flops on my grocery store runs. Carla has many more great at-home products, and I’ve also been intrigued by the online ads for Olive & June nail kits with their awesome brush holder for those of us who fat-finger through fine motor skills and have trouble coloring inside the lines. Let us know if any of you have tried them.
At the end of the quarantine, we may all be a little more haggard, a little more grey, a little harrier, and a little more wrinkled…..but not for long. And until then, these little hacks, in concert with spotty broadband and low-quality online cameras on our devices, will help you feel like a quarantine beauty queen floating through your online day at home.
Images by Breezy Ritter