5 Beauty problems we can all relate to during #MCO — and how to solve them
Pull yourself together
Scrolling on Instagram and find that you can relate to more than a handful of quarantine beauty memes? That makes the both of us. If you're in a quandary when it comes to bushy brows, gel manicures that have completely grown out, roots that are showing, and the like—don't panic; there's always the light at the end of the tunnel (just don't leave the house).
Call it first world problems or dilemmas that only beauty lovers would face, the following solutions to predicaments may be useful for those who need a beauty fix or two from home:
Are your face-framing arches looking a lot like Frida Kahlo's unibrow right about now? If you're totally okay with it rocking a fierce, full-brow look, ignore this and scroll past. But if you've been dying to clean up your brows but not too sure where or how to start, read on.
Here's a basic tip for everyone: leave the complex tools and methods to the professionals. By "complex", we mean threading and waxing. Try plucking your hairs with a tweezer instead! Here's what Benefit Cosmetics' National Brow Artist, Shanice Yong, has to say about DIY brow maintenance:
- "Use a tweezer to pluck unwanted brow hairs that are growing out of your natural brow frame. Make sure to take a step back from the mirror every now and then to ensure you don’t overpluck your brows."
- "If your brows are growing out of control and you are not confident to pluck yourself, and you have a video concall scheduled later in the day, use a concealer to conceal hairs beneath your brow bone (that’s where your unwanted brows grow the most). This helps to to temporarily conceal it just so you’ll have a cleaner brow look."
- "Never use razors or blades to shave your brows. It's really dangerous especially if you are not familiar with the technique of shaving your brows. Also, this can cause ingrown hair and half of your brows to disappear (if you aren't doing it right)."
- "To make tweezing less painful, pluck your brow hairs according to your natural hair growth—that way you’re not plucking against it. Ice it right after to prevent redness."
Check out our brow guide here for more tips and tricks.
Unkempt lash extensions
Had to postpone your lash touch-up appointment no thanks to this #MCO? Fret not if your extensions are growing (and falling off) rapidly. If you can't bear to keep your lash extensions on for the next two weeks, we've got some bad news for you: there isn't a home solution to safely remove your lash extensions.
Avoid using oil or oil-based makeup remover to get rid of them as you may risk pulling out your natural lashes along with your extensions, leading to bald patches along your lash line.
But the good news is—you can accelerate the growth of your natural lashes with lash serums. Don't forget to regularly comb (what's left of) your extensions and clean it with an oil-free makeup remover with a spoolie brush—avoid using cotton pads as the cotton fibres may catch onto your extensions and pull them off.
Real talk: if you aren't tasked to leave the house for a grocery store run, and have the option to turn your camera off during your Zoom meetings—leave your roots alone and let your colourist handle it once this #MCO is lifted.
But if your roots are making a flashy statement (and you aren't confident about rocking it as effortlessly as Dua Lipa), get your hands a box of semi-permanent hair colour such as temporary colour gel or even touch-up sprays. With proper application and maintenance, your hair colour will last up to six weeks—crossing fingers, in time for your next visit to the hair salon.
It's important to stick to a complete haircare routine for colour-treated hair that includes colour shampoo, conditioner (or treatment) to prevent fading or brassiness. But for those with blonde locks, leave it to the pros—it isn't worth the risk and DIY bleaching may result in more hair breakage than you're prepared to handle.
Overgrown gel manicure
Is your gel manicure 14 days overdue for a removal? Worry not. Unlike lash extensions, you can remove them from the comfort of your home—with the right tools that is. Here's what you can do:
- Buff the top layer of the gel with a nail file
- Soak cotton pads in acetone-based nail polish remover
- Place cotton pad on each nail, then use a piece of foil to wrap it around the tips of your fingers
- Leave it on for at least five minutes, then check to see if the gel's texture has changed. If you can't scrape the gel off with a cuticle stick, leave it on for a few more minutes before removing it
Post-manicure maintenance is actually pretty easy with the help of cuticle oil, hand cream or lotion (especially now that we constantly have to wash our hands with soap), and a base nail coat if you're about to embark on yet another (DIY) manicure.
Your overdue waxing appointment
Missing your waxing/IPL therapist more than your friends? We feel you. Hairy pickles aren't our favourite and at times like these, our go-to solution would be to use an at-home hair removal device that's safe enough to remove hairs creating a mess—or worse, inflicting damage onto your skin.
Home waxing kits and even DIY waxing recipes (sugar, honey, water and lemon juice) are an option if you really don't want to let your natural hairs run wild and free. Bear in mind that these are relatively safe(r) for your legs and arms, but not so much your bikini area, underarms and face.
Alternatively, using a razor to shave errant hairs (like peach fuzz) is actually a safer choice. But if you're worried that your hair will regrow thicker, fret not. According to dermatologist Dr Ava Shamban, women have finer wispy hair on their face that remains throughout adulthood. "Its removal by shaving or any other means other should not change its structure,” she says.
Or, you could just go au naturale and embrace your face and body hair that you were born with—just keep up with good hygiene practices and you'll be just fine.
More #MCO content here.