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Pluck up the courage: 8 DIY beauty hacks to tide you over until salons re-open


Pluck the stray hairs first before tackling the shape of your eyebrows

Pluck the stray hairs first before tackling the shape of your eyebrows

Pluck the stray hairs first before tackling the shape of your eyebrows

Navigating our beauty regimes for the next few weeks - while not the most important aspect of the current pandemic - is something we all might need a little help with. Here's your guide to looking after yourself during lockdown.

What can I do about the dry skin on my hands?

With so much hand-washing and using hand sanitisers, the skin on our hands needs far more attention than usual. Kim Treacy, a celebrity nail technician, suggests applying a thick layer of the Norwegian Formula Hand Cream by Neutrogena, and pop some cotton gloves on top. Either leave on overnight or while you watch a film.

"If you don't have any hand cream and can't get out to get any, try olive oil," suggests Treacy.

What's the best way to pluck my eyebrows?

"Pluck the stray hairs first before tackling the shape," advises Vanita Parti, the founder of Blink Brow Bar. "Brush your brows up and across. You can then determine the core brow shape hair to remove. Just pluck one or two hairs at a time, step away and view your brows before you continue - step by step is key.

"You may also need to trim the longer brow hairs with nail scissors, so brush up with a brow brush and snip any hairs poking above the brow line."

Parti recommends slanted tweezers, as they are more precise, and "will give you the grip you need to grab each brow hair by the root and minimise hair breakage".

How do I keep my brows in shape until I can see a professional again?

"A pencil is a great tool to define the shape of your brow," says Parti. "Place the pencil at the edge of your nose and where it hits your eyebrow is where they should be.

"Then swivel it from your nose to your iris - this is where the arch should be positioned. Finally, swivel again from your nose to the end of your eye and where the pencil hits the brow is where they end."

How do I make nail varnish last longer now I'm doing it myself?

"Always apply a base coat, two thin layers of varnish and a top coat," Treacy tells me. "On the third day, reapply a top coat and as long as you are not digging the garden, your polish should last eight to 10 days."

Should I trim my hair at home?

"This will never end well," says hair stylist Luke Hersheson, "so instead try to change your parting or take this as an opportunity to grow your hair a little. Unless you've got a really graphic hairstyle that requires maintenance, grow out your hair a little and stay away from hacking it up. Most hairstyles definitely don't need to be maintained every six to eight weeks."

The same goes for men. Hersheson suggests rather than trying to trim your hair, play around with styling it a bit more.

What's the best way to keep facial hair looking neat?

Hersheson says you should maintain the length of your beard with clippers, but to prevent in-grown hairs with a regular exfoliation. "Mix a spoonful of olive or sunflower oil with some rice flour or semolina to make a paste," adds facialist Abigail James. "It's cheap, simple and particularly effective on men's skin as it's not too scratchy."

What's the best way to remove shellac now I can't get to a manicurist?

"Whatever you do, don't peel it off," says Treacy, as this will remove some of your nail layers. Instead, lightly file over the nail to take the shine. Then apply some acetone nail varnish remover on a cotton pad on each nail and wrap with a strip of kitchen foil. "Leave it on for 10 minutes," says Treacy, "and then gently remove the varnish with a cuticle pusher."

How can I keep my skin soft now that I'm constantly indoors?

"Look for any intensive masks with ceramides or hyaluronic acid in them to help repair the epidermal layer," says Dr David Jack, a Harley Street aesthetic specialist. Men also neglect their skin, so this is a good opportunity to work a regular mask into your routine. If you're in the market for something a little more homemade, James suggests a mask made from an equal measure of yoghurt and honey, with a pinch of porridge oats. Leave it on the skin for 15 minutes for a boost of hydration.

© The Telegraph