At-Home Beauty Hacks: A Guide for Every Skin, Hair, + Nail Situation

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Overgrown nails, bushy eyebrows, dark roots, and uneven lash extensions are just a few of the beauty problems many of us are likely facing while spas and salons are temporarily closed. Hoboken Girl understands all of these frustrations and has compiled a list of at-home beauty hacks that can help. Local experts weigh in with advice for DIY facials, root touch-ups, and more. Read on to learn how to still indulge in beauty and wellness rituals at home. 

at home beauty hacks guide

For a Root Touch-Up

Hair coloring should be left up to the professionals, so we asked Kristina Maccaro, owner of Love Lane Salon in Jersey City for her professional advice on dealing with grown-out roots during this time away from the salon. She suggests:

  • – “If you can wait, don’t use home color! A great trick to temporarily cover your grays during this wild time is to use a root spray. Our personal favorite is the KEVIN.MURPHY RETOUCH.ME root touch up spray. Simply spray on your roots {from at least six inches away} and let dry for five minutes. The product temporarily covers your grays until your next shampoo. Other great options are the Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch Up Spray and the Color Wow Root Cover Up.”
  • – “If you can’t wait and you have to use home color, please be careful about where you purchase your color. We recommend consulting your current salon and/or colorist before purchasing anything to avoid adverse effects. We are currently recommending the dpHUE Touch-Up or the Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss.”

For Home Facials + Extractions

Prior to giving oneself an at-home facial, it is important to use steam to open the pores and loosen any dirt buildup in the skin. Most of us probably do not have a spa-level facial steamer lying around the house, so a facial post-shower {while the bathroom is still all steamy} will work just as well. Another way to steam at home is to drape a hot towel over your face for 10 to 15 minutes.

Extractions are one of those things that should ideally be left up to the professionals, however, these are desperate times. EC Beauty Studio provides some pro tips on how to safely perform extractions at home. The first rule of thumb is to never pop anything that does not have a white head! As tempting as it is, little bumps on the skin should be left alone. Here are the steps to safely + successfully doing this at home:

  1. After steaming the face, wrap tissues around pointer fingers. Use a mirror and apply pressure to the side of the nose and along the rim. Make sure to also bring the upper lip above the teeth and extract alone the rim of the nose. Be gentle, this area is thin. 
  2. Next, apply a toner, this helps to kill bacteria and bring the PH level of the skin back between a 5.5 and 7.
  3. If needed, apply a pimple cream or acne gel that has salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide as the main active ingredient.
  4. Apply a mask. Multimasking is a great way to properly treat all areas of the face. A charcoal-based mask can be used for more oily areas of the face such as the t-zone, and a hydrating oat milk mask for areas of your face that are on the dryer side.
  5. Apply a serum, such as the hyaluronic acid booster serum from PCA Skin. 
  6. Top the serum off with moisturizer.

Most masks are meant to be used weekly. Try not to overdo it, and be sure to read the directions or skin can get irritated and dried out. EC Beauty Studio sells a variety of PCA Skin masks, each $98, and will last up to three months if used weekly. To order these, email Erica at ericaecbeauty@gmail.com.

If you don’t have a wide assortment of eye creams or face scrubs at home, everyday food items can be used for beauty needs, too. For example, green tea bags work wonders to de-puff the eyes. Brew a couple of bags, then let them cool and place under the eyes to wake them up. For a delicious and effective lip scrub, combine brown sugar, honey, and olive oil. 

Read More: The Best Subscription Boxes for Literally Everything Under the Sun

For Eyebrows + Upper Lip Care

Our eyebrows might be unruly right now sans waxing and threading services, but one old-school method still remains — tweezing. Prior to tweezing anything on your face, be sure there is proper lighting and use a magnified mirror. Follow the below guidelines on eyebrow shape to avoid over-plucking.

  • – Use a pencil or other straight tool and hold it vertically against the face, and place it in line with the middle of one nostril. This where the brow should start.
  • – Pivot the pencil toward the middle of the eye until it lines up with the outside of the iris. This is where the arch should be.
  • – Pivot the pencil more until it touches the outer corner of the eye. This is where the brow should end. 

For the upper lip, tweezing may seem daunting. Luckily, there are several waxing strips on the market that can be used to make the tidying up process as easy as possible.. The most popular on Amazon is Nad’s Facial Waxing Strips

For DIY Eyelash Extensions

If you’re going through life with only half of your eyelash extensions intact, try using individual false lashes from Lashify to temporarily re-fill eyelashes. Although they are only temporary, at least they can be useful to not look crazy for those daily Zoom meetings

For Gel or Dip Manicure Removal

Dealing with grown-out gel or dip powder nails are a pain and an eyesore, but forcefully pulling them off is damaging and difficult. Safely removing dip or gel at home is easier than one may think. All that is needed are cotton balls, a nail buffer, acetone {make sure it is 100% for best results}, and tin foil. The steps are: 

  1. Buff the nails all over using a buffer or file.
  2. Soak the cotton ball until saturated and place it on top of each nail.
  3. Wrap a small piece of tin foil around the cotton ball and finger to secure the cotton ball in place, and to ensure the acetone does not dry. 
  4. Wait 30 minutes and remove the tin foil and cotton ball. The gel or dip nails should easily slide off. If needed, repeat and leave on for just a few more minutes. 
  5. Wash hands and nails, and moisturize, as acetone will dry out hands.

For a DIY Manicure

If giving yourself a DIY manicure, it is important to have all the proper tools. The essential tools for an at-home mani are a cuticle pusher and cutter, a nail file, and a gel topcoat. A great time to do an at-home manicure is post-shower, because the cuticles will be soft and easy to cut. Here’s how to do it:

  1. The first step is to push back the cuticles. This will make nail beds look longer and cleaner, and avoid any irritating hangnails. If a cuticle pusher is not available, then the end of a nail file can be used. Next, step is to carefully cut the excess cuticles that have been pushed back.
  2. Next, file the nails into your desired shape. If unsure how to make the right shape, just mirror the shape of the nail bed. If nails need to be cut, do this before filing.
  3. Wash hands and moisturize. Try to avoid getting lotion on the nail bed, as it can act as a deterrent against polish. 
  4. Now nails are ready to polish! A great polish to use that will last and look professional is the Essie Gel Nail Kit
  5. Lastly, dry time. A useful hack is to soak freshly polished nails in a bowl of ice water for five minutes{or however long you can stand it}. This will speed up the drying process significantly, and avoid any unwanted smudges later on. 

See More: A Nail Salon Owner Shares How to Safely Take Off + Reapply Your Gel Manicure at Home

For Lymphatic Draining

If lymphatic drainage was a part of your beauty and wellness routine, do not fret. Try these two tools that can be easily added into your at-home wellness routine, and on the cheap. 

  1. Dry brushing is a great treatment to add to your at-home beauty routine that offers a variety of benefits. Dry brushing exfoliates the skin, detoxes the body through lymphatic drainage, and is said to reduce cellulite. Goop has a detailed tutorial on how to dry brush properly and the best brushes in the market. The best time to dry brush is before a shower, and follow up with a vitamin-rich moisturizer. 
  2. The Gua Sha tool massages the muscles of the face, which relieves tension and boosts circulation. It will encourage lymphatic drainage which will detox the face and reduce bloat, leaving the face more sculpted and glowing. It’s a great tool to use during a DIY facial. 

Both of these tools are sold by local boutique, Love Locked, in Jersey City. Plus they ship! Just DM them at @shoplovelocked on Instagram. 

Have you tried one of these home beauty hacks, or have a useful hack not mentioned above? Let us know in the comments!

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Alexis moved to Hoboken after she graduated college in 2015 and fell in love with the area right away. She currently lives in Jersey City with her boyfriend, Ewan, and works in New York City as a fashion buyer by day and an aspiring entrepreneur by night. In her spare time, when she is not exploring the new, trendy spots around town, you will find her working out at one of her favorite local classes, singing along to the soundtrack of Wicked, or creating macrame wall art and home decor that she sells on Etsy.


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