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Everything I’ve Learned To Do Myself in Quarantine

Personally, I started out quarantine doing just fine, keeping busy by finally getting to all the assignments I’ve put on the back burner. While shifting my focus on cleaning out a closet or reorganizing my room, the self-care routines I unconsciously would take part in started to creep up. That meant my weekly manicures, monthly waxes and eyebrow threads and hair cuts were all creeping up on me. Without beauty businesses thriving just months before, I found myself forced to find alternatives for my usual appointments. 

I know quarantine was life-changing in terms of serious matters, but now it was really life-changing because of the realization that I’d have to start mastering my self-care routines. Thankfully, social media has been answering all my questions, and I’ve become an expert on all things DIY. Using the many tutorials easily found on the internet, I’ve mastered some self-maintenance care while saving some cash. 

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Eyebrows

My brows?! I swore nobody could touch these babies besides my esthetician. Sadly, I've succumbed to a simple tweezer and a handy mirror. Practice definitely makes perfect for successfully giving yourself a cleaned-up look with your brows. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Use a tweezer

If you're a first-timer doing your own brows, I suggest using a tweezer as it's easier to handle instead of wax or thread. 

2. Magnifying Mirror

This will be your best friend when embarking on your self-care journey. You’ll see any sparse hairs clearly and learn the shape of your brows. 

3. Don’t over pluck

Simply tweezing away the hairs that are just below your natural shape will give you a clean look. If you’re daring, tweeze just a few right near your natural thread of hairs for a more precise finish. I suggest keeping the hair plucking at the start of your brow to a minimum- that’s dangerous territory. 

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Waxing

Another essential part of my beauty routine that takes a lot of practice. Wax is one of the best items to use for hair care. While it exfoliates any dry or dead skin and removes hair straight from the root, it also inflicts pain for many. However, with proper preparation, you can experience this a little less painful. 

1. Exfoliation

Before anything else, it is important to exfoliate 24 hours before waxing to ensure any dead skin won't get in the way of waxing. 

2. Wax Warmer

My favorite is the Gigi Wax Warmer. With low to high settings, you’ll learn how to properly heat your wax beads at the desirable temperature and thickness. 

3. Waxing Application Sticks

Make sure to get a jumbo pack of these babies. Things will get messy and you’ll need plenty to use. It is also important that you use a fresh stick after each application for sanitary purposes. 

4. Hard Wax

These hard wax beads come in a variety of types according to your hair thickness and what body part you are waxing. 

5. Pre Epilation Dusting & Post Wax Cooling Gel

These items are essential if you want to have a painless experience before and after waxing. They helped me with not only the pain but avoiding any ingrowns or bad reactions. 

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Manicures

I don't think I'll ever be perfect at this routine, but I’ve definitely gotten better. A manicure doesn’t have to be nail polish or gel, it can be as simple as cleaning up your cuticles or applying nail care products for healthy nails. Here’s what you need:

1. Nail Clipper & Filer

Clip to your desired length and take your time when filing your nails. Make sure you look at your nails in different angles to ensure evenness all around. This may be new to some of us, but for me, taking my time and perfecting all the edges made my nails look professionally done!

2. Cuticle Oil

We often don’t take care of our nails but cuticle oil is actually a huge step to healthy nails. This also softens our cuticles making it easier to push them back with a tool if you want a clean look. 

3. Nail Hardener

Another product to keep in mind for healthy nails are nail hardeners. This is especially useful for those of us that love a little length on our nails, keeping them from breaking due to weakness. 

4. Base Coat, Polish & Top Coat (Optional)

If you want to go the extra mile, start with painting one thin layer of a base coat. With thin layers of the polish of your choice, followed by a coat of top coat, you have given yourself a complete manicure! Remember to take time on this, with clean edges. Ask a friend or mom to do your non-dominant hand!

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Hair Styling: Loose Waves

No, I didn’t take on that brave task of giving myself a haircut. But, I did learn a thing or two about styling and giving my hair a fresh take with a few products and hair styling tools. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Curling Iron (1.5in or greater)

Getting a curling iron that is over an inch thick gave me the relaxed waves I was looking for, subtle but natural and this iron is the best!

2. Avoid Sectioning

Without sectioning my hair, I was able to look as natural as possible. Grabbing random pieces of hair and alternating the direction of twists with the curling iron was my secret to natural-looking waves. 

3. Volumizing Spray

Give your hair a flip and spray! With lots of volume and giving your hair a product to grasp onto, my naturally straight hair kept its hold in loose waves.

This completes my list of all the things I’ve learned to do myself in quarantine. I’m definitely not perfect in all of these routines but have definitely appreciated how hard cosmetologists and estheticians work. I suggest you try these out with my recommended items and save yourself a whole lot of time and money!

Enisa Borova is a senior majoring in Communications and Media Arts at Montclair State University. She is passionate about writing, styling, and creating content for social media. In her free time, you can catch Enisa exercising, shopping and sipping on her favorite Starbucks drink. She is hoping to start a career in Public Relations and/or Marketing for a noble agency focused on beauty, fashion, and lifestyle.
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