Feeling kind of unkempt? You’re not alone. We're cooped up without our favorite colorists, haircutters, facialists, lash and brow shapers. So, we tracked down some of Long Island’s beauty experts (and even some regular people who already have at-home treatments down to a science) to help us navigate the new normal with step-by-step instruction. And the good news is across the boards, they all say you can make do with stuff you already have in your home.
Feeling presentable adds to feeling good overall, despite the situation. So says Elaine Bezold, a co-owner of the Spa at Red Hots in Roslyn. “Staying sane, healthy and looking good go hand-in-hand, so keep ‘quarantine funk’ at bay with positivity and self-care.” Here’s your at-home beauty guide:
Shape up those brows
"Less is more when you’re doing your brows at home," says makeup artist and brow expert Anna Naso, (annanaso.com) of Franklin Square. "Sometimes at home, we can get a little carried away by over-tweezing, so let’s try to avoid that." These are her steps for grooming unruly brows "until you can get to your beauty professional."
Tools of the trade: Slanted tweezer, eyebrow brush or comb, pencil for marking, mirror, small set of scissors.
1. Start with a freshly cleansed face, Naso says. “Coming out of the shower is my favorite time to tweeze because the hairs are easier to remove.” She suggests watching what you do in a mirror and occasionally taking a step away to make sure brows are balanced. "Remember, always hold the skin firmly, and pull the hairs with the tweezer in the same direction of the hair growth,” says Naso.
2. Comb or brush the hair above your brow line. Do a slight trim with a pair of eyebrow scissors or small scissors you have around the house. “Don’t overdo it."
3. Measure and mark where you’re going to tweeze with an eyeliner pencil. “I measure from the tip of the nose straight up to tweeze between the center of the eyebrows.” The measurement stops you from going too far in. Repeat this, but go from the tip of the nose to the outer corner of the eye to determine the length of the brow (don’t do much on the top).
4. Under the brow itself, clean stray hairs. "Some people have an arch and some don’t,” says Naso. "Tweeze carefully in this area and not too close to the brow." If you want to try to follow the arch, the arch should start at a 45-degree angle from the tip of the nose. While you can pluck some strays, this is where you can over tweeze and actually make a hole in the brow.
5. Soothe the skin after with moisturizer or toner.
Remove the artificial nails
“We went ahead and took off many of our clients' nails to prepare them for this time,” says Lulzemie Azemi, the owner of Safie Salon and Day Spa in Massapequa. But some of us are stuck with our growing out gel manicure, dip powder and acrylics — yikes.
Tools of the trade: Coarse emery board, acetone nail polish remover, square buffer, cotton, aluminum foil squares, orangewood stick (cuticle stick), glass or ceramic bowl, nail-strengthening polish.
How to: Azemi says, “For a gel polish and gel dipping powder, gently file the top layer until it gets dull. Then, soak a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover and place it on the nail tightly wrapping it in foil. Let it soak for 10 minutes (for gel) and 30-minutes for gel dipping powder. It should buff off easily. To soak off acrylics, use a ceramic or glass bowl (a plastic bowl will dissolve) and soak for 30-45 minutes in acetone nail polish remover until the residue is off your natural nail. File the nail and round them making them as short as possible. The nail will be weak so use a nail strength polish.”
Fixing up lash extensions
Tools of the trade: Packaged knot-free flare lashes, slanted tweezer, eyelash glue, mascara specifically designed for eyelash extensions, lash growth serum.
How to: Your eyelash extensions are coming to the end of their life. Skincare and eyelash pro Karina Freedman, the owner KarinaNYC Skin and Lash clinics in Greenvale and NYC says, “You can fill in and patch using flared knot-free lashes (she likes the Ardell brand) with eyeglass glue available at drugstores.”
Another “temporary fix” is the use of regular mascara which "makes them look better and it kind of glues them into place,” says Freeman. You can also use a mascara specifically designed for extensions. “It doesn’t leave a residue and will help preserve and blend with your own lashes and will not look clumpy,” she says.
If you’re over your lashes but want to maintain the lushness, she suggests an eyelash growth serum that will “speed up the whole process of shedding and make your natural lashes grow faster.” Freedman stocks both of these products and will ship to you (infoKarinanyc.com or 516-625-2624).
Take care of your skin
Tools of the trade: Avocados, sugar, cucumber, yogurt, oil.
How to: Elaine Bezold, the co-owner of The Spa at Red Hots and partner Josephine Noto are offering free FaceTime, email and phone consultations (to make an appointment write to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message, 516-484-8267). If you’re having skin issues, they’re also offering customized skin care packages via a new service dubbed S.O.S. (save our skin) and will send out products you need. But there’s plenty you can do on your own and maintaining some sort of routine is important, says Bezold. “Just because you’re in quarantine doesn’t mean you don’t have to wash your face, so make sure you do it twice a day with a mild cleanser. Dirty skin will not produce good skin cells.”
She suggests giving yourself a regular facial massage with an oil or serum (unless you have acne) using a circular movement along the eyes, underneath the jaw and behind the ears to help get rid of fluids that are causing puffiness and to bring “your blood flow to the surface for younger, healthier-looking skin.” There are plenty of ways to create homemade facial masks — mashed avocado and a tablespoon of oil for dry, older skin, blended yogurt and cucumber for skin with acne, and sugar and oil for a great exfoliator, which should be done two to three times a week.