Firstly, put the wax down. The chances of a successful DIY brow wax are slim to none, but tweezing a few rogue hairs will make a difference. Sharp, slanted tweezers are best, and steer clear of magnifying mirrors. Focusing all your attention on one zoomed-in patch isn’t helpful. Instead, make sure you can see both brows and constantly compare them as you’re working. Set yourself up in a bright, well-lit part of your home, and remember that less is more when it comes to plucking. It’s important to follow your natural shape, too – you should be able to see which parts your brow artist usually threads or waxes away, so try to stay within those lines. Stop yourself from getting carried away and always quit while you’re ahead, to minimise the chance of regret.
A tinted brow not only saves time filling them in, but if yours are naturally sparse or light, then it can also make them appear thicker and fuller. It’s a relatively easy job to do at home, but don’t get complacent: always leave the product on for less time than you think is necessary, make sure you follow the mixing instructions properly and use an old, small, angled eyeliner brush to apply the dye. Keep a cotton bud handy to clean up any mistakes, and a patch test is always recommended 48 hours beforehand, because you can never be too careful.
Whether you’re using a gel kit or regular polish, the key to a DIY professional-looking manicure is in the cuticle work. Trimming or pushing them back not only makes nails look longer, but it also makes it easier to do a neater paint job. It takes time, but it’s worth the effort. Invest in a decent file – professionals tend to use 240-grit natural nail wooden files, but a glass one works well. File from left to centre, and then right to centre, rather than doing the whole nail in back and forth movements. Finally, use nail polish remover to dehydrate the nail and to get rid of any natural oils before you start painting. Always use a base and topcoat, and apply polish in thin, even layers, using a cuticle stick to get rid of any mistakes as you go.
Jade rollers and other types of at-home facial massagers are good for helping with lymphatic drainage, as well as improving blood circulation, getting rid of puffiness and generally making skin look brighter and feel firmer. Simply roll it up the cheeks and down the nose, and across the chin. Best used straight from the fridge around three times a week, you can pair with a facial oil, which will provide a ‘slip’ and stop any dragging. It should ideally be the last step in your night-time routine, but note that it’ll take a few weeks to see a difference in your skin. It’s definitely a habit that’s worth getting into, though.
Waxing requires some preparation: first, make sure the hair you want to get rid of is neither too long nor too short – around a quarter of an inch is ideal. The longer it is, the more painful waxing will be (trim with scissors, if need be), and too short makes it harder to pull hair from the root. Then you need to exfoliate 24 hours before to prevent ingrown hairs. When waxing day arrives, ensure you clean and dry the area first. It’s also important to pull strips off in one quick movement in the opposite direction of hair growth; and try not to go over the same section more than once. When you’ve finished, wash away excess wax and use aloe vera or a fragrance-free, soothing moisturiser to reduce redness.
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