Here’s a positive spin on being stuck at home most days and every night; spending more time than ever experimenting with beauty techniques and turning my bathroom into a personalised beauty parlour.
From mastering the art of colouring my own hair, removing body hair using an at home IPL hair removal device, and treating my face to a NEW LED light therapy face mask.
There is (almost) nothing I haven’t tried in the category of beauty, since being in self-isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. In-fact the only part of my body which had gone left untreated for several weeks, were my nails.
This was because I made the mistake of visiting a nail salon two days before self-isolation and social distancing became a thing and I opted to have shellac done – whoops! At the time I thought it would be great, as I didn’t think the lockdown restrictions would last more than four weeks.
Four weeks later I regretted that decision, as I had no way of knowing how to remove it from my nails, safely and without damage.
So, the research began. From checking in with the rest of the BB team to asking a few beauty therapists in the industry, my head was now full of information on ways to remove shellac from my nails.
After watching a variety of YouTubers online walk through removing shellac from nails, including a group discussion with the rest of the BB team, it was time to bite the bullet and attempt to remove the shellac from my own nails. With plenty of nail polish remover, aluminium, makeup pads and a good buffer, I was set.
Check out this amazing video which shows you how to remove shellac from your nails:
I successfully removed all the shellac from both my toes and my fingernails without causing any damage. Six weeks later, nails are still healthy and going strong.
If you find your nails are in need of a good mini-treatment before you start giving them a mani-pedi, try the fabulous Nail Renewal System RRP $48.75 by Dr Dana, which can be easily purchased through NuSkin.
This revolutionary nail kit includes a glycolic prep for treating the beds of your nails and expelling any dead skin cells. Because even your nail beds have excess dead skin cells. This is then followed with the buffer which you can use to remove any dents or lines from the nails, before finishing off with a nail moisturiser, which also treats the cuticle as well.
It’s funny, how easily I forgot how to take care of my own nails, especially when I didn’t think I spent that much time at nail salons in the first place. And I’ve rather enjoyed getting back in touch with my at home beauty therapies whilst being in self-isolation.
So after giving my nails a break, I was finally ready to give myself a mani-pedi.
I started by giving my feet a nice soak in a bath of warm water, then replicated the whole foot spa feeling by using an exfoliator and some body wash to scrub away any dead skin cells off the bottom of the feet. After drying, I moisturised before shaping the nail and painting with a bright blue colour, before realising I really wanted a dark colour instead.
Related Video: Painting Your Toenails at Home in Isolation
After achieving a pedicure look I was pretty chuffed with, it was now time to do my fingernails. This is where I have always struggled. Thankfully BB writer Anisha, our resident nail queen has all the best advice on how to have the best kept nails in self-isolation.
Related Video: How To Keep Your Nails Looking Glam In Self Isolation
Her nails are the envy of the team, and I have a very fond memory of watching her scale an indoor climbing wall with what looked like two inch beautifully manicured white nails, when the BB team spent the morning indoor rock climbing. I don’t know how she did it, but she successfully scaled the rock and boulder walls without chipping a nail.
It’s always recommended to use an acetone based polish remover to take off shellac, the stronger the acetone the better. If you can’t find access to pure acetone, this Sally Hansen Instant Nail Polish Remover RRP $9.95 works well. Simply stick the nail in, let it soak and when you pull the finger out use another acetone based polish remover on a makeup pad to wipe off all remaining shellac.
I highly recommend you apply a strengthening serum to the nails after removing shellac, as acetone remover can strip the nails of any nutrients, especially if you have been wearing shellac for more than a few weeks. Try the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Vitamin Strength Serum RRP $14.95 which can be easily massaged into your fingers, nails and cuticles to reduce breakages and strengthen nails.
Opt for a rich hydrating oil for cuticles after removing shellac with an acetone based polish remover, as acetone can strip the oils from the skin leaving them dry. Although the Acetone formulation of the polish remover by Sally Hansen has been infused with Vitamin E to protect the nails, if you opt to use a stronger acetone to remove shellac, you will need to rehydrate the cuticles. Try the Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil RRP $17.95 which will help restore cuticles back to their strong and healthy self.
With so many great at home options for doing your nails at home, I chose to keep my nails nice and clean and opted to use some press on nails by Ardell called Professional Nail Addict Premium Nail Set RRP $15.99 in the shades Nude Pink, Marble and Glittery Gold
Expert Tip: Always coat your nails with some clear coat before applying any nail glue. This will allow your nail to breath and will prevent any cell damage of the nail when they fall off, or you pull them off.
The sheet mask to end all sheet masks, with noticeable differences in the skin after only one use.
I have always envied dewy skin, especially when my combination skin; which steers more towards the oily side, will jump between being excessively oily, or excessively dry. No nice in-between. The serum in this sheet mask balances out the oil and dryness, leaving skin soft and dewy.
I used it at night before bed, after exfoliating and then applied a nice thick night cream on the skin, once the serum from this mask absorbed into the face. You know that feeling you get after leaving a beauty salon, and your skin is rosy and plump? That’s how I felt after using this mask. And I looked fresh the morning after too.
With ingredients like caffeine, grape extract and citric acid, the Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Mask will also significantly reduce any environmental stresses and the first signs of ageing, giving an overall youthful look to the complexion.
I found my skin remained fairly dewy for at least a few days after using the mask. Proving the powerful ingredients of this mask really do help you have younger looking, and well-hydrated skin for longer.
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