Beauty Editor Molly Sheridan imparts her best DIY recipes and no-bullshit advice for the ultimate self-isolating self-care.
1. Use it up
During the current lockdown, we’re almost all out of work without even a shred of social life to speak of. You’re probably planning on reading every book you own, working out all day and learning fancy recipes you don’t have the ingredients for, right? But this is also a great time to just let yourself relax and practice some well-deserved self-care, so here are some mad easy beauty hacks you can waste away the day preparing and use for some glossy self-isolation.
Tried and tested, we grudgingly admit, this recipe appears in almost every shite women’s magazine. However, this DIY staple really is a banging way to use up your coffee grinds. The usual ingredients tend to be common kitchen cupboard items, but I’ve got a few preferred recipes.
BODY COFFEE SCRUB
– 1 cup of dried used coffee grounds – 1 cup of sugar or salt, up to you, I prefer salt – ½ cup of melted coconut oil, if you don’t have coconut oil and are struggling to get some you can also use olive oil
METHOD – Add the mixture of coffee grounds and sugar/salt into your oil and store in an airtight container. You can easily re-use old jars and beauty containers. – Use on dry skin before going into the shower for the best results! (For a gentler exfoliation, you can use on wet skin as well) – Don’t use it on your face as the coconut oil will be too heavy and oily for the skin. This scrub is ideal for the whole body, especially your ass and feet! – This scrub will stay fresh for around one week.
FACE COFFEE SCRUB
– 1/3 of Epsom salt (you can also use soft salts (but avoid table salt) – if you don’t have this just cut it out the recipe) – 1 cup of DRIED used coffee grounds – ½ cup of brown sugar (again, if you don’t have this you can replace with any sugar, brown sugar is the most gentle though – 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional, I love this recipe but avoid cinnamon if you have sensitive skin) – 1 cup of olive oil (you can use melted coconut oil instead but olive oil is best for your face as it’s less sticky and easier to rinse off)
METHOD – Add your salt to a bowl (if it’s chunky use the back of a spoon to crush it into finer pieces to make your scrub as smooth as possible) – Mix in the DRIED coffee grounds, brown sugar and oil and keep mixing until it turns into a paste – Store in an airtight container, again you can reuse old beauty packaging or jars – Use on wet skin for best results, it’s also great on your neck – This product can double up as a scalp scrub as well, use before shampooing and then double rinse afterwards – Keep for up to 2 weeks
No coffee grounds? Here are some beauty products you can make from things you’ll have around the house. Maybe that brown banana you’re just not gonna eat or that half-eaten avocado you maybe forgot about. Have a look for containers that are almost finished or can be repurposed so you can reuse them and store your beauty treats for free.
BANANA BODY MASK
– 5 slices of banana – 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey – 1 teaspoon of olive oil
METHOD – Add the banana to a bowl and mash up – Add the olive oil and sugar, make sure to mix everything together really well – For best results use on dry skin and wash off with warm water – You can also use this on your face and hands – Use this as you make it, do not keep for more than one day
SUGAR LIP SCRUB
– 2 teaspoons of sugar – 1 teaspoon of honey/agave nectar (any vegan alternative to honey will work just as well) If you don’t have honey you can also use coconut or olive oil but make sure that you only use ½ of a teaspoon to avoid a sloppy mess
METHOD – Mix the sugar and honey together – Keep in an airtight container – Best used on dry lips and washed off with warm water followed with your favourite lip balm – Keep for up to 1 month
AVOCADO FACE MASK:
– ½ avocado or whatever you have left over, I always scrape the skin to get as much out as possible – ½ lemon/orange
METHOD – Mash ½ avocado into a bowl – Add lemon/orange juice and whisk together with a fork – Apply to face avoiding your eyes and mouth for 5-10 minutes to brighten up your skin – Make sure to use a fresh lemon/orange as premade juices will not have the same effect! – Rinse off the mask with water thoroughly being careful of your eyes and make sure to follow with a moisturiser – If you have sensitive eyes please be extra careful with this mask! – Use this as you make it, do not keep for more than one day
GREEN TEA EYE MASK
Green tea bags are magical for your skin and you can reuse old tea bags on your eyes. Simply put the used teabag in your fridge for half an hour and then rest on your closed eye for 5-10 minutes. You can also use fresh green tea bags in your bath to calm down irritated skin!
2. Have a lewk
Most makeup wearers have their day-to-day products and then an additional bag of stuff that they don’t know what to do with but also won’t throw away. Now is the time to have a play. Get glossy for your Houseparty calls, take all the selfies, try out makeup you’d just never think about going outside in and see how it looks. If you’re the sort of person who loves getting ready then there is absolutely no reason to stop that just because you’re stuck inside. Get creative (read: get messy) because if it looks like absolute shite, who cares?
While you’re having a play with that Pandora’s box of products think about if there is anything you have no time for. Old and out of date products can go into the bin thanks. You can send your old washed mascara wands here to help out animal shelters here.
Any in date makeup that’s relatively unused you can send to a local women’s shelter for those who have had to leave without any of their possessions here.
Get cleaning out and experimenting with anything you have, it doesn’t even need to makeup, sneaky old beauty products like cleansers or that moisturiser you got that time you forgot yours and now just sits in a bag. Have a look at what you’ve got and you’ll probably be surprised by some forgotten gems.
3. Clean your fucking makeup brushes
Do I need to go further – you know who you are, and you know what you’ve done. There are now no excuses. Wash them in lukewarm water and shampoo/hand soap/body wash, it really doesn’t matter as long as you make sure to wash out all the soap before leaving out to dry. Leave them to dry lying out flat on a towel or your brushes will shed. If you’re in a rush to use them again soon make sure the bristles aren’t touching a surface by using a table, or shelf, whatever you get it.
4. Make do and mend
You can’t get your usual shit done, and for some of you out there, this is probably causing you stress. It seems ridiculous to some people that in a situation like this you’re worried about your local hair shop not being open, but I get it this is already an overwhelming time with much disruption to our usual day-to-days. Sometimes it’s gonna be the smaller things like being stuck with half your acrylics on or with 2 inch roots that actually push you over the edge. As much as possible try and leave yourself be, don’t take our your frustration by cutting a new fringe, doing a box dye (unless you’re a seasoned pro) or slowly peeling off your gel nails. Look into the products you need as a lot are still available online and are not expensive. Acetone, for example, is less than £5 and along with olive or coconut oil is essentially all you need for a home nail bar removal. Take your time if you have time to waste and use this as a chance to learn some beauty skills that in the long run will be handy to be able to do at home!
5. But don’t actually cut your hair
I see you out there, cutting your fringes with nail or kitchen scissors. Pin that fringe back and crack on. If you need to do something, at the absolute most trim off your split ends with a small pair of scissors, slowly.
6. Think small for big impact
If you’re able to shop for new products right now, try where possible to support small brands. Now more than ever they need your support to stay open and most of them will be running as self-employed.
Here are some small beauty brands you can go and support that won’t break the bank:
WONDER BALM: For cleansers IN THE NUDDY: For no plastic soap BECO: For soaps and scrubs OHNE: For CBD period products YONI: For period products DELHICIOUS: For body and hair scrubs FUR: For pubic hair conditioner (now is the time) NAF: An amazing indie nail brand, great for polishes, oils, decals etc.