Chances are you’re looking for ways to keep yourself busy while we collectively gear up for an extended period of self-isolation.  You’ve tried meditation, shopping online for loungewear and even dabbled in a bit of sexting. What to do next to keep things fresh? Perhaps you’re thinking of switching up your beauty routine. This is all well and good, but tread carefully. When it comes to at-home beauty, there’s a fine line between harmless experimentation and total disaster. We strongly advise the below.


Go blonde, give yourself highlights or cut your own bangs.

Don’t do your hairdresser like that. They deserve more.

Pick off your nail polish as a coping mechanism.

Dry, flaky cuticles – a lovely byproduct of constantly washing your hands (which you absolutely must continue doing) – will make it all the more tempting, but try to resist. Ex-nail biters who still can’t keep their hands away from their faces, that goes double for you. Consider rubbing fingernails with oregano oil to discourage nibbling; it tastes horribly bitter *and* is antibacterial.

Get sucked into the vortex of staring at yourself in the mirror.

Relentless face-picking leads to scars; scars that can’t be treated at a medi-spa right now.

Forget to wear sunscreen.

Long periods of forlorn gazing out the window *will* cause UV damage.

Subconsciously clench your jaw.

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD, but also known as TMJ) is not fun and now is not the time to develop it.

Rummage through your kitchen and create random beauty concoctions.

Do you really want to be cooped up with a gloop of mayo in your hair? No, you do not. Plus, we’re certain going to the grocery store because you used your self-isolation food rations for beauty purposes does not qualify as an essential activity. (If you really insist on going the DIY route, refer to our ELLE-editor-approved menu.)


Learn the art of facial massage.

Drain those lymphs! This book is a great resource for beginners and a must-have for all skincare nerds.

Deep condition.


Declutter your beauty arsenal.

Make it your mission to finish all those half-used jars of conditioner and various lotions. Use up tiny sample packets and mini-sized products or finally banish them from your life! Learn how to recycle everything properly and read up on zero-waste alternatives for future purchases. After all, Earth Month is in April.

Wash your brushes.

They get nasty. While you’re at it, sanitize everything: tweezers, nail clippers, hairbrushes – all of it. The sense of accomplishment you will feel is unparalleled.

Experiment with growing out your hair.

Let your tuft grow with reckless abandon. Perfect the messy bun. Now is also a great time to forego waxing and ditch plastic razors.

Learn to do your own nails.

Looking down at newly manicured fingertips from the comfort of your own home makes you feel invincible. And very, very smug.

Turn your bathroom into a hammam.

Ok, so there won’t be a woman scrubbing you mercilessly on a heated slab of marble (a glorious experience), but there are ways to replicate the results. Don a fluffy robe, add a drop of eucalyptus oil to your tub, grab an exfoliating mitt or grainy scrub, light a candle and slough away.

Invest in a humidifier.

The major advantage to staying at home is the lack of recycled office air. Try to embrace it!


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