Put down the phone — you don’t need to make a salon appointment to get smooth skin, a brighter glow, and perfectly-shaped brows! These three easy DIY spa treatments will get the job done at home, for free (or almost free).
Smooth your skin.
If you’re like us, a fear of painful waxing has you leaving facial-hair removal to the pros. A way to rid your face of the vellus hairs that cause a mustache and cheek fuzz, ouch-free? Dermaplaning. “This exfoliating treatment done by dermatologists consists of using a small blade to gently scrape the surface of skin removing the outermost layer of dead, dry cells and fine hairs without the pain of plucking, waxing or irritating depilatory creams,” says celebrity dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D. Best of all, the hair-free, skin-smoothing technique can be easily done at home using a special grooming razor like the Tinkle Razor ($4.43 for six, Amazon). Simply pull dry skin taut, then hold the razor at a 45-degree angle against skin and shave downward in short, light strokes all over the face, including along the upper lip. Just take care to go over each area only once. Results last up to four weeks!
Brighten up your complexion.
Between stress over a million and one things and being cooped up, it’s no wonder your skin has lost its usual luster. A steam facial is one of our favorite DIY spa treatments, and can restore that radiance fast, says Gabrielle Ophals, aesthetician and co-founder of Haven Spa in New York City. “Steaming increases circulation to bring blood flow back to the complexion for a fresh flush, while softening the outer layer of skin to boost the effects and absorption of post-steam skin care.”
To do: Pour 3 cups of boiling water into a heat-safe bowl. Add two mint tea bags to re-create the calming feeling of a spa and awaken skin. Drape a towel over your head, keeping your face at least six inches away from the bowl; steam for five minutes. Follow up with your regular moisturizer immediately after.
Shape your brows.
The secret to achieving the perfect brow at home? Before plucking, map out its three main points, says brow expert Ramy Gafni, who’s worked with Tina Fey and Kelly Ripa. First, find the point where the brow begins and should look its fullest before gradually tapering off by holding a brow pencil against one nostril, vertically up to the brow. Use the pencil to mark this point just above the brow. Next, find the midpoint, where the “peak” of your brow’s arch should be by placing the pencil against the nostril and tilting it diagonally so that it goes “through” the iris of your eye to your brow; mark it with a dot. Lastly, find the point where the brow should be its thinnest by holding the pencil against the nostril and tilting it so it lines up with the eye’s outer corner; mark it with a dot. This three-dot “map” will help determine your brow’s natural shape so that as you tweeze, you know which hairs to pluck and which ones to leave. When done, clean up hairs above and below the brow, with an epilator pen, like Flawless Brows Eyebrow Hair Remover ($19.99, Ulta). Its small rotating tip “plucks” excess hairs without grabbing the ones in your brows.
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine.