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Don’t know where to start with a new you for the new year?
Well, 2021 is the year to switch things up and reinvent your look, even as the coronavirus pandemic keeps most salons, spas and tattoo parlors out of reach for a while longer.
Luckily, there are home remedies that can look just as good as professional services — and with far less of a hefty price tag. Try an at-home gel manicure, with kits and UV curing lamps that turn your kitchen counter into an exclusive nail studio. Leave your gray hair in 2020 and check out easy-to-use hair dye or check out some crazier temporary colors to brighten your mood and your look.
Peruse the recommendations below for nails, hair, temporary tattoos and more, all doable from your own home. The only thing you may need is a member of your household to hold the hand mirror or assist in application.
Best at-home manicures
imPRESS Press-on Manicure and Pedicure, starting at $7.99
Dress to imPress from head to toe — and fingernail, too.
These press-on nails are the easiest way to change up your look from home, without going to a nail salon or shelling out the cash for a weekly touch-up. Check out the Couture Collection for a more glam style, or the imPress pedicure sets for fancy feet to match your mani.
KISS Brush on Gel Nail Kit, sale price: $7 (original price: $9.99)
Here’s a tip if you’re doing your nails at home.
From Kiss, the brush-on gel kit is the best way to get French gel tips that last and you can do yourself. The three-step system mimics a traditional gel mani, without the need for an LED lamp to cure them. The set also comes with enough nails for two full manicures, as well as different sizes of nails to fit your nail bed’s shape and size.
Red Carpet Manicure Pro 45 Starter Kit, $79.99
Become your own nail technician and open an exclusive salon for your household with this full gel starter kit sold at Ulta Beauty.
The kit, by Red Carpet Manicure, includes everything you need for a perfect gel mani. The set contains one professional LED light to cure the polish, primer, base and top coats, gel polish, gel remover and more.
Olive and June The Mani System Winter Box, $94
Olive and June have taken the good old-fashioned manicure and taken it up a notch.
The Winter Box is a fan-favorite, containing enough tools to last you through the season with new nails whenever you feel the itch to change things up. The set includes their eight-polish long-lasting Winter 2020 Collection, a top coat and a pink Poppy nail device that makes painting your non-dominant hand a breeze. It also includes tools like a nail clipper, file, cuticle serum, clean-up brush and nail polish remover.
Brooks Brothers small manicure set with leather case, sale price $133.50 (original price: $178)
Give your man a manicure and treat your own tips to a trim with this leather set from Brooks Brothers.
Encased in a brown or black leather case, the nail kit includes all the essentials for healthy trimmed fingernails and toes. The set includes scissors, a nail file, nail clippers, tweezers and a cuticle tool, too.
Best at-home hair dye
True Sons hair and beard dye, $49.99
Quarantine is no excuse to go gray.
Take back your natural color with a little help from True Sons hair and beard dye. The foam application is easy to do at home, no matter your skill level. Simply apply the foam to your hair, wait 15 to 20 minutes and rinse out with water. The dye masks grays or blends your salt with some pepper for a refreshed look without a visit to the salon.
oVertone pigmented conditioner, $26
Over your hair color but don’t want to go into the salon or mess with bleach? Or, for the brunettes among us, have you been searching for a color that will show up on darker locks? Well, you’re in luck.
“oVertone conditioners are not dyes — they’re pigmented conditioners! Dyes contain chemicals formulated specifically to dry and open the hair cuticle and deposit color, and oVertone conditioners contain none of those chemicals. While you can add color to your hair with them, our conditioners are not formulated to be a one-time application like a dye,” explains the FAQ page.
The at-home pigmented conditioners work on most hair types, and they even have a new brown hair line for darker hair. Check out all their colors, from neutral browns and blondes to bright pinks and greens.
Lime Crime Unicorn hair tint, $16
Lime Crime is the solution for those who need a change without the commitment of bleach.
The hair tint is vegan and never tested on animals, so rest assured you and your locks are cruelty-free. The tint itself is a semi-permanent concoction, designed to add a pop of color to your hair, but fade out naturally with normal washes. The collection comes in 10 colors, ranging from bubblegum pink to a more subdued dusty rose and a natural-looking caramel brown.
Best at-home tattoos, freckles and lashes
BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Marker, Henna Vibes, $13.08
No need to seek out a fair, salon or henna artist during the pandemic when you can get your very own henna tattoo design from home.
From BIC, these pens are skin safe, so make sure to tell your mom that you can indeed draw on your skin with these. The set of three comes in black, red and brown to mimic the colors of traditional henna tattoos. It also includes three stencils, should you want to copy the floral designs henna is known for.
Inkbox temporary tattoos and ink, starts at $13.99
Fool your friends or test out a tat you’ve always wanted — no commitment or pain necessary — with temporary tattoos from Inkbox.
The company is known for temporary tattoos that look and feel like the real deal, without needles or a visit to the tattoo parlor. The tattoos fade in one to two weeks depending on how well you care for your new ink and can be applied all over your body. They work on most skin tones and are designed by real tattoo artists to look like you came straight from the chair. If there isn’t a design that suits you, check out their ink for freestyle designs, which are used like a henna tattoo but turn out a deep, fresh ink.
Freck Beauty fake freckle pen, $22 to $32
If you’ve always been jealous of your speckled friends — or your own natural freckles have faded this winter — refresh your facial flecks with a makeup solution from Freck Beauty.
The freckle pens come in two sizes, the OG version and the XL tube. The makeup is easy to apply, especially once you get used to the dotting motion needed to achieve natural-looking freckles without the sun or the genetics.
“Lightly apply FRECK OG as a cluster of dots, dipping your brush often. Allow formula to sit and develop naturally on your skin. Here’s where the magic happens: copy/paste your frecks by tapping them out across your skin. FRECK OG is compatible with all skin tones and looks best on darker skin when left longer before tapping,” explains the product page.
Lola’s Cosmetics magnetic lashes, starts at $29.99
Say goodbye to monthly lash extensions and painful and expensive in-person appointments with this magnetic trick from Lola’s Cosmetics.
These magnetic lashes and liners work together to provide the easiest fake-lash application ever. Simply apply the magnetic eyeliner to your lash line, wait until they are about 80% dry and then add the lash to the liner. No glue is needed, as the tiny magnets hold the lashes in place all day until you choose to remove them. Many of the sets are on sale and great for new users, as they include the lashes, liner and cleansing oil for easy removal.
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