I’ve always loved treating myself to a mani here, a facial there…botox here, a spray tan there, a lash lift here. You get the picture! That said, the pandemic-induced quarantine made booking my usual appointments impossible, and eager to keep up my routine, I had to seek out beauty treatments at home to serve as temporary replacements.
As a product junkie, I knew I had what I needed to get through a few months without any IRL appointments—what I didn’t expect was to find that some of my products worked just as well as these treatments, if not better. I never thought I’d find a self tanner to beat my in-person spray tan, or a mascara good enough to make me swear off of lash lifts, but here we are. I’ve even found a few good picks to make putting off my next botox sesh a little bit more bearable, which is a pretty big deal.
Whether you’re like me and can’t make it to your usual favorite spas and salons, or you’re just looking for some great at-home beauty treatments to try, I’m thrilled to recommend each of the game-changing products below. There’s something for every budget, from affordable press-on nails to pricy microcurrent tools, and you just might find your new favorite the same way I have.
With that, read on for the products I’ve used to replace my in-person lash lifts, manicures, spray tans, botox, brow tinting and dark spot-reducing laser treatments. I promise you’ll be impressed!
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1. To Replace My Lash Lifts
As someone with lashes that are long and dark, but devastatingly stick-straight, discovering lash lifts was a major blessing. I was getting one every two or three months prior to the pandemic, and without the extra curl, my lashes looked especially flat.
It wasn’t until trying the Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Lengthening Mascara that I was able to embrace them sans-lift. This tubing mascara not only dramatically lengthens each lash, but holds a curl all damn day. TBH, as long as I keep repurchasing, I don’t think I’ll ever really need to have a lash lift again.
2. To Replace My Manicures
I’ll be honest—I was already a huge press-on nails fan pre-quarantine, so not being able to get manicures didn’t really upset me. That said, some of my friends were STRUGGLING, so I immediately turned them one to KISS Gel Fantasy Nails, my absolute saving grace for at-home nails. They last me over a week, I can cut and file them to my liking and there are tons of colorways and designs. Win, win, win.
A newer-to-me nail brand I’ve been loving as well is RaveNailz, and I’m wearing their Fluffy Cloud Nailz as we speak! Stalk their range if you’re looking for super-statements nails that definitely look like you went to a salon to have them done.
3. To Replace My Spray Tans
I’ve used more than a few bottles of self tanner up during quarantine, but none have compared to the Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam. Things it isn’t: orange, streaky, patchy. Things it is: wonderful, incredible, a vacation in a bottle. Highly recommend.
If I don’t have time for a full self-tanner moment, I swipe the Patrick Ta Major Glow All-Over Glow Balm in “She’s On Vacation” along my collarbone and shoulders for a glowy, bronzy look. This is one of those products that literally never runs out, and it definitely takes my look from “hasn’t seen the sun since March” to “bronzed goddess.”
I don’t use self-tanner on my face, so a good bronzer is a must to ensure it matches my bod. Cue the Chantecaille Radiance Anti-Age Gel Bronzer, a product I would recommend over and over (and over) again. So bronzy and glowy, so easy to apply and blend, so long-lasting. If you’ve never used a liquid or cream bronzer before, let Chantecaille’s gel formula be your first.
4. To Replace My Botox
This is the one you’ve been waiting for, isn’t it? I’m a devout botox believer, and while I don’t intend to stop getting it, I definitely had to do without for a few more months than I would’ve liked. My saving grace was the NUFACE Mini Facial Toning Device—I used to be unsure this product was worth the hype, but after regular, consistent use, I can honestly say the results are dramatic. My face looks far more toned and sculpted when I use this, so I certainly don’t intend to stop.
The microcurents from the NUFACE Facial Toning Device help the skin absorb any other products, so I always make sure I have some good skincare options around, too. I’ve fallen head over heels for the ultra-moisturizing EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex, which is easily one of the most nourishing products I’ve ever used. Botox or not, my skin looks plumper and more youthful when it’s properly moisturized, so for me, this guy is essential.
5. To Replace My Brow Tinting
My sparse brows don’t really grow, so I didn’t miss brow waxing appointments during quarantine, but I did miss my brow-tinting sessions! Luckily for me, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Micro-Stroking Detailing Brow Pen dropped, and I was able to use the super-precise tip to sketch on brow hairs one by one, creating a more full, still-natural look overall. It takes a little practice to master, but the results are SO worth it.
BTW, filling in my brows during quarantine really taught me the importance of a good makeup mirror, which is why I’m now obsessed with the Riki Loves Riki Skinny Mirror. I love how compact it is, and the brightness settings are honestly unmatched. I can see every little thing, and it’s really helped me get in control of my glam.
6. To Replace My Clear & Brilliant Laser Treatment
I have acne scars and melasma, and the Clear & Brilliant Laser Treatments made a major difference for me when it came to lightening up these dark spots. However, I’ve had to rely on skincare alone to slowly but surely fade these marks while stuck at home. The Ole Henriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner is a favorite I’ve relied on for years, and it really does diminish the look of acne scarring over time.
I’m a full-blown MARA stan, so when I heard about the new Sea Vitamin C Sérum and got to test it a little early, I was over the moon. I’d been on the hunt for a great vitamin C I could rely on to fade dark spots and brighten my complexion overall, and after putting this one to the test, I can confirm it’s the real deal. Add it to the list of MARA products I can’t live without.