Beauty routine, woman in bathtub
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Dubai: Being a woman in the 21st century isn’t easy. We tweeze and pluck against our skin, we burn our hair, we slick glue onto our eyelids and we damage our nails. We cover our skin in powder and pull our cuticles out. And now… it’s time to breathe and embrace our natural self.

Not to sound like a hippie here, but honestly, take this time and enjoy just being you.

What a unique chance we have here. For the first time in modern history, the whole world is self-isolating. Hitting the pause button and slowing down to engage in some self-care is something you probably never really had much time for before. Now you’ve got nothing but time.

And it’s a good excuse to embrace your natural beauty

1. Growing those eyebrows out

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Don’t you think your brows have suffered enough? Someone threading them, pulling at them and shaping them. Yes I agree as much as the next woman that properly shaped brows really do frame your face. Maybe they are over-plucked? Or you are just curious to see how your brows will look like once they are full. Whatever the case, it’s not like you can book an appointment at the salon anyways, so let your eyebrows do their thing and grow properly.

2. Leaving your lashes alone

If you’re someone who gets their lashes ‘done’, whether that’s tinted or false lashes attached, give it a rest. The more you work on your lashes, the more prone they are to falling out. Most women who do apply fake lashes, tend to have none of their own over time. I've personally always tried avoiding them. I worry I would get used to seeing myself with beautiful and long lashes and then never want to go without them again. They would be a fortune to keep up, not to mention my natural lashes would look mediocre and boring. So if you are someone who loves a nice lash, start growing your own and invest in a lash serum that could help bring them back out to their old strong self.

3. Stop adding heat to your hair

Curly hair, natural hair
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If you’re someone who regularly blow-dries, straightens or curls their hair, then girl this is your time to go all natural. You aren’t leaving your house, so this is a great opportunity to stop using heat on your hair and instead use as many treatments as you can. Not that I am someone who would ever encourage you to cut your own hair, but if you’re desperate maybe trim the ends a little and start treating it properly. Looks like we will be here a while, so let your hair go heat free and it will thank you.

4. Skip the nail polish

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As tempting as it is to grab a colourful nail polish to brighten things up a bit, try and keep your nails bare. Instead cut your nails a little short and use a cuticle oil or a nail strengthener to give them life and get them growing fresh and new.

If you were unlucky enough not to remove your gel nails polish while salons were still open, then remove them safely at home with nail polish remover, cotton buds and aluminum foil. You’ll need to soak the cotton in the remover and keep it on your nails, then wrap each fingertip tightly in aluminum foil. Wait for 15 minutes and your gel polish should peel off easily. Wash your hands and apply almond oil to get your nails back to optimum health.

5. Start dry brushing

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Dry brushing is kind of annoying and time consuming. But the results are worth it. Celebs like Miranda Kerr vouch for dry brushing as a life changing addition to their beauty routine. Dry brushing the skin really is as simple as it sounds. All you need is a large, firm and bristled brush. You sweep it across the skin from toes to top.

Even though dry brushing is a relatively new ‘trend’, it was commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for years. Benefits include, softer skin, increase circulation, gets rid of dead skin cells and people who dry brush have reduced cellulite. Do it every night or day before you take a shower, then take your time, now that we’ve got plenty of it.

6. Drink a lot of water

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Now that you’re home, you should have access to water 24/7. According to the Mayo clinic, an average man should drink 3.7 litres a day, while a woman should drink 2.3 litres a day. However reality is different and most people end up usually consuming much less. Try and drink this much water to see what it does to your face. Better skin, brighter eyes, stronger nails and shinier hair.

Drink your first bottle of water as soon as you wake up and try and always stay hydrated throughout the day. This will also reduce your appetite, which may be something we all need stuck at home with little movement.

7. Take a break from makeup

Bare Face, no make up
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Make up isn’t exactly bad for your skin or else more women would stop wearing it. But at some point it gets a little bit tough for your pores to breathe when they are covered with powder or liquid foundation. Also, the more you see yourself without make up, the happier you will be with your natural face. Like we said, this is the time to embrace your natural beauty. Let your skin thrive with a skin care routine, lack of sun and outdoor pollutants, tonnes of water and lots of sleep (hopefully). So don’t cover up all the effort you’ve been doing with makeup. Let your skin shine.

8. Perfect that five-step skin care routine

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Your body generally thrives on routine. Regular workouts, regular proper sleep and clean food as much as possible. Your skin will be the same if your nighttime face cleans goes from an art to a science. As I started nearing my thirties, I spent a lot of time researching and reading about skincare. I discovered that skin like mine works best when there is a system. Of course you can’t deny that sleep and water are the essential basics for your skincare routine, but once you have that down, set up a structured system for your face and in a few weeks you will notice a heck of a difference.

Step 1: Cleanse. This is a fancy way of saying wash your face. Don’t wash with soap though, you aren’t 12 years old. Get yourself a cleanser that works best for your skin, whether it’s one for oily, dry or combination skin. I love to use a FOREO (a silicone face brushes that vibrate to cleanse) when washing my skin. It has changed the way my face felt after washing.

Step 2: Toner. The toner should usually be the first thing you use on your cleansed skin. Alcohol free ones are best. Apply the toner with cotton rounds and take it down to your neck and chest.

Step 3: Serum. I love to use a Retinol serum. Serums are the second lightest liquid you apply on your skin after toner. Serums are what do the work. For retinol specifically it’s the anti-aging work. Retinol is magic. Sweep it down to your neck as well.

Step 4: Eye cream. Although some aestheticians say that it isn’t really necessary, I noticed that it has made a difference with the lines under my eyes. Apply the eye cream with your ring finger and put any of the leftovers on your lips.

Step 5: Moisturizer. The final step and the thickest cream to seal everything in. Apply all over your face and neck.

9. Stop wearing tight clothes and high heels

Woman, heels
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Our bodies aren’t made to be squeezed and squished into tight dresses, skinny jeans, corsets and waist trainers. It’s really best to let your organs enjoy the space they deserve and take advantage of this time by rocking all the sweatpants. Wear socks and walk around barefoot. Don’t constrict your feet with shoes, especially high heels, which honestly, look great but totally mess up the alignment of your spine. Plus they give you bunions.

Really enjoy the feeling of comfort and not wearing “outside” clothes.

10. Sleep

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Now that there’s no commute, you should be enjoying a lot more sleep. Sleep is THE number one beauty booster and immunity booster. Get a lot of it while you can. Enjoy a longer lie in, but also try and go to bed early. Now is your chance to catch up on some well-deserved shut eye (sorry moms, I am not talking to you, we know you don’t sleep).