Daily Life

At-home beauty and fashion hacks to try before lockdown restrictions lift: Get your spring glow on before 'freedom day'

Put your best foot forward after months stuck inside!

By Maddison Leach
Lockdown restrictions are set to start lifting in NSW on Monday, October 11 and it's safe to say locals are excited.
Fully vaccinated Sydneysiders went into a frenzy when they were first allowed to picnic together last month, and we're expecting the same enthusiasm when these new freedoms kick in.
But over 12 weeks of lockdown has done a number on our skin, hair and style as we've been stuck inside sporting trackies and some serious regrowth.
Fortunately, if there's one thing we have learned from lockdown, it's that we're all capable of some amazing DIY at-home beauty treatments.
Sydneysiders will be celebrating when some restrictions lift on October 11. (Pexels)
From removing terribly outgrown shellac manicures, to hiding mortifying dark roots in a head of blonde hair in need of a touch-up, we've become pretty resourceful while stuck inside.
So, as Sydney prepares to open up a little bit next week, we've put together the ultimate guide to getting your spring glow on at home before restrictions ease.
We'll address those shabby nails, pale complexions and hair in desperate need of some TLC so you can look your best when you finally step out of full lockdown on October 11.

Invest in home beauty treatments

Many of us have found our skin looking lacklustre in lockdown, so put some life back into your complexion before restrictions lift.
This is the perfect opportunity to invest in some luxe home treatments, including sheet masks, dermaplaning and more.
While there are no skincare products that will give you instant results, hydrating your skin is a great way to prep it before stepping out into the spring.
Try a sheet mask from Olay's new range, like the Olay Luminous Niacinamide & Hyaluronic Sheet Mask ($11) designed to give you a radiant, dewy glow.
Or invest in a gel moisturiser like the Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator ($68) to lock in moisture without leaving any heavy, sticky residue.
It's also important to invest in a high quality sunscreen before heading out into the sun, so try Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion 50+ ($17) or La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid 50+ ($29.95).
If you're feeling brave, you can also try out the at-home dermaplaning trend, which involves using a special razor to shave your face for a glowy, youthful look.
We have a full guide here – this is definitely a treatment you want to follow the rules with.

Ditch the grown-out manicure

If you're still sporting the same shellac manicure you went into lockdown with, first of all, how?
Second of all, it's probably time to ditch those grown-out claws and get your nails looking a little more presentable.
Removing shellac or gel manicures at home isn't too tricky, but it can be time consuming - we recommend following our simple step-by-step guide here.
For those who have had bare nails all lockdown, or haven't been paying much mind to their nail care, now's the time for a little TLC.
Get your nails 'freedom day' ready with an at-home solution. (Pexels)
Give yourself an easy at-home manicure by following the simple steps below – you can even impress your nail tech when you finally see her again.
  1. Clean your nails with polish remover, then clip them to your desired length and file down any sharp edges.
  2. Use a cuticle remover product to exfoliate your nail bed, then push back your cuticles gentle with a cuticle tool. Moisturise with a cuticle oil.
  3. If you're skipping the polish, apply a strengthening serum to keep your nails looking pristine – then you're done!
  4. For those after the full mani experience, start by applying a base coat, then follow with 1-2 coats of nail polish in your desired colour. Make sure to finish it off with a top coat!
Pick up everything you'll need for your at-home manicure here:

Give your hair some TLC (and hide those roots!)

Many of us have struggled with hair woes in lockdown, especially the bottle blondes whose dark roots have taken over.
Before cracking out the bleach and box dye, consider trying a less permanent solution until you can see your hairdresser again.
"Blonde hair colour is the hardest to achieve on yourself," Hollywood Hair Stylist Jessica Elbaum previously told Women's Weekly.
She suggested investing in a coloured root spray to disguise any regrowth, like the L'Oreal Paris Magic Retouch Hair Colour ($15.95) or the R+Co Bright Shadows Root Touch-Up Spray ($39) to conceal those pesky roots.
As for styling your hair for your first post-lockdown drinks with the girls, now's the time to embrace a more effortless look.
Our approach to hair and beauty has become more relaxed in lockdown, so invest in the Mermade Hair Blow Dry Brush ($89) to create a soft, bouncy blowout with minimal effort.
If you want to embrace your natural locks, try the ELEVEN Australia Dry Finish Texture Spray ($26.95) to add some texture and Grow Thicker Fuller Root Volumiser Spray ($17) to boost the volume for a fuller look.

Get a safe summer glow

We all want to step into spring (and summer) with a radiant glow, but sitting out in the sun for hours on end to get a natural tan isn't worth the risk of skin cancer.
Instead, embrace fake tanning products that will give you a natural glow minus the harmful UV rays.
The Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam ($44.90) claims to be the world's first anti-ageing, anti-cellulite self-tanner, so why not give it a try as we heed into the heat?
Or stick with fan favourite Bondi Sands, and shop their more eco-friendly Pure Self Tan Foaming Water ($24.95) which comes in ethically sourced, 100% recyclable packaging.
There's no point in telling an Aussie to avoid the sun entirely, so invest in a sun-safe but stylish hat to protect your face in the warm spring weather.
Deborah Hutton recently launched her own line of skin safe, UPF50+ hats called Canopy Bay following her skin cancer scares, so pick one up to protect yourself.

Natural makeup is the ‘new normal’

After going makeup-free for so many months, picking up the mascara and eyeliner again can feel seriously intimidating.
Fortunately for us, natural makeup on a dewy base seems to be the hottest trend of the moment, with glowy skin, cream products and minimal effort dominating beauty trends.
Ditch the heavy concealer and full-coverage foundation and instead prioritise products that keep your skin looking hydrated and dewy.
Tinted moisturisers and BB creams are your best friends for dewy coverage, so try the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing BB-gel ($30) or Avène Antirougeurs Unify SPF30 tinted moisturiser ($41.99).
You can also invest in a creamy blush like the Vapour Beauty Aura Multi Stick Blush ($55) for that sun-kissed glow.
Instead of diving back into dark eye makeup and heavy liner, prioritise creating fluffy browns and accentuating your eyes by focusing on creating lengthened lashes with some carefully applied mascara.
Top it all off with a lick of peachy lip gloss or a moisturising tinted balm for the perfect natural makeup look.

Embrace spring fashion trends

We've all been guilty of a little bit of retail therapy this lockdown, and we're here to give you yet another reason to do some online shopping.
When Sydney went into lockdown in June, we were all still wearing turtlenecks and winter coats to fight off the winter chill.
Now we're well and truly into spring and as the weather warms up, so too are the fashion trends.
Plenty of Aussie retailers still have sales running, so invest in a new floral dress, puff-sleeve shirt or chic pair of white jeans so you can step out of lockdown in style.
Shop our favourite spring trends here:
Shop the floaty midi dress trend: Dazie Pinot Grigio Midi Dress, $119.99, from The Iconic. (The Iconic)
Shop the t-shirt dress trend: Missguided Ribbed Collar Midi Dress, $59.95, from the Iconic. (The Iconic)
Shop the kitten heels trend: Alias Mae Baker heels, $219.95, from The Iconic. (The Iconic)