En español | Anyone following Instagram or TikTok might think women 50-plus have nothing to do all day but dance around and watch pet videos. We know better. We're too busy dealing with real life — working or checking things off our bucket list — to waste a minute during tough times like these. In that DIY spirit, we figured out how to cut and color our hair and do our own manicures. Why stop there? Here are 10 more things we can all do to reboot our looks at home.
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PHOTO BY: CVS (2); Walgreens; Clinique; Target
1. A wrinkle-plumping mask
Your complexion is looking dry, lined and blah? Don't spring for a new face cream yet. A drugstore mask can restore a cushioned dewy look in 10 minutes flat thanks to the water-attracting, moisture-holding ingredient known as hyaluronic acid. Do a test run with a sheet mask — like Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask ($3, cvs.com), No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum Boost Sheet Mask ($6, walgreens.com) or Neutrogena Moisturizing Hydro-Boost Hydrating Face Mask ($4, cvs.com) — before trying a more intensive gel-cream version such as Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask ($36, ulta.com) or Olay Hydrating Overnight Gel Mask with Vitamin E ($20, target.com). The combination of a thicker application and longer penetration time while you sleep delivers smoother, firmer skin by dawn. It's super easy, and results last for hours.
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PHOTO BY: CVS; Ulta Beauty; Vichy Laboratories
2. A brightening peel
Does your skin look dingy even after washing? A five-minute exfoliating mask such as L'Oréal Age Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Mask ($20, cvs.com), Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Peeling Mousse ($35, ulta.com) or Vichy Double Glow Facial Peel Mask ($20, cvs.com) with pineapple enzymes or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) is all it takes to let go of dead cells dimming your wattage. Simply apply the mask to dry, clean skin, let it sit, and then massage away debris. Labeled a mask, these are actually mild “peels” and effective on mature skin. You'll look fresher, creams will penetrate easier, and makeup will glide on.
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PHOTO BY: Walgreens (2); Sephora
3. A hair-repair mask
Your hair feels like straw? Whether your dry hair is frizzy, textured or fried and dyed, a mask with botanical oils and plant butters repairs and improves all. Look for a tub (so you can use a generous amount) like Maui Moisture Shea Butter Hair Mask ($7, walgreens.com), L'Oréal EverCreme Sulfate Free Renourishing Butter ($7, walgreens.com) or Better Not Younger Hair Redemption Butter Masque ($35, sephora.com). Leave it on as long as possible (even if package directions say otherwise). Sleep in it to save time (with plastic wrap turban or shower cap) and shampoo out in the morning. You can even use this mask as a rinse-out conditioner — or as a leave-in for extra conditioning.
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PHOTO BY: Anthropologie; Ulta Beauty; Target
4. A detox bath
Your waistband feels tight and you're bloated? Blame last night's chips and cocktails all you want, but first take a detox bath. A 20-minute soak in Epsom salts — like Dr. Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soothe & Sleep Lavender Soaking Solution ($5, target.com), Tree Hut Fig & Olive Epsom Salt ($7, ulta.com) or Vertly Bath Salts ($29, anthropologie.com) — will flush out excess sodium and water thanks to the mineral magnesium (the primary ingredient). Do yourself a favor and nibble on diuretic foods like asparagus, banana, pineapple, papaya or honeydew, too, to speed things along, or just sip some ginger or chai tea.
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PHOTO BY: CVS (2); Sephora
5. An eye freshener
Getting “you look tired” comments? Improve the look of bags and dark circles under your eyes stat with a caffeine eye cream. Sure, there is nothing wrong with old-school tea bags and cucumber slices, but 10 minutes with these high-tech updates will work a lot better. Smooth on a cream like the INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream ($10, sephora.com) or opt for a rollerball format such as Bliss Eye Do All Things Hydrating Eye Gel to Depuff & Brighten ($22, cvs.com) or Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller ($16, cvs.com), and let the caffeine (which constricts leaky blood vessels under the skin) reduce circles and tighten swollen skin. Chill them in the fridge, since cold refreshes and speeds deflation.
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PHOTO BY: Sephora; CVS
6. A facial massage
Saggy skin and deep expression lines? All you need is a roller and your usual face serum, oil or moisturizer. A rose quartz or jade roller — like Mount Lai De-Puffing Rose Quartz Facial Roller ($38, sephora.com) or Plum Beauty Jade Facial Roller ($12, cvs.com) — helps relax expression lines such as forehead furrows and nose-to-mouth creases, especially since these mineral gemstones are said to have calming properties. Just apply your face treatment and then “mow” the planes of your face with the roller, moving slowly and gently from inner face outward or in an upward direction. Use it, too, on the jawline under your chin and along the cheek to help firm facial contours. As a bonus: A roller feels great!
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PHOTO BY: Target; Sephora; Ulta Beauty (2)
7. A healthy, sunny glow
Bronzer and blush not appealing? We've become makeup minimalists thanks to more home time and masks, but dull skin is cramping our Zoom and FaceTime style. Self-tanner drops — like Tanologist Drops Sunless Tanning Treatments ($20, target.com), Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops ($29, sephora.com), Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster ($32, sephora.com) or Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops ($49, ulta.com) — are the newest DIY antidote to sallow, ashy, dull skin of every color. Mix a few drops in the palm of your hand with any day face moisturizer or night cream to warm up your existing skin tone and add radiance without having to do a full-on self-tan (this is way more subtle) or apply foundation.
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PHOTO BY: Walmart; Target; Ulta Beauty (2); Sally Hansen
8. Nail oil and hand mask
Red hands, dry nails and ragged cuticles? All of the constant handwashing and sanitizing is really doing a number on our digits. To remedy, simply brush a nail-conditioning oil such as CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner ($13, ulta.com) or Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil ($6, ulta.com) over each nail-top and undersides daily and then massage into nail beds and cuticles. To restore hands try a pair of glove masks enriched with soothing botanical butters and oils — like OPI ProSpa Advanced Softening Gloves ($30, ulta.com), Nails Inc Thirsty Hands Super Hydrating Hand Mask ($5, target.com) or Aveeno Repairing CICA Hand Mask ($4, ulta.com). For a DIY alternative, slather hands with a thick layer of any rich hydrating cream or hand cream and slip on a pair of clean socks as mitts. By the time you finish an evening of Netflix they'll be as soft as butter.
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PHOTO BY: Ulta Beauty; Target (2); Walgreens
9. Callus smoothing
Feet looking more like hooves than tootsies? Get a grip on thick calluses by following a bath or shower with foot exfoliation using an updated file like Revlon Callus Remover with Catcher ($10, ulta.com) or a pumice like Tweezerman Sole Smoother Antibacterial Stone ($23, walgreens.com) on water-softened soles and heels. For an immediate solution, do a foot mask such as Holler and Glow Avo Good Day Nourishing and Hydrating Foot Mask ($4, target.com) or Aveeno Repairing CICA Moisturizing Foot Mask with Oat ($3, target.com). The enclosed-sock format — with a healing and softening inclusion of emollients like shea butter and avocado oil — turns what could be a messy situation into a neat, efficient spalike experience.
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PHOTO BY: Walgreens (2); Target; Ulta Beauty; Walmart
10. Hair removal
Many of us have hair on our bodies we want to remove, but we usually leave it to the pros. Since we're minimizing salon visits right now, the simplest approach is to shave legs, underarms and bikini line in the shower or tub with a lubricated disposable razor such as the BIC Simply Soleil for Women Disposable Shaver ($6 for 2, walgreens.com) and use a hydrating shave cream or gel like Skintimate Vanilla Sugar Women's Shave Gel ($3, walgreens.com) or eos Shea Better Shave Cream Sensitive Skin ($4, target.com). (Make sure to rinse the blade between swipes to avoid nicks.) If shaving is not your thing, try an in-shower depilatory like Nair Shower Power Sensitive Formula Hair Remover with Coconut Oil and Vitamin E ($12, ulta.com) or Sally Hansen Spray-On Shower-Off Hair Remover ($22, walmart.com). Skip the body scrub or exfoliation on days you do any hair removal to minimize irritation.
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