Time is on your side (yes, it is) or at least having more of it is when it comes to getting hair, skin, nails, and teeth in tip-top shape. It often takes time to reap the benefits and see the results of beautifying efforts. And being at home more these days, perhaps you can feasibly create a moment in the day to amplify those efforts and also be more consistent with it all. Then before you know it, a couple of months will have passed and could look and feel better for it. So whether you’d like to grow your assets (hair and nails) or make others (teeth and skin) glow, here’s a plan to get you there.
HAIR: LET IT GROW, LET IT GROW
1. Supplement support
Since longer, healthier hair has been my mission for some time, taking vitamins has always been a go-to in my master plan. Eating a healthy, protein-rich diet comes first, but vitamins are like insurance. The formula of Nutrafol Women is multifaceted—it helps balance hormones, lower oxidative stress, and strengthen strands with the boost of amino acids. (Of course, contact your physician first before taking any supplement.) You could start seeing results in a couple of months.
2. Prepping makes perfect
Here’s something you may not have thought of doing before: a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. It lovingly primes hair for shampoo, which can be a tangle-inducing, moisture-stripping experience for your strands. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme Rich Deep-Conditioning Treatment is the MVP in the game, made to enhance shine, strength, and bounce. Put it on, wait a half hour—have your breakfast, do that IG Live workout, work from home— and then shampoo it out. I like to leave it on overnight.
3. Mask it out
Now that you’ve put in the extra work, you’ll want to piggyback your pre-shampoo conditioner with an extra-rich mask after you shampoo. Leonor Greyl Orchid Mask makes dry, thick, or frizzy hair (I have all of those things) softer and more hydrated and manageable. I’ve long been a fan of Nexxus Humectress Masque. It really hydrates normal to dry hair and makes it super easy to comb through. Whatever mask you choose, be sure to use it once a week, leave it on for 20 minutes, and cover it with a plastic cap or shower cap if you can.
4. Miracle Grow
When I transitioned to natural from a chemical relaxer, let’s just say my hairline needed a little help. I turned to Lars Skjoth and his brand Harklinikken for a regrowth plan. You must have a consultation before being approved for the brand’s Extract, but the special customized formula (a secret sauce of botanicals and milk-derived ingredients) helps regenerate thinning areas with daily application. Results take a bit and regular use is a must, so now may be an opportune time to get used to the application process and make it habit.
NAILS: GET THEM STRONG, MAKE THEM LONG, OR BOTH
1. Try the one-two pro punch
My friend and celebrity nail expert, Tracylee Percival, taught me how to get nails stronger. Sure, painting on a strengthener like Orly’s Nailtrition daily seems pretty intuitive. But the key is to then apply cuticle oil (a pen like KBShimmer’s makes it easy) when it dries. As she explains, nail strengtheners work by dehydrating the nails thereby making them hard. You’ll need to balance that out with the hydration of the cuticle oil. Apply it one or two times a day.
2. Stick with it
Chances are if you have gel mani it’s with on its last leg or you picked it off (we all know better, but we do it anyway) and getting another could be far off. Press-on nails are an ingenious way to keep your nails done and give them some downtime to reboot. If you have long nails, covering them with a press-on is a smart way to protect them. Nail pro to the stars, Sunshine, did them for Solange at last year’s Met Gala and has a pretty palette of longwear styles to choose from in her Pipbuzzz collection or you can also customize your own creation.
TEETH: THERE'S NO BETTER TIME TO SEE THE BRIGHT SIDE
1. white them out
The perfect time to do a whitening treatment? When you have nowhere to go. For the best at-home option, I asked a man who would know—my dentist, Dr. Marc Lowenberg. He suggests Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips. The bleach within the strips remains in contact with the tooth enamel long enough to deliver noticeable results. They’re also designed not to slip so you can chat on Zoom, take a walk or even drink water while whitening. You need to wear them daily for a few weeks, and you should start to see results by week two.
2. make paste
Dr. Lowenberg also gives a DIY option: a supercharged homemade toothpaste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. It will clean surface stains without damaging enamel, prevent deeper internal stains from forming, kill bacteria that sits on the teeth, and make them stay whiter. Get a small dish and pour in a capful of hydrogen peroxide (that’s what releases whitening oxygen molecules). Mix in the baking soda until it has the consistency of toothpaste and put it on your brush. You can do this every day—morning (Dr. Lowenberg’s personal preference) and/or night (when you need the deepest clean after eating all day)—just the same as you would use any other toothpaste. Follow @lowenberglituchykantor for more tips.
3. Strike oil
Oil pulling became quite popular a few years back as an effective smile brightening option. You swish around a tablespoon of oil (like extra-virgin coconut) in your mouth for about 15 minutes. Sure, it takes longer than using mouthwash but doing so reduces inflammation and bacteria (the natural way), which makes for whiter teeth and fresher breath. And perhaps some self-inflicted quiet time (you can’t talk with your mouth full of oil) would be welcomed.
SKIN: GO FOR A GLOW UP
1. Get some more face time
You may have used a mask as an occasional complexion booster before a big event or as a self-care treat, but I’d venture to guess it didn’t happen often enough. Now, perhaps covering your face in brightening, calming, and anti-aging goodness twice a week is doable. The creator of Knesko skincare, Lejla Cas, is an esthetician and Reiki master which makes the biodegradable Rose Quartz Antioxidant Collagen Face Mask way more unique than most. It’s made of a satisfyingly squishy hydrogel and infused with a Reiki-charged rose-quartz serum rich in antioxidants (like vitamins E and C, white tea extract, and grape seed extract) and marine collagen to nourish and heal skin cells. Bonus: There’s so much serum (an ounce, to be exact) in the packet that you’ll have plenty left over for a few applications.
2. Ensure overnight success
Even though you may not be wearing makeup, it’s not the time to skip your evening cleansing routine. You see, overnight is when skin repairs itself and that’s why everyone needs a hardworking, hydrating night cream in their lives. Augustinus Bader’s creams have gained a cult following over the last few years for their ability to soften, smooth, and repair skin.
3. Take things up a notch
And for optimal product penetration of your day or night cream, you can enlist the help of a skin-calming jade roller (Herbivore Botanicals Jade Roller). It boosts blood circulation and lymphatic drainage (whisking away toxins and waste). Go a step further with a battery-operated massager like the Magic Glow Wand from Joanna Vargas. Cleanse skin and apply a serum, mask, or cream. Put it on the hot + massage mode and sweep the device outward starting at your nose for about three minutes. The heat helps skin absorb nutrients from your product. Paying attention to how conscientiously you apply product and dedicating a few extra minutes can really make a difference.