Blake Newby

Why My Beauty Routine During Social Distancing Is More Important Than Ever

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My hair, nails, and makeup should be the last of my concerns amid the worldwide pandemic, one that's impacting lives in detrimental ways. But as my days at home ramble on, I've turned to my beauty routine as an escape from the boredom and monotony. It's a way for me to feel beautiful, even if i have nowhere else to go. So no, I won't be abandoning my beauty routine during social distancing — even if I don't have anywhere to go.

But let me be clear. It's not easy. Most days, I want to spend my time looking the exact same as when I rolled out of bed. I really don't enjoy prepping my hair for sleep and doing my nightly skin routine instead of crashing, and often wonder what the point of shaving is. However, after a few days of doing exactly nothing, I found that I was feeling less and less like myself. And by the time my very last gel extension popped off my index finger, enough was enough. I made the decision to go back to the groomed beauty editor that I knew, loved, and pampered just a mere month ago.

Ahead, here's how I tapped back in — and the products I used to do so.

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I Started By Doing Something With My Hair

Blake Newby

Before this period of social distancing began, I had a weave. However, as the six-week expiration date of my instillation began to approach, I knew had to whip out my old tricks if I didn't want to heat style my natural hair. It's been about a year and a half since I did a perm rod set, (which, for the uninitiated, is when you wrap wet hair around a small rod, forming the hair into a beautiful spiral), but I knew the style would be my best bet. The look, which can admittedly take hours to complete, can last me up to a week. I can style it into a pineapple, a bun, or even leave it down when I'm feeling lazy.

It may not be my go-to, but it's given me the opportunity to bond with my natural texture again — and look good while doing it, too. I'd almost forgotten what my curl pattern was like, how thick my hair was, and what products worked best. However, this gives me a chance to relearn my curls and remember what it's like to care for my own hair.

I Used My Knowledge Of Nails To Do My Own Gel Extension Set

Blake Newby

Those that know me know that I don't play when it comes to my nails. For the last two years, I've been lucky enough to have a brilliant nail technician who gives me an Aprés gel extension set. Every three weeks, I watch her intently, mentally making notes as I brace for the day when I'll have to do it myself. So instead of opting for press-ons or a DIY mani, I purchased the entire Aprés kit — complete with the UV gel light — to be my own manicurist. While it took me a lot longer and required some missing tools (like a nail drill and dust collector), it surely got the job done.

In case you're wondering: No. They don't look as good as when she does it. And yes, I struggle laying the Aprés flat to my nail bed during application, but it's provided a sense of normalcy and — hopefully — a new skill.

I Started Putting On A Little Makeup

Blake Newby

In my regular pre-pandemic day-to-day schedule, I didn't wear makeup during the week. I still don't now. However, as my virtual happy hour calendar is in full swing, I decided to break my own rule — particularly on Friday and Saturday. And while it's not my full-fledged eyeshadow, contour, and highlight routine, I do apply a light layer of foundation and a smidge of concealer. And falsies, of course. They're the one makeup staple that I really can't live without, and I've found that a nice lift of the lash has been doing a number on lifting my spirits. Plus, my Tulle lash from Kiss looks wonderful even during the most unflattering Zoom call angles.

I've Been Bookmarking Looks For When This Ends

This will end. I don't know when, but I know it will. And when it does, I want to be looking my best. Aside from bookmarking tons of outfits (and buying many of them), I've also been saving hairstyles and makeup looks that I want to show off when socializing in public spaces is safe again. It's been therapeutic, gives me something to look forward to, and gives me motivation to experiment in my downtime.

And while there are those things that I simply can't do — including my monthly facials, my eyebrow threading, or my laser treatments — hanging on to any ounce of the way things used to be has kept me optimistic. I'm more upbeat, I'm learning new things, and even though the days are melting together, they're a bit easier to face.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.