Beauty treatments should have an end goal, of course, but they should be fun, too. After all, DIY face masks, hair treatments, and quirky beauty devices are a classic way to pass the time when nothing else sounds fun. Indeed, there are few activities that sound more appealing after a long workday or on a weekend afternoon than a glass of wine, a new episode of The Handmaid's Tale (or Nailed It—whatever floats your boat) and some sort of gooey, wrinkle-reducing concoction slathered all over your face.
We Byrdie editors have tried our fair share of at-home beauty treatments. Some are more confusing, messy, cumbersome, or ineffective than they're worth, but the following are those we genuinely love to play around with when we're bored at home and in the mood for some pampering. Looking for a fun beauty activity to pass the time? Read on for our 13 faves, from quirky moisturizing treatments to press-on nails.
1. Try the Hanacure At-Home Facial
Few skincare treatments are buzzier at the moment than this mixable face mask, which is designed to re-create the youth-inducing effects of a professional facial by brightening, contouring, detoxifying, brightening, lifting, and firming the face. It only takes about a minute to prepare and apply, then 30 minutes to take effect, but the results are mindblowing. Just look to our full review by Byrdie's assistant editor Erin Jahns, who tried the product with her 70-year-old parents.
2. Give Yourself a Press-On Pedicure
Another Byrdie editor–approved at-home treatment is Im-Press's line of press-on pedicures. If you're feeling too lazy (or broke) to go to the salon, these $7 kits of real gel press-on nails are impossibly easy to apply, actually stay put, and come in an array of cute, minimalist nail art designs you'd otherwise pay top dollar to have done professionally.
3. Use a Blue-Light Laser
The powerful blue light emitted from this chic little device works to fight acne by penetrating deep into the pores to kill any breakout-causing bacteria down there. Use it once a day for five minutes, and you can almost guarantee to see improvement within a couple months. Byrdie's managing editor, Lindsey Metrus, is a fan, not only of the results but of the ritual itself. "It just feels so good to just lie there and run it over your face," she says.
4. Sculpt Your Face with a Crystal Gua Sha
Gua sha is an ancient Chinese practice whose facial benefits include lifted, contoured facial muscles; smoother skin; and a reduction of wrinkles. Simply drench your face in your favorite serum, then use the smooth edges of this rose quartz tool to scrape the skin, lifting it from the center of your face upward toward your hairline.
5. Do Some Mess-Free Self-Tanning
Self-tanning had always seemed like a burden to me until I got my hands on a bottle of this totally clear, non-stinky, all-natural tanning water. After exfoliating and shaving, I simply spritz this stuff all over and blend it with a mitt. It's so easy, it leaves no stains or smell, and six hours later, I suddenly have a natural-looking tan.
6. Indulge in a Bubble Charcoal Mask
This three-step mask bubbles up as it sits on your face, which is a truly amusing spectacle. It's not just for show, though—the unique detoxifying formula combines oxygen with traditional Asian medicinal ingredients to clear toxins from the pores.
7. Moisturize with a Japanese Lotion Pack
Lotion packs have been my favorite way to deeply hydrate my skin at home ever since I learned about the practice on a trip to Tokyo this past spring. You simply douse a number of pure, unbleached cotton sheets in a hydrating lotion or essence, stretch the sheets out super thin, place them all over your face, and leave them there for 15 minutes. When you take them off, your skin is guaranteed to glow to the gods.
8. Repair Your Strands with a Jojoba Oil Hair Mask
Jojoba oil has endless benefits for the skin and hair, but one of the simplest and most effective uses is as a treatment hair mask. Simply apply the product all throughout your hair, braid your strands, leave it for a few hours or overnight, and then shampoo. The ingredient, which is composed of 98% monounsaturated fat, works to control dandruff, promote a healthy scalp, moisturize your hair from the inside out, repair damage, and help your hair grow.
9. Make a Cling Wrap Mask
Why do a plain old face mask when you could terrify your roommates and/or live-in lover with a mask covered in cling wrap? The quirky Japanese practice of topping your mask of choice with plastic wrap really works—by sealing in your body heat, it allows your pores to open up and the mask's ingredients to absorb deeply rather than just hanging out on the skin's surface. Just make sure to use BPA-free plastic and cut yourself air holes, people.
10. Make a Turmeric Under-Eye Brightener
Turmeric has been used as a skin-brightening treatment for centuries, and Erin on Team Byrdie swears by it for the under-eye area in particular. Mix one tablespoon of turmeric and one tablespoon of buttermilk, apply the orange mixture to your dark circles with a brush, and expect to look infinitely better-slept after just 15 minutes.
11. Do a Glitter Face Mask
If you're really bored, add some excitement to your day with showy glitter mask. GlamGlow's #GlitterMask uses the same skin-tightening formula as their iconic GravityMud Treatment, but with glitter made out of licorice and marshmallow leaf, because why the hell not?
12. Create a DIY De-Bloater
One of my personal favorite at-home beauty treatments is a topical de-bloating elixir I learned about from Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who is secretly an aromatherapy guru. Her recipe involves a mixture of jojoba oil and essential oils of juniper, grapefruit, black pepper, and geranium (check the more in-depth recipe for specifics). Rub it all over your body when you feel like you're hanging onto water, and behold as the diuretic works its magic.
13. Self-Applied Eyelash Extensions
This completely game-changing lash extensions kit is so easy an impatient, jaded beauty editor could do it—with results and stupidly gorgeous, natural-looking lashes that stay on for up to 10 days. When Byrdie's editorial director came into the office one day with a full set of these, we were shook to find out she did them herself in 15 minutes.
14. Paint a Rainbow Mani
Start with this bright red on your thumbs, then work your way through the rainbow on the rest of your nails.
15. Perfect Your Smokey Eye
Perfecting the art of the smokey eye is a never-ending journey. There's always room for improvement, so why not experiment?
16. Explore an Obscure Online Beauty Shop
Exploring beauty sites you've probably never heard of before is endlessly entertaining. We found this concealer on Levert Beauty, a clean beauty mecca.
17. Make a Beauty-Boosting Smoothie
Mix some of this powder into your favorite smoothie to reap its skin-enhancing benefits.
18. Do an Animal Print Sheet Mask
Entertain yourself and nourish your skin at the same time. This cat-patterned mask promises to energize your skin while you have fun wearing it.
19. Mix All of Your Lipstick Shades Together
Take a cue from YouTuber Safiya Nygard and mix all of your lipsticks together (and pray that they result in a wearable shade).
19. Read a Beauty Book
This title comes highly recommended from our editorial director Faith Xue. You'll learn practical tips, tools, routines, and foods for transforming yourself and your lifestyle.
20. Do a Face Massage
Turns out you can use a facial roller to give yourself a massage. Our wellness editor Victoria Hoff has all the deets.
21. Try this Mascara Hack
Experiment with this life-changing mascara hack. You won't regret it.
22. Take a Pretty Product Flat Lay For Instagram
With their sleek packaging and millennial pink accents, Glossier products are totally Insta-worthy.
23. Do an At-Home Peel
Treat yourself to an at-home peel like this one, which has natural fruit enzymes, lactic acid, and cellulose that work together to reveal smoother, softer, glowing skin.
24. Practice your dutch braid technique
Channel your inner Kardashian using our step-by-step dutch braid tutorial.
25. Perfect How to Overline Your Lips
It's an art form we have yet to master.
26. Make a DIY Lip Scrub
Combine sugar and coconut oil for an at-home lip exfoliating treatment. Or if you're not a DIY fan, try this lip scrub from Fresh.
27. Try a Funky Wash-Out Hair Color
Spray in some streaks, or give your whole head a new bright hue.
28. De-puff Your Under-Eyes with Tea Bags
Caffeinated tea bags have been shown to reduce under-eye puffiness. Steep two bags, squeeze out the excess liquid, allow them to cool, and you're good to go.
29. Do a Babyfoot Treatment
This one hour foot mask will leave your feet feeling baby-smooth (hence the name).
30. Use a Pore Strip
Is there anything more satisfying than seeing all the dirt and oil that comes out of your face after using one of these?
31. Surf Amazon's Beauty Section
You'll find every product you never knew you needed, like these COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches.
32. Try Dermarolling
This technique has been shown to reduce wrinkles, under eye bags, and even stretch marks.
33. Try Dermaplaning
Not to be confused with the aforementioned dermarolling, dermaplaning is an exfoliating process that will leave your skin softer and brighter.
34. Give Yourself a Scalp Massage
We can practically feel the relaxation just by looking at this scalp massager, anyone else? Try this rosemary oil scalp massage while you're at it.
35. Practice a Cut Crease
Just search "cut crease tutorial" on YouTube and you'll be entertained for hours.
36. Experiment with Filling in Your Brows in a Different Shape
The brow world is your oyster.
37. Give Yourself a Steam Facial
Follow this tutorial and you'll feel totally refreshed.
38. DIY an Essential Oil Diffuser
Check out our essential oil guide, Google DIY oil diffuser, and get to work.
39. Tint Your Own Eyebrows
Our beauty director Deven Hopp tints her own eyebrows, here's how.
40. Try to Recreate an Iconic Celebrity Red Carpet Look
Blake Lively wore this bronzer on this year's Met Gala red carpet.
41. Attempt Some Minimalist Nail Art
Check out these 20 shockingly easy nail designs you can totally do at home.
42. Pair the Perfect Wine With the Perfect Face Mask
You'll feel extra glam sipping your wine while wearing this 24K gold mask.
43. Try a Butt Mask
It's like a sheet mask, but for your butt.
44. Whiten Your Teeth
Pop these Whitestrips on for an hour while you're watching Netflix.
45. Work on Your At-Home Blowout Technique
A low-stakes opportunity to practice before the next time you actually need a blowout.
46. Try the Olaplex Hair Perfector Treatment
This at-home salon quality hair treatment is a Byrdie editor favorite.
47. Use an Under Eye Mask (And Take a Selfie in it)
Celebrities are obsessed with the masks from this brand.
48. Listen to a beauty-themed podcast
Some of our favorites include Glowing Up with Esther and Caroline, Fat Mascara, and Breaking Beauty.
49. Take a Shelfie
Rearrange your beauty cabinet and then snap a pic like the one above to showcase all of your favorite products.
50. Play Around with Colorful Eyeliner
It's the latest trend that all the NYC girls are rocking.
Want more beauty DIYs? Check out how to master an at-home facial (because spas are expensive).