50 Easy At-Home Beauty Activities to Do When You're Bored

Updated 05/09/19

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

Hanacure All-in-One Facial Starter Kit $29
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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

ImPress Press-On Pedicure $7
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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

Tria Beauty Positively Clear Acne Clearing Blue Light Device
Tria Beauty Positively Clear Acne Clearing Blue Light Device $169 $113
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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

Odacité Crystal Contour Gua Sha Rose Quartz Beauty Tool $38
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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

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water $28
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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

Talika Bubble Mask Bio Detox $10
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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

Koh Gen Do Pure Cotton $14
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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.

Oriental Plants Lotion II 5.07 oz/ 150 mL
Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Lotion—II $58
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8. Repair Your Strands with a Jojoba Oil Hair Mask

Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil (2-Pack) $18
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Jojoba oilhas 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

Lotion Pack
Amanda Montell

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.

Circumference In-Depth Hydration Face Mask $65
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Chicwrap Cook's Tools Refillable Plastic Wrap Dispenser/Slide Cutter and 250' of Professional BPA Free Plastic Wrap $14
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10. Make a Turmeric Under-Eye Brightener

Turmeric Skincare
Erin Jahns

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.

Jiva Organics USDA Organic Turmeric Powder $5
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11. Do a Glitter Face Mask

x MY LITTLE PONY(R) #GLITTERMASK GRAVITYMUD(TM) Firming Treatment Purple Glitter 1.7 oz/ 50 mL
GlamGlow #GlitterMask Gravity Mud Firming Treatment $59
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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

Aura Cacia Black Pepper Essential Oil $11
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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

Lashify The Control Kit $125
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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

Essie Nail Polish in Russian Roulette
Essie Nail Polish in Russian Roulette $9
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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

Maybelline New York Minute Smokey Eye Gift Set
Maybelline New York Minute Smokey Eye Gift Set $24
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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

Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer
Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer $25
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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

Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Water
Vital Proteins Beauty Collagen $32
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Mix some of this powder into your favorite smoothie to reap its skin-enhancing benefits. 

18. Do an Animal Print Sheet Mask

masqueBAR Pretty Animalz Sheet Mask
masqueBAR Pretty Animalz Sheet Mask $4
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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

Liquid Matte Minis Power Pinks Edition 4 x 0.064 oz/ 1.9 mL
Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Minis $33
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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

Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself from the Inside Out by Deepak Chopra and Kimberly Snyder
Deepak Chopra & Kimberly Snyder Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself from the Inside Out $15
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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

Rose Quartz Facial Roller
Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller $40
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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

Milk Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara
Milk Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara $24
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Experiment with this life-changing mascara hack. You won't regret it. 

22. Take a Pretty Product Flat Lay For Instagram

Phase 1 Set
Glossier The Skincare Set $40
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With their sleek packaging and millennial pink accents, Glossier products are totally Insta-worthy. 

23. Do an At-Home Peel

Pixie skintreats Peel & Polish
Pixie skintreats Peel & Polish $24
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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

24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil 1993 0.04 oz/ 1.2 g
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil $20
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It's an art form we have yet to master. 

26. Make a DIY Lip Scrub

Sugar Lip Polish
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish $24
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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

Joico InstaTint Temporary Color Shimmer Spray
Joico InstaTint Temporary Color Shimmer Spray $10
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Spray in some streaks, or give your whole head a new bright hue. 

28. De-puff Your Under-Eyes with Tea Bags

Twinings English Breakfast Tea Bags
Twinings English Breakfast Black Tea Bags (100 Count) $11
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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

Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel (1 Pack)
Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel (1 Pack) $15
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This one hour foot mask will leave your feet feeling baby-smooth (hence the name). 

30. Use a Pore Strip

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips Combo Pack
Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips Combo Pack (24 Strips) $14
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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

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches $5
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You'll find every product you never knew you needed, like these COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches. 

32. Try Dermarolling

Sdara Skincare Derma Roller Cosmetic Needling Instrument For Face
Sdara Skincare Derma Roller Cosmetic Needling Instrument For Face $18
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This technique has been shown to reduce wrinkles, under eye bags, and even stretch marks.

33. Try Dermaplaning

StackedSkincare Dermaplaning Tool
StackedSkincare Dermaplaning Tool $75
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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

Body Back Scalp Massager
Body Back Scalp Massager $5
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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

Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette $29
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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

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz $21
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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

Majestic Pure Aromatherapy Essential Oils Set
Majestic Pure Aromatherapy Essential Oils Set $15
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Check out our essential oil guide, Google DIY oil diffuser, and get to work. 

39. Tint Your Own Eyebrows

Godefroy Tint Kit
Godefroy Tint Kit (4 Applications) $13
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Our beauty director Deven Hopp tints her own eyebrows, here's how. 

40. Try to Recreate an Iconic Celebrity Red Carpet Look

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer
L'Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer $12
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Blake Lively wore this bronzer on this year's Met Gala red carpet. 

41. Attempt Some Minimalist Nail Art

@aliciatnails

42. Pair the Perfect Wine With the Perfect Face Mask

Lagunamoon 24K Gold Facial Mask
Lagunamoon 24K Gold Facial Mask $15
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You'll feel extra glam sipping your wine while wearing this 24K gold mask. 

43. Try a Butt Mask

DOPE Naturally Bawdy Galaxy Kit - Butt Mask Collection
Bawdy Beauty Bawdy Galaxy Kit - Butt Mask Collection $32
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It's like a sheet mask, but for your butt. 

44. Whiten Your Teeth

3D White Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects
Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects (20 Treatments and White Whitestrips 1 Hour Express) $44
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Pop these Whitestrips on for an hour while you're watching Netflix. 

45. Work on Your At-Home Blowout Technique

Buttercup Blow Dryer
Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer $195
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A low-stakes opportunity to practice before the next time you actually need a blowout. 

46. Try the Olaplex Hair Perfector Treatment

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 $28
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This at-home salon quality hair treatment is a Byrdie editor favorite. 

47. Use an Under Eye Mask (And Take a Selfie in it)

Knesko Skin Diamond Radiance Eye Mask
Knesko Skin Diamond Radiance Eye Mask $16
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Celebritiesare obsessed with the masks from this brand. 

48. Listen to a beauty-themed podcast

Gejin Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Gejin Bluetooth Wireless Headphones $20
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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

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Cuff 0.04 oz/ 1.2 g
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil $21
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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).

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