Your hair color is fading, your unibrow is growing and you desperately need a pedicure.
In the age of do-it-yourself everything, you just need a refresher course in grooming. Channel your teenage years, when you and your girlfriends would host pajama parties just to braid hair and paint toenails.
To help, we've gathered tips from Jessica Aguallo and Lisa Anderson, instructors at Marinello Schools of Beauty in Concord, Calif.
They have a combined 40 years of experience in cosmetology and are proponents of using ingredients found in your kitchen to maintain hair, skin and nails.
As our professional appointments become less frequent, we decided to get tips from these experts on grooming at home.
Anderson has been giving herself facials using natural ingredients for years. She recommends the following basic facial once every week or two. All you need to know is your skin type: normal, dry or oily.
• Cleanse face with whatever you normally use, but "stay away from harsh soaps," Anderson says.
• Once your skin is clean, make a natural steam to open up pores, she says. Bring a quart of water to a boil and pour into a bowl. While still steaming, place five tea bags in the bowl, throw a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for three two-minute increments.
• Time to slough off those dead skin cells. Make a scrub by mixing granulated sugar with olive oil. Rub the mixture on your skin and lips in an upward motion, massaging gently for one minute. Rinse off.
• Use a mask to close your pores. "If you have dry skin, use a thick face cream as your base and add a few drops of lavender essential oil," Anderson says.
• Your last step is toner, which tightens your pores. Anderson makes her astringent by mixing ½ teaspoon lemon juice with 2 teaspoons cold water.
The true last step? Sunscreen.
Manicures are hardly the most expensive part of a beauty regimen, but these days every penny counts. You can do this simple nail care system as often as you would like.
• First, clean up nails. Clip and shape them, making sure to file one corner at a time and even out in the middle.
• Make a nail conditioning treatment by using a few drops of olive oil or your favorite essential oil. Saturate cotton balls with the oil and press against each of your nails. Wrap your finger with the cotton ball and cover in tin foil. Leave the cotton balls on for five minutes, then remove. Wipe clean.
• Anderson doesn't encourage pushing back cuticles, unless you know how.
• The best way to make your nails look great is to buff them. "Buffing is very underrated," Anderson says. "I don't think people realize how shiny their natural nails can be." Get yourself a soft buffer and run it along the surface of your nails in circular motions.
• Apply base coat, two coats of your favorite polish and follow with a top coat. To pamper dry skin in winter, Anderson likes adding a few drops of olive oil to body lotion and applying that to her hands and feet at night. She puts on socks and mittens and goes to bed. In the morning, hands and feet are soft and smooth, she says.
Women have long colored their hair or touched up their roots at home. It's not difficult. Just find a color you like and make sure to wear gloves and a cape to cover up, Aguallo says.
• Here's an easy color tip: If you're just touching up your part until you see your colorist, you can buy color wands at most pharmacies. Since the color washes out, wands are best for short-term touchups.
• If you're touching up the outgrowth at home, follow the directions on the box of color. But do not apply the color to your previously colored hair. It will cause a color build up on your ends, resulting in color saturation there. Instead, if previously colored hair needs to be refreshed, comb color through the ends during the last five minutes of the coloring process.
• Need a simple way to prolong color? Use a shampoo and conditioner with pigment in it.
• Because roots are so close to the scalp and heat permeates from it, you can develop "hot roots," where the color ends up lighter, Aguallo says. To avoid this, apply color a half-inch from the scalp. Then, go back and apply color to the scalp.
• If you're covering gray, start your process in the front, as this area is usually the grayest, Aguallo says.