January 8, 2021
Whether you’re a beauty expert with a vanity stacked with ampoules or a novice who isn’t entirely sure what the first part of this sentence means, you need to see these 29 beauty tips. Some are pro-level tips from famous makeup artists. Others are beauty hacks from TikTok users. Some are even backed by clinical studies. All can help you on your quest to get flawless makeup, skin, hair and nails, and smell amazing for hours.
1. Conceal With Eye Brushes
Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge is known for seamlessly camouflaging imperfections without using a lot of heavy makeup or strategically placed leaves. Her secret? Applying concealer with an eye brush. She places a tiny amount of high-coverage concealer on blemishes or pigmented areas and then blends out the edges with a small, fluffy eye brush.
2. Apply Powder Before Your Foundation
If you have oily skin, steal Jackie Aina’s hack for flawless foundation: Apply translucent powder before your foundation. The layer of powder will soak up oil and provide a smooth canvas for your foundation, which helps it last longer. Mixing powder with liquid foundation sounds wild, but translucent powder doesn’t set into the skin; rather, it creates a smooth barrier that the foundation lays on top of.
If you want to use a primer to help your foundation last even longer, the correct order is moisturizer, primer, powder, foundation.
3. Use Concealer as Foundation
When used thoughtfully, a good concealer can give you the same benefits of foundation while letting your natural skin shine through. The key is applying it only to things you want to cover up, like blemishes, dark circles and redness, and leaving the rest of your skin bare. It is also essential to blend your concealed areas really well with either a brush or makeup sponge so it matches your natural skin.
Shop: e.l.f. Total Face Sponge
4. Lift Your Eyelashes with Mascara
This is one of those beauty secrets that doesn’t require a big change but makes a huge difference in how your eye makeup looks. When applying mascara, press your wand against the roots and gently massage in the mascara with light side-to-side motions. Slowly make your way upward to the tips. By pressing mascara into the roots, you’re helping to lift up your eyelashes while making your lash line look fuller.
5. Fake It With a Bold Red Lip
Whenever you want to fake that your life is together, all you need is a bold red lip. You could stay up all night watching strangers fight in Facebook group comments and still look like a functioning human adult the next morning if you throw on a bold red lip. To look even more put together without a ton of effort, pair your red lip with filled-in brows, mascara and a quick tightline on the upper lashes.
6. Do a Smokey Eye in 5 Minutes
Sure, a 10-step, five-shadow smokey eye looks stunning, but who has the time? Here’s what to do instead:
- Grab two eyeshadow colors, one light and one dark. Add your light color to your eyelid with a flat shadow brush.
- Take a fluffy crease brush and apply the dark color to the outer corner of your eye and swirl it around to concentrate the color.
- Take the same fluffy crease brush and sweep it along your crease to deposit more of the dark color. Keep sweeping back and forth from the outer corner across the crease to diffuse the line.
- Dip an eyeliner brush in the same dark color and apply it to your upper and lower lash line. Add some eyeliner if you want a more defined look and finish it all off with a few coats of mascara.
7. Wash Your Brushes With Regular Soap
There’s no need to spend money on a fancy makeup brush cleaner. All you really need is a basic gentle soap, whether baby shampoo or just a regular bar of Dove. To clean your brushes, get them wet and add your soap. Swirl the brushes around in the palm of your hand under running water until the water runs clean.
8. Pare Your Routine and Repair Your Skin Barrier
Did you know that breakouts, rashes, redness, flakes and tightness are all signs of a compromised skin barrier? Your skin barrier—the protective outermost layer of skin—can easily become compromised by everything from UV rays to an overuse of skincare acids or acne products. The result is dehydrated skin that ends up overproducing oil to compensate. So it may look oily but have flakes, too.
There is one very important thing you can do to repair your barrier: Pare down your skincare routine to a few basic steps. All you need is a cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen.
By getting rid of all your products with often harsh active ingredients, you’ll give your skin a chance to heal. You’ll also be providing it with hydration, which it desperately needs, while still protecting it from the sun. Finally, this simple routine should help if your skin is compromised by a product overload. When your skin starts to look and feel healthier, you can slowly add back products and evaluate if you need them.
9. Fix Your Skin With a Yogurt Mask
Yes, there are a lot of DIY food masks that do absolutely nothing. But this one is the real deal. Yogurt face masks have a wide variety of benefits that are backed by in-vitro and in-vivo studies, including acne-fighting, skin-brightening and moisturizing properties. The key is to use a plain yogurt without any added sugars. We recommend using Greek yogurt, because it’s thicker and won’t slide off your face à la Mrs. Doubtfire.
10. Fight Hormonal Acne With Spearmint Tea
It sounds like wishful drinking, but spearmint tea may help reduce hormonal acne in some women. How? Spearmint tea can decrease the androgen testosterone, which is responsible for sebum production and the development of hormonal acne.
Evidence that drinking spearmint tea has an effect on acne may be more anecdotal at this point, but two clinical trials in 2007 and 2009 on women with hirsutism—male-pattern hair growth— showed that drinking spearmint tea twice a day for about a month resulted in a one-third decrease in testosterone levels. So it might be worth trying at home.
11. Be a Slug and Wake Up Radiant
Living the “slug life,” as Redditers say, refers to slathering your face in a slimy, heavy occlusive, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, as the last step in your bedtime skincare routine. The goal is to create a barrier on the surface of your skin to seal in moisture while you sleep so you wake up with soft, glowing skin. Even acne-prone skin types can try it, as cosmetic petrolatum (a.k.a. petroleum jelly) is non-comedogenic and therefore should not clog pores.
12. DIY an Acid Booster for Glowing Skin
Create your own acid booster by mixing one drop of a strong acid peel—such as the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance AHA peel—with a serum to create a diluted acid treatment that is gentle enough to be used nightly.
13. Sandwich Your Retinoid to Reduce Irritation
Retinoids can treat fine lines and wrinkles, reduce hyperpigmentation and speed up skin-cell turnover. They’re magical. They’re also harsh and can cause dryness and irritation.
Help your skin adjust to a retinoid with the sandwich-application method, where you apply moisturizer, followed by a retinoid, followed by more moisturizer. According to Allure, studies have shown that “sandwiching” the retinoid between 2 layers of moisturizer helps with tolerability without reducing efficacy.
14. Saran Wrap Your Cracking Hands
Whenever your hands get so dry that they start stinging and cracking, apply a thick moisturizer and then wrap them up with plastic wrap. The plastic acts as a physical barrier to lock the moisturizer into the skin. Leave the wrap on for a few hours or overnight if possible. Put gloves on top if you want to be able to use your fingers to read (OK, fine, scroll your phone) in bed.
15. Plop Your Curls With Fishnets
If you have curly hair, you’ve probably tried plopping it with a soft T-shirt in order to create definition. But curly girls on TikTok have a new hair hack: plopping with fishnet stockings and using a diffuser to dry the curls while they’re tied up. The result is curls that are dry, defined and frizz-free.
16. Air-Dry Your Hair 90%, Then Finish With a Blow-Dry
This beauty hack gives you a salon-worthy blowout while significantly reducing the amount of heat damage caused by blow-drying your hair for long periods of time. Make your hair routine even easier by picking up a blow-dry brush, which lets you add volume and curl without a lot of effort.
Shop: TREsemmé Heat Tamer
17. Air-Dry Your Hair 90%, Then Finish With Pomade
To create a curated messy look on short hair, add pomade to hair that’s a tiny bit damp. Dab some pomade on your fingers and then run them through your hair to mess it up. Next, gently shape your hair without removing the texture you just created. Let it finish air-drying for an easy no-heat style good for men and women alike.
Shop: Old Spice Pomade
18. Use Purple Shampoo—Even If You’re Brunette
Did you know that purple shampoo isn’t just for blondes? Purple shampoo can eliminate brassiness on both blondes and brunettes, helping to maintain cool tones. Purple shampoo, which is technically a toner, works by depositing purple pigment on strands to neutralize the orangey-yellow color that occurs when hair is repeatedly exposed to things like UV rays, air pollution and bad vibes.
19. Shampoo Your Roots, Condition Your Ends
Whether you’re looking to make your color last longer, you have dry, damaged hair or you have naturally curly hair, you probably could benefit from this shower hack. By applying shampoo only to your roots, you can wash your hair and get rid of an oily scalp without further drying out your ends.
This method also lets you apply shampoo and conditioner at the same time, saving you time in the shower. Just make sure you wash your whole head with shampoo every so often to remove any product buildup.
Shop: Shampoo and conditioner
20. Wet Your Hair Before Braiding It
If you have a hard time braiding your hair, try braiding it while it’s wet. Wet hair is much easier to braid because it sticks together in clumps. Dry hair tends to be harder to separate into the clear sections you need to create a braid.
Shop: Velvet scrunchies
21. Fake a Thick Pony With a Few Clip-Ins
You know how celebrities have gorgeously thick hair? That’s because they’re all wearing extensions, both on-screen and off. Extensions not only add length, but also help bulk up fine hair. And they transform a ponytail that would be more at home in the gym to one that wouldn’t look out of place on a yacht with a champagne pool. This may not be the cheapest hair hack, but do yourself a favor and invest in a set of clip-in hair extensions for a fast way to upgrade any hairstyle.
22. Paint 3 Thin Coats of Polish
To DIY the perfect manicure, paint each nail with three thin coats of polish. Using thin layers ensures that your polish fully dries, which makes it last longer. And using 3 layers gives you enough opacity, even with the sheerest nail polish colors.
Shop: Nail polish
23. Swirl Striping Brushes in Polish to Load Them Up
Having enough polish on your striping brush is important for creating long, continuous lines when you’re doing nail art. It’s very hard to stop for more polish and then try to pick up where you left off without making your line as uneven as the hair on your childhood Barbies after a day at your home salon.
Shop: Nail polish
24. Use Rubbing Alcohol Before Polish
Nail polish adheres best to a base coat, and a base coat adheres best to a nail that’s oil-, dirt-, soap- and lint-free. To get a squeaky clean nail, dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and sweep it over each nail before you add your base coat. This trick should help extend the life of your manicure.
Shop: Cotton ball and pad set
25. Grab an Old Makeup Brush to Clean Your Edges
Even professional nail artists get nail polish on their skin and cuticles, which is when a makeup brush dipped in nail polish remover comes in handy. Make sure you pick a brush with short, densely packed bristles for control, such as a lip brush or concealer brush. You can also use a cotton swab.
26. Protect Your Nails When You’re Doing the Dishes
Fresh manicure? Then you have the perfect excuse to have your significant other or roommate do the dishes. Harsh soap and long soaks in hot water are both enemies of nail polish, as they can cause polish to soften and lift or chip. If you can’t convince anyone else to take over dish duty, at least protect your nails with a pair of rubber gloves.
27. Use Unscented Lotion to Make Your Fragrance Last Longer
Fragrance sticks better to oilier skin, so to make your signature scent last longer, apply an unscented lotion to your bare skin before layering your perfume or cologne on top. You can also use Vaseline.
28. …and Don’t Rub Your Wrists Together
Rubbing your wrists together after you apply perfume will cause your fragrance to wear off faster. Why? Perfumes and colognes are a combination of three scents: top notes, which you smell first, middle notes/heart notes, which you smell next, and base notes, which you smell last. The friction caused by rubbing your wrists together disrupts the top notes of the fragrance, so you skip straight to the heart notes, which is only acceptable in love.
29. Choose Small Bottles Over Large Ones
Need an excuse to not spend $80 on a full-sized perfume? Well, here it is. Oxygen can enter those half-used bottles you have sitting at home and begin to break down the scent, changing and weakening it. That’s why it’s better to buy travel sizes and to try to use them within 3 months.