Quick fixes, creative cheats and unlikely alternatives
The first “beauty” hack I learned involved petroleum jelly and very persistent childhood nosebleeds. Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t so much a beauty hack as it was a precautionary method—slathering of a thin layer of Vaseline on the inside of my nostrils with a Q-tip somehow kept my heat-spurred nosebleeds at bay. Me and my sister’s shared tub of petroleum jelly saw us through our first toe-dipping experiences in the beauty realm, becoming the quintessential multi-use product of our tween years. Whether it was DIY lip gloss concoction or dry patches of skin, a way to keep our nail polish jobs clean around the edges or a method to get our exciting assortment of Bench perfumes linger longer, petroleum jelly was the center of our universe.
As we slipped further from our unceremoniously bloody childhood and inched closer to our teen years, a number of other common beauty hacks set off blips on our radars. Baby powder as dry shampoo. Lipstick as blush, blush as eyeshadow. ATM cards (or school IDs) as the perfect guide for cat-eye liner. The possibilities were endless.
Scratch that—they still are. While there are popular quick fixes that are… questionable to say the least (for the love of your pores, please do not put Vaseline under your foundation on the reg, no matter how perfectly dewy it’ll make you look), there remain sensible solutions for almost every beauty blunder in the book. With unshakeable tunnel vision and a personal longing to discover them, I explored the worlds of YouTube, TikTok and a sizable chunk of the beauty side of the world wide web to scrounge up these beauty hacks for you to try out.
Mascara, meet baby powder
Throwing on falsies (which you can never really do considering the sleight of hand and concentration it takes to pop them on right) can prove to be a task when done on the daily. Thankfully, false lashes and extensions aren’t the only way to get that full Zayn Malik effect. According to this handy little hack on ELLE, all it takes is two coats of mascara, a Q-tip and a (carefully applied!) layer of baby powder in between.
The dry mascara resurrection hack
Another mascara fix, this time to rescue the remaining product in the tube once it dries out. The unlikely savior here: contact lens solution. Give your mascara a second life by adding three to five drops into the tube. Add a couple extra for good measure if your product has reached that ultra-dry, flaky state!
Silicone-free primer for the under-eyes
|If you aren’t one to prime before going in with eyeshadow, I urge you to reconsider. Invest in a fool-proof, silicone-free eyeshadow primer. While this stuff will keep your cut-crease from going haywire mid-day, it also works wonders for that under-eye area by minimizing creasing and fine lines from showing through your concealer.|
Eye cream isn’t just for the eyes
The skin of the under-eye area is considerably thinner than the rest of the face, which is why eye creams are formulated to be milder than your run-of-the-mill moisturizer or face cream. Prevent chapped lips in the morning by slathering a layer of eye cream on your lips (and locking it in with Vaseline or Paw Paw balm!) before bed.
One for the four-eyed
Speaking of eyeshadow primer, the four-eyed folks might want to consider extending application of the stuff to the sides of the nose bridge. A little dab of primer or a dusting of setting powder right where specs would sit helps fight off a common enemy: glasses sliding down the nose bridge.
Lashes on fire
Borrowed from the K-beauty world, this quick trick is a common method among makeup artists to keep K-pop idols’ eyelashes curled all day long. Since voluminous falsies don’t exactly match the signature minimal beat that South Korea is known for, false eyelashes often aren’t part of their usual makeup equation. Instead, they make use of a thin wooden stick, set the end ablaze with a lighter, blow out the flame and press the hot, charred tip against the base of the lashes for a long-lasting curl. Here’s a makeup artist from Red Velvet’s usual salon doing the trick while replicating Wendy’s look, in case you need another reference. This goes without saying, but be extra careful when trying this out!
No topcoat? No problem
If you happen to have a bottle of hairspray lying around, it looks like you won’t be needing a topcoat after all. Cut drying time to a couple of minutes (and add some shine, while you’re at it) by spraying your finished nail polish paint job with a layer of hairspray. The stuff conveniently does a good job at eradicating nail polish stains from carpets, too.
Beach waves (minus the beach)
We love a good tousled ‘do, but we can’t say the same about the process involved in getting them perfect. Heat styling takes time and subjects the hair to damage over time, so consider this nifty styling trick instead. Beauty YouTuber Jessica Vu shared her solution to nailing beach waves overnight with no heat—just a little hair product and a bathrobe belt.
I don't know about you, but I've bookmarked these quick fixes for future reference. What beauty hacks do you have up your sleeve?
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver