Lifestyle

15 Best Beauty Hacks Every Woman Should Know

As women, we’ve all had a makeup emergency derail our morning. Most mornings are challenging enough as there never seems to be enough time to spend… Simi - November 22, 2017

As women, we’ve all had a makeup emergency derail our morning. Most mornings are challenging enough as there never seems to be enough time to spend in front of the mirror creating the perfect look. Add a makeup mishap into the mix, and you’re starting all over again. One slip of the hand or brush means you have to remove everything and start over because it’s impossible to conceal that mistake. And even if you do manage to cover it, it’s going to bother you all day because you know it’s there and feel like everyone around you can see it!

In reality, we cannot afford to have a makeup artist on hand to create the perfect look for us every day. So we have to get it right ourselves. But, getting it right does not need to be difficult. It can be done with a few good short-cuts to help you. These short-cuts or ‘hacks’ are easy and inexpensive and they can help to ensure that you get your makeup right first time every time. They’re also great if you’re out and need to fix your makeup. You’ll be able to create professional looking makeup finishes with the makeup you have and a few household items. So the next time you see that colleague or friend whose makeup is always perfect, remember that these are the hacks that helped her get it right!

1. Say goodbye to mascara smudges on your eyelids

These are the most common but equally most frustrating makeup mishaps that happen, especially when your time is of the essence. In order to maximize the volume and length of the eyelashes, mascara must be applied liberally. However, when you reach the tip of the lash and you are not careful, you can wind up getting a mascara smudge on your eyelid over the eye-shadow you’ve spent ages applying!

What many women then do in order to avoid this is to apply mascara at only the base of the eyelashes and leave the tips so that there’s no chance of a mess. But in doing so they are not able to utilize and highlight the full lash to complement the eyes.

Enter the simple business card to save the day! We all receive business cards from companies and stores. Maybe you even have your own business cards! Carefully place the edge of the business card at the bottom of the eyelid at the root of the eyelashes. Use the edge of the business card to pull your eyelashes up. Your eyelashes will level with the card which will block the mascara’s contact with the eyelids.

As you now apply the mascara, do so generously. The extra product will smudge onto the business card and not onto your eyelid! This hack works well with the lower lashes. Smudges there make black marks under the eyes which makes it look as though you haven’t slept in a week! Use the business card hack again. Pull your lower eyelid down using the edge of the card and apply mascara liberally over the length of the lashes.

2. Luscious lips in one easy step

Is the dry winter months progress most of us are prone to dry, flaky lips. No matter how much lipstick we apply and how many times we smack those kissers, the flakiness won’t go away!

Applying lip balm or Chap Stick is not always an option as they don’t work quickly enough or mix well with lipstick. Putting lipstick on without treating the lips seems only to make the problem more obvious as the lipstick tends to crack and make the flakes look even more pronounced no matter how much you put on.

You need to act before putting lipstick on if you want to get the problem under control. The best thing to do in fact is to exfoliate the lips without causing pain or harm to this sensitive skin. The two things you need to complete this hack are an old toothbrush and some coconut oil. Start off by applying a little coconut oil to your lips. Wet the toothbrush with water. Wipe excess water off the toothbrush so that it is damp, not sopping wet. Use the toothbrush to exfoliate your lips.

It is important that you don’t apply too much pressure during this process as you’ll cause pain and damage to the lips. Do this for 2 to 3 minutes. After you have finished exfoliating your lips, rinse them gently with warm water. If you want to, you can apply a lip balm to your lips to moisturize them. Now you can apply your lipstick for a smooth finish. Your luscious, moisturized lips will be the envy of your friends and colleagues.

3. Eyeliner to the rescue to pep up your eyeshadow

On days when you want the color of your eyeshadow to pop and let your inner creative self out for everyone to see, your normal eyeshadows won’t do the trick. Or will they?

Your usual eyeshadow range will work just fine with the addition of a magic ingredient. And that secret ingredient is the humble white eyeliner. If applied correctly, it will give the boring old colors of your day to day eyeshadows a bit of glitz and glam for special occasions or on days when you need to exude radiance and draw attention to your eyes as the focal point of your makeup.

So how can white eyeliner help you? It can help you in a few easy steps. The first thing you want to do is make sure that the eyelid is clean and that moisturizer has been applied. Now take the white eyeliner and apply it generously to the whole eyelid. Make sure you cover the whole lid otherwise you will create a mottled look which won’t be particularly attractive.

Once you are satisfied that the whole lid has been covered, apply your ordinary eyeshadow as you usually would. You’ll be immediately surprised by the effect that it creates. It will strengthen the color of the shade you are using and add a special glow to it. In fact, don’t be surprised if friends and colleagues ask you where you got that fabulous eyeshadow color and how much it cost! So if this is a look you like and wish to repeat, make sure you invest in a supply of good quality white eyeliner!

4. On days when there is no time to your hair… Help is on the way!

We’ve all had one of those days. We get up in the knowledge that our hair needs a good wash but for whatever reason, competing priorities rear their ugly heads and soon we realize that if we still plan to wash our hair we’re going to be late. But we also know that there is NO way we can leave the house with the greasy hair we’re sporting and be seen dead like this!

So we need a good, effective alternative to shampooing our hair for those days when a crisis occurs. There are dry shampoos on the market which you can buy for such emergencies, but a simple household product can do the job as well if not better at a fraction of the cost. What is the magic ingredient to achieve this? Plain old-fashioned baby powder, would you believe?

Put some baby powder in your palm. Sprinkle the powder from the palms into the hair. Massage the baby powder into your scalp. The secret here is not to be too vigorous. Keep the massage gentle. Make sure you have covered all the greasy parts of your hair. You may need to add some extra baby powder to do this. However, avoid adding too much powder. You don’t want to look like a 17th century French lady with a powdered wig!

In order to avoid excess powder getting onto your clothes, put a towel over your shoulders. Now you can comb and style your hair as normal without it looking like a greasy mess.

5. How to get that freshly applied lipstick look to last longer

Some freshly applied lipstick looks great. But give it a couple of hours and it has faded if not disappeared altogether. This is because it is either absorbed into the skin of the lips or it has rubbed off as you’ve eaten and drunk during the day. You might find yourself having to run to the ladies’ room a couple of times a day to freshen up your lipstick.

In order to get your lipstick to last longer, add some translucent powder to your application process. You’ll need to have a tub of loose translucent powder to do this. You can decant some of the powder into a smaller container to keep in your purse as the whole tub will take up too much space.

The first thing you need to do is apply a lip-liner which is the same shade as your lipstick over the entire lip area. Now you can apply your chosen lipstick. Use a tissue to blot the lips. Use a makeup brush to get some translucent powder and add it to your lips. Make sure you have the tissue under your lips to catch any excess powder and avoid a mess on your outfit! Smack the lips to ensure the powder is smoothly applied and covers the entire lip area.

This hack will create a long-lasting, matte finish to your lipstick and spare you time and effort in reapplying lipstick several times a day. As it creates a matte finish, this hack is not recommended if you’re going for a glossy lip look.

6. Getting lasting curl for your eyelashes

An eyelash curler remains the most effective way to curl your eyelashes and give them that appealing perky look. However, within a few hours, the curl has worn off and you’re back to your straight eyelashes. If you’re out and about, there is not the time to go and curl them again.

Curled eyelashes create a whole new look and draw attention to the eyes as the focal point of the face. So if you want to curl your eyelashes and have them stay curled for longer, you’re going to need a good hack!

You’re still going to use your eyelash curler. But now you are going to add a hairdryer to the process to lengthen the lifespan of your curl. Use your hairdryer to warm up the curler. Point the hairdryer at the eyelash curler for 5 to 8 seconds on the heat setting before doing each eye. Do not do it for longer than this as you want to curl your eyelashes not singe them. Use the eyelash curler to curl your eyelashes as usual. Remember to hold the eyelash curler in the clenched position for a few seconds to give the heat as much chance as possible to work its magic on your eyelashes.

This hack works because applying heat to hair locks it into the desired style. If you straighten your hair with a hairdryer, it stays straight because heat has been applied to it. In the same way, if you apply a hairdryer’s heat to your eyelash curler and then curl your eyelashes, the curl is going to last longer.

7. Make the most of that old mascara

A good mascara can be pretty expensive, so you’ll want to use it until the very last particle has been consumed. Mascara tends to go dry and flaky towards the end of its lifespan. It is then difficult to get the mascara onto the wand and even more difficult to get it onto your eyelashes. Most of us wind up throwing the mascara away even though there are many more applications in there. But a quick and simple hack can save you money and keep that mascara going and going and going!

In order to maximize the amount of masara you get from the tube and get rid of those lumpy flakes, you need some saline solution (the liquid used to clean contact lenses). Add a few drops of saline solution to the mascara. Rather start off with too few drops than too many otherwise you’ll create a runny mascara that will be of no use to you. For the sack of accuracy, you can use a medicine dropper to keep track of how many drops you’ve added.

Shake the mascara tube gently. When you remove the wand from the tube you’ll now have your favorite mascara back again. If you find that it is still flaky and dry, you haven’t added enough saline solution. Add a couple more drops and try again.

This hack is also effective for a mascara that you don’t use that often. These mascaras do tend to dry out and become flaky and difficult to apply. So using saline solution can give them a new lease on life. Now you’ll be able to make your mascara last longer and work for you!

8. A simple technique to create a stylish winged eyeliner effect

The winged eyeliner effect is striking and beautiful but not easily achieved. Most of us have experimented with this too many times to count with little or no success and wound up removing our eye makeup and starting again. But, with a simple household spoon, you too can achieve the perfect winged eyeliner effect.

Put the front of the spoon facing your face. Align the handle of the spoon with your bottom lashes. Check the angle of the spoon handle. It must match how steep you want your eyeliner wing to be. Draw with black eyeliner. The first line must be drawn along the spoon handle from the outer corner of the eye. Make the length of the wing as long as you desire it to be. Now adjust the handle again. Put it at the tip of the line and then cover about two-thirds of your eyelid in a triangular shape. Draw the line again along the spoon handle.

Fill the triangle you have drawn with liquid eyeliner for a fabulous, dramatic wing. Take your time during this step to ensure that you do not go outside the lines of your triangle. If you rush it, you may have to start all over again.

This hack is far easier than trying to do the winged effect freehand. But it will require a few practice runs to get it perfect. This is especially true when it comes to getting the same angle on both eyes so that there is a balanced, proportional look when you are finished.

9. Say goodbye to puffy eyes

Puffy eyes can ruin your makeup. They are inevitable however because of allergies, fatigue and other factors. However, there are a few simple hacks that you can use to reduce the puffiness of your eyes and make your makeup more effective.

Ice can be used to reduce puffiness around the eyes. Applying an ice pack for 5 to 10 minutes to the eyes right after you wake up can reduce swelling and puffiness. Thick slices of cucumber straight from the fridge can also be effective. Grated potato can also be placed over the eyes.

There are many eye creams available in stores. Most of them are very expensive. But many ladies swear by them as the only solution for puffy eyes. Even for these creams, there is a beauty hack to make them even more effective. If you store your eye cream in the fridge it will be even more effective. As an alternative to eye cream, Aloe Vera gel is also a great way to reduce puffiness.

Tea bags can also reduce puffiness around the eyes. Green or black tea bags are used. Place the wet tea bags in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes. Then put them over your eyes. Sit back, relax and leave the tea bags on your eyes for at least 10 to 15 minutes for the best impact. If you have access to red teabags, they are also effective. Red tea is grown in South Africa. It is called “Rooibos” tea. It is exported to many countries across the world so it would be worthwhile to see if you can get some as it has many other health and healing benefits as well.

10. Long-lasting fragrance of your favorite perfume

We all have our favorite fragrance that makes us feel confident and attractive. However, fragrances may wear off quickly which is a waste as they tend to be expensive. This is a big problem for people who struggle with body odor problems. Bad body odor can ruin the overall effect you are trying to create with your makeup.

A good deodorant can go a long way in masking body odor but will not completely eliminate it. A strong scent or perfume does an even better job of masking body odor and can make sure that you will not have an embarrassing body odor experience. Remember to store your perfumes and scents in a dry environment as this protects the strength of their fragrance.

A ChapStick is the ideal beauty hack to make sure that the scent of your perfume or deodorant is stronger and lasts longer. If you don’t have a ChapStick handy, petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or fragrance-free lotion can work as well. You could also consider applying perfume directly after a hot shower as your pores will be open and able to absorb the fragrance.

Apply the ChapStick to the areas where you plan to spray perfume. These areas usually include the wrists, neck, the inner elbow and behind the knee. Spray your scent on these areas over the ChapStick. Don’t rub your wrists together as this weakens the fragrance. Spray on each wrist individually. As a base, the ChapStick traps the perfume and allows it to cling to the skin longer. In this way, a longer lasting effect is achieved.

11. Longer Lashes Without Using Extensions

Many women have horror stories about using extensions, from their real eyelashes falling out to accidentally applying them into the eyelid instead of on the lash line. Lash extensions are costly too and can damage lashes when used constantly. It would be great to wake up with long, full eyelashes but there are some makeup tricks that will help to make your lashes look darker, fuller and longer.

Conditioning your eyelashes regularly will help to make them stronger. They will be less likely to break and will eventually look longer and thicker, even without mascara, if you condition regularly. You can simply use a Q-tip or a finger to swipe Vaseline in a thin line along eyelashes at the lash line before going to bed at night.  Adding a small amount of coconut oil or olive oil to your eyelids right up to your lash line also helps. This not only keeps the lids supple and soft but affects the lashes growing out of them too.

A trick when applying makeup is to add dark liner right into the upper lash line. Darkening your lash line immediately makes the lashes look darker. Mascara with a very thin wand will be able to latch on to the shortest and thinnest of lashes. Spinning the mascara wand upwards and ‘lifting’ the lashes while applying also helps to make eyes look more wide awake.

Some people simply use a cotton swab and dab baby powder in between applications of mascara to give the impression of thicker lashes. An eyelash comb can be used to spread out eyelashes and remove clumps after applying mascara. By separating the smaller, thinner lashes that often stick together, it can also make you look as though you have thicker eyelashes.

12. Cover dark Rings Under your Eyes like a Pro

Unfortunately, even when you get your eight hours of sleep a night, it doesn’t always prevent those dark circles under the eyes. Sometimes these are hereditary which means that you have to use makeup to deal with them. The trick seems to come in correcting them before you conceal them for the best results.

No matter the color of your skin tone, you must always apply an orange or peach corrector first. The opposite of blue (the color of the dark circles) is orange on the color wheel so they cancel each other out. Go with a darker orange if the rings are really dark. Just pat the corrector onto the dark ring with your finger or a sponge. A bright orange lipstick can even be used as a corrector. It may take a bit more blending but it works well.

After this, you will need to use a concealer that is two shades lighter than your skin tone. This will make your eyes appear brighter. The concealer has to be blended in thoroughly and you must not neglect the inner corner of your eye when applying it. This area between the bridge of the nose and ocular bone is often ignored and means that the area you’ve lightened does not blend in properly with the rest of your makeup.

When the concealer has been applied, you can then use foundation and a translucent powder. A translucent powder is best because you don’t want to darken the area you have just spent time lightning. Applying a white eyeshadow to the tear duct area will also help to draw attention away from dark circles.  Highlighting the cheekbone can also reflect light and brighten any darkness that remains.

13. Make your Eyebrows Look Fuller

Brows grow in three to four-month cycles. You need to step away from those tweezers if you want full brows.  Leave them to grow and groom them daily with a spoolie can help them to grow in the right direction.  You can spray the spoolie with hairspray if you want to set your brows in place.

Vaseline can be used to promote the growth of thin brows. It creates s sealing barrier and locks moisturizer in to help speed up skin recovery. When skin is nourished and hydrated, the hair grows better. Oils such as olive oil or coconut oil will have the same effect. An eyebrow serum can also be used that blends nourishing ingredients to condition and restore eyebrows.

When using makeup to make eyebrows look thicker, first draw a line underneath the brow with an eyebrow pencil and then fill in the sparse areas with small flicks. After this, define your brow shape with pressed powder of a similar color on an angled brush.

Never fill in the inside corners too much and make the endpoints too harsh as this creates an unnatural look.  Your final move can be to use your spoolie to blend lines, brush off excess powder and make sure the look is completely natural. Using a concealer underneath the arch of the brow can help to define it. 

14. No more Cracked Heels

Our heels are likely to crack if stand for long hours, let the skin get very dry or often wear backless shoes.  This problem only gets worse with age because the fat pad on the bottom of the foot shrinks and is often replaced with callouses.  We cannot just ignore the cracks because they get worse over time and can easily become infected. This is particularly dangerous if you are diabetic or have problems with circulation.

Calluses must be softened the right way as scrubbing too hard can split the skin further. Using a pumice stone after a shower or a soak in the bath is better because the skin is softer.  You have to file the heel gently in one direction. This will slough off the dead skin without making cracks worse. Do this at least once a week and afterward, gently moisturize with a foot cream.  A foot cream with acid, like a lactic acid, helps to remove any thickening and prevent calluses from causing problems.

Lock in the power of the cream by wearing some socks. After covering each foot with the cream, slip on the socks before going to bed. Special socks for this purpose are lined with silicone but you can even use plastic wrap over your heels before putting on your ordinary socks. In the morning your feet will feel soft and smooth.

Wearing the right shoes is also important if you have cracked heels. If you want to wear flip-flops, rather choose those with a thicker sole that absorbs shock. A shoe that keeps the foot off the ground will help to prevent any dirt from getting through the cracks and making infections more likely.

15. The ‘Number 3’ Trick for Contouring and Highlighting

Most of us feel we don’t have enough time when applying our make-up in the morning to experiment with highlighters or bronzers.  The fastest way to contour when you don’t have much time is to apply bronzer down the side of your face in the shape of the number 3. The reason this technique works is that it mimics the facial areas that are naturally exposed to the sun. You just swipe a half-moon shape from your forehead to cheekbone and then from your cheek to your jawline.

You will first need to apply a foundation before contouring. If you’re going to use a liquid for contouring and highlighting, it’s better to use a liquid foundation and if you are going to use a powder, your base should rather be powder too.  Combining different product textures is a mistake.  Generally speaking, powders blend easily, creams offer high coverage and liquids have more staying power.

Once you’ve applied foundation, load your bronzer onto your makeup brush and trace a number 3  down the side of your face. The middle of the number 3 should curve in halfway between your temple and your nose. The bottom of the number 3 goes out again comes in down to just below the corner of the mouth. Repeat this on the other side of the face. Now you can apply your highlighter in the top half of your number 3 shape.

If all this sounds rather complicated for a quick fix, remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a guideline. As long as you remember that you’re trying to emphasize your best features by highlighting and conceal other features with shadowing, you will be fine. The less flat your make-up appears, the more natural its effect.

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