It’s no surprise that beauty has fast grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry over the decades. As most women know, the range of hair products, skin potions, and cosmetics available at any drugstore or mall is enormous.
Prices can add up quickly when replenishing one’s bath and vanity—and let’s not forget that time is money, as well! In today’s extra-busy climate, it’s difficult to find time to shop and sort through all the offerings available.
All that said: Many of us are looking for fast, fuss-free, natural, or simple ways to become more beautiful. The great news is, there are a wealth of clever “beauty hacks” to be discovered— and many of them are right in your kitchen, bathroom, or makeup kit!
Here’s a rundown of six of the most versatile cosmetic “hacks” out there—all of which we are reasonably sure you can get your hands on right now, if they aren’t already in your house–and how you can best put them to work. We bet you will be surprised at how many things they can do.
Ready to hack your beauty routine? Let’s go.
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Awesome beauty hack No. 1: VASELINE
Hands-down, petroleum jelly has to be the mightiest beauty hack on the market. There are literally hundreds of things you can do with it (try searching for it on social media such as Pinterest—you’ll be shocked!). Here’s our edited list of quick fixes we think are the most useful:
- Try it as an alternative to expensive eye-makeup remover. It does the job and is gentle on delicate eye-area skin.
- It is also useful as a substitute for mascara. Not only does it make your lashes appear full and glossy, some swear it conditions and makes lashes grow.
- Out of lip gloss? Or want to add a little shine to your matte lipstick? A swipe of the jelly gives beautiful sheen.
- Always carry a jar in your bag. When you’re in a pinch and need a little color on your face, but only have a lipstick in your purse, you can mix with lipstick to make a crème blush for cheeks.
- Here’s a trick guaranteed to make you grin. Rub the jelly over your teeth: Voila, no lipstick stains on your smile!
- Have stubborn “elephant skin” on your elbows or heels? Massage jelly into them to soften texture and repair cracks.
- If you’re growing your hair out: Rub on split ends between haircuts to minimize the frayed look. (But use sparingly or your hair will appear greasy.)
- Finally, as you’re getting ready to go out, rub some jelly on pulse points before applying perfume—it’ll make the scent last longer!
Awesome beauty hack No. 2: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is considered a health miracle by many, allegedly able to alleviate everything from arthritis to yeast infections. The health claims are debatable; however, it has tons of proven beauty applications as well. You may want to try some of these uses for the substance. (Note: Like all vinegars, apple cider vinegar smells pretty strong. If you are scent-sensitive, take note before proceeding with these ideas.)
- Rinse your hair with it to remove shampoo buildup. Apple cider vinegar is a much less expensive alternative to pricey “clarifying” shampoos on the market, and it works just as well!
- You can also use as a detangler after your shampoo (and, ladies of color, take notice: it is especially good for delicate African-American hair).
- It’s truly a hair powerhouse. As a proven fungicide and germ killer, it prevents dandruff, too!
- Moving on to your face: Use as a skin toner to treat and prevent acne.
- You can also apply to dark spots on face to correct hyperpigmentation.
- It gets rid of warts and skin tags! Dab on, put band-aid over the area, and then repeat for a week. The growth will eventually fall off.
Awesome beauty hack No. 3: COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil isn’t just useful as an ingredient on the Food Network…or as fragrance for a bottle of suntan lotion, either. It works just as hard outside the kitchen/beach (and you’ll retain that lovely tropical scent as well). You can purchase coconut oil everywhere from specialty stores to Walmart. If you are a fan of coconut, have a go at these ideas:
- Get ready for glowing legs! Nothing gives you silkier legs than using coconut oil to shave with.
- Deodorize your body with a rubdown of the stuff—it has antibacterial properties. It probably won’t be replacing your regular deodorant entirely, but it will keep you fresh in an emergency situation!
- Rub it into your nails and cuticles – it will strengthen them and help them grow.
- Coconut oil is a wonderful natural aide for skin issues. Try using it to soothe eczema breakouts.
- It also makes a great lipgloss–straight up from the jar. Just swipe your finger in, and rub directly on your lips.
Awesome beauty hack No. 4: DOUBLE DUTY MAKEUP
As noted earlier, we all know makeup—the good kind–can be expensive! Even drugstore or discount store brands can provide an overwhelming selection that may result in you spending more money (and time) than you’d like when replenishing your makeup kit. Here’s how to make your favorite products—the ones you already own–work twice as hard, and thus be more cost-effective:
- Mascara can double as eyeliner. Just dip a thin brush in—the same as if you were using liquid liner. You’ll get the dramatic effect of liquid eyeliner, and can soften the look with a bit of blending (just smudge gently with a cotton swab).
- Your hairstylist can’t squeeze you in this week, but—eek—you really need to see her? Grab your mascara and use as an emergency tool to cover gray roots.
- Your favorite color of blush likely works well with your skin tone, or else you would not have purchased it. So, guess what? It probably will look great on you as eyeshadow, too! Earthy and browner shades work especially well in this situation.
- Swipe shimmery eyeshadow in a neutral color to set your lipstick. A dab of shine on the bottom lip will additionally make your smoocher seem more lush and full.
Awesome beauty hack No. 5: LEMONS AND ACIDIC FRUITS
The acid content in certain fruits makes them particularly juicy in terms of beauty hacking. Fruit acid is useful for the hair and skin in particular, and has bleaching properties that assist in a variety of beauty issues. Grab some fruit from the bowl and get gorgeous!
- Dislike dark patches on your elbows? Lemons can be halved and rubbed on them to get rid of discoloration spots in that area.
- If you are a lighter-haired girl who’d like to try a natural approach to the sun-kissed look: Mix lemon juice with equal parts water and spritz on hair, then go outside in the sunshine for a while—free highlights!
- Lemon works on other undesirable pigmentation besides elbows. It makes a great, inexpensive skin toner, and will gradually lighten age spots if used regularly as part of your skincare routine. Just swab the juice on your face and leave on for 10 minutes daily after cleansing.
- Apples are filled with pectin, which fights acne. Add some to a homemade face mask to clear up skin. Eating apples as part of your diet also is helpful for acne!
- Use a slice of pineapple as a loofah in the shower for an all-natural scrub. The texture of the pineapple plus the fruit acid content will exfoliate your body and make you silky smooth all over.
- Mash up a strawberry with ½ teaspoon baking soda and spread the mixture on your teeth for five minutes. Watch how it will whiten your teeth. Yes, this really works!
Awesome beauty hack No. 6: EGGS
While you’re making breakfast, reserve a few eggs from the carton to use for your morning beauty routine. They’re really good for your outside as well as inside! Here’s some egg-cellent ideas to consider:
- Been working too late? Up all night? Try eggs to combat the resultant tired-looking eyes. Just spread egg whites under your eyes, then let dry and rinse off, to remove puffy bags.
- If you have some egg whites left over, and have oily skin, an egg-white mask is a great remedy for the slicks. There are various recipes for these available into which you can incorporate other natural/healthful ingredients as well.
- Go ahead and grab a full egg (or two, if your hair is long) to make a hair mask for damaged tresses, which is great for easy hairstyles. Eggs are full of protein, which will help repair and strengthen your hair. Beat the eggs, comb through hair, leave on for 20 minutes and rinse.
- You can even make your own natural hair gel using eggs! It’s much cheaper than buying a pricey product to style and control your hairdo.
Feeling inspired? Ready to consider your everyday household items as much “more than meets the eye?” There are many other creative beauty hacks that can be discovered in your home and/or grocery store. With a little exploration, research, and experimentation, you’ll be gorgeous with barely any effort—or money—spent at all!