5 Beauty Hacks for When You Leave Your Makeup Behind

Leaving your makeup bag at home can feel like a disaster and set the stage for a pretty rocky start to your morning, so today we’ll be sharing some of our favorite makeup hacks for when you accidentally leave your kit at home. These little tips and tricks certainly can’t replace your professional kit, but they can certainly get the job done in a pinch.

Cocoa powder (or hot chocolate mix if you’re really desperate!): This is an ingredient in many beauty products, but you can actually recreate cocoa powder-based bronzers for a fraction of the cost and without needing to make a pit stop at your local makeup supplier. Simply take some cocoa powder and lightly brush it on the hollows of your cheeks for a light but perfect contour.


In the swatch above, you can see how cocoa powder (left) compares to a matte bronzer (right). The difference is nearly indistinguishable! This is also a really great tip if you’re looking for some natural beauty products that have undergone minimal processing.

Activated charcoal and olive oil: Creating eyeliner out of office products can be a headache. We’ve even seen people use a permanent marker (ew!) as a quick substitute. Instead of putting such dangerous materials so close to your sensitive eyes, try mixing a pinch of activated charcoal and olive oil. The mixture will give you a jet black gel liner that works so well that hardly anyone will tell the difference. Many first aid kits include activated charcoal, so be sure to check your medical supplies to get your hands on some.

Coffee grounds: Most offices will have a pot or two of coffee available for their employees throughout the day. Use that coffee, or rather the coffee grounds, to create your very own natural makeup. Apply a little over your eyelids as a light shadow or rub a little on the hollows of your cheeks for a light bronzer. This is a great hack no matter where you go because coffee is so easy to come by, especially in an office setting.

Toilet seat covers: While this isn’t makeup per se, toilet seat covers can save you from having overly oily skin when you leave your mattifying products at home. If you aren’t wearing any foundation or concealer, you want to make sure your skin is in the best condition possible, and that means controlling the shine as much as possible. To create blotting papers out of a toilet seat cover, just cut the toilet seat cover into 2”x3” rectangles.


One cover will make tons of blotting papers, and once they’re cut up, no one will know what they once were! In the image above, I was able to get about 16 using just half of the cover. Use them just like you would regular blotting papers: by lightly pressing them on areas of your face where you are feeling particularly oily. They will absorb the oil and leave your skin beautifully matte.

Hand sanitizer: This may seem like a strange one, but hand sanitizer can be your best friend when you’re nowhere near some concealer and you have a zit taking up some facial real estate. Though it’s not an immediate fix, applying a small dab of hand sanitizer on pimples will reduce redness and dry them out thanks to the high alcohol content in the hand sanitizer.

To learn more tips, tricks and tutorials, check out the Ogle School today at

About the Author

Shalott Cecchini
Shalott Cecchini is a beauty and lifestyle blogger based in Dallas, Texas. She is the founder and author of, where she navigates the world of all things beauty one swatch at a time.