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30 Beauty Hacks That Will Make Your Makeup, Hair, Skin, and Nail Routines So Much Easier


If you ask us, the best beauty secrets are always worth sharing. Whether it's an unexpected way to use a beauty product or a quick technique that makes makeup application a breeze, we're always on board with making our beauty routines faster, easier, and more efficient. Plus, knowing the best beauty hacks will always come in handy on those lazy days or when you’re short on time.

For those ready-in-15 mornings and beyond, we've highlighted 30 of the best beauty hacks below. Use these handy life hacks in your makeup, hair, skin, and nail routines to cut down on time and money (while still looking and feeling your best).

About the Experts:

Dr. Saggar, MD is a dermatologist at the New York Dermatology Group.
Joy Terrell is the founder of Powder Beauty Co.
Amy Lin is the founder of the nail wellness brand Sundays.
Angela Boswell is an NYC and Austin-based hair and makeup artist.


1. Condition and curl with your eyelash curler:

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Between coats of mascara and constant eyelash curling, our lashes go through a lot. And sometimes, they need extra care to look and feel their best (aka long, soft, and lush). Try this easy hack to prep your lashes for mascara, while conditioning and adding curl. Clamp your lash curler onto your lashes, then take a little petroleum jelly (or lash conditioning cream, if you have it) and dab it onto your lashes. Then, release the clamp as usual. This doesn’t just help add curl, it preps and protects your lashes before you swipe on mascara and helps it go on extra smooth. Trust us, your lashes have never felt more loved.

2. A fuss-free way to fill in your brows:

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We’ve used paper cards for perfectly applying winged eyeliner, but turns out they’re a great tool for defining and filling your brows—especially when you’re short on time. Just hold the edge of the card along the bottom edge of your brow, then use your brow pen to create quick, upward strokes in the direction of your brow hairs. Comb them up with a spoolie and—voila!—you’ve got perfectly filled-in, fluffy brows, not a stray mark to be seen.

3. Get more out of your lip gloss:

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This hack had us apologizing to all the lip glosses we’ve trashed too soon. Turns out, if you take a pair of tweezers and remove the (plug? stopper-thing?) found at the top of most lip glosses, the wand can reach further into the tube, and access a ton of product. And the best part? This works for other similarly packaged products, like concealers! Mind. Blown.

4. Define lower lashes with tweezers:

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If you’re like us, every time you turn that mascara wand vertically to coat your lower lashes you have high hopes that you won’t make a mess. And 9/10 times, you do. This super easy tip makes defining those hard-to-reach lashes so easy. Just swipe some of your favorite mascara (check out our best mascaras of the year, here) onto your tweezer tip, then glide it onto each individual lash to separate and lengthen them. Be careful not to pull as you go, being gentle is key!

5. Perfectly contour your eye crease:

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Who knew eyelash curlers were the multitaskers of our makeup kits? Because they’re shaped to fit the arch of your lids, they’re the perfect guide to apply shadow to your eye crease whether you’re looking to try a cut crease eyeshadow look or just want to add depth and definition. Just hold your lash curler onto your closed eyelid, then take an eyeshadow or crease brush and blend shadow across it into your eye crease—no mess, no fuss, no fallout.

6. Easy-peasy ombré lip:

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This ombré lip trick is probably the most creative and fun lip technique we’ve seen in a while. And the best part? You can do it with any two lip colors you love. Just dab one color on one half of your top and bottom lip, and another on the other half, then smushhhh your lips together like crazy. When you’re done, use a brush to clean up your lip edges, and you’ll have created a gorgeous, ombré lip in a fraction of the time. 

7. Your bronzer can do more than bronze:

Every bronzer is a multitasking bronzer, and this essential makeup product goes beyond bringing warmth to your cheekbones. Powder bronzers with a hint of shimmer like TARTE Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer can double as a highlighter or a golden eyeshadow, while matte bronzers like MORPHE Mini Bronzer in Blogger works flawlessly for contouring.

8. The shortcut to a perfect cat eye:

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New to winged eyeliner? The classic look takes some practice to master. If you're just getting into it, try using the "connect the dots" technique. Instead of swiping on one line with shaky hands, make little dots or dashes as close to the upper lash line as possible, continuing the dots at a slight angle toward the end of your eyebrow to create the wing. Then, using short, feathery strokes, go back through and connect these dots to create one smooth line. For more tips, check out our full tutorial on how to apply liquid eyeliner like a pro.

9. How to make your lipstick last all day long:

There's nothing worse than creating the perfect red lip and having it immediately ruined after a quick bite or a cup of coffee. For a lipstick look that will really last, the solution is simple: opt for longwear lipstick formulas. These can last for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. Some won't budge unless you use oil-based makeup removers. One longwear lipstick we love is WINKY LUX Double Matte Whip in Angel Food. It’s flattering on all skin tones and is an ideal everyday color.

10. Create your own tinted moisturizer:

If you don't have a tinted moisturizer or BB cream on hand and you're looking for just a little bit of coverage, simply add a few drops of your go-to foundation with a moisturizer of your choice. The foundation will give the moisturizer just a hint of coverage while still providing all those great moisturizing benefits.

11. The best way to distract from dark circles:

Concealer will always be one the best solutions for covering up tired under eyes. But for the days when you need to look fresh and awake, try a bold lip color. This little beauty trick is essentially the makeup version of a magician's sleight of hand. It distracts from tired eyes and pulls the attention elsewhere. Not sure which bold shade you love? Check out our favorite bright lipstick colors to find your new go-to.

12. Use soap to create bold, statement brows:

Soap? As a brow product? You heard us right. This brow trend has actually been a beauty hack among makeup artists and drag queens for a long time. Using transparent soap as a brow gel creates a pliable, long-lasting hold that resembles laminated brows. Want to know how to do it? Check out our tutorial on how to create soap brows.


13. How to disguise roots without a salon visit:

If your roots are making an appearance before your next salon appointment, turn to a tinted dry shampoo to quickly and easily disguise them until you and your stylist meet again.

14. Tackle frizz with this unexpected ingredient:

To tame flyaways in a pinch when you don't have hairspray handy, try using a touch of hand cream to keep hairs locked in place. Any lotion should do the trick, but we love keeping AHAVA's Mineral Hand Cream in our purse at all times to hydrate dry hands and quickly eliminate frizz on-the-go.

15. Use a scalp scrub for thicker hair:

Here's the truth: If you have thin hair, there's not much you can do to grow more hair. That ultimately comes down to how many hair follicles are on your scalp. However, what you can do is make sure all the hair follicles you have are fully operating and giving you as much healthy hair as possible. To make sure your hair follicles aren't blocked with product or clogged with oils, incorporate an exfoliating scalp shampoo like BRIOGEO HAIR CARE Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo into your hair care routine.

16. Eliminate brassy tones with purple shampoo:

Is your color-treated blonde hair starting to look a bit brassy? Don't head to the salon just yet. Instead, try incorporating a purple shampoo or conditioner into your hair care routine. These specialized hair care products use a little bit of color theory to bring back your ideal shade of blonde.

17. Never underestimate the power of a hair accessory:

On the days when your hair truly will not cooperate, or you just don't have time to style it, reach for a hair accessory. (Short hair? See our list of the best short hair accessories.) A hair clip, headband, or embellished bobby pins and ponytail holders can be just what you need to look cute and tame unruly hair.

18. Try co-washing to revitalize limp curls:

If you have curly hair or natural hair, co-washing could be the best way to bring dry, limp curls back to life. Co-washing is short for the phrase “conditioner washing.” The idea is to skip shampooing and only wash hair with conditioner to restore moisture. Want to learn more about co-washing? Check out our full co-washing tutorial on the hair care technique.

19. Use a t-shirt to dry curly hair:

Wet curly hair needs to be handled with care if you don't want to disrupt the natural curl pattern. Hair and makeup artist Angela Boswell says, “Terry cloth towels can absorb too much moisture from hair and the rough texture of the towel will create more frizz and can disturb your natural curl pattern.” Instead, she says using a t-shirt is a great DIY hack you can do at home to help dry curly hair. “Gently squeeze your hair with a cotton t-shirt to keep your curls intact and help your hair retain moisture." Want more ways to show your curls some love? Check out these curly hair care tips to keep yours shiny, bouncy, and manageable.


20. Make masking a breeze:

Incorporating face masks into your weekly skincare routine can be just the boost your skin needs to start seeing noticeable results. If you want this step to be as quick and easy as possible, start by using sheet masks. Nourishing sheet masks like the TONYMOLY I’m Real Sheet Masks require little to no effort to apply and can simply be removed and thrown away after you're done using them—no rinsing required.

21. The solution for nights when you're too tired to wash your face:

By now, we all know that it's always a bad idea to sleep in a full face of makeup. But on those nights when you're really just too tired to go through your full skincare routine, use micellar water. This ultra-popular no-rinse product removes all traces of makeup and cleanses skin in one quick step.

22. Use common kitchen ingredients to expertly hydrate your skin:

Sometimes the best skin solution is actually already in your kitchen cupboard. Case in point: Coconut oil and grapeseed oil. These two kitchen staples are both ideal to use all over the body. Dermatologist Dr. Saggar says "Grapeseed oil is rich in compounds like vitamin E and linoleic acid, and lightly moisturizes the skin while also decreasing free radical production. Resveratrol, a key ingredient in grapeseed oil, has antibacterial properties, which helps protect your skin from microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus [which can cause staph infections]."

23. Keep your skincare in a cool, dark place:

If your skincare includes a lot of active ingredients (like retinol, green tea, or vitamin c) they could be prone to oxidizing. Oxidation occurs when certain skincare ingredients come into contact with oxygen or the sun and become unstable or less effective. To ensure that these products continue to work effectively, store them in a cool, dry place away from any direct sunlight, and be sure to always tightly seal the lids of any jars.

24. Use a skincare spatula to keep your products germ-free:

For cream-based products that come in pots, use a clean skincare spatula to transfer the product from the container to your hand. Using a spatula helps to ensure that any dirt and bacteria from your fingers doesn't contaminate the rest of the product.

25. Heal blemishes faster with hydrocolloid patches:

When a major breakout arises, treat it quickly and effectively with an acne product like these CUROLOGY Acne Patches. Hydrocolloid patches are often semi-transparent and absorb oil and icky stuff from your skin while also encouraging healing. They'll stay put all day long to shrink stubborn breakouts in record time.


26. Keep cuticles polish-free with petroleum jelly:

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We’ve mastered many beauty techniques in our day, but sometimes the seemingly simplest (like painting with our non-dominant hand) can be the most tricky. If you’re tired of getting polish onto your cuticles and around your nails, try this tip for an easy clean up. Just use a Q-tip to apply a coat of petroleum jelly around your nails before you paint them. When you wipe off the jelly, it’ll take away every trace of polish too, leaving you with super clean cuticles and nail edges. Bonus: It’s a great way to soften your cuticles to get healthier nails while you polish, too!

27. Keep your mani + pedi looking fresher for longer with these types of manicures:

If you hate spending time and money on a manicure only for the polish to chip a few days later, try some of the longer-lasting manicures available today. Gel nails, acrylic nails, and dip nails are all solid options that can last anywhere between two weeks to a month.

28. The secret to quickly patching up chipped polish:

When you need to disguise chipped nails in a pinch, simply add on a quick coat of glitter polish. The added sparkles help to minimize any chips and add a new element to your old manicure.

29. Use a hot towel to expedite gel and dip nail removal:

There are two main ways to remove gel or dip nail polish at home: via a bowl soak or by individually wrapping the nails in an acetone solution. Both methods involve waiting 10-15 minutes for the polish to dissolve. If you want to remove the nails faster, Powder Beauty Co. founder Joy Terrell says, "I like to place a steaming hot towel over the bowl to speed up the process." If you're opting for the foil wrap method, Terrell says to place each hand in a plastic bag and then place the hot towel on top of the bag.

30. Use a foot peel to remove calluses with minimal effort:

Foot calluses can be removed with tools like pumice stones and foot files, but one of the easiest ways to keep your skin super soft is to use a peel like the GRACE & STELLA Dr. Pedicure Foot Peeling Mask. "Applying acids such as glycolic, lactic, and malic can help speed up the dead skin cell removal and help to achieve the results of fresher skin underneath that rough layer," says Amy Lin, the founder of the nail wellness brand Sundays. "Based on the strength of the acid and how many calluses you have, the strongest acid would be glycolic (derived from sugarcane), followed by lactic (derived from fermented milk), and then malic (derived from apples)." The one that's right for you will depend on how callused your feet are and how sensitive your skin is.

Want more beauty tips, tricks, and game-changing products? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
Cortney Clift
Cortney is a New York-based freelance writer who has written about beauty and wellness for more than six years. She was previously the senior writer and special projects editor at Brit + Co where she covered a wide range of news and lifestyle topics.
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Article Last Updated June 23, 2021 12:00 AM