Over the years I’ve read and come to learn that one product can serve more than one purpose, and that inspired me to compile this list. You probably own most – or at least one of these basics: foundation, eyeliner, and lipstick. Oh and a toohbrush…I know for sure you own a toothbrush.
- Lipstick doubles up as blush – you may already know this. If you who don’t, lightly (read: so very lightly) dab your middle and ring fingers on your perfect shade of red or burgundy lipstick and apply to the apples of your cheeks. This is what I did before I bought my first blush, and it worked. Blend well with either your fingers or a buffing/stipple brush and opt for a matte (not retro matte) formula. Remember to check the appearance in good lighting so that your cheeks don’t look clownish.
- Lipstick + Kohl Eye Liner = Lip stain! In art class (if you were paying attention instead of texting), you were taught to make a color darker by adding a tiny bit of black paint to it. Simply take your eye kohl and color a small circle on the back of your hand. Then use your red lipstick and make another circle over the one made by the eye liner. Apply this blended red and black combo using your ring finger, and build to your desired intensity. If you’re afraid of the colour fading line your lips with a red liner first.
- Make any lip colour show on any skin tone by first muting the natural lip colour that’s present. Take a small amount of concealer and apply to the lips to have a neutral base to work with. This works best with liquid concealers, and if you’re using a cream concealer for this trick ensure that there are no flakes on your lips — but this works best with liquid concealer.
- Avoid flakes on your lips by scrubbing them off with an old toothbrush. Be gentle, and go in small circles. Or use a quick lip scrub by mixing together sugar and honey, or sugar and lemon juice. Are flakes under your lipstick ever cute? Exactly, I didn’t think so. If you use hairspray you probably know that toothbrush + hairspray = tamed flyaways. If you have relaxed hair like me, put glossifying serum or edge tamer on a toothbrush, and use it on the hairline for precision and mess-free hands.
- Mascara drying up before the 3 month mark? Rest it in some hot water and it’ll extend the life a bit. Recently I tried this with my eye primer and lipgloss as well – my favourite nude gloss was running low, and I couldn’t part with it; placed the mascara, eye primer and lip gloss in a mug of hot water, and they all came back to life!
- Out of eyeliner? I usually line my lower inner rim, but on the days that I don’t – if I wiggle the mascara wand close enough to the base of my lower lashes, it actually looks as though I’m wearing eyeliner. By doing this, the wand deposits enough product to still give your eyes a defined look.
- Can’t be bothered with liquid or gel liner? That gunk that you see on the end of the mascara wand when you take it out of the tube can be used as eyeliner. Take your thin eye liner brush and pick up some of the product – use this to line your top lid. Then bring on the cat eyes!
- Don’t throw out your old mascara wands! Take them and wash them off thoroughly with soap and water until no product is left on them. By doing this, you essentially just made yourself a free spoolie – this is what you’ll be using to brush your eyebrows into place before you fill them in. Then after you fill them in? Go back with the spoolie and gently brush your brows because this will help distribute the product evenly.
- Use a matte brown shadow to fill in your eyebrows. I remember randomly coming up with this idea one night two years ago while I played around with my makeup. I use the darker brown of L’Oreal’s HIP duo in Shady and it works like a charm for my skin tone. For those of you afraid to fill in your eyebrows for fear of them looking as thick as Nike check marks – this shadow trick is right up your alley.
- Need to do a smokey eye? If you don’t have a dark matte shadow for the lid, use your eye kohl! Colour your lid with the eye kohl – it has to be eye kohl specifically because it’s the easiest to blend and smudge. Also because other liners dry too quickly and this prevents you from getting to blend them well.
- Some powder blushes can be used as transition eye shadow shades. Usually shimmery baked blushes that are more bronze or rose gold are great for this second purpose. Ensure that you apply the colour using a dome shaped blending brush for the crease.
- If you’re not sure which concealer to buy, or you’ve run out of concealer – your foundation can do the trick. The product that’s right around the rim of the foundation bottle when you take the cover off is usually thicker than what’s in the bottle. Since it’s thicker, you can now use this as concealer – but be sure to do light layers at a time to avoid it looking cake-y.
- If you don’t wear eye shadow often — and for this reason you don’t see the point in investing in eye primer, your foundation comes out to play once more. When applying your foundation, simply remember to sweep your brush across your eyelids and then apply a light dusting of powder to your lids; the powder eye shadow will apply better and the colours will show more.
Do not keep your makeup in the bathroom or anywhere warm. If you do live in a warm climate, keep your products in a makeup bag in a cool, dark area. The heat will not only melt your lipsticks, but it will encourage the growth of bacteria in creamy or emollient products – I don’t have to explain why having bacteria growing in your foundation is problematic.
Thanks for reading!