11 unexpected uses for your favourite beauty products

Beauty product hacks that will help you save money


PHOTO: Ingimage

If you’re a woman who uses makeup, you’ll know how difficult it is to resist the allure of the beauty aisle. You can browse the counter intending to buy just a tube of mascara, only to emerge with a basket full of products you never even imagined you’d need: concealer for your eye bags, concealer for zits, cheek stain AND a blush in the same colour –  you get the picture.

Suffice to say, you’ve been scammed. While most beauty companies would you have believe that you need a utility belt of different products, we’re going to share how you can save money (and room in your drawer) by multitasking your collection.

For instance, did you know that lip balm can be used to stop the bleeding when you cut yourself shaving? You can thank us later – but first, read our full list of alternate uses for your favourite beauty products.

Use mascara as eye liner
Everyone knows that waterproof mascara is the stainless steel of beauty products. While most “long-lasting” eyeliners eventually smudge due to oily eyelids, mascara will stay on your lash line until you have to remove it. So if you’re ever short of eye liner, dab a little bit of your strongest mascara onto a liner brush (or a Q-tip, if you’re truly desperate) and apply away.

Use liquid eye liner for nail art
Nail art pens can be painfully expensive. If you’ve got colourful or shimmery liquid liners lying around, use them as a substitute (the small brush is perfect for applying designs). Wait until your nail polish is completely dry before drawing, and once done, seal it in with a strong top coat.

Use translucent blotting powder as dry shampoo
Everyone has those mornings where their hair looks like it’s been to hell and back. To keep the grease at bay without actually hopping into the shower, dust a little bit of translucent setting powder onto your roots to absorb the excess oil. Work it through your hair and you’ll end up with some volume as well.

Use mascara to disguise your roots
“BUT…IT’LL MAKE YOUR HAIR CLUMPY.” Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard those protests before, but that really depends on the formula of your mascara (for root disguising, we’d recommend a lengthening mascara over a volumising one). Swipe it through your hair as you would your eyelashes, taking care to not apply too much lest it end up looking greasy.

Use lip balm as an eyeshadow primer, a cuticle balm, and a “bandage” for shaving
Believe us, a tube of primer is well worth your money, but lip balm or Chapstick makes a pretty decent substitute. Like eyeshadow primer, lip balm prevents your makeup from creasing while making the colour look more vibrant. The only downside is that the colour might smudge if you have oily eyelids, so we’d recommend trying a few different lip balms in your collection to see which one works properly. And while we’re on the subject of lip balm, it also makes an excellent cuticle balm and a “bandage” for when you cut yourself shaving (rub some on the nick and it’ll stop bleeding almost immediately).

Use gel deodorant to prevent foot blisters
You can buy mini “gel bandages” at the drugstore to prevent blisters – or, you can save a few dollars by using a gel deodorant instead. Simply rub a little bit of it on your heels, toes, or wherever else you are prone to chafing and you’ll be comfortable for the rest of the day.

Use hand lotion to tame frizzy hair
Walk into any beauty aisle and you’ll be overwhelmed at the variety of hair products to choose from. And inevitably, you end up throwing out what you buy after a few months after deciding to experiment with something else. If you have relatively low-maintenance hair, you could cut down on hair products by using hand lotion (another product we never finish) to tame your frizz. And as a bonus, your hair will smell pleasantly floral or fruity. It’s perfect for when you need a quick touch-up on the go. Just don’t use too much, otherwise your hair’s going to look greasy.

Use toothpaste to clean your jewellery
We thought this was an old aunties’ tale…until we tried it. To give your silver jewellery a quick polish, apply a few dabs of regular white toothpaste on a cloth and gently rub the silver. You can even use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean the hard-to-reach areas. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse your jewellery in warm water and pat it dry. Voila! Just make sure avoid using gel toothpaste, as it won’t work, or whitening toothpaste as it might be too harsh.

Use a hair straightener to iron your clothes when you’re in a rush
For those who hate household chores, there’s nothing more annoying than ironing a shirt only for it to get wrinkled again in the closet. Instead of busting out the ironing board all over again, use a hair straightening iron to remove a few of those wrinkles before rushing to work in the morning. It might sound lazy, but it’s surprisingly effective for fixing a bent collar.

Use conditioner as shaving cream
Conditioner-as-shaving-cream is a pretty old trick, but apparently, it hasn’t quite caught on yet as we still know loads of girls who buy shaving cream to remove hair. Not only can conditioner act as a protective barrier for your skin, but it can give your legs a little burst of must-needed moisture. Keep this in mind the next time you need to save room in your toiletries bag while traveling.

BONUS: Use sensitive baby wipes to remove makeup
Some makeup wipes cost a dollar a pack; others cost an arm and a leg. But a jumbo pack of sensitive baby wipes cost next to nothing in the long run (it usually amounts to less than 10 cents a wipe, as opposed to 50 or more for actual makeup remover wipes). For the most part, they’re hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and best of all, economical. Sure, it might feel a little awkward to rub what’s meant for a baby’s bottom all over your face, but if it’s safe for sensitive baby skin, then it’s safe for you. 

Report a problem