If you compared your cosmetics spending to that of beauty industry experts, you’d likely be shocked by how much less they spend. That’s because they know all the insider tips and tricks — like how to fix a product that you otherwise might have tossed in the trash, or how to incorporate regular household items into your beauty routine.
Check out these beauty hacks that will help you get the most out of your makeup, skin-care and hair-care products — and spend a little less in the process.
BAKING SODA SCRUB
Reveal your skin’s natural beauty with baking soda.
What you will need: Two words: baking soda.
How much it costs: Boxes of this kitchen staple cost about $1 at a local grocery store.
How much you save: At least $2, depending on the cost of the facial scrub you are replacing.
Print and TV makeup artist Alison Raffaele Tatem suggests giving skin a gentle scrub — with baking soda — to reveal the new skin underneath. “Turn any cleanser into a micro-exfoliating scrub by adding one to two teaspoons of baking soda,” she said. “Be sure to rinse well and moisturize afterward, as this treatment can be slightly drying.”
In the palm of your hand, blend the baking soda with a dollop of your cleanser, and then massage onto damp skin and rinse. Your skin will feel baby-soft, and the flakes will be gone.
ALUMINUM FOIL MASK
Aluminum foil is a staple in many life hacks, including personal care.
What you will need: One simple ingredient: aluminum foil.
How much it costs: The standard Reynold’s Wrap costs about $3.48 for a roll at Walmart, with store brands clocking in at even lower prices.
How much you save: Amazon sells a freezer facial mask — which works on the same principle as an aluminum foil mask — for $15.88. Savings will vary, depending on how often you use the product.
Sometimes your skin is in need of a refreshing face mask, but you don’t have one on hand or can’t score a free sample. New York-based makeup artist and brow master, Ramy Gafni, is the creator of Ramy Beauty Therapy and author of “How to Fake Real Beauty: Tricks of the Trade to Master Your Makeup.” He suggests using frozen aluminum foil as a firming face mask.
“Cut out eye and nose holes from a sheet of aluminum foil,” he said. “Place the sheet in the freezer and, once it’s frozen, press it onto your face for 10 minutes or so. The cold foil will tighter.
LACKLUSTER LASH TREATMENT
This DIY makeup option makes the most of mascara.
What you will need: A loose setting powder, like e.l.f. Studio High Definition Powder.
How much it costs: e.l.f.’s powder retails for $6 at Walgreens.
How much you save: This hack can make a mediocre mascara perform like an expensive department store brand. You’ll be saving at least $10 or more.
If you’re looking to give your lashes a lift, try this beauty tip from celebrity and fashion makeup artist Quinn Murphy: “If you want to add volume and thickness to your lashes, take a spoolie eyebrow brush and dip it in loose setting powder,” he said. “Then brush the powder through your lashes. Follow with mascara, and you will notice fuller, more dramatic lashes.
CONCEALER FOR A MATTE LIP
Cheap makeup hacks help products do double-duty.
What you will need: Just two things: A concealer that matches your skin tone, plus your favorite lipstick.
How much it costs: Depends on the brand, but drugstore concealers typically range from $5–$14.
How much you will save: You can save the cost of a matte lipstick, which can run anywhere from $5–$13 at a drugstore.
If you want a matte lip, don’t buy a new lipstick until you’ve tried this hack from makeup artist Pat McGrath. Dab some concealer on your lips, let it set a minute, and then apply your favorite lipstick. Not only will you save money on not having to purchase another lip color, but you’ll avoid the drying effect that many matte lipsticks can have.
RED LIP FIX
Natural makeup and skin-care solutions are often the best.
What you will need: A few teaspoons of raw cane sugar and honey are all that this hack calls for.
How much it costs: About $12 for 32 ounces of raw sugar and $12 for 24 ounces of honey on Amazon.
How much you save: Walgreens sells a sugar-based lip scrub for $9.99 for 0.42 ounces. The scrub described below will cost you pennies per ounce.
Sometimes you’re in the mood for a vibrant red lip, but if your lips aren’t in the best condition, red can look a bit ragged. Murphy offers the following makeup hack: “If you want to wear a red lip but have very chapped lips, put raw cane sugar into a pea-sized amount of honey. Massage into the lips in small circular motions and then wipe off. Apply a lip balm, and when your lips are moisturized, apply your red lipstick.”
CLEAN YOUR BLENDERS AND BRUSHES WITH DAWN DISH SOAP
You don’t need special cleaners for your makeup brushes.
What you will need: A bottle of Dawn; some water; and your makeup sponges, blenders and brushes will do the truck.
How much it costs: A 21.6 ounce bottle of Dawn goes for $2.79 at Walgreens.
How much you save: Ecotools brush cleaner is $5.99 for six ounces on Amazon, saving you about 87 cents per ounce.
Your precious blenders, brushes and liners perform better when you keep them clean. Although you could spend money on pricey brush and sponge cleaners, many — like beauty editor Chloe Metzger — swear by Dawn’s effectiveness. Just add a few drops to a bowl of water, then clean your brushes as usual and rinse them under the tap. For sponges and blenders, work a drop or two into the wet sponge, then allow the sponge to soak for 30 minutes in warm water. Rinse thoroughly after the soak.
REVIVE YOUR SKIN WITH A COFFEE SCRUB
Wake up and smell the coffee with this beauty boost.
What you will need: Ground coffee, oil — coconut and olive are both popular — and a jar with a lid. Depending on the recipe you use, you may also need coarse salt or sugar.
How much it costs: Depends on the ingredients that you use, but one recipe that includes coffee, coconut oil and raw sugar will cost $5.32 for about 8 ounces of scrub when made with ingredients purchased from Amazon. You should be able to buy a jar for less than a dollar if you don’t already have one that you can use.
How much you’ll save: The least expensive coffee scrubs sell for $10.99 for 8 ounces on Amazon. You’ll save half the cost when you make your own.
Coffee scrubs are all the rage these days: They smell great and exfoliate effectively. Plus, coffee grounds are biodegradable. There are dozens of recipes for coffee scrubs on Pinterest, and most incorporate three ingredients or less: coffee, oil and sometimes coarse sugar or salt. Find a recipe that you like and try it out.