Beauty Hacks


In one of my beautube marathon sessions, I discovered the hairspray makeup hack for brows. I’m sorry I can’t remember who the beautuber was (credit to whoever thought of this genius idea).

The hack:

If you run out of brow mascara, groom your brows with a hairspray by spraying the latter to a spoolie brush and combing the brows.

Bench Fix Professional Clay Doh Hair Molding Clay
Bench Fix Professional Clay Doh Hair Molding Clay

I didn’t own hairspray at the time (I still don’t), but I remembered that I owned a mini-tub of hair wax that I haven’t been using since I stopped caring for baby hairs that keep sticking out from my head.

If hairspray could work for eyebrows, hair wax might work, too.

It was a little bit tricky during my first few tries. I had to figure out the right amount of product to use. If I don’t put enough, my eyebrow hairs will not hold. If I put too much, there will be white lard-looking residue clinging on individual hair strands.

I went to a wedding
Hack in action. This is a photo of me coming home from a wedding. I was too lazy to trim my brows so I used hair wax to keep my brow hairs in place. It held well for 4 hours. (Anyway, see the baby hairs?! I think I should use the hair wax again.)

The best thing about hair wax is that it looks like there’s nothing on the brows. My brows are already dense and tinted brow mascaras usually look off with my black hair. I also like that the hair wax doesn’t look wet (as most clear brow mascaras do) and doesn’t make my brows “crunchy”.

I either put the wax on the spoolie or directly on the brow hairs and comb my brows ’til the white lardish looking wax disappears.

This trick is perfect for people with dense unruly brows who usually go for the no makeup makeup look. This, plus a little bit of brow powder for definition is a must-try.

Sponge-tip Applicators.  I have come to accept that my lips are not anatomically suited for shiny goop. Even basic lipbalm looks like drool on my lips. It doesn’t matter whether I put the gloss all over or just in the middle.

I have a few shiny lip stuff in my stash and I make them more forgivable on me by smacking a paper towel between my lips and recently, by this new trick I learned from Allure Magazine: Don’t Throw Out Your Sponge-Tip Applicators Just Yet.

The sponge takes away the shininess and suede-ifies the lipstick. I also used the sponge-tip applicator to blur out the lip line. I’m not so much a fan of sharp-edged lips (on myself). The sponge does a better job than a lip brush in blurring out the perimeters.
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Franken Lips.  I was not supposed to buy another tube of lipstick but my 30th birthday is coming up and I thought that a classic matte red lipstick is in order. I bought Mac Ruby Woo and I love it but sometimes it can be overwhelming on the face. It’s a really bright red so I tame it down a little by blending in a tiny bit of Wet n’ Wild 919B – Vamp It Up. The color turned out to be something I like better than Ruby Woo. Maybe it could pass off as Guerlain G L’Extrait in Orgueil? I haven’t worn Orgueil yet but here’s a beautiful FOTD by Carina wearing it. It looks very very similar to the color I ended up with.
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Maybelline Bold Matte.  I got curious when I knew about Maybelline’s latest addition to their Color Sensational line: Bold Matte. As I said, I like matte lipsticks. I thought maybe they could have dupes for some of Mac’s bright-colored matte lipsticks like Candy Yum-yum or Quick Sizzle.

Thank goodness testers were available coz these babies aren’t matte. As soon as I swatched each of them, they kind of melted and ended up with a sheen to them. Sheen  = Not Matte. If you’re looking for a good drugstore matte lipstick, try Wet ‘n Wild Megalast.

I was also disappointed by how sheer the colors were. In the swatches above, you can see my skin showing through.

Since I didn’t buy them and I didn’t try them on my lips, here’s a review from someone who did: Don’t Buy Those Color Sensational Bold Matte Lipsticks.

I’ve been doing this for a few years already and I can’t believe I only thought of sharing it now.

The idea came when I was trying to go through medicines and skin care products to weed out expired items. Then I found out that some products, instead of having an expiry date on them, had a period-after-opening-symbol printed on the label.

I had no way of knowing if the after-opening period had already lapsed — for sure that would come before expiration date.

Since then, I always keep a permanent marker ready so I can write the month and year when I first opened or used a product.

Tip: I write the date at the bottom of the bottle so that it is less likely to fade over time.

After doing the lip balm sugar lip scrub experiment, I decided to do the same with a stick type balm but it didn’t turn out as good as when I used the gel type.

So I googled for ‘lip balm alternative uses’ and found out that people put lip balm all over their faces during winter to prevent windburn. We don’t have winter here, but it gave me the idea of using lip balm on my elbows and cuticles.

If it works for chapped lips and for preventing windburn, it must be a good moisturizer-slash-protectant.

For this experiment, I used Alba Bontanica Terra Tints in Bloom.

Re-purposing Series: Lipbalm for Moisturizing Elbows
Alba Botanica TerraTints in Bloom

It has a sheer pink tint that I like–just the right color I need in times when my lips are extra pale and I’m not in the mood for putting a strong color on my lips.

Re-purposing Series: Lipbalm for Moisturizing Elbows
I would’ve preferred using a non-tinted one for this coz I thought my elbows might turn pink, but that was easily solved by applying only a very thin film.Here’s the result:

Re-purposing Series: Lipbalm for Moisturizing Elbows
On the top left photo, you can see that part of my elbow is dry. Lip balm worked very much like how petroleum jelly would (check the top right photo: flakes gone).

I also tried using it to condition my cuticles after removing my nail polish with acetone. Too bad I wasn’t able to take a before photo (please excuse the red nail polish left on my pinkie finger).

Lip balm works on toes too. My toes have a tendency to get those dry white patches that look unsightly when wearing flip flops. Swiping a little bit of lip balm on those areas does the trick.

Experiment Notes/ Tips:

1. The standard lipbalm stick packaging is perfect. It’s portable and easy to apply with.
2. Choose a lipbalm that you’re sure you’re not going to use on your face anymore.
3. Apply just a really tiny film. Applying too much will feel very greasy, and you might spread the grease everywhere (e.g., when you prop your elbow up on a table).
4. If possible, sanitize the lipbalm everyday. I wipe off the top part with a cotton pad sprayed with alcohol.

Do you have any other lipbalm re-purposing ideas? Please share them down below :)

Of the 5 lipbalms I own, excluding the Revlon balm stains, I can remember buying only one of them.

I am pretty sure the other 4 were given to me. I guess lip balms are the coffee mugs of cosmetics.

I saw Michelle of Lab Muffin do this (click her link) and thought of trying it out on a Nivea Pinkish Boost Lipbalm.

I’ve only used this lip balm twice. It tastes somewhat like soap which is what I like about it because I don’t end up eating it. Most other lip balms taste like food and I tend to lick them off my lips.

I suppose I’m just not a lip balm person. I never got to use the nivea and all my other lip balms, as much.

Here’s my lip balm scrub experiment:

Re-purposing Series: The Lipbalm Scrub Experiment

Aside from my toothbrush, I’ve never used any other lip exfoliator before, and I wouldn’t know which other product to compare this with.

But against a toothbrush, I like the lip balm scrub better.

A toothbrush can be harsh, and with toothpaste, it can sometimes dry out my lips.

This works great. The balm softens the skin making it easier for the sugar bits to slough off dead skin cells.

After scrubbing, I wash off the sugar, but keep the residual balm on my lips for added ‘conditioning.’

Quick Tips:
I used enough lip balm to dissolve the amount of sugar I used. If you put too little lip balm or too much sugar, the latter would just fall off your finger.

Leave the concoction (?) on the lips for around a minute before scrubbing to make the skin more ‘sloughable’. And as recommended by Michelle, use circular motions.

If you decide to try this, let me know how it went. :)