Beauty Hacks (Tried & Tested)

So there are a number of hacks that beauty bloggers, YouTubers and make up artists have developed to make your life easier, save you money or fix an issue you might have in terms of beauty. All of these hacks are ones I have tried myself and I have found work for me - hopefully they work for you too!

1. Cleaning your make up brushes and sponges with baby shampoo
   - You can purchase special brush and sponge cleansers from a number of brands - for example, the brand Beauty Blender sell a special 'Beauty Blender Liquid Cleanser 150ml' for £15.00. I've tried this and personally, didn't like it. The scent of it was horrible and it lingered on the sponges afterwards and I can't say it worked any better than good old baby shampoo. I buy Boots Baby Shampoo 500ml for £1.29 and I use it every few weeks to deep clean my brushes and sponges. I squeeze a small amount of the shampoo into the palm of my hand and rub my brush around until it has absorbed all of the shampoo and then rinse it with warm water - I repeat this until the water runs clear and no more make up comes out. Then I leave the brushes to dry spread out on a face cloth. This is a fab hack, the baby shampoo lasts for months, is so affordable and cleans my brushes and sponges well! I do also spray my brushes and sponges with an antibacterial brush cleaner afterwards (I use the Make Up Revolution Spray that is £5.00).

2. Apply Mac Fix+ or a setting spray to your brush before applying eye shadow 
   - This is a popular beauty hack within the beauty community, especially on YouTube. This hack is great to use when you are applying a shimmery or metallic eye shadow. Using Mac Fix+ on the brush will make the colour much more vivid and the eye shadow much more metallic. It also makes it easier to apply as some shimmer eye shadows can be powdery, this turns them more into a creamy consistency. I also feel you don't have to use as much eye shadow to achieve a truly pigmented, metallic eye look.

3. Using tissue to blot oily skin
   - So again, you can either spend around £5 on special blotting papers or you can just use household tissue or toilet paper. If you find throughout the day that oils are creeping through your foundation, you can simply take a tissue, peel the tissue apart and dab it gently over the oily areas - be careful not to rub as you may disrupt the foundation. The tissue will soak up any oils and you can then reapply powder over the top and it's good as new! This hack is great if you are out for the day or don't have time to reapply your make up before going out in the evening.

4. Allow primer and moisturiser to properly sink in before applying 
    - This is more of a general make up tip than a hack, but it still applies. Allow your moisturiser and primer to sink into your skin before applying foundation will ensure that the product doesn't mix with your foundation and sheer it out or change the consistency (unless that is something you want to achieve, of course). Also, it will create a barrier between your skin and the foundation which won't be achieved if your foundation is mixing with the product. If your primer is glycerine based, it will most likely leave a tacky feel to the skin, which the foundation can grip onto to hold it in place all day. If your primer has not had time to get tacky, you won't be getting those benefits.

5. Exfoliate your legs before shaving - and use shaving gel! 
    - This might sound like a simple trick, but it does make all the difference! Exfoliating your legs before you shave will get rid of any dead skin cells and will allow for a closer shave. Using shaving gel creates a barrier between your skin and the razor and adds moisture to your legs at the same time. You are far less likely to cut yourself shaving or leave your legs feeling dry if you use a moisture rich shaving gel. A lot of people recommend using conditioner on your legs before shaving, which works in a similar way, but you can pick up shaving gel for under £2 which is usually cheaper than most conditioners! And it is designed for shaving so I would always choose shaving gel. Also, shaving gel works to ensure you get all of the hairs on your legs, if you are prone to missing patches, the shaving gel can work as a guide to show where you still need to shave. It's also important to apply a moisturiser or aloe vera gel after shaving to ensure maximum softness and smoothness! I would also recommend investing in a decent quality razor, instead of disposable razors. I am 6ft1, I have super long legs and it takes a long time to shave them so anything that makes that easier, I will do!

6. Spot conceal before apply foundation 
   - If you have acne prone skin or even if you just have the odd blemish, spot concealing before you apply your foundation can mean you don't need to use as much foundation and can therefore save you a ton of money! Especially if you use a full coverage concealer, you may be able to use a layer less of foundation or a sheer foundation on the rest of your skin, making it look more natural. This hack can also even out any texture or bumps and give the illusion you have perfect skin. There's nothing wrong with spot concealing after you've applied your foundation either, I just feel like applying the concealer before the foundation means that you don't have to worry about blending the concealer into the foundation as much and you don't need to worry about the shade being an exact match - you don't want to draw more attention to the blemish by the concealer being 5 shades darker or lighter than the foundation. I use the NYX Full Coverage Concealer Pot in the shade Porcelain to spot conceal on a daily basis.

7. Applying a translucent setting powder under your eyes to stop mascara transfer
     - This is one of my favourite beauty hacks ever, made famous by drag queens and YouTube beauty gurus - this is also known as 'baking'. After a few hours of wearing make up, I used to always find my mascara left black smudges under my eyes and lines underneath my eyebrows (I have quite long eyelashes naturally). After I tried applying a translucent setting powder under my eyes with a damp beauty sponge, this has never happened! I wouldn't call it baking, as I don't use a large amount of product, I use just enough to set my concealer underneath my eyes and catch any fall out from the eye shadow (this tip is also great for that - you can just brush away any fall out from your eye shadow without it smudging or leaving marks!).

8. Plait wet hair before going to bed 
   - Some people prefer to fully dry their hair before going to bed or even just washing it in the morning or during the day. I prefer to have a bath (almost) everyday and I tend to wash my hair every 2-3 days. I usually get out of the bath pretty late (around 1am most days!) and by that time, I really can't be bothered to dry it. So every time I wash my hair, I wrap it up in a towel and leave it for around 15 minutes before applying my hair oil, leave in conditioner and detangling spray and then I brush through my hair and plait it (in pigtails) before going to bed. This allows the product to sink into my hair and when I take out the plaits in the morning, my hair is has a nice wavy / curl and it tends to hold the scent of the products I use or the shampoo and hair mask. I've been doing this now for about a year, every single time I wash my hair and my hair has never been in better condition, it's so easy to do and makes it so easy to manage the next morning!

9. Allow foundation to properly set before applying a powder
   - Along the same lines as waiting for a primer and moisturiser to sink in, I've found it's important to allow your foundation to sink into your skin and set properly before applying a powder. I use a matte foundation (Revlon Colorstay) as my everyday foundation and it takes a little while to mattify and sink into my skin. I also use a colour powder to set the foundation to keep it matte all day and extend the longevity of the foundation. There two products together can sometimes look cakey but since I started waiting for the foundation to set and mattify, I don't have that problem anymore. So I think this hack is particularly important if you have oily skin, are using a full coverage foundation and a powder that adds some colour or coverage and if you are using matte products. The order I tend to apply my make up in is moisturiser, primer, foundation, concealer, set under eye area, eyebrows, eye shadow, powder, contour, bronzer, blush, eyeliner, mascara, highlighter and lip balm.

10. Use a nail hardener product to make your nails grow and to fix a broken nail
     - So if you saw my blog post on Cheap Beauty Products That Shocked Me you will already be familiar with this hack and the product I recommend for it. The Make Up Academy Nail Hardener (found in Poundland stores) is a great product for making your nails grow longer if they are prone to breaking off or snapping. It literally makes your nails solid and stops them from breaking even if you work with your hands on a daily basis. Also, if you do have a nail that breaks at the edge and you're not quite ready to part with that nail and rip the broken bit off, you can apply this product and it fixes the broken nail into place - this only works if it is a small break, like the corner of your nail is broken like in this picture, but it does work wonders!

If you have any other beauty hacks or have tried any of these before, let me know in the comments below!

Sarah (aka. Pale Princess) x