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Top 11 Best Beauty Hacks and Tips

Top 11 Best Beauty Hacks and Tips

I originally published this post back in 2016, but thought it was time for a quick refresh! These are definitely still my best beauty hacks and tips, but I’ve updated the links and product recommendations. I’d love to know if you have favorite beauty tips as well!

best makeup tips and hacks

1. Color Correctors

If you have dark circles under your eyes, blemishes or something else you want to hide on your face, you shouldn’t be covering it up with a ton of foundation or concealer! Too much product will just get cakey.

Instead, you should use a color corrector first, and concealer over it. Here are more tips on using a color corrector. I also have a new post on using color corrector and concealer over age 40 and how I use both concealer and foundation to avoid caking.

My favorites:
Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer in Brightener, that one is a bit pink/peach
Giorgio Armani Master Corrector

2. Highlighter is Your Friend

Whether you call it highlighting or strobing, adding just a little something to catch the light, at the right spot, really can make me look more awake and just… better. The key is application and a light hand! Check out my 5 tips for strobing the right way, then pick up a highlighter!

My favorites:
L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator (at Amazon or ULTA): A little bit of this liquid highlighter goes a long way! It comes in 3 shades. You can apply it directly to your face or mix it into another product such as your moisturizer or foundation.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer (from BirchBox or Anthropologie): This is apparently Gisele’s favorite highlighter. I have a jar of this, and it lasts forever! It’s solid, and you just need to tap your finger in it to get just the right amount. I apply to my inner eye, cupid’s bow and cheekbone for just the right amount of light catching shimmer.

3. Layer Your Mascara

I’m usually all about using a primer, but somehow I am not as much of a fan when it comes to priming my lashes. I’ve tried a lot of primers and some of them work well, but they’re always white and that bothers me.

Instead, I get great results by using 2 different mascaras! I’ve found that the second mascara is the most important, and really it’s the brush that’s the most important factor for me. I pick one with a plastic brush, especially with longer bristles that can help to pull apart any clumps from the first layer of mascara.

You can learn more about how I layer 2 mascaras for longer, fuller lashes and which mascaras work best for layering.

My favorites:
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Mascara (from Amazon): The bristles on this brush are actually 2 different combs that come together in a V shape. They’re great for pulling apart any clumps!
NARS Audacious Mascara (at Sephora or NARS): I love the long bristles on this brush.
Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara (at Sephora or Bobbi Brown): This one is the best at grabbing every last lash, I swear!

Hair styling tips and hacks

4. You Need More Mousse

My hair is fine but dense. Meaning, each of my hairs is individually very thin, but I have a lot of them, and they are silky and don’t like to obey my every command. Especially when that involves curling!

In an interview, a celeb makeup artist told me that mousse is the secret to creating a “foundation”, and that most of us don’t use anywhere near enough. Anyone’s hair can curl with enough mousse! She recommended at least a big, overflowing handful.

And you know what?

She’s right! I use a volumizing mousse to help combat flatness (that much hair weighs itself down), but without putting mousse in my hair after I wash it, I don’t have a chance at curling it.

My favorites:
Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse (at Neiman Marcus or Amazon)
Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse (from Sephora or Amazon)
TRESémme Thermal Creations Volumising Mousse (from Amazon)

5. Layer Your Hair Spray

My second tip for getting anyone’s hair to curl, and keeping that curl in your hair for a few days, is to layer your hair spray.

I lightly mist my hair with hair spray and then brush it, section by section, immediately before curling. When I remove my hair from the curling iron or wand, I hold the curl briefly in my hand to let it cool slightly. Once I’ve curled a couple of curls, I lightly mist the hair a second time with hair spray. I’ve found that my results look the best when the hair spray is flexible and touchable.

My favorites:
TRESémme Flexible Finish Hairspray (from Amazon)
Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray (from Sephora or Amazon)
Oribe Superfine Hairspray (from Neiman Marcus)
Kérastase Laque Dentelle (from Kérastase)

6. Use Dry Shampoo at Night

I think we all know that spraying a little dry shampoo at your roots can mean skipping a day for washing your hair. But if you use too much dry shampoo, or don’t distribute it evenly in your hair, you might had white powdery residue all over your hair.

One way that I’ve found to avoid the white cast from dry shampoo is to actually spray the dry shampoo in my hair before bed instead of in the morning. This gives it all night to absorb any excess oil, and when you wake up in the am there’s no powder!

My favorites:
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo (at Sephora)
Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo (at Nordstrom)
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle Oil Control (at Sephora)

7. Pile Up Your Hair At Night

If you’re planning to skip washing your hair in the morning, you can pile your hair up into a top knot before going to bed. When you wake up, gently remove the top knot. You’ll have amazing volume, often a little wave, and you can simply comb out any tangles and go!

When I put my hair up at night, I first spray with a little dry shampoo if I think I’ll need it (I will usually do this if the next day will be day 3 or 4 hair), then I section my hair into 2, the first is from my ears up to the crown of my head and then the below area. I gently twist my hair around itself, creating a little bun. Depending on the hair, you can secure it with a few bobby pins, a hair tie (I like the Invisibobble to prevent creases) or my personal favorite, a big ugly bun clip. I put in 2 buns, 1 right behind the other. Since I’m a side sleeper they don’t get in my way at all.

Note that while I use dry shampoo before putting up my bun, and I have on occasion used a little smoothing hair oil or something in my hair right before I twist it up, I don’t recommend wetting your hair at all before doing this. Just twisting it up dry will add some nice wave/curl (and it will protect any curls you’ve put in there with styling), and will help train your roots to go upwards and have more volume. I’ve tried spritzing my hair with various amounts of water, just at the roots, just on the ends, etc. It always ends up looking crazy. Various parts of my hair will stick straight up too much, or the twisting will add very strange and uneven bends… Do not wet your hair before doing this!

My favorites:
Invisibobble The Traceless Hair Ring (at Sephora or ULTA)
Scunci No-Slip Grip Octopus Clip (at Amazon)

Skin care tips

8. If Your skin is Dry, Reach For Oil

As much as I like to stay consistent with using treatment products in my skincare routine nightly, I also like to pay attention to the status of my skin.

I definitely have some “drier” nights, and rather than adjusting my routine by swapping out my night cream (which is expensive and might mean different active ingredients that I’m not getting the full benefit of because I’m not using them nightly), I just add in an extra 30 second step. I use a few drops of a super hydrating face oil! I apply over my treatment serums and creams, and follow it up with my night cream.

The result is hydrated, glowy skin in the morning! I refuse to travel without it, flying on a plane sucks a ton of moisture out of my skin.

My favorites:
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (get it at Nordstrom or Kiehl’s)
L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil (at Amazon)

9. Use Your Retinoid Correctly

While retinoids are really the “go-to” anti-aging skincare ingredient, many people are afraid of them or are using theirs incorrectly. Check out my post on how to use your retinoid correctly, and add one to your routine! If you’re pregnant, you’ll need to wait until after delivery.

My favorites:
RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream (at Amazon)
Philosophy Help Me (from Nordstrom or Sephora)

Mani-Pedi hacks

10. Cuticle Remover for EVERYTHING

I rarely go in to a salon for a manicure or pedicure. As relaxing as it is to have a professional do that for you, I can do it faster at home, and I have a ton of nail polish that I should be using! My secret for a fast and easy mani/pedi at home is a great cuticle remover. I like to slather it all over my nails, push back excess cuticles with my thumbnail and run my fingernail over the skin to remove any excess. I also put it all over my feet and scrub away calluses in just a minute or two!

My favorites:
Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover (at Amazon): There’s really only 1 cuticle remover that I love, and luckily it is a steal!

11. Pedicure Clean Up In The Shower

I have a pretty steady hand when it comes to manicures and rarely need to clean up any polish mistakes. Somehow that’s a whole different story when it comes to my feet! Bending over seems to really change my hand-eye coordination. I definitely get polish on my skin!

So, I do a pedicure at night, and the next morning in the shower I clean up the mistakes. Wait until the end of your shower, you’ll be able to rub any polish off of your skin just using your thumbnail.

My favorites:
Morgan Taylor Nail Polish Lacquer (at Amazon)
Essie Nail Polish (at Amazon)


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