As I previously mentioned in my article about the worst makeup products, I am in no way a beauty expert. My daily makeup bag is puny when compared to the arsenals of my friends.
While I’m not exactly equipped to hand out tutorials a la Michelle Phan, I have, over the years, stocked up my fair share of DIY tips and tricks derived from instances where I had no other choice. Sure, there were experiments that went a little haywire (i.e. stars glued beside my eyes with nail polish that burned an outline on my face), but, lucky for you, I’ve done the legwork to make sure you’re not the one with temporary blindness because you tried to remove makeup with an astringent. These tips and tricks are as simple as it gets.
Nail File Sharpener
Overuse of makeup pencils to the point where uneven, razor-sharp edges slash at your lower waterline is never a pleasant experience. I lost my sharpener some time ago and, instead of replacing it, I just carry on until my eyelid starts to bleed. If you have this problem too, you can always turn to a rougher-grade emery board. Use a nail file to soften the sides of a makeup pencil so it can be used without pain.
Banana Hair Mask
It doesn’t take a trip to the stylist to get hair as shiny as possible– just a trip to the kitchen. Mix one egg with a mashed up banana and apply it to your hair as a thick paste. Cover your hair entirely from root to tip and leave the paste on for ten to thirty minutes. Wash your hair as your normally do to get it all out, but only put conditioner at the very tips of your hair.
It seems whenever I’m in the mood to try something new, I don’t have any of proper tools at hand. If you want loose wavy curls, get yourself the cardboard from inside a roll of toilet paper. Wrap small pieces of slightly damp hair around the makeshift roller (not too tight!) and secure the wrapped hair to the roots. Slide the roller out so you can continuously reuse it all over your head. Once all your curls are secure blow dry them until dry then release the pins.
I know, I know, it’s all about sock buns right now. But why ruin a good pair of socks when you can instead finally get some use out of those leg warmers you bought a few years ago (Don’t be embarrassed, we all bought them)? Using a legwarmer instead actually cuts down on the DIY steps as there are already holes in each end for hair to be fed through. Plus the fabric is thicker which leads to a fuller, rounder bun.
Toilet Paper Mask
Going to the spa for facials can be so costly and getting the stuff to make your own is simple. This tip comes straight from Michelle Phan herself. She recommends going to any Asian market and asking for a bottle of Skin Lotion, a concoction that combines water, olive oil and collagen, and soaking tissues in the liquid to apply as a face mask you can put on and peel off every night. The result? Silky smooth skin.
I go through phases where I don’t wear any nail polish for weeks. I feel liberated and natural, but quickly turn pissy when I realize that my polish has become hardened or gummy. To revitalize the polish, place it in a pan with an inch of water and boil it. Clumps will break up and the consistency of the polish will return to normal. To keep your polish glossy during periods of bare nails, just store it in the fridge.
Looking for a natural glow to your skin? Piling on makeup is the exact opposite way to go. Take a lesson from those yoga classes you keep promising to take (next week, I swear!) and bend over at the waist and count to thirty. Blood will rush to your head and result in a rosy flush that will have people thinking you’re keeping a scandalous secret.
Bianca Teixeira writes about style for Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter at @BeeLauraTee.