10 Beauty Cheats Every Girl Should Know

Animal print makeup pouch with assorted makeup products spilling out on a marble counter

1. Mascara wands make the best eyebrow brushes. When its time to toss your favorite tube of mascara, save the wand. Wash it clean with soap and water and, voila, free brow spoolie! (Tip: ideally, you should replace your mascara every 3 months to protect your eyes from bacteria; see: When In Doubt, Toss It Out.)

2. Turn any eyeshadow into a long-lasting eyeliner with a drop of saline solution. I learned this trick years ago from Carmindy on What Not to Wear. Wet an eyeliner brush with a drop or two of saline solution (the same stuff you use to clean your contact lenses) then dip the brush into a powder eyeshadow and apply it like liquid liner. When it dries, it’s sweat and smudge proof and lasts all day. I love using this trick with purple, green and teal shadows for a night out.

3. Clean stained fingernails with a whitening toothpaste. Even with a base coat, dark and bright nail polishes may leave behind yellow stains after you take them off. Give your nails a good scrub with a nail brush and a whitening toothpaste to remove them. (For a cleaner removal of dark polishes, use a cotton swab to apply a thick hand cream around your cuticles and fingertips before you go in with nail polish remover; it will help it all come off in one clean swipe without staining your skin and cuticles!)

4. Beat dry, peeling lips overnight with Aquaphor. I’m terrible at properly hydrating throughout the day, so my lips are always in need of TLC. When they’re really chapped and flakey, I cover them with a generous dab of Aquaphor right before bed. It works its magic overnight, and I remove it with a warm wet wash cloth in the morning; all of the dead skin wipes right off with it, and my lips are left soft and hydrated with minimum effort. (And you can get a big tube on Amazon for $7.)

5. Out of eye makeup remover? Coconut oil works in a pinch. Bonus: it’s all natural and really moisturizing for the delicate skin around your eyes!

6. Freshen up unwashed hair with cornstarch. Cheaper and greener than dry shampoo, corn starch helps absorb oil and odor from your scalp. Sprinkle a tiny amount on your roots (you can always add more if you need to) then brush it through with a boar bristle brush until it’s completely gone.

7. Cure nail fungus with tea tree and olive oil.  I picked up a nail fungus in a salon a couple of years ago, and had the hardest time getting rid of it for good. It started out looking like a tiny bruise under the nail and later the nail started to lift from the bed. Yikes! I tried over-the-counter treatments, but it kept coming back. Then I discovered the tea tree oil trick, and I haven’t had a problem since. Every night, I applied straight tea tree oil to my fingers and toes, rubbing it in to the cuticles and getting it under the infected nails. Tea tree oil can be really drying, so I followed it up with a little organic olive oil. I did this nightly until the fungus disappeared, and I continue to do it several times a week to keep my nails and cuticles healthy. These days, I love a home mani/pedi; check out my tips for making a DIY manicure last more than a week.

8. Dry nail polish in a snap with ice water. Since I started using Essie’s Good to Go and Seche Vite quick-dry topcoat, I haven’t had to use this trick, but it’s a good one: fill a bowl with ice water, then carefully dip your drying nails in for about a minute. If they’re still tacky, dunk them again.

9. Clean makeup brushes with castile soap. You could spend $14 on a 6.75 oz bottle of brush shampoo from Sephora, or you could spend $16 on a 32 oz. bottle of multi-tasking Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap. This natural and vegan mild cleanser removes every trace of makeup from synthetic brushes, even dissolving long wear foundation and concealers. I’ve also used Dr. Bronner’s to wash my face and soak in the tub, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of its “18-in-1” power.

10. Grab a stack of napkins on your next Starbucks trip. This one is weird, but true. The coffee powerhouse’s unbleached recycled napkins make excellent blotting papers. So when you stop in for your latte fix (or shaken peach iced green tea) grab a few extra napkins and stash them in your purse for a quick skin touch-up on the go!

. . .

This post originally appeared on the blog on 7/22/13 and is one of the most viewed posts in the archives; I thought it deserved a revival. 

What Do You Think?

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  1. Great article, love your full article especially and like your all suggestions that how to remove eye makeup with the use of oil… Really a great article.

    Love your article waiting for your next post.

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful ideas in front of us

    Posted 2.13.19 Reply
  2. Jenny wrote:

    Lovely tips. So sorry to hear that you picked up a fungus from a salon. Eek! Tea tree oil is some good (and powerful) stuff–not surprised that it wiped out your problem. Love your blog–one of my fave posts.

    Posted 1.27.19 Reply
  3. Fabulous tips! I use Aquaphor for my lips, cuticles and feet!

    Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  4. Some old (to me) some new (to me). Thanks!

    Posted 7.10.17 Reply
  5. myliron wrote:

    Fabulous and awesome post!
    I now have news tricks to tryout!

    Posted 6.30.17 Reply
  6. jess wrote:

    thanks for the tips!

    Posted 3.6.15 Reply
  7. miafshaw wrote:

    Reblogged this on miafshaw and commented:
    1, 5. & 9 work for me,

    Posted 12.25.14 Reply
  8. Reblogged this on Deenaelkhattam and commented:

    Posted 10.28.14 Reply
  9. muslimah wrote:

    Reblogged this on Diary of a Revert Muslimah and commented:
    good to know

    Posted 10.23.14 Reply
  10. Akilah wrote:

    Hello to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit
    of this weblog; this webpage carries amazing and really excellent information for

    Posted 8.23.14 Reply
  11. Only certain elements create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.

    We liked their default choice as well as a few other types.
    If you do it too often you will end up irritating the skin and causing inflammation to
    the pimples (a big no no).

    Posted 8.19.14 Reply
  12. Hi Keira,

    I really liked this post of yours! I myself do #8, especially since the weather is so humid in Singapore and nail polish takes forever to dry!

    I shared your entry as one of the blog entries in my own blog, Laced Ivory, and you’ll find it here: http://www.lacedivory.com/blog/2014/08/06/link-love-hosting-perfect-cosy-get-together/

    I hope it’s OK with you. Have a great day!


    Posted 8.14.14 Reply
  13. These tips are all so great!

    Posted 8.6.14 Reply
  14. qthedeal wrote:

    Reblogged this on Q The Deal and commented:
    Loving these awesome beauty tips that won’t break the bank!

    Posted 7.16.14 Reply
  15. Really…? The Starbucks napkin? That’s sweet to my ears. This is a really beautiful blog & thanks for sharing these wonderful tips. :D

    Posted 6.6.14 Reply
  16. dfuentes wrote:

    Great tips, thanks for sharing :)

    Posted 6.1.14 Reply
  17. Sarah wrote:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Awesome tips!Some I knew, but a few great new ones to add :)

    Posted 5.27.14 Reply
  18. scentrelle wrote:

    Thanks. I love these tips! Especially the chapped lipped one, great in time for winter :-)

    Posted 5.22.14 Reply
  19. Among the sea of Ford, Dodge and Chevy rigs, I managed to
    flag-down my cousin in his GMC. Completing storyline missions will give him the largest faction boost.
    It entails building a base, then protecting it, lastly, attack others after
    training your troops.

    Posted 4.19.14 Reply
  20. Reblogged this on Highland Femme.

    Posted 4.17.14 Reply
  21. simple easy tips for big beauty …. thanx

    Posted 4.4.14 Reply
  22. just realised I was in Starbucks yesterday and didn’t take the napkins- damn! Very useful article though – thanks!

    Posted 2.25.14 Reply
  23. Never tought of the contact clenaser trick. Thank you!

    Posted 2.18.14 Reply
  24. I never knew you could use olive oil as a eye makeup remover. I have a friend who has extremely sensitive skin and she can only use vaseline as a makeup remover, apparently it works wonders. Great post!

    Posted 2.17.14 Reply
  25. The SHAAK wrote:

    Ahhh! Starbucks napkins will become my new SOS product!
    And thanks for the contact lens cleaner tip! Brilliant!

    Posted 2.17.14 Reply
  26. wow! I had no idea about the Starbucks napkin tip. Thanks, I’ll try it!

    Posted 2.10.14 Reply
  27. Reblogged this on Heathers Treasure and commented:
    I just found a new favorite beauty/lifestyle/DYI/Everything in one, kind of blog!
    When I find something I love, I love to share it!
    Make sure you check out ” A Pretty Penny blog” =)
    Here’s a list of “10 Beauty Cheats every girl should know” that she compiled together! (I completely agree with her on Dr. Bronners!- I even featured Dr. Bronners in my “DYI Magic Body Scrub” post!)
    Hope everyones weekend is going well! Stay Beautiful <3
    Heather Lynn

    Posted 2.8.14 Reply
  28. jaceolive wrote:

    Love these tips! I can’t wait to try using starbucks’ tissue napkins as blotting paper! The ice water tip looks great as well, thanks for posting these!


    Posted 1.25.14 Reply
  29. Maria M wrote:

    Great tips, my husband has picked up a nail fungus and like you the over the counter treatments are taking forever to work, will try your suggestion. Thank you.

    Posted 10.20.13 Reply
  30. girlseule wrote:

    Great list! I use the olive oil eye makeup remover all the time it’s the best.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  31. raeesanaik wrote:

    This is so clever :) Will use these tips in future! – http://www.queenbeetheblog.wordpress.com

    Posted 8.20.13 Reply
  32. Great tips :-)

    Posted 8.16.13 Reply
  33. Thanks for the great tips, Keira. This is so helpful. Love it.


    Posted 8.12.13 Reply
  34. This is sooo cool. Thanks for the tips! Gotta use these someday!! hahaha.

    Posted 7.31.13 Reply
  35. reviewlou wrote:

    Reblogged this on Lou's Reviews.

    Posted 7.29.13 Reply
  36. nazcat wrote:

    Reblogged this on The Shoe Chateau and commented:
    Love these great beauty tips.

    Posted 7.29.13 Reply
  37. naz wrote:

    Love this :) I’m always looking for tips that I can try at home. Definitely going to try the toothpaste and olive oil for eye makeup remover. Also, never thought to wash my mascara brush and use it as a spoolie! Thanks for the tips – theshoechateau.net

    Posted 7.29.13 Reply
  38. I use shampoo to clean my brushes and it works great. This is especially good if you buy a new shampoo out to try and it doesn’t work for your hair type. Using it to clean your brushes means it doesn’t go to waste.

    Posted 7.29.13 Reply
  39. K wrote:

    Reblogged this on A Life Lived and commented:

    Posted 7.29.13 Reply
  40. Number 3 !! 👍

    Posted 7.26.13 Reply
  41. Reblogged this on thevelvetlounge and commented:
    simple tricks yet visibly beneficial

    Posted 7.26.13 Reply
  42. Reblogged this on charlinezeroual and commented:
    Great tips! Thanks!

    Posted 7.26.13 Reply
  43. UnicornKim wrote:

    These are awesome tips, and most of them were completely new to me! I’m definitely going to try the whitening toothpaste on my nails. Thank you:)

    Posted 7.25.13 Reply
  44. Posted 7.25.13 Reply
  45. roxnz wrote:

    Love the olive oil suggestion. However is vinegar any good for removing left over makeup dust from brushes ?

    Posted 7.24.13 Reply
  46. Reblogged this on thisismajor.

    Posted 7.24.13 Reply
  47. This is a great set of tips! I had no idea you can dry nail polish with ice water! That’s cool. I will definitely try that out next time I do my nails!

    Posted 7.24.13 Reply
    • Exactly! Me too. Apparently i have to wait for my next round. I just did my nails yesterday!!!

      Posted 7.31.13 Reply
  48. Mae wrote:

    Wow, tips I would actually use. Thanks a bunch.

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  49. fl0ricita wrote:

    awesome tips 1st and 8th r my fav thank you
    btw if u don’t mind can u check out mine ( http://fforfashionista.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/weird-beauty-tricks-that-really-work/#comments )

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  50. Brilliant post. Great must know knowledge x

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  51. GlamGal wrote:
    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  52. Awesome tips ! 1st tip is my favourite … I always use my clean old mascara wand to comb my eyebrows ! Thanks a lot for sharing :)

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  53. Carolina wrote:

    Great tips!! Thank you so much!! :) as for the tea tree for the fungi, how exactly do you do it? Is it like tea tree oil you can buy in stores?

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
    • Yes! You can find pure tea tree oil in most drugstores and health food stores. It usually comes in a small bottle. Just pour a little out onto your finger tip and rub it in like you would a cuticle oil. It’s naturally antibacterial and antiseptic.

      Posted 7.23.13 Reply
      • Carolina wrote:

        Got it! Thank you so much for the help! :D

        Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  54. Awesome tips, thanx for sharing :)

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  55. marimarte wrote:

    Thanks for these great tips! The eyeshadow as eyeliner is my favorite. Now I know what to do with all the extra eyeshadows I don’t know how to properly use!

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
    • Exactly! There are always some crazy colors in eye palettes that you aren’t sure what to do with, and this is a fun way to play with color :-)

      Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  56. Kristina wrote:

    Cornstarch! Wht a great tip.

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  57. canberly wrote:

    Awesome tips! I never thought about just cleaning the mascara spoolie. duh!

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  58. Evalyne wrote:

    Thanks for the tips. Will try out the ones i can…

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  59. One more: if you mix cheek blush with petroleum jelly then you will have an awesome lip gloss! Thanks, great article!

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  60. Reblogged this on missmoosemash's Blog.

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  61. Laura wrote:

    Awesome tips I know will come in handy! thanks!

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  62. manzees wrote:

    Reblogged this on Dancer,Dreamer and commented:
    This is so so clever! from: aprettypennyblog.com

    Posted 7.23.13 Reply
  63. Amanda G. wrote:

    This is like the holy grail of beauty tips! Thanks for sharing! I am going to definitely have to try the ice water for wet nails, I am always so impatient when it comes to waiting for my nails to dry.

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  64. Wow lots of awesome tips that I’ve never seen anywhere before! :) Thank you for sharing, I’m gonna try the eyeliner trick. But what’s Aquaphor? I have dry lips too and it prevents me from putting on lipstick as it just peels my lips even more. :(

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  65. Sarah K wrote:

    What great tips!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  66. lizlittle wrote:

    Love the eye-liner trick! Thanks!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  67. mpesca3115 wrote:

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  68. These are great! Love the olive oil tip, I usually end up using some eye cream if I get stuck. Next time I will try the oil!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  69. Reblogged this on Fabulous Poor Girl.

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  70. Seriously? I didm’t know any of these tips, they are so simple and handy! Thanks for the info girl!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  71. Valerie wrote:

    Great tips! If you don’t wear mascara, a baby toothbrush also works as a brow brush.

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  72. Great little tips. Love the blotting paper idea. I hate Starbucks but I’ll pop in now for some napkins:)

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  73. rhiannon wrote:
    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  74. Excellent tips, thank you! I totally do the napkins one.


    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  75. Reblogged this on Lipstick Passport Pearls and commented:
    I love these beauty tips! Great post from http://aprettypennyblog.com I’ve never heard of using Starbucks napkins as blotting cloths, but now that I’m living in SouthEast Asia, this could be very useful!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  76. Athena R wrote:

    Great tips. I also have another one for free blotting paper…toilet seat liners. I grab a couple at work and cut them up to keep in my purse. They work great!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  77. awesome! I actually didn’t know a good number of them!
    marija from allthingslady

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  78. This is fantastic!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  79. I love Dr. Bronner’s but I’ve never thought to use it on my makeup brushes. Totally trying it next time they need a good scrubbin’!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  80. Melissa wrote:

    I keep the brown tissues in my draw, great for blotting! Great tips.

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  81. Love all 10 of your beauty cheats! A+

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
    • afitforfashion.com is my website!

      Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  82. Definitely going to try number 8, I’m too impatient to ever let my nails fully dry!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  83. I especially like the last one. Blotting papers are expensive! But they have been pretty essential during this crazy summer heat.


    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  84. This is awesome! I love the saline solution eyeshadow trick! Definitely going to use that one.

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  85. E. wrote:

    The contact solution for eyeshadow tip is life-changing! Thank you for sharing!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  86. Reblogged this on The Pretty Canary.

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  87. Very useful tips!! :)

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  88. Kelci wrote:

    Great TIPS! Eco-friendly, and saves you money. I LOVE to save money!
    Check me out! http://letthetopback.wordpress.com/

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  89. Great post! I’ll have to try a few of these tips for myself! Thanks!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  90. Very useful tips. Thank you.

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  91. I love the whitening toothpaste on the nails tip! Never heard that one before!
    Thank you for sharing,

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply
  92. This is great! Good to know :) Love the olive oil suggestion as a makeup remover!

    Posted 7.22.13 Reply