10 Cheap Beauty Hacks Everyone Should Know

Skin Care, 30s Skin Care, Skin Care Mistakes To Avoid, Tips For Better Skin

1. Mascara wands make the best eyebrow brushes.

When it’s time to toss your latest tube of mascara, save the wand. Wash it clean with soap and water and, voila, free brow spoolie. (Tip: use it to put a little lip balm in your brows as a flexible-hold brow gel!)

2. Turn any eyeshadow into a long-lasting eyeliner with a drop of saline solution.

I learned this trick decades ago from Carmindy, the resident makeup artist on the TLC classic 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 a liquid liner. When it dries, it’s sweat and smudge proof and lasts all day

3. Clean stained fingernails with a whitening toothpaste.

Even with a base coat, dark and bright polishes can stain your nails. Use an acetone polish remover, then give your nails a good scrub with a nail brush and whitening toothpaste to help minimize discoloration.

Another tip for removing dark polish: before you go in with acetone, use a cotton swab to apply a thick hand cream all around your cuticles and fingertips. This helps everything come off in one clean swipe, without staining your skin and cuticles!

4. Beat dry, peeling lips overnight with Aquaphor.

Cover chapped lips with a generous dab of Aquaphor right before bed. In the morning, remove it with a warm wet wash cloth and gently exfoliate. Lips are left soft and hydrated with minimum effort and cost. You can buy a big tube on Amazon for $9.

5. Out of eye makeup remover? A little coconut oil works in a pinch.

Gently massage a small amount onto lashes and lids to dissolve mascara, liner and eyeshadow. Then remove it with a warm wash cloth or cotton pad. Just be sure to rinse really well afterwards, because coconut oil is comedogenic and can cause breakouts.

This L’Oreal bi-phase remover is the best budget-friendly drugstore option I’ve found!

6. Freshen up unwashed hair with cornstarch.

Corn starch helps absorb oil and odor from your scalp, and is cheaper than dry shampoo. Sprinkle a tiny amount on your roots — you can always add more as needed — then brush it through with a boar bristle brush until it’s no longer visible.

7. Store a couple spoons + an eye cream in the fridge.

On the mornings after a night of too much sodium or alcohol — or during allergy season — this cooling combo will help you relax and de-puff. Gently tap the cold cream around your eyes with a ring finger. Then place the cold spoons under your eyes for 60 seconds. This will restrict the blood vessels to reduce puffiness, and soothe itchiness and inflammation. (Plus it just feels really nice!)

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.

For $24, you can get an 8 oz bottle of brush cleaner from Sephora. But for a few dollars less, a 32 oz. bottle of unscented multi-tasking Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap will do the same job for much more value. This natural and vegan mild cleanser removes every trace of makeup from synthetic brushes, even dissolving long wear foundation and concealers.

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 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 2013 and is one of the most viewed posts in the archives; I thought it deserved a revival with some updates. 

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  1. 1.17.23
    ROMYTISA said:

    These are truly helpful 10 tips! Thank you!!!

  2. 2.13.19

    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

  3. 1.27.19
    Jenny said:

    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.

  4. 1.22.19

    Fabulous tips! I use Aquaphor for my lips, cuticles and feet!

  5. 7.10.17

    Some old (to me) some new (to me). Thanks!

  6. 6.30.17
    myliron said:

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

  7. 3.6.15
    jess said:

    thanks for the tips!

  8. 12.25.14
    miafshaw said:

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

  9. 10.28.14

    Reblogged this on Deenaelkhattam and commented:

  10. 10.23.14
    muslimah said:

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

  11. 8.23.14
    Akilah said:

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

  12. 8.19.14

    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).

  13. 8.14.14

    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!


  14. 8.6.14

    These tips are all so great!

  15. 7.16.14
    qthedeal said:

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

  16. 6.6.14

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

  17. 6.1.14
    dfuentes said:

    Great tips, thanks for sharing :)

  18. 5.27.14
    Sarah said:

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

  19. 5.22.14

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

  20. 4.19.14

    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.

  21. 4.17.14

    Reblogged this on Highland Femme.

  22. 4.4.14

    simple easy tips for big beauty …. thanx

  23. 2.25.14

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

  24. 2.18.14

    Never tought of the contact clenaser trick. Thank you!

  25. 2.17.14

    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!

  26. 2.17.14
    The SHAAK said:

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

  27. 2.10.14

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

  28. 2.8.14

    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

  29. 1.25.14
    jaceolive said:

    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!


  30. 10.20.13
    Maria M said:

    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.

  31. 9.15.13
    girlseule said:

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

  32. 8.20.13

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

  33. 8.16.13

    Great tips :-)

  34. 8.12.13

    Thanks for the great tips, Keira. This is so helpful. Love it.


  35. 7.31.13

    This is sooo cool. Thanks for the tips! Gotta use these someday!! hahaha.

  36. 7.29.13
    reviewlou said:

    Reblogged this on Lou's Reviews.

  37. 7.29.13
    nazcat said:

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

  38. 7.29.13
    naz said:

    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

  39. 7.29.13

    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.

  40. 7.29.13
    K said:

    Reblogged this on A Life Lived and commented:

  41. 7.26.13

    Number 3 !! 👍

  42. 7.26.13

    Reblogged this on thevelvetlounge and commented:
    simple tricks yet visibly beneficial

  43. 7.26.13

    Reblogged this on charlinezeroual and commented:
    Great tips! Thanks!

  44. 7.25.13

    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:)

  45. 7.24.13
    roxnz said:

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

  46. 7.24.13

    Reblogged this on thisismajor.

  47. 7.24.13

    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!

    • 7.31.13

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

  48. 7.23.13
    Mae said:

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

  49. 7.23.13
    fl0ricita said:

    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 )

  50. 7.23.13

    Brilliant post. Great must know knowledge x

  51. 7.23.13
    GlamGal said:
  52. 7.23.13

    Awesome tips ! 1st tip is my favourite … I always use my clean old mascara wand to comb my eyebrows ! Thanks a lot for sharing :)

  53. 7.23.13
    Carolina said:

    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?

    • 7.23.13

      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.

      • 7.23.13
        Carolina said:

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

  54. 7.23.13

    Awesome tips, thanx for sharing :)

  55. 7.23.13
    marimarte said:

    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!

    • 7.23.13

      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 :-)

  56. 7.23.13
    Kristina said:

    Cornstarch! Wht a great tip.

  57. 7.23.13
    canberly said:

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

  58. 7.23.13
    Evalyne said:

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

  59. 7.23.13

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

  60. 7.23.13

    Reblogged this on missmoosemash's Blog.

  61. 7.23.13
    Laura said:

    Awesome tips I know will come in handy! thanks!

  62. 7.23.13
    manzees said:

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

  63. 7.22.13
    Amanda G. said:

    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.

  64. 7.22.13

    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. :(

  65. 7.22.13
    Sarah K said:

    What great tips!

  66. 7.22.13
    lizlittle said:

    Love the eye-liner trick! Thanks!

  67. 7.22.13

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  68. 7.22.13

    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!

  69. 7.22.13

    Reblogged this on Fabulous Poor Girl.

  70. 7.22.13

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

  71. 7.22.13
    Valerie said:

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

  72. 7.22.13

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

  73. 7.22.13

    Excellent tips, thank you! I totally do the napkins one.


  74. 7.22.13

    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!

  75. 7.22.13
    Athena R said:

    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!

  76. 7.22.13

    awesome! I actually didn’t know a good number of them!
    marija from allthingslady

  77. 7.22.13

    This is fantastic!

  78. 7.22.13

    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’!

  79. 7.22.13
    Melissa said:

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

  80. 7.22.13

    Love all 10 of your beauty cheats! A+

  81. 7.22.13

    Definitely going to try number 8, I’m too impatient to ever let my nails fully dry!

  82. 7.22.13

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


  83. 7.22.13

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

  84. 7.22.13
    E. said:

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

  85. 7.22.13

    Reblogged this on The Pretty Canary.

  86. 7.22.13

    Very useful tips!! :)

  87. 7.22.13
    Kelci said:

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

  88. 7.22.13

    Great post! I’ll have to try a few of these tips for myself! Thanks!

  89. 7.22.13

    Very useful tips. Thank you.

  90. 7.22.13

    I love the whitening toothpaste on the nails tip! Never heard that one before!
    Thank you for sharing,

  91. 7.22.13

    This is great! Good to know :) Love the olive oil suggestion as a makeup remover!