It may sound counterintuitive, but learning about makeup has done wonders for my confidence. In the formative years of my beauty education, I turned to bloggers (and YouTubers) for nearly all of my makeup- and skin care-related qualms. They helped me appreciate what makeup could do for me more than any celebrity or brand ever could. I felt like they were my virtual friends (maybe a little strange?) — so much more tangible and relatable than a glamorized model on the pages of a glossy magazine. Through a little screen, they taught me the two-color smoky eye, the perfect cat-eye flick, and how to embrace my imperfections and put my best face forward every day.
I’m not the only one who has turned to these Internet stars. You’d be hard-pressed to find a beauty novice (or expert) who can’t thank a blogger for teaching her a thing or two about makeup. Our very own beauty writer Maria Del Russo proudly watches YouTube beauty bloggers regularly. As much as we might want to deny it, many of us rely on them for their reviews, swatches, and real-time application shots.
Whether it’s tips on finding the perfect foundation or a how-to tutorial on “kontouring” like Kim K, we’ve learned some pretty legit tricks from the blogosphere. Ahead are some of our favorite hacks.
Make your own black eyeliner by mixing charcoal and coconut oil.
If you’re looking to seriously step up your DIY game this weekend, take a stab at making your own eyeliner. Britanie, from Beauty by Britanie, swears by an eyeliner concoction that consists of only two ingredients: coconut oil and activated charcoal. You can find both at most health-food stores, drugstores, or even on Amazon. The charcoal powder normally comes in capsules, making it super-easy to measure out. Britanie recommends taking one to three capsules of charcoal, pouring the powder into a small bowl or empty eyeshadow container, and then adding in half a teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix the contents together, and voilà! The result is a long-lasting pot of gel liner that will also nourish your skin. Plus, it’s another reason to love coconut oil!
Give your skin a dewy glow by adding a few drops of face oil into your foundation.
Before you shell out big bucks for the latest and greatest dewy-finish foundation, take a cue from Alexandra of Glory Boon blog and add a little face oil to your existing base. Mixing just a few drops of face oil into your foundation will not only hydrate your skin, but also give you a smoother application and even finish, allowing you to mimic that enviable #WokeUpLikeThis glow.
Stimulate hair growth with castor oil.
According to the girls at Naturally Curly (curly-hair experts and R29 contributors), Jamaican black castor oil works wonders for scalp and hair-growth issues. Simply massage it into your head and run it through your hair. The oil will work its magic moisturizing, thickening, and stimulating hair growth. You can even use it on your brows and lashes!
Apply a powder before liquid foundation for flawless coverage that lasts all day.
We know this goes against everything we’ve been taught about makeup application, but this trick may be a savior for those with oily skin. In this video, makeup artist Wayne Goss teaches us you can get your base makeup to stay put longer by applying a loose powder before your liquid foundation. Start with a good amount of moisturizer, set it with a powder, and finish by adding liquid foundation on top. This will give your skin a fully hydrated feel, but with a matte finish. For most, this application method should nix the need for powder as a final step, leaving you with a budge-proof base that will last all day.
A bit of vaseline (or eye gloss) and a cotton swab are the secret to a lived-in smoky eye.
We know going to bed with makeup on is a huge no-no. But, if it happens sometimes, we don’t hate when we wake up the next morning with that sexy, lived-in (uh, slept-in) look. We’d never recommend ditching your nightly cleansing routine, so thankfully we stumbled across this video from makeup-artist queen Lisa Eldridge, which taught us how to achieve the same effect without wreaking havoc on our skin. Eldridge uses a bit of eye gloss on a cotton swab to smudge her black eyeliner and give it a more “rock-‘n’-roll” aesthetic. Although she uses eye gloss in the video, Eldridge notes that plain ol’ Vaseline works just as well.
How to create full eyebrows when you hardly have any to begin with.
If you suffer from sparse brows (ahem), you know that filling them in with product can be challenging, to say the least. This video from makeup mavens Samantha and Nicola Chapman of Pixiwoo teaches those who may be lacking in the eyebrow department how to amp them up using precise application techniques. The trick is to draw on product in teeny-tiny strokes to mimic the look of natural hairs. If you stick to this method, your brows won’t look drawn-on or fake.
In a pinch, use your mascara as eyeliner.
We’ve heard about multi-use cheek products and dual-ended eyeshadows, but who knew that mascara — a product that’s existed in one form or another for hundreds of years — could be used for something other than pumping up your lashes? Earlier this year, Sarah Howard from Beauty Banter compiled a list of her favorite beauty hacks — like using mascara as eyeliner. What? Our heart just skipped a beat. Just dip an angled brush into the mascara tube and apply it to your lashline, she explains. You’ll get a similar effect to that of a gel, allowing you to get twice as much use out of a single tube.
Get the illusion of fuller lashes by “mascara-stamping.”
This time-saving tip from the gals of The Beauty Department is perfect for all the no-makeup-makeup fans out there. When applying mascara, simply press the wand into the roots of your lashes in a “stamping” motion. This will deposit color to your upper lashline, giving you the illusion of thicker lashes, without the obvious tightlining. It can be a little tricky (read: messy) to execute at first, but once you’ve got it, you’ll be hooked.