No makeup? No problem. Really! In 2016, beauty hacks are everything and we are seeing them everywhere. You can get really inventive when you end up caught out there — wherever ‘there’ may be — without any makeup and the prospect of going barefaced or being a Plain Jane is simply unacceptable. It doesn’t matter why you are makeup-less. All that matters is that you can easily remedy the situation in most cases. Here are nine hacks for when you have no makeup and need to get creative… quick. And no, none of them involve using a Sharpie as an eyeliner. That would be way too obvious and lacks real imagination.
Use tissues to sop up excess oil
Have oily or sweaty skin but no matting powder or blotting papers at hand? Well, a plain ol’ Kleenex will do the trick. “If you’re ever in a situation where you have no makeup products around, I would recommend doing this, depending on what skin type you have,” said Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge founder Stephi Maron. “If you have oily skin, I suggest heading to a nearest bathroom and take any towel or tissue and just apply the tissue to the areas that you’re oily and just blot and wipe away the dirt and oils that you can see.” See how easy that was?
Pinch those cheeks
If you are desperate for a little pop of color on your cheeks, but blush or bronzer are MIA, this is a universal tip that several makeup gurus have suggested to me many times through the years. “Just pinch your cheeks with your fingers until you see a flush of pink come to your cheeks,” suggested Maron. Just do so gingerly, since you don’t want to do any damage to your precious skin or cause welts, red marks, bruising, or scarring. Pinching with precision, caution, and a light touch is essential when employing this hack. But trust me — it works.
Lotion your lips
If you have chapped lips or are in need of some ‘oomph’, but are out of balm or gloss, grab any lotion or oil and apply to your lips for maximum moisture, says Maron. You can heal the dryness and enjoy a little sheen in one swipe. You can also use said oil on your face to create an instant dewy look. Just apply with a light touch, because oil-slicked skin is not the desired effect here.
Curl lashes with your fingers
Maron has another brilliant and cheap (read: free!) hack. This one makes eyes look brighter and more awake and allows you to employ one of your digits as a tool when you’re without. “Wet your index finger just a little bit and push and curl your eyelashes up using your fingers. Your fingers will almost act like an eyelash curler tool,” she said. Who knew? You can wet your finger by licking it lightly or run it under a faucet and shake off the excess.
Bare lips are no bueno, so this is my own personal tip originally suggested to me by a makeup artist friend. Gently nibble on your own bottom lip for 25 seconds or so. You are not looking to draw blood or leave teeth marks, so apply light but consistent pressure with your top front teeth. This action will cause blood and color to rush to your lips. It has the same effect as being kissed, when your lips look all sorts of full and ripe. Sure, this method is not as fun… but the end result is the same.
Fingers can double as brow combs
If you have unruly, untamed brows, and want to add a little polish and sleekness to your face but don’t have a brow brush or pencil, try this hack. Wet your brows and push them into place with your fingers to give them shape, according to Bong Buan, hair and makeup artist at Brighton Salon. See? Those expensive tools aren’t as essential as you think.
Vaseline is your friend
Vaseline or petroleum jelly are your friends when you are missing emollient products. Singer Alexa Kabazie of rock band Letters From the Fire is always on tour, meaning she often has to come up with clever ways to look her best when her makeup bag isn’t on-hand or when she is without access to some of her go-to products due to the general chaos that surrounds travel. She relies on Vaseline in a pinch for a variety of quick fixes. Kabazie suggested using it like a gloss or a balm and as a brow gel, to keep your eye framers in tip-top shape. “You can dab it on your cheeks for some highlight, too,” she said. Lastly, she even suggested mixing it with some cocoa powder for a homemade pigment that you could use as a brow filler. Vaseline is clearly a hero product when it comes to hacks.
Business cards or guitar picks can be eyeliner guides
I’ve tried this trick myself and beautyblender’s liner.designer even demonstrates this concept. If you have trouble creating an Adele-approved, cat-eye flick with liquid eyeliner pens or via a brush and a pot of gel liner — or just don’t have the right brushes to do so, don’t fret. You can totally use the edge of a business card or a guitar pick as a guide to trace the perfect line. The ‘flick’ is not as easy as it looks, since it requires a steady hand and you are working with such a small plot of facial real estate. Using a guide makes plotting that line a lot easier.
Hopefully, these hacks will help to save the day when you find yourself in dire need. Good luck, and Godspeed.
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