25 DIY Beauty Tips and Tricks

Libby Kane

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There’s no end to the perfumes and washes and creams and sticks and powders and shimmers that claim to make us our most beautiful … for a price.

We’ll be the first to admit that sometimes we can’t resist spending on beauty supplies (and our corresponding folder in our Financial Inbox balloons accordingly).

But overspending on makeup and beauty products every month simply isn’t sustainable.

After we saw how much you loved our story on how to tackle 40 household cleaning tasks with only five products, we set out to gather every affordable beauty trick and tip we could find, supplementing our necessary tools with only pantry staples and basic cosmetics we have already.

The result? 25 ways to keep your face, body, hair and wallet looking and feeling gorgeous. (If you have any allergies or sensitivities, use your best judgment.)

For Your Beauty Regimen

  • Instead of buying blush, use a dab of lipstick you already have.
  • When you’re running low on lip gloss, place the closed gloss stick in a mug of warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes. The heat will melt any gloss on the sides of the container and you’ll have more to use.
  • If your eyeliner pencil is too soft and crumbling, pop the pencil into the freezer for 15 minutes before applying.
  • Tired of your lipsticks? Create a new shade by cutting off pieces of two old sticks (or scraping out the remnants of the tube) and melt them together in the microwave. Then apply with your finger or a brush.
  • Use a thin layer of non-toxic white Elmer’s Glue as a makeshift pore strip. Just like when you peeled it off your hands as a kid, spread a thin layer on your face, let it dry, and peel off. Keep well clear of eyes. (You can watch one woman do it, here.)
  • The next time you find yourself in a Starbucks, pick up a few extra napkins–they’re well-known as awesome blotting sheets.
  • Use a credit card to get the most from your mascara: Hold the card against your lashes and swipe mascara over the other side. (Or follow these instructions using a business card.)

For Your Skin

  • If you’re running low on tinted moisturizer, mix a little foundation into your daily facial moisturizer to make your own.
  • Mix powdered bronzer with moisturizer for a temporary self-tan.
  • Mix a drop of body oil or olive oil with moisturizer for an all-over shimmer.
  • Use baby oil, conditioner or coconut oil instead of shaving cream.
  • Out of acne cream? Crush a few Advil or aspirin and mix with water to create a paste (or open an Advil gel capsule), and leave the paste or gel on problem spots overnight. Add a Band-Aid to keep it in place.
  • Use Vaseline (petroleum jelly) as hand, eye and foot cream. (Just be sure to put on socks if you use it as foot cream, so you don’t muck up your sheets.)
  • Place chilled green tea bags on tired eyes to reduce puffiness.
  • Use yogurt, honey, mashed avocado or sugar as an all-natural face mask (you can literally put those on your face by themselves–here are instructions for giving yourself a sugar facial.)
  • Make a body scrub out of one part coconut oil and two parts sugar.
  • Apply the liquid from capsules of vitamin E to skin and hair as a moisturizer.

For Your Hair

  • Soften coconut oil into a paste in the microwave, apply to hair and leave for 20 minutes (under a shower cap if you have one, minus the shower) as a deep conditioner. Then rinse and wash hair as usual with shampoo and conditioner.
  • Mix 1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water to use as clarifying shampoo, then follow with your usual conditioner.
  • Use baking soda as all-natural shampoo.
  • Use organic apple cider vinegar and honey as conditioner.
  • Smooth dryer sheets over your hair to de-frizz mid-day.

For Your Teeth and Nails

  • To remove stains from yellowed nails, scrub with whitening toothpaste (add lemon juice for extra bleaching power).
  • Soak nails in olive oil for five minutes for deep moisturizing.
  • Mix lemon juice and baking soda to whiten your teeth.
  • Petalcare

    I would suggest to NOT use petroleum jelly…too many harsh chemicals

    • AldenWicker

      Hi Petalcare, We actually checked on this for another story in which we mention petroleum jelly, and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that petroleum jelly is free of any ingredients that are unsafe. It has one ingredient, petrolatum, and no parabens or chemicals. http://www.goodguide.com/produ…Though, it is true is is derived from oil, so if you want to avoid petroleum-based products for environmental reasons, that could be a reason to avoid it. Thanks for your comment!

      • LeAnne

         Although it does not contain chemicals as an ingredient, chemicals may have been used in the refining process and may be unsafe for skin.  Moreover, it does not actually moisturize.  It just prevents the skin from being exposed to air that might dry it out.  It also may clog your pores and slow cellular regeneration.

        Overall, it is not a good thing to put on your skin if you want healthy skin.

        • Claudia

          Would you eat motor oil? Petroleum on your skin enters your bloodstream within 20 minutes, and it does not moisturize. Coconut oil works wonderfully, just put some in a small jar for the bathroom, scoop out a little after a bath and it melts in your hand, ready to apply. I mix it with a little essential oil for a nice fragrance.

      • Misskym1981

        Petrolatum is also used in turtle wax, it doesn’t moisturize it acts as a barrier so that wind or dry air can’t dry out your skin…..it is also too heavy to rub under your eyes you’ll end up with bags I promise you…..not knocking your idea just sharing info the rest sound great and I plan to try a few.

    • POlysammo

       I use Bag Balm it is Lanolin and Does Wonders for Cracked Heels.  Put it on Wrap a plastic Bag around Feet & Put on Socks. In the Morning it will be Noticeably Better,  Do not Walk with the Bags & Socks on. Its Slippery

    • Crazycats

       I use petroleum jelly for removing make up! New tip to add to the book. Put it over the old make up and use a tissue or cotton swab to remove the petroleum jelly AND the make up :)

  • CeeEssGee

    “Mix lemon juice and salt to whiten your teeth.”  

    The link takes you to an article about mixing lemon juice and baking soda.  I’m not a chemist, but I am glad I clicked on the link before attempting this at home as it was a little misleading.

    Thank you for all the wonderful tips!

    • LibbyKane

      Yipes, thanks for the catch! We’ve corrected it above.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=35803088 Melissa Stern

        Plus lemon juice is actually extremely acidic and WILL cause major harm to teeth, causing them to lose calcium, destroying the enamel.. bad bad bad to suggest to ANYONE. 

  • PalB.

    I don’t use any makeup at all. However, I can def make use of a trick or two that are mentioned in this article. Thanks.

  • Nicole Daniel

    If you put Coconut Oil in the microwave it won’t melt into a paste, it will completely melt & pretty much be too runny to use.  Coconut Oil melts at body temperature so if you have any at home it will melt when you touch it, you can just rub it into your hair that way.  It’s how I do it.

  • Rachel Wadley

    I tried using the baby oil as shaving cream and got horrible razor burn.  :(

  • Bad ideas

    1. Baking soda is far too abrasive for your teeth and will damage your tooth enamel permanently. DO NOT USE!
    2. Petroleum jelly may temporarily moisturize, but truly it will damage and dry-out your skin in the long-term due to the harsh chemicals (as someone else has already pointed out).
    3. Credit cards are dirty like your car keys, keep them away from your eyes/mouth/face, especially as cold season starts to set in!
    4. Elmer’s glue as a pore strip?? Considering my esthetician says I should NEVER use pore strips, why on earth would I try it with GLUE?? This is a ridiculous idea.
    5. Using dryer sheets on your hair may somewhat help with frizz (not 100% though for anyone who has really frizzy hair), however I don’t want my hair to smell like laundry, so I don’t advise using this “trick” either.

    • none

      there are several baking soda brand toothpastes and baking soda brand teeth whiteners; you can clean a credit card; pore strips are only bad for your skin if used in excess – and Elmer’s glue is safe and non toxic, you could eat it and just have a stomach ache; there are other scents other than fresh linen. the only one I wouldn’t do is the petroleum jelly – coconut oil would be better

  • Iamsunday

    I really enjoy reading your site, I will try a few of your helpful advise tomorrow. Thank you and have a great day….:-D
    Ms. Sunday J. G….

  • http://twitter.com/rosieTLPCo rosie@TLPCo

    That shelf in your fridge isn’t just for food…
    …It’s for makeup too! The door shelf is a perfect temperature to keep your products cool, which is what they need to last longer. Who has never snapped the end of their eye-liner? This happened because it was a bit too warm. The life of a nail-polish will also be prolonged if you keep them in this icy cupboard, but if you’re anything like us, you should probably just stick to keeping a few favourites in there and not put all 23736352 varnishes in…

    See our blog :o) http://www.thelondonperfumecompany.com/blog/september-2012/how-to-make-your-cosmetics-last-longer…-and-it-rea.html xox

  • Gulraiz Akram

    Great beauty advice can be hard to come by, but Seventeen has the best beauty tips to make you even more gorgeous!


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  • poal

    this is really good info

  • http://www.onlinebeautyplace.com/ Beauty Diva

    I like these great tips, thanks for sharing the information!

  • Shanzy

    I am impressed to see this valuable work and actual ideas with working tips by Libby Kane about 25 DIY Beauty Tips and Tricks especially new shade by cutting off pieces of two old sticks and chilled green tea bags on tired eyes to reduce puffiness.. I found some other suggestions those second your opinion here homebeautyideas overall it is great effort. Thank Libby Kane

  • http://stylesprinter.com/ Style Sprinter

    This list is great, thank you! Here are my thoughts:

    1. I use petroleum jelly as a overnight lip treatment. It really makes my lips softer and helps to treat chapped lips.
    2. Starbucks napkins are the best! I’ve read about his trick at Andrea Pomerantz Lustig’s book How To Look Expensive and never stopped using it.
    3. I think that eyebrow pencil is useless. An eye pencil works perfectly well for your eye brows too. The trick is to apply it using a brush.

    You can find more of my favorite beauty tips and tricks here: http://stylesprinter.com/my-favorite-skin-care-tricks/