Any make-up user knows how expensive the stuff can be these days. Lipsticks, eye-shadow palettes, foundations and mascaras are all upwards of £15-£20 if they’re going to be decent quality, and there’s only so far a student loan can stretch. Therefore, I’m here to bring you DIY beauty hacks (which don’t involve Oreo mascara, thankfully) which can save you time both time and money. However, quick disclaimer: no matter how long you want your make-up to last, always take note of use-by dates. If it looks, smells, or feels off, then it probably is. No-one wants a gross infection.
1. DIY Fan brush
Good make-up brushes are one of the most expensive cosmetic products out there; it can cost more than £30 for a good-quality, complete set. And yet, using the right brush can make all the difference when applying make-up, especially the incredibly versatile fan brush. Luckily, you don’t need to buy a completely separate brush; all you have to do is slide a bobby pin across a regular blusher brush. Leave it for a day or so. This will fan out the bristles and give you your very own DIY fan brush (perhaps best to do this with an old brush that you’re not too fussed about accidentally ruining).
2. Homemade lip-gloss
All you need for this hack is some Vaseline lying around and some loose powder eye-shadow (Barry M Dazzle Dust pots will work excellently for this). Simply blend a small amount of the Dazzle Dust into the Vaseline and voila, your very own sparkling lipgloss. Because eyeshadows come in all the colours of the rainbow, you can create your very own wacky lipgloss shades, and even mix eyeshadow colours. The beauty of this hack is that you can let your creativity run wild. You can also use powder blushes.
3. Fix a broken lipstick
It’s always frustrating when our favourite lipstick breaks and we can no longer apply it efficiently. However, you needn’t worry or buy a new one. Simply heat the end of the broken stump with a lighter, place it back on the lipstick mount, and then leave it in the fridge for a day or so. It should be as good as new in no time at all. Alternatively, if you have a small empty plastic pot lying around, place the lipstick stump in the pot and melt it in the microwave for a few seconds, before placing it in the fridge to transform your broken lippy into a brand-new lipbalm.
4. Unblock a gunked-up nail polish
When nail polishes dry up, they become useless – but you don’t need to throw them away. Add a tiny bit of nail polish remover – it will act as a thinning agent. Give the bottle a shake and the life of your nail polish will be extended just a little bit longer.
5. DIY tinted moisturiser
Just mix a bit of your favourite moisturiser in with your foundation for a cheap alternative to buying tinted moisturiser from the shop. You can do this if you’ve accidentally bought foundation that’s too dark and you need to lighten it a couple of shades. This hack also works if your foundation is running out and you need to make it go a bit further before you can be bothered to haul yourself back to Boots…
6. Nifty nail-art tricks
Nail art is a big trend and can make you stand out, but it can be difficult to get those finicky designs just right, not to mention expensive if you buy all the professional equipment you need to do it. However, there is an easy at-home fix which can be done if you have plasters in your cabinet. Make sure the plasters are perforated, and simply peel off the dressing and place the plaster on your nail, and paint over. You should be left with a sweet polka-dot design for no extra cost. Another way of ‘nailing’ tricksy designs can be to dip sewing needles into nail polish and dotting them on your nail.
7. Revive dried-up mascara
If you’re a contact lens wearer, you may be acquainted with this hack. But we all know the frustration of a mascara that’s dried up. Nevertheless, bring it back to life by adding a few drops of saline contact lens solution and giving it a little shake. However, take note – mascara is a make-up item with one of the shortest use-by dates; just a measly three months. Throw it out beyond this date to avoid eye infections.
8. Two-in-one pencil eyeliner
There are so many different types of eyeliner out there, but you needn’t buy each separate type, for this hack allows you to get more bang for your buck by doubling up on kohl pencil eyeliner. Simply hold a match or lighter to the end to melt the nib and create your very own soft-formula gel liner for a more intense colour.
9. Longer-lasting perfume
Nothing beats a sweet-smelling scent, but it can be frustrating when it fades so quickly, especially with the less concentrated eau de toilette and eau de cologne formulas. Beat this problem by applying Vaseline to pulse points and then spraying your favourite perfume in the same spot to create sticking power. Your scent will last longer and go further, saving you money in the long run. Good pulse points to apply include base of throat, behind the ear, and inside wrists, elbows and knees. You can also spritz a little perfume on your hairbrush for sweet-smelling tresses (but not too much – the alcohol in perfume can dry hair out).
10. DIY body scrub
As deliciously-smelling and convenient shop-bought body scrubs can be, they’re not half pricey. But you can make your own with some kitchen cabinet goodies. One formula uses over-ripe bananas (a handy way to prevent food waste – hitting two birds with one stone), granulated sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract or other essential oil of your choice. Or, for those with a penchant for sweet scents, mix coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract for a delicious and cheap way to smooth skin.
11. Rubber band French manicure
Not everyone has a steady hand to perfect those white tips. However, you needn’t worry. Simply place a rubber band on the top of your nail in line with the ‘free edge’ and paint those tips over the band for an even finish.
12. Thick lashes
Gimmicky ‘volumising’ mascara for those fluttery lashes is simply not needed. Simply apply a coating of baby powder inbetween two coats of mascara for thick, falsie-looking eyelashes.
13. DIY body strobing
No need to buy expensive glitter body oils for a golden-goddess glow. Blend a little bit of your highlighter into your favourite all-purpose moisturiser for a free alternative to glowing legs.
14. Homemade lip plumper
Want that Kylie Jenner pout but don’t have a Kardashian budget at your disposal? No need to buy expensive plumping glosses or lip venoms. Simply add a drop of peppermint oil (available cheaply at most healthfood and drug stores) to your favourite lipgloss.