18 Beauty Hacks You Need to Try
By Alexandria Gilleo
As a makeup artist, I’ve picked up on a few tricks that have helped improve my radiance, health, and glow over the years . Though I’ve traditionally only shared these tricks with clients, in the spirit of spreading some joy in these times, I’m ready to spill my secrets online. Some of the suggestions on my list may appear a little odd but, trust me, give them a try! You’ll be shocked by the results.
So, without further ado—let’s dive into a countdown of my most effective beauty hacks.
18. Hanging your head upside down
This is a strange one, I know. But, if you hang your head upside down regularly for about a minute at time, you can increase blood flow and circulation to your face, adding color and glow to your complexion. Whether you are hanging off the side of your bed or popping into a downward dog pose, this is a simple yet effective exercise that will induce an immediate change.
17. Cold spoon compresses
Many think of this trick as an old wives’ tale, but it definitely still proves effective! Chill two metal spoons in the refrigerator overnight. Then, use them to de-puff and de-bloat your eyes in the morning. I suggest first applying a serum or a lightweight oil around the eye area and then gliding the spoons towards the outer corners of your eye area using gentle, firm pressure. This is going to help drain any stagnant fluid under those morning puffy eyes and wake you right up! Trust me, nothing perks you up like cold metal on your face in the morning.
16. Cold showers
Okay, okay, this one might not be such a secret, but I still think it’s massively underrated. Cold showers can instantly rejuvenate and wake you up, making you feel (and look!) lively and energized. If you’re too dedicated to hot showers to give a full cold shower a go, try turning the nozzle to cold for just the last minute of your morning routine. This will improve circulation, build your immune systems, increase endorphins, and speed up cell recovery.
15. Dry skin brushing
Dry brushing my skin is one of my favorite techniques for achieving a full-body glow and helping speed dermal detox. It’s so easy to do and it doesn’t need to be harsh to be effective. For the best result, gently brush skin in upward strokes and circular motions to exfoliate and sweep up dead skin cells. This will help increase blood circulation and promote lymphatic drainage making you feel less puffy and give an overall radiant glow. For an added boost, I suggest lightly lathering your skin with a gentle oil like coconut oil and then dry brushing your body before a morning shower, as this technique is known to energize your system.
14. Blue light blocking glasses
Blue light blocking glasses block out the artificial light from computer screens, phones, tablets, or television. Keeping that blue light at bay helps balance out your circadian rhythm, lower cortisol, and protect your eyes— keeping them youthful and bright.
13. Antipollution drops
City-living can expose us to toxins and environmental stressors and leave us with fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Say hello to antipollution serums and drops!
Adding these drops directly to your face or mixing them in with moisturizer helps you achieve a brighter, healthier-looking skin tone. The vitamins and antioxidants found in the drops can help decrease the damage of pollution, protect your skin against free radicals, and strengthen your skin’s barrier.
12. Keeping phones and bedtime separate
When we are on our phones, our brains are engaged and awake. That’s why if we want to get a fully restful and deep period of sleep, it’s vital to keep the mental stimulation and bright light of our phone screen away. The lights from our screens throw off our circadian rhythm, leading to bad nights and subsequently, tired, puffy eyes with dark undereye circles. Moving our phones away from our beds and turning off the WiFi cuts down exposure to disruptive light and helps us get the rest we need.
11. Oiling, not cutting, your cuticles
Instead of cutting your cuticles, push them back with nail oil! We need our cuticles because they protect our nail beds. When you remove or cut the cuticles, the nail is not protected by that layer of skin and can lead to a field day for bacteria to fester. Using an oil around your nails will also keep your cuticles fresh, healthy, and hydrated.
10. Eye cream on and around your lips
The skin around our eyes is delicate and thin, which is why creams for this area are specially formulated to gently supercharge this area with nutrients without the irritants often found in creams aimed at other parts of our body. Our lips would benefit from this same treatment. After I apply my eye serum around my eyelids, I then dab a bit of product on and around my lip area as well.
9. Beauty fridges
If you’re tight on space or budget, your regular fridge will do in a pinch, but for those with a serious devotion to skincare, a beauty fridge can make all the difference. These specialized appliances are small and chic and, best of all, they allow you to store your beauty products far away from the almond milk and the lasagna leftovers. Keeping items like eye patches, jade rollers, and eye creams in a beauty fridge will allow them to act like cold compresses, helping boost the effectiveness of your products.
8. Putting lash glue directly on your lash-line
All my ladies and gents who have applied false lashes know how complicated the application process can be. Fear not, I’m here with the secret to doing it well: instead of applying glue to the false lashes, put lash glue directly on your lash-line and wait for it to be almost dry and just mildly tacky. Then, apply lashes on top. This will prevent sticky glue from gushing out and getting all over your lids and will make it super easy for you to place your lashes in the correct position directly on your lash line.
7. Red light therapy
Red LED lights are the ultimate under-the-radar, anti-aging beauty secret as you can use them to optimize skin health and cell regeneration. Red light is a non-invasive treatment that delivers concentrated light to your skin cells. As someone who uses red light daily, I’ve noticed improvements in both my appearance, with less hyperpigmentation and a more even skin tone, and in my behavior, with deeper, more restful sleep.
6. Elevating your legs
Time for another strange beauty hack: Elevating your legs onto the wall in front of you. After a long day of work, putting your legs up can soothe swollen or cramped muscles and tendons and reduce inflammation. Elevating your legs also stretches your lower back and hamstrings, which promotes proper posture, which in turn relieves lower back tension—and conveys added confidence! Breathe, put your legs up, and be mindful of the benefits to your body.
5. Silk and satin pillowcases
Silk and satin pillowcases aren’t just luxurious-feeling, they also help prevent sleep wrinkles and hair damage. We form a lot of fine lines and wrinkles when we sleep because of the uncomfortably smushed positions we’re in all night, every night. Additionally, our hair often gets tangled from tossing and turning on cotton sheets. By switching over to a proper pillow and a silk covering, you can promote younger-looking skin, healthier hair, and even longer lashes.
4. Tongue scrapers
While eating right and investing in a good face cream is essential when it comes to feeling fabulous, taking care of our oral health is just as important. Tongue scraping has become one of my daily rituals. Tongue scraping removes bacteria that sits on your tongue and can cause cavities and bad breath. I suggest using a tongue scraper first thing in the morning before you have anything to drink because you don’t want to swallow all the bacteria and build-up that formed overnight. A stainless steel or copper scraper is quick, easy, and makes a world of difference.
3. Retinol on your neck and chest
Retinol, a form of Vitamin A, is a common product to use on our face to prevent aging lines and wrinkles, but we too often forget about our necks and décolletages in the process. Retinol promotes collagen production and keeps your skin looking healthy, smooth, and even. Using a retinol product in these areas once a week will help diminish the appearance of fine lines and sunspots. (Reminder: Don’t forget to also use sunscreen on these areas when they are exposed to the sun!)
2. Facial massage
With the right technique, facial massages can be more useful than any skincare tool on the market. Massaging your face and manipulating your facial muscles with alternatingly gentle and firm upward motions will help improve your circulation. Better circulation will then stimulate skin cell turnover and rejuvenation. When you massage your face every day, you are giving your face the ultimate workout and augmenting elasticity, glow, and appearance.
1. Toilet Blotting Paper
I’m a huge fan of blotting papers (these oil-absorbing sheets are at the top of my list); they help keep makeup from running, make all the differences in getting just the right glow for photo shoots, and are super portable and easy to carry anywhere. However, once in a while I still end up in a pinch where blotting is a must but specialty papers are nowhere to be found. What do I do then? Grab a paper toilet seat cover! Incredibly, the two products are made of very similar materials and can accomplish a similarly effective job.
I love adding to my list of hacks and am always on the lookout for the intersection between beauty and convenience. What are your favorite beauty and self-care secrets?