Beauty is a big part of my life and I’m always looking for new tips and tricks to save time and money! I’ve put together a list of household items that are amazing alternatives for beauty products. I use most of these items often (if not daily) because they are so convenient and cheap.
1. Nivea men post shave balm as a makeup primer
Everybody raves about Nivea’s post shave balm on social media so I tried it about two years ago and haven’t looked back! It’s mega cheap (currently £3.56 in Superdrug) and the bottle lasts ages. The sticky formula acts like a glue for any product you put on top of it and it’s really hydrating. My makeup always stays on so much longer if I use this! It does have a really strong smell (of men haha) when you first put it on but the smell goes away immediately. I still switch in other primers every now and again but this is something that I have constantly found myself repurchasing.
2. Coconut oil for dry hair, skin and lips
I have two tubs of these in the house; one for cooking and one for beauty. Owning coconut oil is an absolute must as it’s sooo cheap and literally fixes everything! As well as leaving it on my skin and lips overnight if they’re in need of a moisture boost, I also use it as a hair mask. All you have to do is lather the ends of your hair in it a couple of times a week before going to sleep and wash it out in the morning (I would suggest shampooing twice to ensure you get all of the product out). This will keep it hydrated, shiny and will help split ends. You can buy it for £1.79 from B&M, or £2.45 from Sainsburys, but any big supermarket will sell it.
3. Baby shampoo for cleaning makeup brushes
I’ve just started using this recently but I honestly can’t believe how good it is. All you need to do is put a small amount of baby shampoo on the brush and gently rub it with your fingers under lukewarm water. You will see the makeup coming off in the water and your brushes will look and feel as good as new. The gentle soap-free formula cleans the brushes without harming them so it’s a win-win! Boots sell Johnson’s baby shampoo for £1.25 so it’s really affordable.
4. Sudocrem for spots
I feel like everybody knows about this trick but it’s still worth mentioning! Sudocrem is effective because it calms any breakouts, reduces the redness that is caused by breakouts and reduces the amount of time it takes spots to heal. Simply rub a small amount onto each individual spot until there is a light sheen left on your face (rather than putting it on thick and leaving it there). Rubbing it in a bit will help it absorb into the skin. You can buy Sudocrem for £2.99 out of Boots and the tub usually lasts me 6-12 months.
5. Talcum powder can double up as dry shampoo
I’ve only started doing this recently because I’ve ran out of dry shampoo and haven’t bothered to re-purchase it again. Although, I’m starting to think talcum powder works even better than dry shampoo. The only downside is that it doesn’t give you the extra texture or volume that your typical dry shampoo gives. This is only £1.29 from Boots so it’s worth purchasing even as a back-up incase you run out of dry shampoo.
6. Tea bags to heal a cold sore
I’ve been doing this for years as I’m extremely prone to cold sores. When you first feel a tingle and know that a cold sore is going to develop, press a damp, cooled teabag to the area that’s tingling. If you keep it on for 10 minutes and do this several times a day, it will reduce the likeliness of a cold sore breaking out and will also help it heal faster if it does develop.
7. Cold spoons and teabags for under eye bags
You can do the same thing with both of these items! Simply put 2 spoons (or 2 teabags that have brewed) in the freezer until they are really cool. Once you take them out, place them on your eyes for 10-15 mins. This is obviously time consuming but it definitely works!
8. Celotape for winged liner or sharp eyeshadow
This can be done with any type of tape or item with a straight edge! All you have to do is stick the celotape at a 50 degree angle from the outer corner of your eye to the end of your eyebrow. The tape will create a straight line so that it’s a lot easier to create sharp eyeshadow or a perfect eyeliner flick.
9. Vaseline on cheekbones for dewy skin
I like dabbing a very small amount of vaseline on the high points of my face to make my skin look dewy and healthy. Instead of using highlighter, the vaseline gives your skin a nice natural looking shine when the light hits it. You can get a small 50ml tub from Superdrug for £1.50.
10. Whitening toothpaste helps yellow stains on nails
My nails used to be so healthy and strong but getting acrylics has ruined them! When they grow in now, they’re more of an off-white colour which makes them look unhealthy. I bought a cheap £1 toothbrush so that I could scrub my nails with whitening toothpaste (any brand will do), but any old toothbrush would do.
11. Sugar as a lip scrub
I have a few of Lush‘s extremely popular lip scrubs (£5.95) and they’re fab for exfoliating dry, chapped lips. However, I get the exact same result when I scrub my lips with sugar. Simply mix a tablespoon of sugar with some coconut oil and scrub your lips with it before applying vaseline. This means that your lips will remain hydrated all day and lipstick will go on smoothly without chapping.
12. Baking soda to whiten teeth
This is only really effective if it’s just surface stains you have on your teeth! All you have to do is mix several teaspoons of the baking soda with toothpaste so that a paste is created. Next, apply it to your teeth and leave it for a minute. Once you rinse your mouth out, your teeth will be noticeably whiter, brighter and free of yellow stains. You shouldn’t do this too much though as continuously using baking soda can damage the enamel that protects your teeth!
13. Raw honey as a face mask to unclog pores and clarify skin
I’ve tried this a few times and it works really well! Raw honey is amazing for your skin because it has so many antibacterial properties. It can help pores, acne, signs of ageing and it will give your skin a healthy glow. If you want to use it as a mask, apply a light layer over your face and leave it on for 30 minutes. After gently washing it off with lukewarm water, your skin will look radiant and healthy! If you want the raw honey to help with your acne, dab a light amount on each individual spot with a cotton bud before bed. This will help to reduce the severity of breakouts and will work faster than most over-the-counter creams. You can buy this at ASDA for £2.85.
14. Vaseline to make perfume last longer
Perfume is activated by heat and lasts longer when sprayed on your pulse points (i.e. your throat, elbows, wrists and behind your ears). If you apply a dab of vaseline to a couple of these areas before spraying your perfume/ aftershave, it will last longer. This is because vaseline is occlusive (i.e. it traps moisture behind the skin) so it will stop your skin from absorbing the perfume.
15. Duct or gaffer tape to make your boobs sit better
This is Kim Kardashians trick! It will definitely help you if you’re wearing an open dress, but like me, your chest looks like it belongs to a 9 year old boy :)) this article gives a better explanation than I ever could and gives you a step-by-step picture guide of how to do it!
16. Soap to make your brows look naturally thick
I’ve been doing this for nearly two years and it works so well! Using soap on your eyebrows has the same effect as using a brow gel. As well as making your brows look thick, fuller and more feathery, it keeps them in place all day. I use a transparent soap that someone gave me in a gift set for Christmas along with an old brow spoolie brush. All you have to do is rub the spoolie onto slightly wet soap until the waxy texture of the soap transfers onto the spoolie. Next, comb your eyebrows upwards and outwards. This will make your eyebrow hair stand up and will give the appearance of naturally full brows. Finally, fill in and define your eyebrows with whatever brow products you use and voila, you will have perfect brows!
17. Keep eyebrows in place by spraying a clean mascara wand with hairspray
This doesn’t work quite as well as the soap brows, but it still has the same effect and the hairspray will keep your hair in place all day. It would be best to fill in your brows with makeup first so that the hairspray sets the makeup too.
18. Lemon juice to brighten blonde hair in the sun
Lemon juice won’t damage your hair or make it dry, it will only open the hair cuticles in the heat of the sun. This will allow the sun to naturally colour your hair! I’ve done this time and time again since I was younger and it definitely works.
19. Use a bandage to apply fake tan
This one seems completely crazy and funny but my best friend Leann swears by it! I’ve not personally tried this but Leann has used everything from expensive fake tan mitts, to latex gloves for fake tan application. She says this works better than anything she’s ever tried as the bandage helps to rub the tan in evenly so it’s completely streak-free. If you want to try this, make sure you have latex gloves on underneath as the bandage won’t be thick enough to stop the fake tan seeping through and staining your hands.
20. Vaseline to help eyelashes grow
Put a very thin coat of vaseline on your eyelids before bed and it will help them to grow longer, thicker and stronger. I would advise applying to a clean mascara wand first so that you can get every lash and this will also ensure that you don’t put it on too thick.
21. Aloe Vera as a moisturiser
I bought the Malibu Aloe Vera (£2.99 from eBay) on holiday as I know how fab it is for sunburn and I brought it home because it’s a really handy product to have lying around. Aloe Vera helps to soothe, nourish and moisturise the skin and it’s perfect for all skin types. It’s also thought to help spots because it promotes the process of healing. Aloe Vera has so many benefits that you may as well keep have a spare bottle in your house.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this and let me know if you found this helpful and want me to do more similar blog posts. I like sharing the wee tips that I’ve picked up over the years as they have definitely made my life a lot easier and some of them are too handy not to share!