5 Unexpected Beauty Tools That You Probably Have Lying Around Your Apartment

If something in my junk drawer has a hidden beauty use, you better believe I'll find it.
Publish date:
April 17, 2014
hair, beauty tricks, liquid eyeliner

Before packing up my cat and ridiculous collection of self-help books to hightail it with my main man to the suburbs, I was a beauty editor in New York City. And if you haven’t been made hip to the script, beauty editors can accumulate quite the product stash. It’s just a perk (er, hazard??) of the job.

Alas, I’m not a beauty editor anymore. Just a writer who has to actually purchase my own face wash and curl cream. I know what you’re thinking: “Cry me a river, girlfriend.” Not that there’s anything wrong with beauty product shopping. It’s actually one of my favorite pastimes…when I have money. At the present, however, I’m doing the whole roll-the-bottom-of-the-eye-cream-tube-to-eek-out-every-last-drop thing.

When my toddler recently graduated from eating with baby spoons to big boy spoons, I didn’t think twice about gathering the mini-utensils and stashing them in my make-up drawer. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a makeup artist use the back of a spoon to pile loads of mascara onto the bottom lashes of a model for a seriously vampy eye look with not even a hint of a smudge. Plus…PLUS, the curved spoon adds a little bend to your lashes. But, dude! Baby spoons, IMHO, work way better because you can get bumper-to-bumper on the lash line.

The spoon thing was BIG (you mean I don’t have to buy [fill in the blank] to get super dramatic lashes? Cool.). So big that I started looking at everything around my house -- from toothpicks and greek yogurt to cheesecloth and super glue -- like it had the potential to be my next great beauty find. And, surprise-surprise, most of the rando things we throw in our junk drawer because we can’t think of anyplace else to put it, have a hidden beauty use.


1. Tape

If your hand shakes like crazy when you try to line your eyes, pull out the scotch tape -- you can use it to create a cat eye line so straight people will swear to their deity that you didn’t do it yourself. Apply a two-inch strip of the tape at an angle from your lower eyelid. Using liquid liner (Hourglass Calligraphy Eyeliner is the ish), draw a line from the inner corner of the lid to the outer corner and extend it along the edge of the tape. Peel off the tape and do the same thing on the other eye.

2. Eyeglasses Case

Am I the only super near-sighted sap with a million eyeglasses cases floating around? Put those bad boys to use by filling them with makeup brushes or your extensive stash of lip balm.

3. Matchbook

Once, after leaving a restaurant after a date with my main man, I reached my hand into what I thought (since I had a slight cabernet buzz going on) was a bowl of mints. As I fished around for a couple of breath fresheners, I realized that the bowl was actually stocked with the restaurants custom matchbooks. They were aight, but I really wanted a mint. Fresh breath was quickly forgotten when I noticed I had a chipped nail. A light bulb went off -- I just ran the jagged edge along the strike pad and it smoothed it out instantly.

4. Aspirin

News flash: Aspirin is made up of (mostly) salicylic acid. Double news flash: Salicylic acid kicks butt when it comes to blasting zits overnight. I’m in that weird demo where I’m starting to see fine lines, yet I still break out like a hormonal teenager, so I stockpile salicylic acid. When supplies are running low, I drop a few aspirin tablets into a small glass of water. The pills start to dissolve and that’s when I scoop them out and mash them into a paste. I coat pesky pimples with the concoction and leave it there overnight. The zit is at the very least minimized by the morning.

5. Vinegar

Is there one thing that you always buy at the grocery store, even though you have 12 bottles of it already at home? For me, that one thing is vinegar. I know…SO WEIRD. But, you just never know when you’re going to have to bust out your homemade ketchup recipe or whip up some sushi rice. Since I have so much of the stuff just hanging out in the pantry, I’ve started using it as a hair rinse. Beauty vloggers have been touting the condiment’s ability to remove residue and build-up, to leave hair softer and shinier. And, it works!

For my locs, I mix half a tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water, dump it in my hair after shampooing and then rinse it out (P.S. the smell fades as your hair dries).

Got anything to add to my list? TELL ME!