Can These Beauty ‘Hacks’ Really Save You Money?

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It seems that the internet these days overcrowded with tips for just about anything you can imagine. You know the type: “Seven life changing hacks — you won’t believe number four!” Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10 there’s not a single piece of new or useful information within those silly listicles.

Putting 4 Beauty Hacks to the Test

Lucky for you, I’ve tested four prominent beauty hacks to see if they really deliver on their promises.

Re-Solidify Powdered Makeup

I must be a closet klutz, as it’s pretty common for my pressed makeup (such as eye shadow and blusher) to transform into a powdery mess, tempting me to just toss it into the trash.

But I recently came across a tip on how to bring accidentally powdered makeup back to a solid state, requiring nothing more than a few drops of isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol.

  • Step one: Gently break up the makeup until it’s a uniform powdery consistency. (I used the back of my makeup brush.)
  • Step two: Drip in the isopropyl alcohol until it’s uniformly wet, but not watery.
  • Step three: Smooth the mixture so there’s an even top surface. Make sure to leave the lid open so it dries in a timely manner.
  • Step four: Enjoy your refreshed product!

Grade: A+ 

Scrape Out Every Last Bit

Another frustrating makeup experience is when a tube or bottle of liquid makeup has an inaccessible amount of product that stubbornly clings to the side. Of course you can spend $5.78 for a “beauty spatula” to address this issue, but there’s a free option for those of us who prefer to hold onto our money: the Starbucks green plastic stick, officially called a “splash stick.”

Did it work as well as a spatula? Probably not, but it was certainly able to get into nooks and crannies that my applicator sponge couldn’t access. Just make sure to not use this hack as an justification for an expensive coffee purchase!

Grade: B+


Shave With Conditioner

I recently had an opportunity to try out this beauty hack as I was staying in a hotel and staring down one of those tiny bottles of conditioner.

Although the conditioner was a thinner consistency than a traditional shaving cream, it still did a serviceable job of providing a smooth shaving experience. This is a perfect use for hotel conditioners, which are already a travel friendly size. (Actually smaller than official travel-size shaving cream.) Plus, most of us have a few of these already floating around in our homes.

Will I replace my traditional shaving cream with conditioner? No. But I can certainly add this into my travel routine.

Grade: A

Powdered Cocoa As Eyebrow Filler

I should preface this hack by admitting that I normally don’t give even a moment’s thought to my eyebrows, so it’s hard to compare this product to its traditional counterpart. However, in the name of research I dove right in.

This hack was a bust, as I ended up smelling like a Hershey bar, but looking like Groucho Marx.

Perhaps someone with superior eyebrow grooming skills would have better luck with this hack, but for me, this one was a hard “no.”

Grade: D-


The most frugal hack when it comes to makeup and general beauty products is to buy from a store with a liberal return policy. This includes Rite Aid, who promises that “Any opened or used beauty product of any brand name can be returned for a full refund when accompanied by a receipt.” Think twice before buying from Walgreen’s, where “Returns and exchanges for specific items, particularly cosmetics and electronics, are handled on an individual basis by individual store managers.”

Hopefully you’ve learned something that will help you to simplify your beauty routine while keeping your hard-earned dollars in your wallet.

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