It’s highly important to have a good, consistent skin care routine. However, we’re only human and sometimes we forget to pack certain essentials when traveling, or slack off in areas. Before you rush out to a drugstore to replenish your set, stop for a moment and think whether you may be able to do good with some make-up swaps instead.
Learning multiple ways to use your favorite beauty and skincare products is also highly budget friendly, because we all know how easy it is to fall into the trap of over-indulging at the makeup counter. But more expensive doesn’t mean better, and oftentimes it’s more practicable to find a substitute rather than spend that extra money. It also can leave you with shockingly amazing results!
So, let’s see what you can do straight away without rushing to the nearest beauty shop and giving away real money for the comfort of buying an item – what if you don’t need that, because you have answers handy?
1. Short on eyeliner? Use mascara or eyeshadow instead.
Want to make your eyes look perfect but can’t locate the eyeliner? Use mascara. You can do it well especially if you work the brush down to the base of your lashes and not just treat the tips. This way you put on the pigment better and create the illusion that you did the eyeliner job.
Another way is to pick the right shade of the eyeshadow – a darker or brighter one – and use a damp brush on it, laying on more pigment and thus making the shade look deeper. In case there’s no small brush handy you can make do with a thin cotton bud.
2. Forgot your mascara? Vaseline works great as a substitute!
Vaseline is a multi-tasking powerhouse product you should never leave home without. Squeeze out a small amount on your fingertip and spread it along the lashes. You will have them darker, lusher, add luster. It will serve especially well when it’s hot and you’re on a beach trip to save you from acquiring the raccoon eye effect.
3. Use an oil mixture instead of a lash & brow growth serum.
Another great skin care swap is a mixture of seed oils which is extremely beneficial – it moisturizes your brows and lashes, strengthens the skin and, last but not least, is conducive to the growth of hair follicles. Unlike generic eyelash boosting products, seed oil mixture comes much, much cheaper and has no side effects (like giving you discolored corneas). You can make your lashes and brows significantly stronger by spreading a drop of the mixture over them just before retiring for the night.
4. Brow tamers work as a substitute for contouring products.
Either a gel or a brow pencil, being pigmented and amenable to smudging, can be swapped for your regular contouring item of choice. Apply them where you deem it necessary and blend them well.
5. Short on highlighter? Grab Vaseline or coconut oil.
Good advice from a make-up expert is to top your foundation with any moisturizer, then Vaseline and coconut oil (argan oil, if it’s handy) in areas which you expect to reflect the light, like the cheekbones, brow bones, any place you fancy.
6.. Use clear lip balm, lip gloss or baby oil as a makeup remover.
One thing you will (hopefully) hardly omit doing is the before-bed removal of the war paint – it is too important for the health of your skin. And then you discover that you haven’t packed your remover! Don’t let it get you down, though. Mascara and eyeshadows are easily dissolved by lip balm or lip gloss (or rather, by oils and emollients contained therein). Just get a thickish coating of lip balm on your finger and apply it on the lids and the lashes, both upper and lower. The body temperature will melt it. Then take a cotton pad wetted in warm water and remove everything.
Those who are interested in cheapness as well as effectiveness can go for baby oil which will set them back about $7 (at the most), while a regular remover can cost you up to $45. Even if you pick a cheaper one it will come more expensive than baby oil, so you are guaranteed to save money.
The only shortcoming is you may feel a bit uncomfortable with the sticky oily sensation of slathering oil, but it’s nothing much really, and you are sure to get used to it pretty soon.
Alternatively, you could use a primer for correcting makeup mistakes. It will prevent smudging and still remove the wrong lines or mascara blobs.
7. Out of Body Scrub? Opt for brown sugar & olive oil or just coffee grounds.
Here’s a good skin care swap to bear in mind. You can make your own sugar scrub at home. Prepare a mixture of brown sugar (3 parts) and olive oil (1 part), and you’ve got an excellent body scrub! Your sugar scrub can cost you up to $150 in shops whereas you get a bottle of olive oil and some brown sugar for $7 and even less. You save quite a lot of money and what’s more, the mixture will last longer compared to a tub of scrub from a shop shelf. You can also try coffee grounds, which you will find quite a decent scrub! Besides, caffeine is believed to hold cellulite back.
8. Forgotten your foundation? Use your concealer, and vice versa.
Place on the back of your hand a mixture of concealer and moisturizer (getting your concealer lighter in consistency), let it get warmer and apply evenly where you want it.
Also, you can make a mixture of some facial mist with a small amount of powder foundation getting a paste-like product. None of these at hand? Mix some liquid foundation with eye cream.
9. Use vodka or apple cider as acne fighting products.
A blemish ought to be dried, and the infection will be quicker to get rid of. Soak a Q-tip in vodka, treat your blemish with it (your skin must be clean!), and wait until it dries up. It should do the trick perfectly.
Apple cider which contains vinegar is a great skin care swap as well due to its natural antibacterial properties, enzymes and acids that are conducive to exfoliation. It fights acne and acne scars, helps get your skin tone smoother and work a good job on small pores.
For a start prepare mix apple cider vinegar with 4 times more water. Some kinds of very sensitive skin may react adversely, so if in doubt, test the solution on your hand for a week or so. If it comes out right, you may want to make the mixture stronger by adding less water – you are quite safe with the ratio of 1 to 2.
10. Eyebrow product forgotten? Try eyeshadow!
Try an eye shadow a shade lighter than the color of your hairs. Blondes and brunettes should go for a shade that hasn’t got any red in or it can make your brows look gingery.
Yes, eyeshadow will do fine, just choose the shadow which is a bit lighter than your hair color. If you are not red, avoid red-based shades which can leave you with some ginger on your eyebrows! Work with a small angled eye shadow or eyeliner brush along the brow, moving the brush up.
11. Short on smokey eyeshadows? Use pencil eyeliners.
Draw a small hashtag closer to the outer part of the eyelid with a black pencil eyeliner (a brown eyebrow pencil can serve, too), and blend out using a handy smudger or your fingertip – you will be quite pleased with the smoky eye result.
12. Forgot body lotion or shaving cream? Apply hair conditioner.
You don’t want to get by without a hair conditioner in your kit. You want your skin to be moist, soft and devoid of any related irritation, even more so when you’ve just shaved. High-quality air conditioners’ formulas include hydrators, oils, and different emollients (shea butter, argan and/or jojoba oil, panthenol, and glycerin, to name only the most beneficial) which provide for quality moisturizing. Place a coin-sized blob on your hands with wet fingertips and make it even by rubbing your hands together – now you are ready to apply it. Water goes to provide a thinner consistency because you wouldn’t like it to be stickier than it is good.
When you find you’ve run out of the shaving cream, well, turn to the hair conditioner for help. Its gliding, slippery consistency will diminish the risk of cuts and nicks, and a slight coating on the right places will serve your purpose.
13. Lip Balm instead of a brow tamer.
A brow tamer has its wonderful make-up swap in lip balm. Use the back of the hand or a spoon to apply it to your brows, doing strokes in the direction your hairs grow.
14. Use lipstick instead of blush
OK, your cheek color failed you by running out on you when you need it. No trouble, get your lipstick to the task of make-up swapping. It will give you a decent blush, just put it on your finger, apply it on the desired areas of your cheeks, and blend out. Avoid the mistake of laying on too much lipstick at first, you may want to remove some of it later! Naturally, red and pink hues are your best bet for that.
15. Short on frizz fighter? Use body lotion.
Now you’re up to fight frizzies – and you have to look for a swap? Don’t look far, it’s body lotion. Oh, it’s also face or hand cream, if it’s close at hand. Rub some into your palms until it gets well absorbed, and run your hands over frizzy strands. This works best of all with thick coarse hair; if your hair is finer, you can make it a bit too greasy for your liking, so go carefully about it.
16. Short on cleanser? Grab a hot towel wrap with olive oil.
Cleanness is a very good indication of skin health, and you do well to never omit cleansing, especially in the evening when you’ve got to get rid of grime and help clogged pores. Usually you do it with a facial cleanser, but some olive oil is just as good for a swap. Take a nickel-sized drop of olive oil, spread it over your face, massage it in and leave it like that for a minute and half. After that, dip a hand towel into hot water, give it a good ring and hold it against your face for a minute. Before removing the towel altogether, wipe your face with it until you have dealt with greasy residue. Now olive oil has broken down grime, make-up and whatever had gotten onto your face, and you are thoroughly cleansed.
17. Greek yogurt or crème fraîche work as a substitute for a face mask.
If you refrain from eating all the yogurt at a sitting, some of it will do as a face mask! Get a decent layer of Greek yogurt on your face and let it benefit your skin, armed with vitamins and useful acids. You’d be surprised to learn just how helpful it is! It leaves skin nourished and well-hydrated, so it won’t look dull, and it is extremely good for your cells, assisting in their growth and regeneration. If your skin is sensitive, it’s a win-win, because you are safe from any beauty-product caused allergies.
18. No time for a manicure? Use cuticle oil!
Does it occur when you find you’ve got no time for a proper manicure? You can then resort to cuticle oil which you simply rub into your nails. Don’t skimp on the amount. Thus you get your nails hydrated, your cuticles nicely smoothed out, and your nails looking as if they have been treated with clear polish or buffed. You will like the effect.
About the Author
Daria Kurilko is the founder, writer and editor of Geniusbeauty.com – an online guide for women about beauty, health and relationships. She has a master’s degree in sociology with a number of scientific publications to her credit and extensive experience in marketing and PR. Daria, who currently lives in Wiesbaden, Germany, is also a loving mother and wife. Since 2007 she enjoys sharing her experiences and broad knowledge about all things beauty, health and lifestyle with her readers. -.