I used to laugh at those body wash/shampoo/conditioner hybrids marketed at men. They had a do-it-all attitude that I found hilarious: "Showering takes too long? This ONE PRODUCT will clean your hair, trim your toenails, and buy your girlfriend a thoughtful gift, just because!" I, in all my feminine glory, scoffed at the idea of a multi-use product; after all, why use one product when you could use FIVE, one of which smells like roses and has the word "brightening" in the title?
But a lifetime of product hoarding results not in particularly glowing skin, but in really gross bathroom shelves. (Why do they get so sticky, you guys?) While I totally agree that less is more, I don't necessarily trust beauty companies to tell me that. Here are some products that do double-duty just fine, even though their manufacturers haven't straight-up said so. How illicit does this feel?
Body oil that doubles as everything
What it says it does: Moisturizes your body.
What it ALSO does: Plays quintuple-threat as body oil, face oil, makeup remover, leave-in conditioner, and hair shine serum.
I’m obsessed with this handy little oil from Hollybeth Organics. My pre-bed toiletry ritual is now completely streamlined, as such: remove eye makeup, splash face clean, moisturize face, moisturize entire body, run extra oil through ends of hair, hop in bed, dream of sunflower and pomegranate seeds.
Hollybeth Organics Nourishing Body Oil, $55,
Hair mask that doubles as shaving cream
What it says it does: Gives dry hair an extra shot of moisture.
What it ALSO does: Conditions the hair… on your legs! Then helps you shave it all off.
Am I the only one who thinks shaving cream marketed at women is kind of a rip-off? We don’t need something pink and tropical-scented to shave the very minimal hair on our legs. It’s just not the same process as getting rid of Grandpa’s gnarly beard, people. A cheap hair mask works just as well, soothing and reducing friction.
Dabur Vatika Virgin Olive Deep Conditioning Hair Mask, $7, ishopindian.com
Lip balm that doubles as cuticle/chapped nose/everywhere balm
What it says it does: Keeps your lips smooth.
What it ALSO does: Acts as an anywhere, anytime balm for chapped knuckles, red noses, and scraped knees.
A totally natural lip balm is worth investing in, because you can slather it onto dry spots all over your body without fear. The ingredients in this one — avocado oil and beeswax, for example — are great natural moisturizers that work their magic far beyond your lips.
Ilia Beauty Balmy Days Lip Conditioner, $26, spiritbeautylounge.com
Cornstarch that doubles as dry shampoo and finishing powder
What it says it does: Uh, helps with baking?
What it ALSO does: Mattifies everything.
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with cornstarch over here (example 1, example 2), due to its insane mattifying properties. I use it every day as dry shampoo; commercial dry shampoos often feature some sort of starch, anyway, so I’m not being an insane hippie over here. And in a pinch, a shiny nose and forehead are easily eradicated by dipping your fingers lightly into a bit of cornstarch and rubbing them across your face. Brush off any excess powder and look — your face practically absorbs the light.
Hogson Mill Pure Corn Starch, $1.43, vitacost.com
Toner that doubles as beachy hair spray
What it says it does: Tones and soothes your face.
What it ALSO does: Gives your hair that perpetually-coveted beachy texture.
Facial toners with sea salt as a main ingredient are popular among indie apothecaries right now (I own and love this one). Remember what sea salt does to hair? Anyone? Anyone? Answer: turns you into Insta-Gisele. Plus, these oceanic toners often contain soothing natural ingredients designed to moisturize (this one’s made with aloe leaf juice, for example), meaning your hair won’t get dried out.
Sea Mineral Fennel Toner, $19, scoutmob.com
Oil-controlling wipes that double as emergency cleansers
What it says it does: Basically acts as a toner in wipe form.
What it ALSO does: Substitutes as a perfectly good face wash for late nights, long flights, and cab rides where you realize your face is grimier than the NYC subways.
I’m not saying you should always haphazardly clean your face with a wipe. I’m saying if you’re vacillating between falling drunkenly into bed and haphazardly wiping off your makeup first, a few of these all-natural wipes in your bedside table make the process much easier, and they clean better than more commercial makeup-removing wipes.
Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Towelettes, $4, walgreens.com
A blush that doubles as lipstick and eyeshadow
What it says it does: Pigments your cheeks.
What it ALSO does: Imparts rosy color to lips, brow bones, eyelids, and anywhere else you want to look a little flushed.
The idea of an all-in-one makeup stick isn’t new, but if you don’t have the money for Nars’ famous The Multiple stick, any old blush stick will work, as long as you choose the right color. Don’t underestimate how pretty a little matchy-matchy glow can look on that face of yours.
NYX Cosmetics Stick Blush, $6, ulta.com
An all-purpose body cleanser that's not pitched toward guys
What it says it does: Cleanses hair and skin in one mild swoop.
What it ALSO does: Exactly that.
I know, I know, this one’s explicitly marketed as an all-in-one product. But I just had to include it, since most of these hair/skin/love life hybrids are pitched at guys in a hurry. Hey, if it makes you feel like less of a woman to use the same product on your hair and skin, just check out this beautiful, yuppie-approved ingredient list: Calendula, Chamomile, Aloe, Vanilla, Coconut, Jojoba, Quinoa. Say it soft, like a little prayer.
Shampoo + Body Wash, $9.95, honest.com