As a self-proclaimed beauty junkie, my day is not complete if I haven't tried to replicate at least one trend or technique. And as much as I like to think that I have nerves of steel when I attempt to free-hand paint those cute, little chevron stripes on my nails, the chicken scratch I end up with says otherwise. That's when I spy a roll of sticky film sitting casually on the corner of my desk...
When was the last time I even used tape for practical purposes? Wrapping presents? That's a joke. I use pretty bags and festive tissue paper to hide the fact that I just can't be bothered with all the paper and scissors and ribbon and... tape. What I do use tape for almost every day is my beauty routine. For some reason, as long as it's associated with eyeshadow and nail polish, tape just isn't that little fiend that sticks everywhere except where you try to put it. In my beauty routine, tape is a god.
So I've gathered seven of my most-used, beauty hacks involving tape. Here's your guide to make tape your partner in crime (or, you know, eyeliner application).
1. CRISP EDGES FOR EYELINER AND EYESHADOW
Move over spoon hack. Lemme upgrade ya. So the spoon-trick idea was cool for all of about 5 seconds. That was how long it took me to realize that, no, I don't want to hold a utensil next to my eyeball while struggling to get my shadow and liner just so. I'm more of a "Look, Ma, no hands!" kinda gal. This is where the tape comes in.
All you have to do for any precise, clean eye look is take a piece of tape, stick it to the back of your hand a couple times (this helps remove some of the tackiness so it doesn't stick too fiercely to your face), and place it on your temple so that it makes a line between the outer corner of your eye and the outer tip of your eyebrow. Then, simply do your makeup as you like. When you're done, just remove the tape, and viola! Perfect edges.
2. CLEANING UP FALLOUT
One of my favorite things is when I spend well over an hour on my makeup and I step back to admire my handiwork only to find these large, glittery shadows under my eyes. Cool! Sometimes, no matter how much you tap your brush to unload the excess, certain shadows are just desperate to end up dancing on your cheekbones. And especially if you've already done your primer, foundation, concealer, setting powder, bronzer, blush, and highlighter (whew!), that fallout is quite a nuisance. You can't just sweep it away, because it wants so badly to join the party, and will just smear into your makeup. But how to get rid of these makeup crashers? E-Z.
Take a piece of tape, stick it to the back of your hand a couple of times (again, you don't want to take off any makeup that is meant to be on your face), and then lightly touch it to the areas where the fallout has landed. It's like a lint roller for your face.
3. SPEAKING OF LINT ROLLERS
What is a lint roller but glorified tape on a rolling pin, anyway? This hack is super simple. If you're in a pinch, just grab a length of tape that will fit around your hand. Fold it in a loop (like what you would do if you wanted to tape a picture on the wall while concealing the tape) so that the non-sticky side is wrapped around your hand and the sticky side is facing outward. Then just slide your hand along your clothes. The tape will rotate itself around your hand as it slides, picking up that pesky lint as it goes.
4. BORDER PATROL
Whether you like to do some fancy nail art or just have an overzealous polishing hand, sometimes the edges around your nails just need a little defense during a painting session. If you apply tape flush against the borders of your nails prior to painting, any polish that escapes your nails during application can just be peeled away when you're done.
5. NAILING NAIL ART
Sure, with a lot of nail art there's talent and steady hands involved. But there's also usually tape. If you're going for a design with crisp edges, just use our featured friend. Again, make sure to remove some of the tackiness on the back of your hand, and make sure that the bottom layer of polish is completely dry before applying the tape to your nails. Then just place the tape where you want it and paint away. Just make sure to remove the tape before what you just painted dries, or it will peel all your work off.
6. A DRESSING ROOM FOR YOUR MAKEUP
Whether you don't know what color lipstick will look best with your eyeshadow, what nail color will look best with your outfit, or you're just feeling indecisive, tape will help you et through these trying times.
For lipstick, just draw a pair of lips in the color of your choice on a piece of tape, and hold it up to your mouth. For nails, stick the tape directly on your nails, and paint on your options.
7. CATCHING IT ON THE FLIP-SIDE
Why do pigment jars insist on having opaque lids? Answer: because it forces us to store them upside-down in order to see the color, and then waste half of the container when we eventually open them and are greeted with a dramatic, billowing gust of fairy dust. To keep from making a mess and saving product (and money), simply cut a piece of tape to fit over the sifter, and keep it there between uses. (Or if you're like me, old Lisa Frank stickers that you've been hoarding for over a decade also work.)
Images: Miki Hayes (6); Giphy (3)