35 Clever Tricks Beauty Experts Swear By To Quickly Make You Look So Much Better

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by Rachel Bar-Gadda and Lisa Fogarty
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You can spend a fortune on the best beauty products on the market, but if you lack the know-how to make the most of those masks, scrubs, eyeliners, and lipsticks, you’re not getting all you can out of your purchases. Even if you have just a few minutes in the morning or at night to dedicate to your skincare and makeup routine, you can create an amazing look — with the help of a few good tips from beauty experts who are in the know. I went straight to the source and uncovered 35 clever tricks beauty experts swear by to quickly make you look so much better.

You don’t need a lot of time or money to look fab fast. In fact, many of these clever tips rely on just a few multi-tasking products that can achieve so much as long as you know how to use them effectively. You may think your self-tanner has just one purpose — until you learn about the cheekbone-sculpting hack that involves replacing contour makeup with a little tanner (the cherry on top: it lasts a lot longer and cuts down on your morning makeup routine time). Similarly, you may be using your loose translucent powder to set makeup and create a matte finish. But one expert on this list explains why you should also dust your lashes with powder to help achieve your longest and lushest lashes yet.

From clever tricks that give you glossier hair to fantastic hacks that save you a ton of money on products, these are all expert-approved tips and products that will make you look so great — so fast.


Tease Your Hair For Height And Use A Light Hair Spray For Hold

Even if you have just 10 minutes in the morning you can make the most of that time by adding instant lift and volume to your hair — and you don’t need salon skills to achieve this look, according to Shelby Dennis, licensed professional bridal hairstylist and writer.

“Use a comb to create a teardrop-shaped section on the top of your head,” Dennis tells Bustle. “Comb the hair in this section until it's detangled, and you're holding it as if you're going to make it a ponytail. But don't grab a scrunchie. Grab your Air Control hairspray by Aveda (or any medium-hold touchable finish hairspray). Lightly spray the roots and mid-shafts of your teardrop section. Now, take your brush and gently tease the teardrop section. Do this by placing your brush at your mid-shafts, and gently brush down towards your scalp. Don't do a lot-- this whole process should take 1 or 2 minutes max.”

Once you've lightly teased the section, Dennis says to just let it go. “The hairspray will hold the volume,” she says. “Take your brush and gently arrange your hair. It should part the same way you had it parted a moment ago, but you'll want to smooth the top a bit and remove any frizz from the teasing. Voila! You now have natural, touchable volume in your crown and scalp area, no matter how fine your hair is.”


Remove Facial Hair For Smoother Skin

If you choose to remove facial hair and peach fuzz, one instant outcome could be a more flawless makeup application that glides onto skin. This discreet hair remover painlessly gets rid of hair and runs on battery (which is included). It even comes in different colors.

“For flawless foundation, shave your face once a week,” Beauty Content Creator Sasha Wichita tells Bustle. “It's painless and only takes a few minutes. I love how smooth it leaves my face, giving foundation an airbrushed finish.”


Create A Monochromatic Makeup Look

"To look instantly put together, create a monochromatic look with a multi-tasking product,” Wichita says. “My favorite is Ilia's Color Haze Multi-Matte Pigment in Temptation. Put a dot on each finger and gently diffuse on the lids for a wash of color. Apply two to three dots on each cheek and pat out as blush. Finish with a swipe on the lips and a little mascara, and you'll look polished in under five minutes."

This cruelty-free and vegan formula comes in five colors.


Perfect Your Eyeliner Application With Painter’s Tape

Some of the best products to try out your most clever beauty tricks aren’t even found in the beauty aisle. "To create a sharp line for eyeshadow or eyeliner, use painter's tape,” Wichita instructs. “Cut or tear a one-inch piece and place it on the outer corner of your eye. Follow the natural line from the outer corner of the lower lashline to create a lifted effect. Apply your eyeliner or eyeshadow, and remove the tape to reveal a clean, polished line."

This tape uses a medium adhesive and removes cleanly leaving behind no sticky residue. Three rolls come in each pack.


Instantly Add Shimmer To Any Look

You don’t have to invest in a million different eyeshadow palettes to create different looks. "Take any eyeshadow to a glitter shade using Stila Heaven’s Dew All Over Glimmer – it’s a clear based sparkling all-over shimmer that you can use on eyes, cheeks, and lips,” says Charlie Riddle, Stila's global beauty director and celebrity makeup artist. Perfect for transforming your workday look to disco-ready in a matter of seconds, Riddle adds: “It’s great to turn any look from day to night and any color from satin to shimmer."

This five-star rated shimmer gives you extreme glow without creating a wet texture. Apply it with a sponge, brush, or your fingers.


Soothe Skin And Hair Overnight With A Satin Pillowcase

If you’re pressed for time to devote to hair or skincare, then rest easy, because these satin pillowcases can help you effortlessly do the job overnight. "An investment in a silk pillowcase is an investment in better hair and skin,” Melissa Gilbert, an aesthetician at Fantastic Services, tells Bustle. “It doesn’t cost you extra time because it does the job while you’re sleeping. In addition to soothing skin, Gilbert adds: “It also gives you smoother, frizz-free hair when you wake up.”

These popular pillowcases with over 230,000 reviews are available in four sizes and 22 sumptuous colors like champagne, teal, and burgundy. They’re also affordable and come in a pack of two for less than $10.


Give Your Hair Instant Va-Va-Va-Voom Volume

No matter what hair goals you desire at the moment, be it more volume or more shine, Gilbert advises, “Make sure you treat it properly by choosing the right hair care products - your shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, and serums. Learn what your hair type is and what it needs and choose these products accordingly.” For the purpose of increasing volume, Gilbert recommends this volume burst spray. It goes on dry with a touchable, soft hold, and instantly adds nine times the volume while creating a tousled texture.


Set Your Makeup So It Stays Fresh For Hours

Your makeup routine doesn’t end the minute you’re finished applying foundation or concealer. To keep your makeup looking as fresh as possible throughout the day, it’s crucial to seal the deal with a quality setting spray, according to Angelia L. Inscoe, founder and CEO of The A Method.

Get Set is formulated with skin-loving, hydrating ingredients that keep foundation in place with no leftover residue – while delivering a dewy glow to accentuate your foundation's finish,” Inscoe says.Hold six to nine inches away from your face and close your eyes. Spray one to two pumps following your makeup application. This will deliver a mattifying effect that adds a dewy glow to skin.


Only Apply Concealer To Targeted Areas

If the idea of applying foundation every day feels like too much work, this concealer will give you all of the coverage you want in half the application time. “Apply it at the inner and outer corners of your eyes,” Gilbert says. “Dab it with a damp sponge only at the places you’ve applied it to and then spread and blend it towards the middle of the under-eye area.” Another tip? Only use it on dark spots or where highlighting is needed. “It feels a lot better and lighter than covering your whole face with foundation,“ Gilbert says. This pick comes in 16 shades and has more than 130,000 reviews.


Exfoliate And Hydrate Lips With A Natural Scrub

Lips are oft-neglected in beauty routines and keeping them soft by scrubbing can be a game-changer, according to Gilbert. “They are also one of the most sensitive parts of your body,” Gilbert says. “Scrub them one or two times a week. You can also DIY lip scrubs at home to make sure all the ingredients in them are natural. Another trick is to brush them with your toothbrush when brushing your teeth, but make sure you do it very gently.”

If you’d prefer to opt for some luxe ingredients, this lip scrub is made with exfoliating Hawaiian cane sugar, in addition to kukui oil and shea butter, which moisturize using essential fatty acids and vitamins.


Embrace The Hydrating Benefits Of ‘Slugging’

Slugging is a hot topic in skin care — one that may still make you skeptical. The practice is simple: after you’ve cleansed your skin and applied serums and moisturizer, add a heavy-duty occlusive on top as the last step of your nighttime routine. “This locks in moisture (and any other ingredients you’ve applied) and seals the skin barrier,” Dr. Alexis Parcells, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of SUNNIE, a skincare and anti-aging clinic, and Parcells Plastic Surgery tells Bustle. “The slimy film resembles a slug. Hence - slugging.”

It may seem gross, but the practice can help you achieve incredibly hydrated skin — and an occlusive like Aquaphor Healing Ointment provides the perfect way to seal your skincare routine. According to Parcells, this technique is perfect if you have super dry skin, but you shouldn’t do this if your skin is oily or you are currently breaking out.

Another tip: don’t use an active skin care product when slugging. “We are talking about BHAs, AHAs, and Retinoid,” Parcells says. “When trapped, these can increase their strength beyond what was concentrated by a chemist, and potentially increase their strength, leading to unpredictable results on your skin.”

Wait 30 minutes after slugging to hit the sheets so that your pillowcases don’t get messy and remember to wash the occlusive off in the morning before applying additional skin-care products.


Give Your Skin A Sun-Kissed Look

"When you apply blush, take a bit of it or just the leftover on the brush and apply it on the bridge of your nose,” Gilbert says. “It will give you a soft, sun-kissed look that is extremely cute in the sun.” This vegan and cruelty-free powder blush goes on the skin with a velvety texture and contains shimmery, pearl-infused ingredients that act as a highlighter and blush in one. Choose from four buildable shades.


Use Eye Cream On Your Lips For Lightweight Moisture

An ingenious hack for those who don’t like a tacky-feeling texture on their lips, Gilbert suggests, "It sounds weird, but if you don’t like the sticky glossy feeling of a lip balm, you can replace it with eye cream [...] Unlike lip balm, it absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel bad. It also doesn’t ruin the color and texture of your lipstick." This hydrating eye cream is made with hyaluronic acid and provides moisture for up to 24 hours. It comes in a lightweight formula that’s perfect for sensitive skin.


Apply Bronzer To Your Eyelids For Full-On (But Easygoing) Glam`

If the night approaches but there’s no time to spend ages perfecting your eye makeup, Gilbert offers a fast solution with the help of this Murumuru Butter bronzer: "If you don’t have the time for an extensive eye look but still want to look glam, this one is for you,” Gilbert says. “Take a fluffy blending brush and a bronzer and dust some of it all over your eye crease. It’s a real time-saver! In 15 seconds, you will have an effortless foxy eye look.”

The formula is both hypoallergenic and cruelty-free and comes in eight glowy shades. And it boasts more than 29,000 reviews.


Use Eyeshadow As Eyeliner For Subtle Drama

Not everyone looks forward to the sometimes-stressful application of eyeliner — or you may prefer a more subtle look. "If you struggle with eyeliner, but still want a similar look, apply brown eyeshadow closely to your lash line and flick it out with a pencil brush in the shape of an eyeliner,” Gilbert says. “Clean it with a cotton swab if needed. This trick is extremely quick and easy to do, giving you a natural elongated eye look."

This highly-pigmented eyeshadow stick is extremely easy to apply and comes in a creme-to-powder formula. It is fully waterproof and crease-free and is available in 25 pretty shades.


Extend The Life Of Your Perfume With Vaseline

If you’d like the enticing scent you put on in the morning to be just as enticing late at night, there’s a trick for just that. "We can all agree that most perfumes’ scents don’t last half a day,” Gilbert says. “You can quickly fix that by applying a layer of vaseline on the areas where you want to spray perfume (the neck, wrist, inner corner of the elbow, for example). The scent will last the whole day."

This classic moisturizer with a 4.8-star rating comes in a pack of three and is both non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.


Whiten Teeth At Home But Get Professional Results

"You can make your teeth whiter with whitening strips or mouthwash, but a quick trick is rubbing salt and lemon for around 10 to 20 seconds after brushing,” Gilbert says. “Don’t do this too often, because lemon has acidic properties and can also damage your teeth. Once a week is enough."

For the non-DIY option, go for these highly rated whitening strips that guarantee professional-level whitening in just 22 treatments. Use them once a day for 30 minutes for results that promise to last over 12 months. They’re backed by more than 57,000 reviews.


Fill In Your Hairline With Blendable Eyeshadow

If you’d like your hairline to look slightly fuller when sporting an updo or ponytail, Gilbert offers up a nifty hack. “A quick trick is to apply eyeshadow around those areas,” Gilbert says. “Find a shade that matches your hair color and dab it with a brush along your hairline. It makes a huge difference and it only takes 30 seconds." This eyeshadow has a silky texture and is extremely blendable, making it the perfect choice for an area like the hairline. There are plenty of shades to choose from, including a range of hues in the brown and taupe palette.


Use A Brow Pencil That’s One Shade Darker Than Brows To Make Your Eyes Pop

When grooming your brows, don’t worry about trying to find a brow color that perfectly complements your brows. You’ll make your eyes pop even more when you use a brow pencil that is one shade darker than your natural brow color, Freelance Makeup Artist Liz Fuller tells Bustle. “Brush hairs down and trace along the upper roots,” Fuller says. “Then brush hairs up and trace along the bottom roots. Then fill in any sparse areas within the brows from the front to the tail with pencil. This will give a polished, natural look.”

This $9 micro-thin eyebrow pencil has more than 38,000 reviews and comes in eight colors that mimic natural brow shades.


Exfoliate And Invigorate Skin With Coffee Grounds

Here’s another reason to love your beloved cup of morning coffee: it can work exfoliating miracles on your skin. "If you drink coffee, save the grounds from it,” Gilbert says. “After you’ve washed your face in the morning, mix it with water and rub it over your face [...] It exfoliates all the dead skin cells. You can even use it on your lips. Level it up by mixing the coffee grounds with coconut oil for an additional moisturizing effect."

If you’d rather not DIY this tip, this coffee scrub does exactly that by mixing arabica coffee grounds with both coconut and shea butter for extra hydration. Simply scrub on and rinse off to give your skin a renewed and smoothed texture.


Turn That Pony Tail Into A High-Fashion Moment

"While an average ponytail can look quite messy (especially when your hair isn’t perfectly clean already), a slick ponytail is a key to a great look regardless of your outfit style, Monica Davis, a professional hairstylist and founder of the MyStraightener blog tells Bustle. “All you need is five minutes, a good brush, and a drop of TIGI Bed Head Control Freak Serum. Apply a drop of serum over your strands and brush them well to spread the product, make your hair easily manageable, and create a perfectly slick look for your ponytail."

This serum doesn’t create greasiness and is moisture-resistant, giving hair a shiny and smooth look. Use it on wet or dry hair.


Brighten Your Face With A $6 White Eyeshadow Palette

When it comes to instantly creating a brighter look for the face, beauty expert Sally Moores at The Happy Sage, tells Bustle this eyeshadow palette in a shade called Unicorn is a game-changer. "There is one really quick trick that is guaranteed to bring your eyes alive and make your face look more radiant,” Moores says. “Use a very light powder eyeshadow such as a white or ivory (this will depend on your skin tone). The eyeshadow should be either matte or have a silky sheen to it, you don’t want one with a lot of glitter or shine in it.”

Moores explains how to complete this trick: “Take your little finger and dab it into the eyeshadow (wash hands first so as not to contaminate your eyeshadow). Press the little finger into the side of the top of the nose where it meets the corner of the eye and then again about 1mm towards the corner of the eye. Pat gently until blended. Add slightly more if required but you are looking for a gentle, lightly reflective look. Look at your face in a mirror from a distance to see the full effect [...] Eyes look bright and open and the face looks more radiant!"


Thicken Brows With A Tinted Pomade

You know those days when you get up in the morning and would rather do anything else than apply makeup — but you still want to look somewhat polished? NYC-based Celebrity Makeup Artist Suzy Gertein tells Bustle one of her favorite tricks for making her eyes pop when she doesn’t feel like adding mascara is thickening her brows with a tinted pomade.

“I go at my brows from all directions, backcombing as you would to add volume to your hair, then finishing with up and out strokes,” Gertein says.

This highly pigmented gel brow filler adds volume while keeping stray brow hairs in place. The cruelty-free formula comes in five shades and one reviewer said it’s “super easy to apply and lasts all day.”


Make Cheekbones Pop With A Contour And Highlight Stick

It takes just one product (and takes a few minutes) to make your cheekbones look more sculpted. This multi-tasking contour and highlight stick is a dual-sided tool with a darker contour on one side and a bendable highlighter on the other. Makeup Artist Mary Winkenwerder tells Bustle it helps create instant cheekbones in just two lines.

“Revive the appearance of cheekbones with two swipes, one to the left and one to the right,” Winkenwerder says. “Place the deeper tone of the highlighting stick just under the natural cheek line, close to the nose, and trace around the natural line on both sides of your face. Flip the contour stick over and make a lighter line just above the deep-tone line, the full length of the line. Blend with a soft brush until there is a natural shadow at the natural cheekbone line. Apply makeup as normal. It takes about 10 minutes to create."


Create A Cat’s Eye Without Makeup Pro Skills

The classic cat eye never goes out of style, yet it’s still a challenge for many non-makeup pros to perfect the look. “If you love the look of a cat eye but aren't sure you can create it yourself, trace black liquid liner onto the "v" of a bobby pin to create a stamp to be used at the corner of your eye and then fill it in with liner,” Beauty Expert Manna Kadar tells Bustle.

You can also snag this genius eyeliner stamp to do the job for you. The pack of two highly pigmented eyeliners features a liquid liner on one side and a stamp on the other in the perfect shape of a wing. They come in two sizes and boast 13,000 reviews.


Spritz A Facial Mist To Keep Skin Hydrated

Applying moisturizer in the morning may not be enough to keep flaky, dry skin happy for the entire day. But this Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs, and rosemary uses herbal extracts to hydrate skin any time you need it and it’s ideal for all skin types (not to mention: it has more than 50,000 reviews and comes in a few different formulations). "If you find your skin tends to feel dry throughout the day, use a face mist as a mid-day refresher to hydrate skin and refresh your makeup,” Kadar says.


Stash Eye Masks In Your Fridge For A De-Puffing Solution

Put the brakes on puffy skin with these gold eye masks that are made with real 24-karat gold and boast more than 19,000 reviews. The pack comes with 20 pairs of masks for $20 and can help reduce puffy eyes and dark circles, while making you feel more refreshed and awake. And Kadar has another suggestion for how to store your favorite de-puffing eye treatments. “Keep your favorite eye product in the fridge for a cool pick me up and apply throughout the day,” Kadar says.


Re-Purpose Your Facial Oil For Cuticles And More

One product can do so much more than you may think. "I use my face oil as a cuticle cream,” Kadar says. “I love any product that I can use to solve more than one problem." And this multi-tasking facial oil is perfect for your entire body, from your hair and face to nails and body. It has more than 10,000 reviews and is infused with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, apricot oil, sweet almond oil, and rose petals.


Dust Your Lashes With Translucent Powder To Make Them Look Lush

Bet you didn’t know your favorite translucent powder can do so much more than take shiny skin to a matte finish. But Ksenia Sobchak, a dermatologist at Loxa Beauty, tells Bustle it’s a fantastic tool for plumping up your lashes, too.

“Since fluffy and fuller eyelashes push my beauty ceiling, I always ensure my cosmetics collection never runs short on translucent powder,” Sobchak says. “This powder follows my first layer of mascara, increasing the thickness of my eyelashes. The second layer of mascara then covers the powder, giving me amazing eyelashes."

This loose setting powder has more than 10,000 reviews and is a multitasker you need in your makeup kit.


Or Take A Lash-Boosting Short Cut With A Cult-Favorite Mascara

Need a mascara that will boost lashes all on its own (but can go that extra mile with a dusting of translucent powder, as Sobchak recommends)? This cult-favorite pick has more than 230,000 reviews and a near-perfect rating and comes with a conic shape fiber brush that makes it easy to create volume and length. It’s a cruelty-free pick with a $5 price tag that also makes it an incredible value. “This has become my favorite mascara,” one reviewer writes. “It lasts and doesn't dry super fast so you can build it as much as you want. It comes off easily with my eye makeup remover and doesn't flake throughout the day. I also love the wand (this part is huge for me) it glides the mascara on perfectly and separates my lashes.”


Prep For Makeup With A Face Mask

" A beauty trick that I swear by is using a face mask and or face scrub before applying my makeup,” Stefanie Vargas, beauty expert at Varenti Beauty, tells Bustle. “Doing this removes impurities, leaving behind beautiful and glowing results. If you need a fast effective trick, this works every time!"

This popular trio of facial masks is perfect for prepping your skin. It includes a green tea clay mask, turmeric clay mask, and Dead Sea minerals mud mask that cleanse, hydrate, and leave skin smooth and ready for the next step.


Slough Dry Skin Before Applying Makeup

If you prefer exfoliating before masking or instead of it before applying your makeup, this charcoal scrub is infused with stem cells and collagen for a scrub that sloughs away dry skin but also leaves skin feeling hydrated and soft. The popular pick has more than 10,000 reviews and one reviewer raved, “I love this scrub. I have been using it 2 to 3 times a week. […] It leaves my face feeling wonderful. […] Any time I have a [breakout], I use this scrub and within a few days my breakouts are basically gone.”


Dampen Your Makeup Sponges Before Applying Foundation

Snag these five-piece makeup sponge set with more than 70,000 reviews for just $10 and use them to apply everything from foundation and concealer to eyeshadow. But before you do — Natasha Moor, founder and chief empowerment officer of Natasha Moor Cosmetics, tells Bustle not to forget to dampen those sponges.

"First, my most important tip is to use a damp makeup sponge or beauty blender, as opposed to a brush or your fingers,” Moor says. “When your sponge is damp, it spreads your product into your skin more smoothly and quickly. As a result, your makeup celebrates your natural skin, and the finish is more flawless and longer-lasting. Here’s how: Wet the sponge, then gently squeeze out all of the water, leaving the sponge slightly damp. Now, apply your product to your hand, which you’re going to use as a palette. Use the sponge to pick up with product, then press the product into your skin, as opposed to ‘wiping’ it on. Continue until you have achieved the coverage you desire. In addition to creating a flawless finish, this technique ensures that the product isn’t wasted by being absorbed by a dry sponge or brush."


Don’t Be Afraid To Use A Long-Lasting Lipstick As An Eyeshadow

Your everyday lipstick does double duty when you use it as an eyeshadow and blush, as well. "Use a creamy, super-hydrating, long-lasting lipstick as an eyeshadow and blush to save time and get a fresh, natural glow,” Moor says. “It creates a soft, dewy, natural, rosy glow and avoids the glitter or shimmer often found in these formulas. To pull it off, choose a natural-looking shade that complements your skin. Press into lids and cheeks with a damp makeup sponge."

Try out Moor’s trick with this $8 Maybelline lipstick that has more than 56,000 reviews and comes in more than 30 shades.


Contour Your Face With Self Tanner

Move over, contour sticks. There’s a product that provides a slightly more permanent way to achieve that sculpted cheekbone look you love: self-tanner.

“A recent hack our team has fallen in love with (and uses regularly) is contouring your face with self-tanner,” Monica Prieto, a beauty expert at Beauty By Earth tells Bustle. “All you would need to do is take a makeup brush or blender and apply the tanner to all the places you'd typically apply and blend out contour. Even better, because it's a dye-free tanner it works with all skin tones to create a custom tan unique to that person's skin tone. Once the contour is in place and sets, you'll wake up the next morning with one less step in your makeup routine and it adds natural shadows and highlight to your face (Without the sun damage).”

This vegan self-tanner develops a natural-looking tan in just one hour and comes in 14 shades to suit all skin tones.

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