Odd Beauty Tricks and Trends

Sometimes when you can’t sleep, you may find yourself in a dark corner on Youtube watching a teenager use Oreo crumbs and rubbing alcohol as mascara (just me? ok cool). Unless you’re looking to give yourself an eye infection, then you probably know that’s not the best idea to put cookie crumbs anywhere near your eyeballs. But with so many weird beauty tricks circulating the web, it’s hard to know which ones actually work, and which you should avoid. But fortunately for you, I’ve tested a handful of trending makeup tricks, to see whether they’re worth adding to your beauty routine. Baking The technique of baking has been around for a while, mainly within the drag community. “Baking” involves applying a layer of translucent powder over concealer and foundation, but not blending it in. Then, you’re supposed to leave the power on for five to ten minutes, letting your body’s natural heat set your foundation and concealer. After your face makeup has “cooked,” you wipe off the powder, leaving you with a smooth, long lasting base. Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist does it, so YOU should do it right?

I have naturally dry skin so I was skeptical about shellacking a thick layer of powder on my face. But I was willing to sacrifice my skin’s comfort for creaseless, flawless under eyes. I first applied my trusty, absurdly-named Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer (CVS, $9) in a V-formation under my eyes. Then I applied a layer of Laura Mercier translucent powder (Sephora, $23 for the travel size). While I left the powder under my eyes, I finished the rest of my eye makeup and filled in my eyebrows.

Verdict: Even though I don’t normally use powder to set my makeup, letting my concealer “bake” actually did leave me with a seamless finish. I had an eight hour shift after I did my makeup, and my undereye concealer stayed in place the entire night. So if you have the time, give baking a try.

The #Hashtag Smokey Eye If Cosmopolitan endorses something, then it must good, right? Right? Apparently not only does the hashtag signify a hip, ironic web presence, but it will also distribute the right amount of eyeliner for the perfect smokey eye. This trend is pretty self-explanatory: draw hashtags on the outer third of your eyelids. Then grab a fluffy eye brush, and use circular motions to blend out the product. I used the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Brown (CVS, $5) to draw the hashtags, then used a fluffy eye brush to blend out the product.

Verdict: Part of me didn’t want to try this “trend” because it seemed so obnoxious to me. But I powered through and drew stupid hashtags on my eyelids. Even though the end result wasn’t awful, I think just applying eyeliner as you normally would and then blending it out works better. Plus, you don’t look as ridiculous.

Powder Between Coats of Mascara If your mascara just isn’t cutting it, and you’re craving fuller lashes, then one possible solution is applying a bit of powder between coats of mascara. I was also skeptical about trying this trick, because as a contact-wearer with sensitive eyes, the last thing I want to do is get chunks of powder in my eyes. I first applied a coat of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara (Sephora, $23). Then I took some of my Laura Mercier powder, and using a Q-tip, gently applied some product on my lashes. To seal in the powder, I applied another coat of mascara.

Verdict: Fortunately I didn’t get any powder in my eyes, but overall this trick seemed like more effort for little payoff. I didn’t notice any difference between the eye where I applied powder and the eye where I only applied two coats of mascara.

Spoon Eyeliner You’ve probably seen, or even tried, the trick of using tape to create winged liner. But this trend ditches the tape and adds silverware to the mix. First you angle the handle of the spoon toward the end of your eyebrow. Then, you use the the handle to trace your angled line with your eyeliner of choice (I used L’Oréal’s Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner, available at CVS for $10). To connect the angled line to the rest of your eyelid, you flip the spoon and using the rounded part as a guide, fill in the gap.

Verdict: After years of practice, I can create a cat eye freehanded in a matter of seconds. So using a spoon only complicated the practice. But the results using a spoon looked fine, it just took me longer to do my winged liner. Maybe if you’re new at winged liner using a spoon will help? But I would recommend using a piece of tape instead if you need an eyeliner guide (just made sure you stick the piece of tape on your hand first, so tape isn’t as adhesive to your sensitive eye area).

Tips I Didn’t Try Because of Health and Safety Concerns (and You Shouldn’t, Either)

  • Magic Eraser to fix self-tanning mistakes. 

Please, please, for the love of god don’t use household cleaning products on your skin. The abrasive surface of a Magic Eraser is meant for scrubbing grease off your countertop, not tanner off your legs. Instead, use a body scrub.

  • Sharpie as eyeliner.

You may recall a few years ago, Taylor Swift tweeting that she’s used black Sharpie as eyeliner in a pinch. But just because a multi-millionaire popstar uses a permanent marker to line her eyes, doesn’t mean you should.  

  • Peanut butter as shaving cream.

Because: ew.

Photo by Allison Nguyen