Top tips to maximise your make-up

Make-up is one of the biggest and hardest-to-swallow costs in a woman’s budget. Follow these insider tricks to get more bang for your buck when it comes to your beauty products.

Double acts

Here’s how to make your make-up work double time.

  • It might sound like something you did as a child, but blending lipstick onto your cheeks actually creates a great sheer coloured blush. Just make sure your skin is well moisturised and don’t go OTT or you’ll risk looking like a porcelain doll.
  • Lip gloss can double as a highlighter for your cheekbones and eyes.
  • Coloured eye pencils can be used to outline and define your lips too.
  • Shimmery eyeshadow is great for defining cheekbones and collarbones.
  • Rub lip balm into your nails to nourish and soften your cuticles.
  • Mix Vaseline with a little loose powder eyeshadow to create a shimmery highlighter for your face and body.
  • Old nail polish also makes an excellent colour-coding system for house keys and electrical cords – a quick dab will save you hours of fiddling around.
  • To make threading a needle easier, add a dot of nail polish to the end of the thread, pat excess off with a tissue and let it dry. It will be stiffer and much easier to thread.
  • Save liquid eyeliner brushes and after washing them, use them with nail polish to decorate your nails with delicate patterns or other intricate decorations for crafts, etc.
  • Place your old mascara wands in the dishwasher to clean them and then use them to groom your eyebrows or mist them with hairspray to gently smooth down fuzzies at the hairline.

Beauty hacks for the frugal-minded

Make your own scented body lotion by adding a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil or perfume to Sorbolene cream. To extend the life of your expensive body oils, place a small amount into a pretty spray pump, add water and leave it in the shower. Simply shake, spray and towel-dry and you’ll be left with smooth, glistening and fragrant skin.

Save on face exfoliators by gently rubbing your face with a dry towel before cleansing, or with a damp face cloth afterwards.

If your nail polish refuses to dry, spray on a non-stick cooking spray to speed up the process. Alternatively, coax your nail polish into a fast-drying mode by sticking it in the freezer for a few minutes before you apply it.

To instantly revive your foundation in a matter of seconds, place a clean tissue over your face, lightly spritz with a water spray and then peel it off.

Crushed eyeshadow can be mixed with a bit of paw paw cream or lip gloss to create a creamy eyeshadow, or mix old eyeshadow with clear nail polish to create a new nail polish colour.

Maximise your mileage

FINGER PAINTING: Apply your foundation with your fingers because sponges just soak up the product meaning less colour for your face.

BOTTOMS UP: Store your hair- and skin-care products upside down to ensure you get every last drop.

THE SCOOP: You may think you’ve finished your lipstick but there’s actually a quarter of the lippie still in there. Scoop it out with a knife and make your own lipstick palette out of an ice tray. Microwaving the lipstick for a few seconds makes it softer and easy to mix.

CUT YOUR LOSSES: When you can’t squeeze anymore out of a tube, cut it in half, you’ll be surprised how much product will be inside.

GET INTO HOT WATER: To get the last couple of swipes of mascara or lip gloss, run the closed tube under hot water.

MIX IT UP: If you’re almost out of foundation, add a few drops of moisturiser to the bottle and shake it up to make a sheer base.

NAIL POLISH REVIVAL: Old nail polish gone thick and sticky? Revive it with a few drops of nail polish remover or nail polish remover thinner and it will be as good as gold.

KEEP IT COOL: Keeping your eyeliners in the fridge during summer will prevent them from getting too soft, which results in wasted product through over-sharpening.


  1. SarahBlair 04/01/2020 at 10:01 pm

    This is great! I love makeup hacks and ideas of how to get good mileage from my makeup. It can be so expensive so getting everything possible out of it is fabulous!

  2. Alezandra 02/01/2020 at 11:56 am

    Thank you for these tips. I am not very keen in taking too much time or investing on make-up but I do enjoy using my brow palette and lipsticks and these hacks makes me feel I don’t have to spend too much to have something good to use, and invest on myself for a change.

  3. Shorrty4life1 01/01/2020 at 10:07 pm

    Awesome tips. Will have to show my sister these wee hacks to go cheap with make up as she loves her make up. As for my the only thing I wear is lip balm when my lips are dry. But definitely great tips for make up fanatics.

  4. Jen_Wiig 27/12/2019 at 12:47 pm

    What fantastic tips! I’m not a huge makeup wearer but the makeup I do have I want to try and save and look after as much as possible, these tips have given me some great ideas to do just that.

  5. Micht 23/12/2019 at 7:26 pm

    Been watching some of these things online…some interesting ideas…if i truly had time i would do some of them… the lipstick for blush for me has always been a go to emergency option… the others i may be a bit too lazy to try.. but will keep in mind…

  6. MuddledUpMolly 21/12/2019 at 11:07 am

    I don’t wear a lot of makeup but some of these tips and hacks are very helpful and easy peasy too!

  7. dawnblyth 20/12/2019 at 7:50 pm

    I don’t wear makeup very often at all but these hacks are awesome. I would never have thought of running a mascara tube under hot water to loosen the remaining mascara for use. Clever!!

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