What Is the Most Brilliant Beauty Trick You’ve Ever Learned?

Some tricks require magic wands or smoke and mirrors. But for these beautiful feats, all you need is olive oil, baby powder, and a little ingenuity.

Photo by Christopher Silas Neal

Exfoliate your face with baking soda once or twice a week. About 20 years ago, I incorporated this step into my beauty routine after an acquaintance revealed that it was the secret to her amazing skin. I mix half a tablespoon of baking soda with a little water to make a paste and massage it onto my face and neck. Over time, this has made my skin look and feel brand-new. And at about $1 for a one-pound box, it couldn’t be more budget-friendly.

Jennie Dugger

Sapulpa, Oklahoma

A few times a week, mix a couple of drops of olive oil into your moisturizer to give your face a healthy glow. I learned the tip from an article about the many benefits of olive oil. I’m someone who wears minimal makeup, so keeping my skin hydrated makes all the difference in how I look. I’m in my 40s, but no one would guess it.

Amy Elizabeth Echols

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Regular face towels can be too abrasive for sensitive skin, so my mom taught me to dry my face with baby washcloths. They are soft, gentle, and just as absorbent.

Megan Melloy

Chicago, Illinois

Years ago, while taking a shower, I was fresh out of shaving cream, so I shaved my legs using hair conditioner. This last-minute replacement left my skin feeling so silky-smooth that I started using it all the time. Bonus: one less bottle cluttering up my shower.

Mischelle Turi

Bayonne, New Jersey

After I complained to a makeup-counter salesperson that my mascara always became dry and clumpy within a month, she suggested submerging the closed tube in a bowl of hot water for three minutes to make it creamy again. (Just don’t try to revive expired mascara.) This solution has stopped me from tossing out salvageable makeup, saving me money in the process.

Tina Bird

Venice, Florida

Because I have so much hair, my ponytails were perpetually saggy—until, that is, a hairstylist showed me how to create a two-in-one ponytail. I split my hair into two sections (top and bottom), secure the lower section with an elastic, then comb the rest of the strands over the bottom ponytail and tie both sections together. The hidden ponytail holds most of the weight, so my ponytail stays perky.

Heather Corin

Cary, North Carolina

As I’ve aged, my eyebrow hairs have grown thicker and stiffer, making wayward strands quite noticeable. I spritz a tiny amount of hair spray on a clean mascara wand and brush it onto my brows. The hairs stay groomed and in place until I wash my face at the end of the day.

Lanie Saint Aubin

Roseville, Michigan