20 Best Beauty Hacks

We asked beauty pros, editors, and experts—and some gorgeous women like you—to share their cleverest tricks. Getting prettier just got easier.

Hacks That Help You Get Ready Faster

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Photo by Maria-Ines Gul

Halve Your Shower Time

If you’re an a.m. hair washer, shampoo and condition simultaneously. Lather up the top of your head, run conditioner from midshaft to tips, then rinse out both at the same time. Your roots are where you need shampoo the most (dirt oil, and products build up there), while the ends require hydration and minimal cleaning.

Speed Up Drying

Wearing a towel turban may seem like a good way to dry your hair, but surprisingly it’s not. Once the cotton is soaked, it keeps the hair wet, prolonging the drying process. The cotton can also rough up the hair cuticle, increasing the likelihood of breakage and frizz. Let hair air-dry or opt for a gentler and more absorbent microfiber towel. We like Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel ($30; aquis.com).

Style While You Sleep

Spritz dry shampoo along your roots before bed as a preemptive measure; it will absorb excess oil as the oil is produced. Your hair will feel extra fresh come morning, and you’ll need only a quick touch-up before you run out the door. Try Dove Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo ($4; target.com).



Ace Your Archesz

When there’s no time for full makeup, grooming just your brows can go a long way toward making you look put together. Use a clean spoolie brush to comb brows backward, starting at the tail. This reveals any sparse areas, which you can then quickly fill in with a pencil, like Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil ($24; benefitcosmetics.com).

Hacks That Help You Look Good at Work

Repurpose Your Office Supplies

When unwanted sheen appears, resist the urge to keep powdering your nose, as too much powder can quickly start to look cakey. Gently blotting away excess oil is a better bet, and you don’t even need fancy blotting paper. Toilet seat covers from the bathroom or a coffee filter from the break room works just as well. We won’t tell your boss.

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Photo by Maria-Ines Gul

Avoid Mascara Smears

Believe it—a business card doubles as an excellent eye makeup tool. When you’re applying mascara, place one directly behind your upper lashes or underneath your lower lashes. The card acts as a shield, letting you work the wand all the way to the base of your lashes without leaving smudges.



Upgrade Your Ponytail

Make any pony, braid, or bun office-ready by creating the illusion of added volume, no hot tools required. Simply dust a root touch-up powder onto your hairline, your part, or any areas where your scalp is exposed. Your hair will instantly look fuller. A good one: Madison Reed Root Touch Up ($30; sephora.com).

Refresh Your Makeup Without a Mirror

If that 3 p.m. slump is starting to show on your skin, there’s no need to redo your makeup. A colorless hydrating balm revives your entire look. Dab it onto cheekbones, lids, and lips for an immediate pick-me-up. Try Milk Makeup Hydrating Oil Stick ($24; sephora.com).

Hacks That Take You From Gym to Desk

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Photo by Maria-Ines Gul

Create Waves While You Work Out

Don’t plan on washing your hair afterward? Mist on texturizing spray and put hair in a topknot. The warmth and humidity generated during your workout, coupled with the styler, will produce pretty waves. Try KMS HairPlay Sea Salt Spray ($23.50; ulta.com).



Keep Skin Clear

Pre-workout, wipe your face with a salicylic acid pad. The ingredient helps exfoliate dead skin cells, clearing pores and preventing oil from getting trapped. Try First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads ($30; sephora.com).

Fight Flyaways

All it takes to transform your ponytail into an office-appropriate style is an extra hair tie. Secure the hair with one tie. Then add a second for extra hold and lift, making your pony look intentional. Spritz Tresemmé Compressed Micro-Mist Hair Spray ($5; target.com) onto a toothbrush and run it along your hairline to smooth errant hairs.

Soften Strands As You Sweat

Before working out, apply a hair mask from midshaft to ends, then throw your hair into a bun. The heat from exercising will help the mask penetrate. As an added time-saver, you can skip conditioner after you wash it out. Try L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge Treatment ($7; lorealparisusa.com).



Apply Foundation Quicker

Dust a powder foundation, like IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation ($35; ulta.com), all over your skin. Then spritz a setting spray, such as Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray ($31; sephora.com), on top. It gives the powder a creamier finish, similar to that of a liquid foundation—without the time-consuming application—and helps it last longer.

Hacks to Get You Glam at Night

Simplify Your Makeup

When taking your makeup from day to night, just reach for a bright lip color to punch up your look. You don’t have to reapply blush; the cheek color left from the morning is all you need. Extra blush, if coupled with a vibrant lip, can make your complexion look too red.

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Photo by Maria-Ines Gul

Spruce Up Nails in Seconds

If you don’t have time for a manicure, clean and brighten nails by buffing them with a toothbrush and a dab of whitening toothpaste. Finish with a swipe of hydrating cuticle oil for a pretty and healthy-looking sheen.



Make Fragrance Last

To up the staying power of your perfume, first apply an unscented lotion, like Curél Fragrance Free Body Lotion ($7; target.com), all over your body. Your pores will absorb the lotion, causing the fragrance to break down more slowly and stick around longer so you smell amazing all night.

Look Fresh in Pics

A night out inevitably involves photos, so don’t wear foundation containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, found in sunscreen. These can reflect light into the camera, leaving skin with a gray or white cast in flash photos. If you only have a formula with sunscreen, dust on extra bronzer.

Travel Like a Pro

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Photo by Maria-Ines Gul

Pack Smarter

Store liquid or cream makeup and skin-care products in clean contact lens cases. They hold the perfect amount for short trips or to keep in your purse for midday touch-ups.



Avoid Plane Hair

Before boarding, spray a leave-in conditioner, like It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin ($21; ulta.com), from midshaft to ends. Then, if you have longer hair, pull it into a low, loose bun. A little conditioner is all it takes to help keep any style smooth and detangled.

Lighten Your Load

Swap powder blush and eye shadow for a multipurpose color stick, like Bite Beauty Multistick ($24; sephora.com). You won’t need to pack any brushes. Plus, this single product can add color to your cheeks, lids, and lips.