Double-Duty Beauty: Unexpected Uses For Your Favorite Products

When it comes to our everyday beauty routines, the simpler the better. Whatever makes us feel the best and gets us out the door and into the world faster – we’ve got places to go. So it should come as no surprise that we’re all big fans of make-up drawer multi-taskers like coconut oil and tea tree oil, products that can be used for a multitude of purposes.

What you may not realize, however, is just how many cosmetic drawer workhorses you have lurking in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets – everything from aloe vera to your solid perfume, lip balm to deodorant. Once you find out just how much these products can do, you’ll be inspired to search out even more multi-tasking makeup.

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Aloe Vera

We love aloe as an after sun soother, a nourishing drink, and as a poison ivy cure, but as part of our makeup routine? Oh yes. Aloe works wonders as a makeup primer. Think about it: would you rather use a primer full of chemicals or one single natural ingredient? The answer should be obvious. Not only does aloe boast anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, but it can help keep oil and shine in check, allowing for a smooth surface on which to apply your foundation and other products.

To use aloe as a primer, simply spread a thin layer on your face and allow to dry before applying make up. Bonus: the aloe will help keep your skin hydrated throughout the day!

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Your Flat Iron

I’m sure I’ll horrify more than a few people when I admit this truth: I used a flat iron to iron my lace wedding dress the night before I got hitched. It’s true and it worked. A last resort for sure, but a clean, low-heat flat iron can take the place of a regular iron in a pinch. I’m not telling everyone to go out and iron their wedding dresses with their hair tools, but if you’re traveling or without an iron (or walking down the aisle in 12 hours), you can use your flat iron to get the job done. Just make sure it’s clean, oil-free, and set on low.

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Lip Balm

You most likely have more than a few stray tubes of lip balm floating around your bag right now. If your hairstyle has succumbed to the summer humidity or you’re experiencing untamed fly-aways, use lip balm to fight frizz and stray hairs (your solid perfume can do the same), and add texture to ends. As a bonus, if you’re using a balm with an SPF (and you should be), applying it to your part can help prevent sunburn on extra sunny days. A swipe or two of clear balm also tames unruly eyebrows.

If you slept through your alarm and find yourself running out of the house in the morning, apply un-tinted balm to eyelids for a dewy finish, and dab a bit of pink-colored balm or gloss to cheeks as a last-minute blush.

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Mascara Wand

A mascara wand or toothbrush also works wonders to tame eyebrows and fly-aways. Spray a bit of hairspray on them for even more holding power.

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Witch Hazel

Most often used as an astringent (apply to a clean face with a cotton ball — consult a dermatologist first, however), and used to treat minor cuts and bruises, witch hazel is another product that can be put to use in multitude of ways. Use it to treat razor burn, sunburn, and insect bites – its anti-inflammatory properties help to heal damaged skin of most kinds. Witch hazel can also be used to soothe tired eyes! Simply soak a cotton ball in cold water and witch hazel, apply to under eye area, and remove after 10 minutes.

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Coconut oil

For everything. Can we praise this oil enough? Probably not. It can be used for pretty much a million things (you can eat it, slather it on your skin, put it in your hair, rinse your mouth with it … just to name a few). A couple that you may not be aware of? Because coconut oil has anti-bacterial and healing properties, it can be used in place of Neosporin as an ointment for cuts and scrapes.

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If you use a store-bought deodorant, swipe it on your feet the next time you’re breaking in a new pair of shoes, the powder finish helps prevent blisters and rubbing. While you’re at it, stash that conventional stick of deodorant in your sock drawer and make a batch of homemade, all-natural deodorant.

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Use a gentle shampoo to lather up your makeup brushes to clean them of oils and residue. If you have delicate items that require hand washing, you can use a few drops of gentle shampoo (like baby shampoo) dissolved in fresh water in place of harsh detergent.

What are your double-duty recommendations? Let us know in the comments!

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6 years ago

coconut oil is a must have essential for every girl

Hypnotica Vintage
6 years ago

Dr. Bronners soap for hand washing delicate items, cashmere etc.
Shea butter for EVERYTHING! Moisturizer, hand cream, lip balm, apply to scrapes and cuts, fresh tattoos etc. Shea butter is all natural, inexpensive and wonderful. Buy it at inner city beauty supply stores in big tubs fresh from West Africa.

Gilda Ramos
6 years ago

Julie, can you please do a makeup brushes tutorial next time?? I can hardly identify the uses of each one! and also what kind of brushes are better for your skin.
Have a great monday!! :) (regards from Mexico!! )

6 years ago

Excellent post for this time of year when I’m trying to streamline my life back into the fall routine. Thanks!

6 years ago

I’m really looking forward to trying out your interesting suggestions for fly aways – maybe not without sometime for a plan b though, Lip balm on my head? #scary

Warm Regards,

6 years ago

Baby shampoo is good for removing mascara, even the ever so stubborn waterproof mascara.

6 years ago

Paint brushes can be used as makeup brushes too. Clear nail polish can keep clothes from fraying until you can patch it up. Hand sanitizer can wipe surfaces clean in a pinch.

6 years ago

Not the best article. Putting Burt’s Bees on your eyelids can be dangerous…

6 years ago

Coconut oil is my #1 go to; It’s my body moisturizer, my facial moisturizer, my makeup remover (seriously! it works wonders!)…. I don’t even wear any foundation or powder makeup anymore, and I get compliments on my skin all the time. It’s nature’s miracle!

<3 dani

6 years ago

it seems very obvious to iron with a flat iron but I’d never thought about it, it’s brilliant!