Beauty Hacks

10 beauty hacks for students!

I honestly believe there is little that can beat the rush of buying new makeup, especially when it comes from somewhere very posh where the staff will wrap up your new lipstick like it’s the heart necklace from Love Actually. Beneath the frills, confetti and that random sprig of holly lies a new bit of magic to give you confidence and ensure you look stunning no matter what the hour is….but what happens when its still weeks till loan day, your eye pencil has snapped and your last lipstick has resolutly buried itself far underneath the sofa?

The only way I can face people before midday is with an exceptionally bright lipstick (draws attention away from the dark bags under my eyes) and a large coffee – slightly problematic if the lipstick isn’t smudge proof but you get the idea. However, student budgets tend to not have room for the next Mac collection (the new one, ‘A Novel Romance’, is based on.. you guessed it.. romantic novels, hello English Lit students!) or Nails Inc’s constantly updated polish range, let alone fancy skin and hair products that promise the world for the price of a small country. No, student budgets are more suited towards the 3 for 2 offers at boots and superdrug, trimming your own split ends and hoping that the odd fruit smoothie every other month will give you supermodel skin.
Don’t worry – with these make-up hacks you can get even the cheapest of products to work for you just as well as the designer potions:

How to zap spots:
Grab some full-fat greek yogurt to dab onto those yellow-headed nasties, leave it to dry (approx 20 mins) then wash off. According to cosmopolitan, the lactic acid helps clogged pores, the probiotics help balance bacteria and the fat moisturises without clogging. They all combine to reduce inflammation and redness around the spot – who needs Clearasil hey?!

How to shave your legs:
Well, you still need a shaver, but what happens if you have no shaving cream? Rather then going without and risking sore dry legs, just use some hair conditioner instead! The clue is in the name – it will condition and moisturise the skin as the hairs are removed – genius.

How to cover a bruise:
After a heavy night out you may have become a little too closely acquainted with your door/desk/bedframe/towelrail on the way back to bed. The next day you wake with a nasty looking bruise that concealer simply wont cover. The solution: Use some mouthwash! No, not in your mouth, simply dab it onto the bruised area and it will ‘magically’* reduce both the colour and the swelling within minutes.
*This is probably something to do with it being antiseptic but I don’t know for sure so I’m sticking with magic so I don’t get sued.

How to get more from your toothbrush:
No, this has nothing to do with Orange is the new black – get your mind out of the gutter. A normal toothbrush can do more then clean your teeth, use it to exfoliate your lips (be gentle) before applying lipstick, this helps prevent them from drying out and gives you a smoother finish. A clean toothbrush can be used to de-clump mascara too, maybe thats why they are sold in two packs?

How to dry your nails:
It is 2014, why does nail varnish still take such a long time to dry? We cannot do anything with wet nails, we’re practically newborn kittens. The solution? Dunk your nails in cold water! It wont dry them completely (duh, its wet.) but will significantly reduce drying time.

How to de-frizz your hair:
As much as we’d all love shares in frizz-ease, it’s not always possibly to afford the little bottles of wonder (which btw I am sure did not used to cost £10?) I’ve learnt that a cheap alternative is to use hand cream! Just rub a small amount through your hands until you’re left with that half-rubbed in sheen, then run your fingers through your air. Note the words ‘small amount’, too much will make your hair look greasy and, well, as if you’ve covered it in hand cream…

How to make perfume last:
Its all very well buying the biggest bottle of your favorite perfume because its the best deal, but when you realise how heavy and bulky it would be to carry around all day you’re faced with a problem! If you spray in the morning is the scent going to last until you get home again? Probably not, unless you seal it in! Simply rub a little bit of vaseline wherever you want your perfume (pulse points work best!) then spray onto it, the scent will last much longer.

How to make bobby pins stay put:
Surely it’s not just me that has this issue, I get my hair perfectly placed with my hands, shove some pins in, remove hands and …after about thirty seconds the pins fall out and my masterpiece falls flat. >_< An easy way to make them more secure is by spraying them with hairspray first, just lay them along a flat piece of paper, spray then use. They should stay in place all night!

How to do the perfect French manicure:
This one is genius. Paint your nail in whatever natural colour you fancy then wait for it to be completely dry. Next, take a plaster with curved ends, stick it along your finger and nail so the curved end stops about 1cm short of your nail edge, this should leave a perfect curved gap for you to paint over with white nail varnish. Once its dry (be patient!) remove the plaster and taadaaaaaaa!

And Finally, Can’t choose between matte or glossy lips? Have both!
Simply buy the lipstick colour that you like best, slap it on, add vaseline to make it glossy or apply translucent loose powder through a tissue to mattify it. You can also mattify nails by mixing clear polish with any loose eyeshadow powder before applying.