cultivate your life

Month: July 2018

Rediscovering My Roots

Rediscovering My Roots

    Last year, I bought my brother one of those DNA ancestry kits for his 40th birthday. My dad is big into genealogy and talks about our family history a lot. I thought it might be fun to see if our family DNA corroborated […]

Major Toy Declutter and Simplicity Parenting

Major Toy Declutter and Simplicity Parenting

  From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I started gobbling up any kind of information I could find on pregnancy, birth, early childhood, and child development. In stressful times, consuming information really helped me calm down. I knew if I reached the […]

My Favorite Beauty Hacks

My Favorite Beauty Hacks



It’s no secret I love all things makeup and skincare. I use right around 10 skincare products a day and nearly 20 makeup products on a non-lazy day. It’s such a fun hobby! That being said, I also like to take a few shortcuts to make the process run more smoothly. I have a very active fifteen-month-old who likes playing with my makeup more than watching me apply it. Time is really of the essence around here! I have a few things up my sleeve that I thought I could share to make your days a little easier.



Here are my Favorite Beauty Hacks that work for me:




+ pre-rinse



I have the hardest time taking off eye makeup, especially mascara. I’ve tried all kinds of things and have even (legally) smuggled some makeup removers across the US/Canada border. I import high-end cotton balls from Japan too! Nothing stops my search for the ultimate eye makeup remover. That was until I read about this particular hack: rinse your lids with a splash of water before you use eye makeup remover. How simple! I tried it and it worked great! It also resulted in fewer lost eyelashes. Just a little splash of warm water starts the process of loosening up all those waxes and sealants before the real work of makeup remover begins.




+ don’t waste money on new brush heads


From time to time, I think it’s great to replace brush heads for sonic cleansing brushes, but the timeline they suggest gets really expensive! At around $30 a pop and a recommended schedule of a new one every three months, you can really throw away a lot of money on needless updates.


I’ve taken the time to clean my brush heads before, but nothing has worked better than denture cleaning tabs! I use them normally to clean my retainer so I had a bunch lying around my bathroom cabinet. I was about to buy a new brush head, and I thought the risk was pretty low if I destroyed the brush head. Amazingly, it worked like a charm! My cleansing brush is working like new. The mildew building up underneath the bristles is gone and the bristles are back to their soft, scrubby selves. I couldn’t believe how well such an inexpensive hack performed. Seriously worth a try!




+ keep two shampoos in the shower just in case


There’s this old myth that shampoos and conditioners “stop working” and need to be changed around a lot. Turns out it’s us who do all the changing and not our products. Throughout a normal cycle, women’s hormones and natural oils change a lot. When a moisturizing shampoo works great for a week and then all of the sudden starts giving you greasy strands, changing body chemistry could be the cause.


We also live in an environment that can have huge swings in temperature, humidity, pollution, and weather conditions. Some days I might need heavy duty anti-frizz creams and some days I need my hair to stay put in 20 mph winds.


I also change up my styling depending on my mood, the time I have, or what I’m doing that day: straight one day, curly the next. To give my hair a good start, I keep two or three shampoos in my shower at all times. Mine include a Sunday detox shampoo for deep cleaning and to remove residue, a lightweight volume shampoo for good weather days when I have time for a full blowout, and a creamier anti-humidity shampoo for those sticky Mid-Atlantic days when my weather app reads 90% humidity levels. Inexpensive or pricey, adding an extra bottle or two to your shower shelf can really help you avoid bad hair days before they start.




+ skip the makeup brush cleaner


I mean, of course clean your makeup brushes, but don’t spend a bunch of money on specialty cleanser. Many makeup companies sell designated makeup brush cleansers that can cost far more than necessary.


I like to use a gentle, non-irritating shampoo instead. It cleans just as well for a fraction of the price. It doesn’t even need to be fancy. Baby shampoo or a sulfate-free bottle will work great. I’m a fan of trying new shampoos on my hair. Not of all of them are winners. The ones I would normally toss I set aside just for makeup brush cleansing.


The only caveat here: make sure it’s a formula that doesn’t irritate your skin. I’m sensitive to lavender and have the worst time when it’s included in any personal care products. If a shampoo doesn’t work on my scalp, I don’t use it on my brushes. Your brushes come into such close contact with your skin, so it’s best to avoid those irritating formulas.




+ clean up goofs


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten mascara fallout or smears on my lids and undereye area. I used to use a q-tip and try to wipe it away. That method always ended with a giant smear of mascara all over my freshly made up face and the need for a foundation and eyeshadow do-over wherever it landed. A wise makeup artist once told me to wait until that little mascara blob dried before trying to remove it. Then you gently lift it off with a clean brush or q-tip and it will remove cleanly from your face. It really works! I haven’t had a mascara smear in ages since I learned this simple hack.




+ comb it through


I can’t tell you how many times I see too-severe brows or clumpy lashes that ruin an otherwise pretty makeup look. To avoid that artificial and crunchy look, I always always always comb through my brows and lashes when I’m done applying product. I like my lashes to look feather-y and soft, not spidery. And my brows look naturally full and healthy if I take the time to run a spoolie brush through them before I leave my vanity. Some eyebrow products come with an attached comb or brush attached. Don’t forget to include that brush in your regular brush cleaning maintenance.




+ keep it neat


Along with mascara goofs, sometimes I can get a little out of hand with my winger liner or my lipstick starts migrating past the edges of my lips. One thing that’s always in my makeup brush collection is a cleanup brush. Mine is just a simple stiff-bristled brush (it’s actually a paint brush!) that I regularly keep clean to tidy up mistakes. Q-tips can get pretty wasteful when all you need is a little swipe to clean up eyeshadow fallout. Always make sure it’s spotless though! I’ve tried to clean up lip liner before with a brush that had lingering eye liner on it and it ended up much worse than before I started.



+ a clean slate


I do my makeup on my dresser facing my large bedroom mirror. It’s inevitable that translucent powders and eyeshadows end up creating a fine dusting of shimmer over my entire bureau. I’m not the biggest fan of shimmery furniture, so I used to spend a lot of time and energy cleaning up the surface underneath my makeup storage boxes.


Until I thought of the simplest hack! I take a tissue and put it under my makeup application area before I start. Once I’m done, I fold up the tissue with all of the makeup fallout and use the clean side to blot my lipstick before tossing it in the trash. I’m going to blot my lipstick with a tissue anyway. Might as well put it to good use before I use it. It’s such a simple way to keep your makeup area clean.





There you have it! My favorite makeup hacks to keep your look tidy and beautiful. Do you have any ideas or hacks that I’ve left off my list? Let me know in the comments below! I hope you find some of these ideas useful and look forward to hearing your thoughts too.






For more tips, tricks, and inspiration head over to my Pinterest board , my Instagram, or my lifestyle and fitness Instagram.