10 Beauty Secrets That Mom Never Told You

Just think of me as your cool older sister who gives great advice and lets you borrow my makeup.
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Paige - Marist College
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Just think of me as your cool older sister who gives great advice and lets you borrow my makeup.
powder on makeup brush

Photo: ELLE

From boy advice to warning against blue eye shadow and red lips, mothers have bestowed so much wisdom upon our young and impressionable brains. But with the changing trends, products and methods, mom can't possibly give us all of the beauty insight we need to survive in this cruel and trendy world.

Here are 10 absolutely simple and fantastic beauty "hacks" and tips that mama might not have told you (but I will!):

beauty hacks

Photo: ELLE

1.  Don't use what they give you (most of the time).

You know those little powder puffs that come with most face powders? Or those tiny Q-tip/brush hybrid eye shadow applicators that come with many drugstore palettes? Don't. Use. Them.

Of course, they work in a pinch and some products do come with good applicators (i.e. Urban Decay's Naked palette), but they will generally not give you your best application and utilization of the product. Seriously, using powder puffs with powder foundation can potentially make you look like you belong in a morgue. Invest in makeup brushes, they make all the difference!

2. Downward strokes!

When applying foundation with a brush (or sponge), use only downward strokes. This will change your life. Many people have very fine and virtually unnoticeable hairs on their face that grow in a downward direction; blending your foundation downward will go with the flow of them and give you a smoother result.

3. Make your own lip colors.

This is probably the one piece of beauty advice my mom gave me that I actually listened to (sorry mom!). Layering lip colors is a fantastic way to achieve your ideal color.

Face it: not every red lip is going to work on you, but maybe mixing that red lip stain with a sheer plum lipstick will be your new dream color. This is also a great technique when you have a particularly drying color– layer it with a tinted lip balm!

beauty hacks lips

Photo: ELLE

4. Moisturize & Shine!

I'm a huge fan of matte lip colors, but the truth is they can be super-drying on your lips. Sometimes I also just want a bit of shine without the sticky feel of lip gloss (I hate lip gloss. It's like glue for your lips, ugh!). The perfect solution? Petroleum jelly!

If you don't already have some, you can purchase a little tub for less than $5. Just put some on your finger and lightly tap it onto your lips. This keeps your lips moisturized and adds a pretty shine. This is also the best way to avoid getting your lip color of the day all over your EOS lip balm. Ick. Does that happen to anyone else?

5. Line your lips... but not like that.

Lip liner is a great way to keep your lipstick neat (especially with bold colors!) and prevent it from feathering. When using lip liner, don't just apply a super-thin line. Make sure you thicken the line inward a little bit to avoid that really weird and obvious lip outline.

You should also smudge your lip liner inwards in order to help it to blend with your lip color. Personally, I line my lips and fill them in entirely with liner before applying my lip color. It takes more effort but, hey, it works!

6. Wet before use.

Mama probably didn't tell you this because Beauty Blenders totally didn't exist yet when she was experimenting with makeup. This might be common sense, but I (and many of my peers) did not realize you absolutely must wet the Beauty Blender (or a knock-off version) before using it to apply your foundation.

It makes a WORLD of difference. Seriously, dampen the sponge before dipping it in your foundation or trying to blend your makeup. 

beauty hacks brushes

Photo: ELLE

7. Dry makeup brushes downward. 

Your mother probably told you to clean your makeup brushes, but did she tell you how to properly dry them? When your brushes are drying be sure to angle them downward with the brush bristles facing down. If you don't do this, water might seep towards the handle and cause loose bristles.

An easy way to do this is to lay a can of hairspray (or another type of cylindrical can) on the counter, drape a washcloth over it, and place your brushes on it, like a see-saw sort of arrangement.

8. Don't pump your mascara.

Some people feel the need to pump their mascara in and out of the tube to get more product or something, but it's not really doing much except putting more air and bacteria into the tube. Yuck.

Avoid pumping the mascara wand in and out of the tube and simply apply it in layers if you want more product. Applying more than one coat of mascara is always a good idea.

9. You can (and should) make your lower lashes pop!

Applying mascara to your lower lashes is life-changing– it really opens up your eyes and makes them pop! The reason many mamas have warned you against this is because it can be difficult to not overdo it.

If you're worried about streaks and smudges from watery eyes, using waterproof mascara on your lower lashes is a fab choice. When applying mascara to your bottom lashes, you can avoid clumps and too much volume by holding your brush horizontally and gently sweeping it back and forth one time. This darkens your lashes and provides a little bit of definition without clumping and super-extending your bottom lashes.

10. Blend your foundation past your face.

It is so important to blend your foundation down onto your neck and into your hairline. I know it sounds weird to take your face makeup off of your face, but you do not want that dreaded line of foundation that makes your head look separated from your body. Be sure to blend a little bit of foundation towards your hairline, over your jawline, and slightly onto your neck. 

What do you think?

Do you often use any of these little beauty tips on a day-to-day basis? What beauty advice would you love to share? Let us know in the comments down below!