17 Life-Changing Makeup Hacks EVERY Woman Should Know

These aren't your average makeup tips and tricks.

Putting Lip Liner on Model
(Image credit: Getty Images ¦ Patricia J. Garcinuno)

1. Turn a pencil eyeliner into a gel formula with the help of a match or lighter.

Lighter & Pencil Eyeliner

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

Hold your black, green, burgundy, etc., kohl eye pencil (which typically creates a thin, harder-to-apply line), under the flame for one second, let it cool for 15 seconds, and then watch the consistency change right before your eyes. Finally, glide on your newly made gel liner for an instantly smudgier formula.

2. Cover your eyelid with white liner to make any eyeshadow shade pop.

Woman Putting White Liner on Eyelid

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

To make a sheer or less pigmented eyeshadow appear more colorful on your eyelid, take a white eyeliner pencil, like Make Up For Ever Kohl Eye Pencil in White (opens in new tab), and run it over your entire eyelid. The opaque consistency of the liner will intensify any eyeshadow shade and make it pop instantly against your skin. (Tip via makeup artist Lauren Cosenza (opens in new tab) founder of Divalicious Blog (opens in new tab).)

3. Draw your cat-eye first, and then fill in the open space for a perfect winged liner (opens in new tab) application every single time.

Sexy Cat Eye Tutorial

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin)

It's much easier this way. Use this tutorial (opens in new tab) as your guide.

4. Use a spoon to create the perfect winged liner.

Using a Spoon to Get Perfect Winged Liner

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

Holding the stem of a spoon against the outer corner of your eye, draw the straight line as the first step for your cat-eye. Then, flip the spoon so it's hugging your eyelid, and use the rounded outer edge to create a perfectly curved winged effect.

5. Draw a slanted hashtag at the outer corner of your eye, and then blend it for an instantly smokey effect.

Hashtag Smokey Eye

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

Left: Before; Right: After

To create a super-easy smokey eye, draw a hashtag symbol right before the outer corner of your eye and then blend it out with the smudger at the other end of your eye liner.

6. Use that same spoon to avoid mascara marks on your upper eye lid.

Using Spoon to Avoid Mascara Marks

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

Hold the spoon so it's hugging your eyelid, and then apply your mascara like you normally would. As you sweep the mascara wand against your lashes and back of the spoon, watch as the residue coats the back of the utensil rather than your skin.

7. Add saline solution to a flaky mascara formula to re-wet it. 

Adding Saline Solution to Dry Mascara

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

You're only supposed to keep mascara for three months, because beyond that point, it can collect bacteria and lead to eye infections. However, if your mascara dries up within those three months, revive it with a couple drops of saline solution.

8. Hit your eyelash curler with a hair dryer to heat it up, so your lashes curl easier.

Using Hair Dryer on Eyelash Curler

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

Blowing hot air on your eyelash curler will help your lashes curl easier and stay curled longer; it works the same way heat changes the pattern of your hair and holds a curl with a curling iron. To do it, hit the lash curler with your blow dryer until it heats up, wait until it cools slightly but is still warm (you want to be sure not to burn your eyelid), and then clamp down on your lashes to curl them.

9. Dust on translucent powder in between coating on mascara to plump up your lashes.

Using Translucent Powder Inbetween Mascara Coats

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

The translucent powder helps grip the mascara in between coats, leaving you with fuller lashes. Try out this tip by following this tutorial (opens in new tab).

10. Apply eyelash glue to false lashes with the tip of a clean bobby pin.

Applying Eyelash Glue to False Lashes with Bobby Pin

(Image credit: Kathleen Kamphausen)

Use the tip of a bobby pin to evenly disperse the glue along the base of your falsies. Then, wait a few seconds for the glue to get tacky and apply!

11. For long-lasting lip color, swipe on your shade, lay a tissue over your mouth, and then dust translucent powder over it to set the color.

Dusting Translucent Powder Through Tissue Onto Lips

(Image credit: Future)

This process may seem extensive, but the payoff is worth it. Not only does the translucent powder set a bold shade, like Elizabeth Arden's Ceramide Lipstick in Rouge (opens in new tab), making it instantly long-wearing, but the tissue acts as a shield to your lip color, protecting it from lightening or losing it's vibrancy. (Translucent powder, even though it's supposed to be clear, still has a subtle white tint to it that can alter your lip shade.) (Tip via makeup artist Lauren Cosenza.)

12. Mix loose pigments with a salve or petroleum jelly to make your own custom lip gloss.

Mixing Loose Eyeshadow Pigments with Petroleum Jelly

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

If you have loose eyeshadow pigments that you're obsessed with and want to wear as a lip shade, blend it with a little bit of a salve, like VMV Hypoallergenics Boo-Boo Balm (opens in new tab), or petroleum jelly in a spoon and swipe it onto your lips. Voil!

13. Perfect your Cupid's bow by drawing an "X" on your upper lip first as a guideline.

GIF ¦ Cupids Bow Lipstick Application

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

To make the Cupid's bow part of your pout look perfect, the easiest and quickest way is to take a lip liner in the same shade as your lipstick and create an "X" at your Cupid's bow. Then, apply your lipstick as you normally would and voil!

14. Conceal dark circles and puffy eyes the right way by creating a triangle with your cover-up.

Applying Concealer in a Triangle Under Eyes

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

You might be a fan of dotting on your concealer in the spots you need it, but the best way is it to actually apply it in a triangular formation with the base of the triangle directly under your lashline and the point toward the bottom of your cheek. This shape helps conceal any redness at the bottom of your eye and at the sides, and then instantly creates the illusion that your face is lifted, since the brightest point is the most intense under your eye.

15. Make contouring look more natural by using a pencil, pen, or makeup brush handle as your guide to finding exactly where your cheekbone is.

Not everyone's face is created equal, so where your BFF might be applying her bronzer might not be the best place for you to contour. To tell where you should be dusting on bronzer, roll a pencil, pen, or makeup brush handle right below your cheekbone (directly in the pocket underneath the actual bone) to find the right angle for your face. Once you've found the correct placement, dust some bronzer on your face using a contouring brush, and then diffuse the color so it looks natural. (Tip via makeup artist Lauren Cosenza.)

16. Map the contours of your face with a gel eyebrow pencil, since it's easier to apply precisely and blend in.

The Contour Map Tutorial

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin)

After you've applied your base, mark the areas you want to contour — the hollows under your cheekbones, your temples, along your hairline, jawline, the sides of your nose, the tip of the nose, and the crease of your eyes — with a deeply colored brow gel pencil, like IT Cosmetics Brow Power Perfector Gel Pencil in Auburn (opens in new tab). Brow gel pencils are really concentrated, yet very smudgeable, and it's easy to control the placement of their dark pigment, making them perfect for contouring. Next, use an all-over cream highlighter, like Mac Cosmetics Cream Colour Base in Luna (opens in new tab), on the tops of your cheekbones, on the center of your forehead, the bridge of your nose, the center of your chin, and on your Cupid's bow. (Tip via makeup artist Lauren Cosenza and this tutorial (opens in new tab).)

17. Blot your face in a pinch with a clean toilet seat cover.

Blotting Face with Clean Toilet Seat Cover

(Image credit: Elizabeth Griffin + Kathleen Kamphausen)

Initially, yes, this sounds gross, but both blotting papers and toilet seat covers are made out of similar fabrics and will help sop up excess oil on your skin. So, if you're in a pinch and headed to the bathroom to freshen up anyway, grab one of these covers and pat it over your skin to decrease any excess oil on your face.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Griffin; Kathleen Kamphausen

Carly Cardellino was the beauty director at Cosmopolitan. If you follow her Instagram, then you know she'll try just about any beauty trend or treatment once (the pics of her purple hair are on IG to prove it). But her favorite part about being in beauty is finding the most effective products, and then sharing that intel with others—because who wants to spend money on stuff that doesn't work? No one, that's who. Her most recent discovery: De La Cruz Sulfur Ointment, which will change your blemish-clearing game! Hopefully through the beauty stories she writes—and the experiences she shares—you can see exactly why she's in this business.