3 Often Overlooked Beauty Tools

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup Tools


Written by Sam

Some great beauty tools hide in the unlikeliest places. Today freelance makeup artist and blogger Sam shares three you might not have thought of before.

3 Often Overlooked Beauty Tools
“Do I look cray-cray?”

1. Lighter

If you’re a smoker, you may already have one of these in your purse, but if you’re not, dash on down to the drugstore, and pick yourself up a cheap, disposable lighter. These brightly colored, flame-producing confabulations are absolute wonders in the beauty world, and one so few casual artists seem to own.


These little wonders are absolute godsends with pencil eyeliners. Now, you might be thinking, “Gee, Sam, something about heat and my eye just doesn’t sound smart.” And you’d be right. Please, kind ladies and gentlemen, the lighter should not get anywhere near your actual eye with this (or any) trick.

Now, flick that little lever to get your lighter lit, and wave the tip of your favorite eyeliner right through the very top of the flame. One…two…three times.

At this point, your eyeliner is gonna look a little sad and…amorphous. No worries! If you want a fantastic kohl-like application, go straight ahead and draw that line (you may want to test it on the back of your hand first, without blotting, to make sure the tip isn’t too hot). Now, blot the tip on the back of your hand (I would suggest using a tissue, but you don’t want to pick up any fuzzies) to remove any excess and to test the heat level. If it feels too hot, keep it away from your eyes for another second or two, and test again on your hand (NOTE: this means you left it in the flame too long).

What you do next depends on the effect you want. If you want a gorgeous, crayon-like application that you plan to smudge a bit, let it set for 3-5 seconds, and then apply. If you simply want a longer lasting, precise application, blot off the rest, let it set for 5-10 seconds, and apply.

2. Butterfly Clips

I know that only a few of you are going to trust me on this one, but it really does work wonderfully, so I hope you give it a try.

For this tool to work effectively, you’ll want to blow dry your hair until it’s completely bone-dry, and hopefully with some sort of product in it (I’ve found a texturizing or setting lotion works best). Do you know those butterfly clips that people tend to keep in their kitchen drawer? The ones for closing unfinished bags of almond granola or sour cream and onion crisps? Grab an armful, and haul ‘em up into your bathroom. These are going to help you create a perfectly even and not-so-perfectly disheveled wave in your hair (you know, the kind that one of your friends has naturally, and it’s just not fair!).

Starting at eyelevel, take a clip (I like the medium-size ones) and a section of hair, and, using a finger, push this section up and into the clip (the “teeth” should be parallel to the floor and close to your scalp). Do this on the other side as well.

Next, do the same thing at jaw level on either side. Each of these should create a section roughly one-fifth of the total of your hair. Section out a fifth directly on the back of your head, and place one clip up near the crown of your head (remember to pull the section up and into the clip to avoid flatness) and one at about eyelevel.


At this point, you should have two “un-clipped” fifths left. Add a clip on both of these at the eyelevel line only to create a believable wave. This pattern is going to give you that slightly rough, modern look with a wave only through the mid-section.

Lastly, grab your blow-dryer, and on low speed, but medium to high heat, blow over the clips for a good 3-5 minutes. Then, hit the hair with the cool setting for a few seconds before removing the clips. Run your fingers through your hair a bit to settle it, and add a smoothing lotion or light setting cream to set the look. All done!

3. Hairnet

This final often overlooked beauty tool is perhaps a bit bourgeois, but effective. Give Lunchlady Doris a call and ask for her hairnet. This semi-crude piece of work can do wonders for eliminating the frizz that often accompanies heat styling. For short hair, after applying product to damp hair and styling as desired, slip this piece on before blow drying to keep every hair in place, and to make sure that gorgeous look stays in place all day long.

For long hair, this thing can work magic when used with the previous clip trick. Simply wrap it around all of the clips to help keep those waves in check, sans the awful flyaways.

With these three rather odd, often overlooked beauty tools in your kit, you’ll undoubtedly have your friends asking where you found the time for that bangin’ blowout, and what new brand of eyeliner you’re using.

Ah, if only they knew…


Written by Sam

Sam is a 17-year-old, oddly tall guy whose love of all things skincare, makeup, and fashion started when he entered the modeling world at 14. Since then, he’s established himself as a freelance makeup artist in the theatre and fashion worlds, and started his own blog to preach the wonders of orange eyeshadow, Asian skincare, and designer fragrances to the masses.


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So far, 24 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Erin says:

    Interesting post, Sam! I knew the eyeliner tip, but not the hair!

    And the picture of Tabs made me die laughing LOL!!!!
    Erin recently posted … New Wet n Wild Grays Anatomy

  2. Tracy says:

    Very interesting tips. I’ve tried the eyeliner tip- I read about in one of Scott Barnes Makeup Books.
    Tracy recently posted … Does Benefit The POREfessional Make Pores Disappear

  3. Advah says:

    The eyeliner trick takes me back years ago, I remember my friends in high school burning the tip of their pencil in the toilet before retouching their makeup. 🙂

    • Kim says:

      This was definitely a HS pass time in the 80s! Some of the girls were smoking in there and others were using their lighters on black eyeliner. 🙂

  4. Katie Coleman says:

    Nice job Sam!! I love it! I knew about the lighter and the hairnet, but I had NO idea about the clips! That’s fantastic! I’m gonna try that trick tonight 🙂

  5. Stephanie says:

    I always see MUA working with a lighter.. but I never came up to do this to my liners.
    My mom is a hairdresser and I always “steal” her butterfly clips, haha.

  6. tasha says:

    Tabs picture is HILLARIOUS!!!!

    Thanks for the tips!!!!

  7. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    I cannot get over how amazing that Tabs photo is. Tell him that he doesn’t need the lighter — his eyeliner is already perfect.

  8. Vikki says:

    You should put pictures up of the hair clip tip, because I cannot visualize it at all!

  9. auroragyps says:

    OMG, that picture of tabs had me lol so hard. A really squeaky lol too. He’s just too photogenic.

  10. Anna says:

    Ditto on the hair clip tip; I’d love to see pictures. The way I imagine it is two at eye level, two at jaw level, one on the crown, and two in the back at eye level. Is that correct?

    • Sam says:

      Kinda, I think. Basically, separate your hair into five, relatively equal sections. One on either side of your face, one directly in the middle on the back of your head, and the two in between this one and the ones in front. Let’s give each section a number. Pick either one in front to be 1, and the other one to be 5.
      On 1, there should be a clip at eye and jaw levels (2 clips total).
      On 2, there should be a clip that “touches” the one at eye level on 1 (1 clip total).
      On 3, there should be a clip up near, but slightly below the crown (try not to create too much volume), and one that “touches” the clip at eye level on the second section or slightly below it (2 clips total).
      On 4, do the same as you did on 2 (1 clip total).
      On 5, do the same as you did on 1 (2 clips total).
      There should be a total of 8 clips in your hair.

      I like to sections 1 and 5 first, then 2 and 4, and finally 3, to get each section relatively even.

      Hope that cleared it up a bit!

      • Sam says:

        Forgot to add in the actual post… If your hair is longer than your shoulder blades, you may want to add an extra clip on each section, roughly the same vertical distance between the clips on either of the front sections (so, the distance between your eye and jaw), following the same pattern of matching levels as you did previously.

  11. Satvi says:

    I can’t visualize this even after your more detailed explanation 🙁 Step by step pictures would do the trick. It sounds like a great idea!

  12. Sarah says:

    I second the pictures… maybe a demo/video with you doing the hairstyle on Karen?? 😀

  13. Nessa says:

    I 3rd the pics! I really can’t visualize this 🙁

  14. I was just thinking that I would love to tatoo my daughters name but not sure where. I have a cupid on my left shoulder blade and a “tramp stamp” on my lower back that I really like :).

  15. ericajane says:

    i just shoot my hairdryer on my eyeliner for a few seconds.. it’s already next to me, and less fire hazard-y..

  16. Laura says:

    I like 4th the pictures! I cant figure out what you mean when you say push it “up and into” the clip”. Like do you kinda fold your hair up orrr?? video tutorial would be amazing 🙂

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