Beauty Improv: Last Time You Used a Beauty Product for Something Other Than Its Intended Purpose?

Published in: Just For Fun

Deep beauty thoughts

I think everybody does it sometimes when they’re either feeling creative, or frazzled, or they’re running out of a certain product.


Let me set the stage for you: two days ago. Easter Sunday. 9:45 a.m. I’d just finished a run on the treadmill and was putting the finishing touches on a quiche (yes, I made a quiche, and it wasn’t terrible) when I bumped into El Hub in the kitchen, who said, “You know we have to leave here at 11, right?” And I said, “Yeah.” And he was like, “That means you should probably aim for 10:30.” And I said, “Yeah, whatever. I’ll be done by 10:30. Don’t even worry about it, la-la-la-la-la…”

Then I went about my business, until I looked up at the clock and thought, “Hmm… I have to take a shower, I have to put on makeup, I want to do my hair. How am I going to do everything by 11?” So I stopped taking my sweet time and started hustling my butt.

While I was doing my makeup, after I’d applied Diorskin Nude Air Serum foundation, I looked at what was left on the back of my hand and thought, “I really like how this stuff looks on my skin, how it blurs my pores and doesn’t sit in my fine lines and wrinkles…”


“Why don’t I just use this as my under-eye concealer!?”

So I mixed it with some YSL Touche ร‰clat highlighter and patted the combo under my eyes with a finger, and I really like how it turned out. They made a great improv concealer that didn’t settle into my fine lines, and didn’t look cakey or heavy. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also happened to have some lipstick left on the back of my hand, so I mixed it with the Diorskin Nude foundation, too, and applied that as my blush.

When was the last time you used a beauty product for something other than its intended purpose?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Happy Tuesday, by the way. How’s it going this morning?


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  1. Agata says:

    Look at you, repurposing products! The tip with the lipstick mixed with foundation and used as a blush is genius! I need to try that!

    I don’t think I ever use anything in such a creative way. Maybe beige highlighter added on top on an eye shadow for some added luminosity. But that’s about it!

    My day is going rather slowly here, I feel a migraine starting :-/ Have a wonderful Tuesday!
    Agata recently posted … Her and Makeup Turns One

  2. Carolyn says:

    Agata, I hope your migraine goes away, no fun those!

    I can’t wait to hear other responses. I’ve not done anything exciting …once added a glittery eye shadow to lips for a festive look and lipstick for blush, blush lippystick but nothing super clever!

  3. Hmmm lemme think… Oh, I know, last week I used a NARS blush as eyeshadow ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted orange and NARS delivered.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Jo Malone Sakura Cherry Blossom cologne

  4. Vanessa says:

    Brow powder to smudge out eyeliner… But that’s not really a stretch ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Jules says:

    I used MAC’s Petrol Blue as a lipliner/lipstick (sometimes under Kat Von D’s Poe).

  6. Kwmechelle says:

    I haven’t done anything earth-shaterring. I use a Shea Moisture blush as an eyeshadow & transition color. I didn’t love it as a blush but it works wonders as a transition color. I have heard of using orange lipstick blended under the eyes to color correct dark circles, then applying concealer on top to conceal the way you normally would. Haven’t gotten the guts to do it yet. But soon, very soon….

  7. Holly says:

    Most of my days are spent watching my little nieces so I go for a quick & basic makeup routine with as few products as possible: I mix a little moisturiser with my BB cream & often use a cream blush for cheeks & eyelids. I’ve also used my nude lip pencil as a concealer for small red spots. Also, after I apply hand lotion, I’ll gently swipe my hands over my hair to tame flyaways with any residual product since I have very thick but very fine hair.

  8. Nothing as creative here. I tried using a golden eyeshadow on the center of my lips to make them look fuller without using a gloss, but it was a fail. Drying and gritty bits between my teeth…
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Alpha H Daily Moisturizer

  9. Carolyn says:

    I use my bronzer as my crease colour a lot when I’m feeling lazy or rushed. And highlighters and eyeshadows can sub for each other too.

  10. whome? says:

    Mac pro longwear concealer as an eyeshadow base, to hide the freckles I have on my lids (yes, I’m so freckled I have some on my lids, no joke), just this past month.

  11. Niki says:

    It’s not earth shattering or anything but I use my Smashbox face primer as eye shadow primer. It works really well and saves me bit of money.

  12. Laure says:

    Not a beauty product, but my sister uses flower as her ‘dry shampoo”. She says that if you brush it through, it works like a charm!

    Though it’s a funny sight to see a bag of flower sitting between her beauty products in the bath room! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Ashleigh says:

    I use lotion as an eye makeup remover sometimes, and lipstick remover. It actually works really well. ๐Ÿ˜ก

    I also have a shimmer gold lotion which I will apply to my body, then take the excess on my hands and run it through the ends of my hair. I’ve been wanting the Drybar Gold Mine leave-in conditioner ($30 though..) but I’ve sort of convinced myself I can make a similar effect with that little lotion hack. ^_^

  14. Chelsea says:

    I have an indie cream blush in a color called Chelsea (plummy nude) that I’ve been known to put on my lips. I’ve also used Rimmel liquid blush as a lip tint, but it has a weird smell I don’t like.

  15. Jen says:

    I stole this idea from Urban Decay’s website, and it works…if I have a blemish that is flaky or rough and concealer won’t lay on it properly, I put UD’s eyeshadow primer potion on it to smooth it out before concealer.

    Also, if I am going for a natural-ish look, sometimes I use whatever color I have used as bronzer or contour as an eyeshadow, lash line to crease, and the same highlighter on my face as my brow bone and inner corner of the eyes

  16. Divina says:

    Fuggedabout the makeup! Your hair looks glorious! Please share the deets regarding your hair products/brushes! I have similar length hair. It looks darn good when my hair is styled by my stylist (I can take no credit for it); however, I am a lazy bum and typically let it air dry. It’s thick, blah blah blah, gets hot, arms get tired, blah blah blah. I’m Filipino, so you know the texture. Any suggestions?

    p.s. I’m typically a lurker but I appreciate your upbeat, funny and tres informational posts.


  17. Dania says:

    I use bronzer as my crease/blending color when I am in a rush. (The same trick also works with blushes, depenfing on the look you are going for.)

    I also wanted to say that I like your makeup. Can you do a breakdown of this look, or at least mention the eye products used? Thanks!

  18. Jen C says:

    Do makeup tools count? I recently used my Elf small stipple brush to contour powder bronzer under my cheekbones,and I love the results!

  19. Icequeen81 says:

    I am using powder foundation it makes me looks more polished and awake as eye shadow, eye shadow base to keep my blush from fading, and also some lipstick left from my hand as blush

  20. Suzy says:

    Mascara as brow tamer and eyeliner. Wipe it mostly dry and stipple it in the lash line and it makes a good waterproof eyeliner in a pinch

  21. Kimbre says:

    I do this all the time!
    NYX Blush in Taupe: I use this as a contour under my cheeks and to fill in my brows
    MAC Blush in Crazed Imagination: I also use this as a contour and as a crease color on my eyes
    Vintage Cosmetics Highlighter: Its a pink illuminator but I’m so pale there is no way I could ever use it as a highlighter so it makes a really nice pink shimmery eye shadow!

  22. Zovesta says:

    Every day I wear makeup! I’ve always been pretty stingy, so I’ve always tried to get as much use out of my makeup as possible.

    Lipstick used as blush, eyeshadow, lip liner used as eyeliner, concealer used as both foundation and eyeshadow primer (haw haw), eyeshadow used as highlighter, blush, contouring, bronzer… Can’t forget mascara as brow gel, too. Always used lotion as a makeup remover, too, the idea of getting a special makeup remover is pretty new to me.

    And if we’re talking brushes, I only use two brushes (if I’m using anything other than my finger), one small fluffy one that works for all dries and one small, flat one that gets used for brows, eyeliners, eyeshadows, lipsticks…

    Did I mention I was stingy? =P These were all things I did back when I only had one or two makeup products (all cheap Wet n Wild stuff to boot), but I still stick to a lot of them. I will swear by the lipstick-used-as-blush method until the day I die! It matches so well! <3

  23. Lipstick mixed with foundi as blush.. umm thats quite interesting I will give it a shot.

    I used dark brown Eyebrow powder as a contouring shade for cheeks and nose ๐Ÿ™‚
    Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Maybelline Color Show Nail Paint Nude Skin Review, NOTD

  24. Beth says:

    Not makeup but I use hair conditioner as shaving cream. I read about this years ago & tried it. It’s all I’ve used ever since. It’s much creamier & easier to shave with than shaving cream. Also I use a toothbrush to separate my eyelashes after putting mascara on. Works better than anything else I’ve tried.

  25. Ruth says:

    Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms make beautiful cream blushes. I took them out of the lippie drawer and added them to the blush collection.

  26. Trude says:

    Ditto what Ruth said about the Colorburst balms, I’ve used that in a pinch. I’ve also repurposed my Sigma blush brush as my contour brush, on my big face it works if I turn it so the fattest part is set furthest back/closest to my hairline. ๐Ÿ™‚ I use TF’s Milk Chocolate bronzer, and I usually use that as a final eyeshadow in the crease to really blend everything out. And I’m so fair I can use the shimmer highlighter shade from the original Chocolate Bar palette as a highlighter.
    Trude recently posted … April Desktop Background

  27. Natacha says:

    Well I used my pressed powder a lot on my foundation before I understood it was supposed to replace the foundation (I think) and for a long time, I also believed that the Lancaster Infinite Bronze Blush variations was an eyeshadow palette (it was wierd it did not apply well) until I understood it was actually a blush (the best there ever was) but that’s just me being unaware. I also used red lipstick to transform my boyfriend into Kratos which worked really well.

  28. Iris says:

    I’ve used eye makeup remover to remove a red lipstain quickly.

  29. Erin says:

    I use foundation under the eyes on the regular. I often use lip products as cheek products. I’ve also used lipgloss and lipstick as eyeshadow.
    Erin recently posted … Mission Point 2012 Pinot Noir

  30. Shelby says:

    I have vitiligo around my right eye, so around 20-ish of my eyelashes are white. I use Stila stay all day liquid eyeliner to color the base of my lashes near my lid, which doesn’t get covered by my mascara – no annoying white gap between lashes and liner!

  31. Kare says:

    I use shimmery eyeshadows as highlighters on my cheekbones. Many of them work just as well as a regular highlighting power or cream.

  32. Iliana says:

    I used my gel bronzer as a crease color, and the Revlon balm stains as blush (I blotted off the shiny parts) when I went to the beach recently. I have medium dark Filipina skin and brownish lips that don’t look too good when I stay under the sun. I didn’t want to look overly done but I look horrid without some color, so I used those ๐Ÿ™‚ it was pretty waterproof!

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