What Are Your Favorite Beauty Hacks, Also Known As Your Secret Beauty Shortcuts?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To

Yesterday’s blowout hair trick got me fired up to find even more beauty hacks, also known as secret beauty shortcuts. As a gal who spends much of her time running behind, every minute counts, and I can always use a new time-saving tip.


Here are a few more that I regularly use…

The peep-toe pedicure

Sometimes, when I’m running ragged and totally pressed for time, I’ll look down at my feet and think, “There’s no way I’d make it through all 10 toes!”

When I don’t have enough time to paint all 10 piggies but still want a little color on my toes, I grab a bottle of polish and a pair of peep-toe shoes.

I’ll just paint the nails, and sometimes the fractions of nails, that peek out from the tips of my shoes. For obvious reasons, this one works best when you’re doing something where you don’t expect to have to remove your shoes; otherwise, awkward! Every observant/nosy person at the party will stop and ask, “Why do you only have three of your toes painted?”

Yes, I speak from experience.

The truck stop shower

An oldie but goodie from my clubbing days! No doubt, it’s not the slickest, classiest beauty trick in the world (oh, that’s putting it mildly), but it works in a pinch.

When I don’t have time to take a full shower, a truck stop shower gets me somewhat presentable, and all it requires is 2-3 minutes and a sink.

Yup, I’ll just wash my face, neck, armpits and chest with water and a body cleanser (or, if it’s all I have access to, hand soap) in the sink. And if I have a washcloth, I’ll also wipe down the backs of my knees, because I hate it when they’re sticky.

The sink shave

The hits keep comin’! πŸ™‚

Have you ever been basically done getting ready, all showered and good to go, or so you thought, and then caught a glimpse of your legs or toes and saw a forest of fuzz? When it happens to me and I don’t have time to jump back in the shower, I’ll do a mostly dry shave over the sink with a razor and EOS Shave Cream, which also doubles as a moisturizer.

How about you? What are your favorite beauty hacks, also known as your secret beauty shortcuts?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


I love Pop Up VideoP.S. Guess who has six episodes of Pop-Up Video waiting for her on the DVR! Yep, I’ve been watching a lot of that show lately, and it’s a great joy! Between that and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I believe I’m getting quite an interesting education.

On Pop-Up this week I’ve caught a few hip-hop blasts from my past, like Soul for Real’s Every Little Thing I Do

Shout out if you remember when this played on MTV once every five minutes


Foxy Brown and Jay-Z’s I’ll Be.

I see that look in your eye. You know you danced to this at that house party back in the day!

Thanks to the show, I’ve also discovered some new music lately, like Space Bound, by Eminem. I’m not usually a fan of his, but I love the catchy chorus in that song. It’s kinda haunting…

One of the reasons I love Pop-Up Video so much is that it reminds me of when I could turn on the TV and actually watch videos. There was a time when MTV stood for Music Television, and they actually played videos 24/7.

I know, right!? πŸ™‚


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So far, 46 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I adore you. LMAO, i do the peep toe trick all of the time and the sink shave in.

  2. Trisha says:

    Peep toe pedicure? Oh man, that’s smart. I don’t think I have any ideas nearly that creative…
    Trisha recently posted … Nails of the Day: Layla Magneffect Double Dose

  3. Cristina says:

    I Have done All of it!!! Ha! Ha! I must say baby wipes are also great for everywhere!! He! He!

  4. Yelena says:

    u are hilarious~ hahahaha i’m going to think of some good ones to post tonight when i get home.

  5. Kelsey says:

    I’ve done slightly altered versions of the truck stop shower and the sink shave.
    My quick shower involves putting my hair up, getting in the shower and only washing my face, armpits and lady bits. Then I’m out and drying off. Although it lacks the convenience of being able to do it at any sink anywhere, it does save me a lot of time.
    My quick shave is almost identical to yours, except sitting on the edge of the bathtub, instead of at the sink.

  6. izzie says:

    I do all of those, plus if I’m in a super hurry with limited cosmetic supplies, I use lipstick on my lips and as a cream blush, use mascara as eyeliner and mascara (smudge with a napkin tip) and if no toothpaste is in sight use an apple to brighten up my breath/teeth. It actually works pretty darned well. =0)

  7. Adrienne says:

    Ah, yes, goo old MUSIC television. Now it’s what, TRSTV? Trashy Reality Show TV? lol. We never had cable growing up so it as always a treat when I’d go to a friends house and get to watch TRL!

    My most commonly used trick is when I don have time for a shower, btu my hair is too greasy to wear down. I could just pull my hair back and clip my bangs back, but I look a thousand times more put together with my bangs down. So I just washing my bangs in the sink, clipping them to the opposite side while I do my makeup, and finishing them up with a blowdryer before I leave!

  8. gio says:

    I do the truck stop shower and the sink shave when I’m in a hurry too. πŸ™‚
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Sleek Makeup The Berry Collection

  9. alamode says:

    Love it! I’ve done all of these, including the baby wipe bath (I’ve even used a Neutrogena face wipe in a pinch). My favorite is the quicky bang wash using hand soap if necessary. Making sure my bangs are clean makes me feel like I’m ready to go.

    Anything that gets me out the door quickly (but looks like I put in some effort) is for me!

  10. NeenaJ says:

    Cristina is right about baby wipes. Buy a box for sensitive skin (usually fragrance free) and you can use them from face to foot and all the “special” places in between. They’re awesome after a lunch-hour workout (or walk) if you don’t have time to shower.

    Because I’m lazy, I only use 2 eye brushes in the morning when getting ready for work: a crease brush (I like Target’s best) and the MAC flat shader. I work from lightest color to darkest so I don’t have to clean the brushes in between shades.

    Lots of black mascara and a gorgeous, bold lip color will distract from pretty much anything else.

    I’ve also been guilty of faking sickness to excuse my lack of grooming. Some days, beauty just does.not.happen. This hack – when used sparingly – not only garners sympathy, it also keeps coworkers at arm’s length. I’m not proud of it, but there it is.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Neena,

      Thanks for reminding me about black mascara and a bold lip color. I need to do that one more often. What mascara have you been loving lately?

      • NeenaJ says:

        Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes has been my go to lately, but the tube is starting to dry up and get flakey. I also love Lancome Hypnose Drama – one coat for day and two coats for eve. The Lancome is really wet, so it takes more time to apply. If I don’t hold my outer lashes up with the wand for a minute after applying, the mascara weighs them down and I lose all the curl.

  11. Nina says:

    you are the funniest!

    when im in a rush and have no time to polish anything, i cut my nails cluse and buff them to a shine. im really ruthless about nails – dont care if ive spent weeks growing them. i will cut them if i need.

    when its cold/im sick/im lazy — i also do the baby wipes shower. i put my hair up in a bun or ponytail and call it a day.

    when i have no time to do makeup, ill slap on primer on both lids and face, do brows, and set everything with powder. ill swipe on lipbalm as i walk out the door — im very thankful the tinted lipbalm was invented.

    ive been known to complete an eye look w/ just one brush (the 224 is awesome for this) ….

    when i dont feel like dirtying brushes, i use my fingers to apply everything.

  12. Chris25 says:

    Yep, truck stop showers have saved me many times over. I like to dab makeup remover on a cotton pad and clean around my ears as well.

    I wish I were old enough to remember Nirvana videos on MTV. They were all about the music.

    • Karen says:

      LOL, I remember Nirvana videos on MTV. My friends and I would come home from high school (oy vey!) and watch them.

      Good call with cleaning your ears with makeup remover and a cotton pad. I bet using a micellar water cleanser would work great too. I’m going to try that one!

  13. artemis says:

    space bound rox

  14. Jill says:

    good ol’ foxxxy brown! ah the memories! haha. totally gotta go dig out some old cds now! or just youtube it lol. thanks for the laugh karen!

  15. Vonvon says:

    Yes, truck stop shower! Not only when I am in a hurry. But those times living in Malaysia where it is so hot and humid, I do that a few times a day, especially between my proper shower times which are morning and before bedtime. Like when I have to go out after lunch.
    Vonvon recently posted … L’Oreal’s Goldmine – Want A Share?

  16. Megan says:

    So I’ve been reading research (ha, read that as “skimming the Internet for articles, so take it as you will) that says our skin isn’t really “designed” to take all the washing/exfoliating/loofah scrubbing/soaping we do to it, even with moisturizing shower gels and such. It seems we’re much better off washing underarms and lady bits daily, and only doing a full wash every few days or so, with gentle shower gels. You know how you just rinse off a baby’s skin unless they need a wash? Same with adults.

    Truck stop shower LEGITIMIZED!! πŸ˜€

  17. Katherine G says:

    I don’t do the truck stop shower, but I am a fan of facial wipes for my face when I’m in a hurry (or I am sleepy and don’t feel up to doing a full face wash). I also don’t shampoo my hair every day and will often put it up while I take a quick shower to wash everything and shave any fuzzy bits.

    Since I also have really thick hair, and don’t always have time to flatiron the whole thing, I will flatiron pieces that are being unruly and that are around my face. I’m also a fan of braids and ponytails when in a hurry.

    There are also days where my makeup is quick – I will do cover-up for zits, blush, tinted moisturizer, and a bronzer/highlighter and call it a day if I have to look somewhat presentable (I don’t do eyes every day – I try to save that for going out or work).

  18. Sheena F says:

    in addition to the truck stop shower, you can use baby wipes too if you’re REALLY in a rush (like, “roll out of bed and out the door” type of thing). i read this in a magazine once and you can use baby wipes to wipe the previous night’s sweat off and clean up your “nether” regions as well.

    also, you can use those colgate wisps. they’re not the greatest but they serve their purpose–which is a need for a quickie breath freshener. it’s got a little pointy end too that you can use as a toothpick. πŸ™‚

    i am also guilty of the bathroom sink shaving!

  19. Oh, I totally remember Pop-Up video. They always had fun facts about even the little details about the random dancer in the background or how much a little trinket cost. And I remember for JLo’s Jenny from the Block video, they listed the prices for everything in the video, and damnnn…Jenny’s block was rich. πŸ˜›
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … OPI Grape…Set…Match Swatches & Review

  20. Liv says:

    Oh my gosh! I was just thinking about how I remembered how MTV used to be devoted to showing music videos…those were the good days. ;D

  21. AJ says:

    I’ve been reading your blog lately and I must say I am a HUGE fan!

    My quickies…

    If I’m going out somewhere nice and have to get ready in a hurry, I do the UBER quick 5 min shower and throw my hair up in a tight ponytail for a polished look.

    Sometimes I do the dry shave as well but it’s straight up DRY..no lotion no nothing..yikes…I gotta try the shave cream you recommended!

  22. resa says:

    lol I remember a pop up video for the spice girls, one of them bites their toenails! I always wash my hair using the sink cuz it gets so oily! Then I blow dry :D.
    resa recently posted … NOTD – Guess what I was going for!

  23. Lilly says:

    Oh I just love how funny and down-to-earth you are!! I’ve done the truck stop shower, sink-shaving (usually for pits), and wet only my bang and the top layer every 3days or so.

  24. Em says:

    If I’m in a hurry (which I ususally am!) I have a quickie morning routine that seems to work really well…
    Slap on some Concealer
    Put on Love & Toast lip balm and then Covergirl Lipstain
    Quickly swipe on mascara
    This is the best trick I’ve had yet: I have this amazingly waterproof Marcelle Kohl eye pencil in a beautiful teal blue, and I like to really smudge it into my upper and lower lashes. Not only Does it complement my blue eyes but people have said it looks amazing multiple Times, and most of them think its colored mascara! Plus, it lasts all day.

  25. Kate Williamson says:

    One time, I had a hole in my black tights, and I didn’t have another pair with me. So, I filled in my leg where the hole was with black eyeliner. The priblem was, the tights kept shifting, so I kept filling in. By the end of the day, I had about six black circles on my calf!

  26. marisol says:

    Oh My God! Soul For Real…. hells yeah!
    marisol recently posted … I heart GU

  27. Barbara says:

    Have used the baby wipes for stinky pits after coming home from work (afternoon shift , so midnight) and being too tired to shower before bed!! Makes me feel fresher!

  28. Ling says:

    LOL at the truck stop shower…I thought I was the only one who did that!
    Ling recently posted … EXCLUSIVE PICTURES : Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette!!

  29. Alex says:

    I’ve never done a truck stop shower but I’ve definitely hopped into the shower for 2 minutes and only rinsed myself with water if I needed to go out somewhere and just wanted a refresher. Of course you gotta shower when you come back home πŸ˜›
    Alex recently posted … Rest In Peace Mac Dre, Imma Do It For the Bay

  30. Maca says:

    Truckstop shower all the way!
    I also do the sink shaving, but with body lotion instead of shaving cream: I apply a THICK layer of lotion, wet my legs a bit so they get all slippery, shave, and then just wipe the excess lotion/water with a towel; and hey presto!, shaved moisturized legs with no need to rinse out product.
    If you wear a uniform to school, there’s this thing called the ‘school girl shave’, which I sometimes did in highschool: you just shave between where you sock ends and your skirt starts.
    I’ve don the bangs washing trick also, pretty usefull.
    Laziness FTW!

  31. mn says:

    If I know that I’m going to be short on time the next morning (or later that day) I will section my hair, twirl it and hold up the little buns with hair rubber bands (better than bobby pins since they will stay in place). When I take them off my hair is voluminous and wavy and I always get compliments. It takes about five minutes to do this and it saves me at least a half hour with a curling iron plus it’s much healthier for my hair.

  32. Susan says:

    Ok, this is a little bit off topic, but a friend of my husband’s went camping for the weekend and took a trucker’s shower with what he thought were baby wipes, but he grabbed the Armor All wipes instead. He didn’t realize his mistake (I’m sure alcohol was involved) until the next day when he went out in his Jeep and all of the dust was sticking to him! Moral of the story–make sure you are actually using baby wipes when you do the trucker’s shower πŸ™‚

  33. Kim says:

    I’m a peep toe pedi girl, myself. I’ve even been known to put a coat of dark polish over some grown-out toenail color if it’s an evening outing and no one will be looking too closely at my feet in the dim light. πŸ™‚ I’ve also done the dry armpit shave; for the legs, I’ll usually sit on the tub edge and splash on some soap and water first. Does throwing on a ball-cap and running out the door count as a hack? πŸ™‚

    Totally agree on MTV and Pop-Up Video (they’re so fun to watch). I like Eminem a lot but can only listen to him in small doses. I think he’s extremely talented but there’s too much negativity for me to make a steady diet of his music.

  34. AS says:

    The truck stop shower, aka. classic sponge bath. I always wondered why my grandmother took a bath once a week and washed her body in the sink every day with a washcloth. Yuck! (She, always smelled fresh, btw.) Well, it was a product of her time. She grew up without running water. That means you had to pump water, heat it on the stove, then dump it outside afterward. In Iowa, in the winter. So people would do this once a week, everybody in the same tub, because of the effort. Every other day was a sponge bath. The habits just stuck for many older (born before 1910) Americans and immigrants who grew up in similar conditions. Note that sinks are way lower in old houses. People sponge bathed 6 days a week. Full baths were a luxury and considered unnecessary. Even my parents, born in the early 1940s, consider every other day bathing normal – every day showers are incredibly wasteful (of water and heating), in their opinion.

  35. Phyrra says:

    When I’m in a hurry, a tinted moisturizer or BB creme, fill in my brows, a lipstick & mascara are how I roll.
    Phyrra recently posted … Beauty Blog Link Love

  36. i do the truck stop shower often, but in the winter when im just too damn tired and cold to want to take my clothes off to shower, my hack habit is to reapply deo and then spray myself down with a body spray. i pretty much work not in close proximity to other people, and in the winter i wear 2 hoodies and a coat over my shirt anyway while im working (i cashier for a garden center), so it works for me.
    im also a HUGE fan of dry shampoos. since my butt length hair takes so long to dry i only wash it 2 or 3 times a week, more in summer and sometimes less in winter.
    i cant think of anything else i do as a shortcut

  37. Lilibeth says:

    For me my cheat move is to add lots of light to my face. White pencil at the corner of the eye, highlighter powder at the centre of the lid. I also make sure I highlight my face, the eye confuses lightness with cleanliness, it also gives you a fresh glow.

  38. Jennifer says:

    Sometimes I do the sink shave and in the summer I sometimes will shave only up to the knee if I’m wearing capris and in a rush (I make sure to shave a little bit above where the pants end… Ive flubbed and skipped shaving my knee only to sit down in those capris and have my hairy knees exposed haha). Another major shortcut for me is using dry shampoo. My hair usually only needs washed 2-3x a week because of it’s texture and thickness, but my bangs/roots sometimes get oily after a few days so the dry shampoo fixes that problem and gives me another day (or two πŸ˜‰ ). I love that I”m not the only one who takes shortcuts. πŸ™‚

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