Screw the Marketing: 10 Products We Use How We're (Not) Supposed To

Updated 05/04/19

Shocking revelation: The how-to instructions on the packaging of each of your favorite beauty products isn't the only way to use what's inside (cue the gasps). Just like the adjectives on wine labels, it's mostly marketing speak. The truth is, with a little creativity and innovation, your eyeliner, lip balm, or face mask can be hacked into several different products. In other words, with beauty products, both beauty editors and makeup artists agree: You don't have to follow the rules.

Here at Byrdie, we love finding beauty hacks that can make our hectic lives a little bit easier. Using the same product multiple ways can speed up your morning routine and save your bank account. If you're traveling and need to pack light, all you really need are a couple of products to look put together and polished.

Case in point: We're telling you to do something that your parents always told you not to do: Don't listen to what you're told and find out what team Byrdie's secret beauty hacks are.

"I adore the sheer taupe-y color of Glossier Gen G in Leo, and I also prefer a simple, monochromatic makeup look on the day to day—so one morning, I decided just to swipe it on my lids as soon as I was done with my lips. It turns out the shade is perfect for a barely-there, ultra-flattering wash of color, and the demi-matte texture really stays put for hours. I use it like this on a near-daily basis now. (And FWIW, Cake is also a great shade for this if you're looking for something slightly more peachy.)" — Victoria Hoff, news editor

Glossier Gen G
Glossier Gen G Sheer Matte Lipstick $18
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"Confession: I have a thing against powder highlighters. They don't wear well on my combination skin, plus they can be a little too dramatic for daily wear—especially in the bright summer sun. That's why my go-to daily highlighter is this Babylips lip balm. I just swipe a bit on the high points of my face, blend it out with my fingers, and my skin is perfectly dewy, sans shimmer. (Oh, and Vaseline works just as well.)" — Kaitlyn McLintock, editorial contributor

Vaseline

Vaseline
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly $4
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"I've switched over to a slightly more lightweight moisturizer for summer, but during the colder (and drier) months, this leave-on mask is my skin's lifeline. I have a perpetually dehydrated complexion, and the vast majority of hydrating products (even oils!) just won't cut it. My skin drinks this right up, so I'll apply it a few minutes before putting on makeup to let it sink in. I'm left with a gloriously dewy complexion for hours (and hours) on end." — Victoria

"MAC's lip pencils secretly make the best eyeliners because they are absurdly creamy (way creamier than most pencils made for the eyes), plus, they come in so many cute pink shades that you don't normally get in eye pencil collections, but they're mad trendy right now." — Amanda Montell, associate features editor 

MAC-Lip-Pencil
MAC Lip Pencil $18
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"My hair is over-processed, fine, and very prone to breakage. I try to mask as much as I possibly can, but shampooing less is better for my color. It's a real catch-22. I want to mask, but in order to do so, I have to wash my hair more often. My new trick is to use my Olaplex mask in lieu of gel when I want to slick my hair back. That way, it soaks for a full day, I get a cool style, and I can do it at the end of the week when I'd otherwise wash my hair." — Hallie Gould, senior editor

"This Milk Lip + Cheek is already versatile, but I seriously put this thing all over my face. My favorite two-minute makeup look of the moment is to use the product on my eyes, lips, and cheeks for a super-dewy, monochromatic look. People always ask what I'm wearing on my eyelids—it's a freaking lip-and-cheek stain!" — Amanda 

milk lip and cheek - on the go makeup
Milk Lip + Cheek $24
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"This stuff isn't cheap, so it might be ridiculous that I multitask with it. But in the interest of saving some space in my shower—and, more importantly, to inhale more of its addictive palo santo scent—I slather a bit on my legs before shaving. The conditioner is all-natural and ultra-hydrating, so the plant oils really make my skin so soft. Plus, I like to think that the thin layer of cream makes for a closer, nick-proof shave than trying to cut through foam." — Victoria

"In doing research for a story I was writing about eye gloss, Makeup Artist Katie Jane Hughes turned me on to the greatest lip gloss hack of all time—using it on your lids. MAC's Lip Glass works better than any product she's ever tried; it stays on the longest and yields the coolest-looking shine. A little goes a long way, and all you have to do is tap it onto the middle of your lid, and swoosh it left to right and back and forth. It's the perfect pick-me-up for an otherwise pared-down makeup look." — Hallie

Lipglass - Candy Yum (neon pink)
MAC Lipglass $18
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"I use this as an eye palette, instead of a highlighter and blush like it's intended. First, I swipe the bright pink color across my lid using a crease brush. Depending on the look I'm going for, I either blend it out with a fluffy brush, or I layer more product on top. Then I take my ring finger and pat some of the champagne highlighter in the inner corners of my eyes and along my brow bone. It makes for a summery, editorial look every time." — Kaitlyn

BECCA X CHRISSY TEIGEN Endless Bronze & Glow
BECCA X CHRISSY TEIGEN Endless Bronze & Glow $38 $23
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"Another eye-brightening trick I've learned is to apply highlighter to just the middle of my eyelids. It immediately opens up your eye and illuminates your skin, but it doesn't look like you've done anything at all. The light reflects wonderfully off the product and makes your eyes sparkle, but it's still subtle." — Hallie

Opening images: Free People & @sortofobsessed

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