We're all for spending money on beauty products we love. It's worth it. We have no problem recommending those particular formulas to you (like we did here, here, and here). But we do get a particularly giddy feeling when we pick up tips that cost nothing at all. It's that heart-fluttering, flush-inducing type of excitement that reminds us why we love beauty so much. Usually, it's some random maneuver we perfected alone in our bathrooms or a secret trick offered up (in hushed tones) by a makeup artist. We quietly file each one away, waiting for the chance to divulge the goods to our friends or here on Byrdie.
To do just that, I reached out to the other editors in the office to give up their best free tricks. Then, I collected all the most helpful ones and listed them below so you too can file them away for a time when you really need them. Because they don't cost anything, you won't even have to wait until your direct deposit drops to try them out. Keep scrolling for the beauty hacks you never knew you needed.
Lindsey Metrus, Managing Editor
"I'll never forget watching What Not to Wear on TLC as a kid and learning from the show's makeup artist, Carmindy, that the best way to amplify your lashes and get the most out of your mascara is by running the wand along the underside of your lashes (as you normally would) but also taking the wand and running it along the top side of your lashes too from root to tip. This makes for much more volume and even helps lift them more. Just make sure to do both sides one right after the other. If you wait for the underside to dry first, you may end up with spidery lashes."
"Another great 'free' tip that I learned is something I picked up myself. I'm sort of notorious for sneezing after applying mascara or haphazardly touching the wand somewhere on my face and being stuck with little flecks of black on my face or lids, so I came up with a trick that removes the pigment without disturbing the rest of my makeup. I dip a Q-tip in a little bit of eye cream and then roll the cotton swap gently over the mascara fleck, and it picks it right up like a magnet. The eye cream is also gentle enough that it's nourishing my skin more than makeup remover would. If I notice any of the makeup budged underneath, I take a Beautyblender ($20) and touch it up, or grab a little bit of product to replace what I might've wiped off."
Hallie Gould, Senior Editor
A makeup artist once taught me a pretty life-changing trick backstage ahead of a runway show during New York Fashion Week. She talked about how, normally, artists would recommend you add a little shimmer to the inner corners of your eyes to make them look brighter and less fatigued. But, she told me, a more natural (and entirely free trick) is to use that same highlighter only on the middle of your lid, right where your eye rounds out the most. That way, it looks like you're not wearing anything at all, and it'll catch the light as you talk and move to create bigger-looking eyes.
"Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes taught me to apply my regular moisturizer on the high points of my face before makeup—any place I'd apply highlighter. Then, post-foundation, when I am blending on an illuminating product, it adds a natural glowing effect to the final look. It's genius."
Amanda Montell, Features Editor
"If you apply a thick coat of mascara to the tip of your lashes, then comb it out from the top and bottom, it makes your lashes look 100 times thicker and longer. I learned [this trick] from a YouTube video. Here's more on that."
Maya Allen, Assistant Editor
"I was always so fascinated by makeup artists who used their fingers for blending—until one day I was forced to try it myself. During a weeklong trip to L.A., I forgot my Beautyblender. Great! I love a fully contoured, sculpted makeup look each and every day, and I wasn't going to let my missing blender stop me. I used the warmth of my ring finger and index finger to apply my concealer, blush, and eye shadow, employing a tapping and sweeping technique. Blending your makeup with your hands works the best with cream-based products because they're super blendable."