Experts say you could look so much better if you tried any of these clever tricks

Just a few tweaks and you’ll feel terrific.

ByClaire Epting
Originally Published: 
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While there are probably plenty of hair and skin hacks you’ve figured out on our own, it doesn’t hurt to hear a professional opinion every now and then, whether it comes from a stylist, hair dresser, or esthetician. I got some expert insight on ways to look and feel better — and none of these clever tricks costs a lot of money.

From moisturizing lip treatments made from Australian papaya to a sun-protective hair mist, our experts have filled us in on all the products you need to take your beauty and grooming regimen to the next level. You’ll even find some travel-size beauty essentials you can use on the go — so you can feel like a million bucks, no matter where you are.


This fan-favorite mascara for voluminous, dramatic lashes

Want to create dramatic makeup looks, without going through the hassle of applying false eyelashes? “Add some pop with a mascara that adds length and volume like essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect,” suggests Boulet. The long-lasting formula is applied with the included conic fiber brush, individually coating and sculpting each lash for a clump-free finish. For a more natural appearance, Boulet says to “scrape the brush on the sides of the mascara tube to remove excess product before applying.”


This Australian papaya ointment for dry lips & skin

Want to soothe your flaky, parched lips? Brandi Boulet, a Toronto-based professional makeup artist who's worked with Cara Delevingne and Natasha Lyonne, recommends using Lucas’ Papaw ointment. “Not only is it great for lips, but it can be used on any dry area or cracked skin, like fingertips,” she says. Blended with pure fermented Australian papaya (aka “papaw”), the scent-free formula is incredibly moisturizing and nourishing. Keep a tube in your bag and one in your medicine cabinet.


The clear brow & eyelash mascara that adds definition without being obvious

Mascara doesn’t just come in black or brown shades — there’s also a variety that’s completely transparent. “If you're not into makeup, then a clear mascara is all you need,” says Ashi. Wet n Wild’s clear brow and lash mascara makes your eyelashes and eyebrows appear fuller and more defined, without adding any pigment or tint. Blended with soy protein, the formula works to condition your hairs while providing a strong hold.


This soothing lip conditioner for the driest of lips

No matter how dry or cracked your lips have become, Boulet recommends using this lip balm from Bioderma for instant soothing relief. Pairing moisture-locking Vaseline with hydrating shea butter, the creamy formula deeply nourishes your skin, resulting in noticeably softer skin. It’s also fragrance-free, which is perfect for anyone sensitive to scent.


A fluffy makeup brush that effortlessly blends your bronzer

The best way to apply bronzer? Boulet says, “Use a powder brush like this one from e.l.f. and apply the powder lightly to the high points of the face where the sun hits the most — your forehead, cheekbones, nose and chin,” she instructs. The fluffy bristles effortlessly blend the product into your skin, while the slightly pointed tip allows you to precisely apply to the contours of your face.


This iron-on hem adhesive for tailoring your clothes at home

An easy way to make your wardrobe look nicer, according to Bowden? Get your clothes tailored. “In most cases, tailors (and even most dry cleaners) can make adjustments that make an off-the-rack piece look like it was custom-made for you,” he says. If you don’t want to spare the extra time or funds to run your pieces to a tailor, you can use this iron-on tape to shorten the hems of your dresses, pants, and skirts. The double-sided adhesive permanently bonds to light fabrics including cotton, rayon, and polyester blends.

  • Available colors: white, black


A vitamin-rich spray that protects your hair from hot styling tools

“Always use a heat-protecting product before using hot tools,” says Jessica Shults, owner of New York salon Twisted Scissors. This vitamin-rich thermal protection spray from CHI is formulated with hair-strengthening keratin and silk proteins, so your strands won’t become brittle or damaged when you use a hair dryer, straightener, or curler. Jojoba and olive oils act as a conditioner, so your locks remain shiny and smooth.


The wide-tooth detangling comb that doesn’t cause breakage

“Brushing your hair too harshly can cause breakage and split ends,” says says cosmetologist Ghanima Abdullah. “Use a wide-toothed comb or brush to gently detangle and style your hair.” The Paul Mitchell Pro Tools detangler comb is safe for use on both wet and dry hair, gliding through your strands without any uncomfortable tugging. With approximately a quarter-inch between each tooth, the comb is suitable for detangling all hair types — from straight and fine to thick and textured.


These large octopus clips that help you create effortless updos

“There's an updo for everyone, it's just a matter of finding the best one for you,” says Abdullah. She recommends using large octopus clips — named for their eight curved prongs — to keep your hair secure on the back of the head. The interlocking teeth hold everything in place without any snagging, making this a comfortable updo you can wear all day.


An overnight lip mask for mega-hydration

“At night, your skin-care routine should include a lip mask, such as LANEIGE lip sleeping mask, which delivers intense moisture and antioxidants while you sleep,” says Boulet. Blended with hydrating coconut oil, rich shea butter, and a nourishing berry fruit complex, the mask works to soften the delicate skin on your lips overnight. Besides this berry formula, you can also pick from sweet flavors such as gummy bear and vanilla.

  • Available flavors: 7


Some glycolic acid pads that gently exfoliate your face

Instead of using a physical exfoliant — which can be harsh on your skin — Abdullah recommends trying a chemical exfoliant, like these glycolic acid cleansing pads. “Chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid and other AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) help give your face a clear surface,” she explains. While the glycolic acid helps with skin cell turnover, green tea and calendula extracts deliver powerful antioxidants to your face. Abdullah warns that these pads can be somewhat drying, so it’s important to follow up with a good moisturizer afterwards.


The moisturizing lotion that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin

Boulet stresses that moisturizing your entire body — not just your face — is key when it comes to feeling your best. “For sensitive skin, try something fragrance-free like CeraVe's moisturizing lotion,” she says. The cult-favorite lotion is formulated with three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid (an ingredient which helps bind water to the skin), and provides lightweight hydration without causing any irritation. For those of us with sensitive skin, that’s a small victory.


This hand repair cream made with nourishing shea butter

When the temperatures drop, your hands might start feeling more parched than usual — but there’s an easy fix for that. “Try Burt's Bees shea butter hand repair cream to get baby soft hands, even in the coldest and driest months of the year,” recommends Boulet. Moisturizing shea butter is blended with cocoa butter and sesame oil, resulting in a cream that instantly softens dehydrated palms, fingers, and nail beds. A little goes a long way, so this tube will last for a while.


A powdered collagen supplement for skin, hair & nails

“Taking a collagen supplement each day has been known to improve skin elasticity and hydration, and can play a part in strengthening and growing your nails and hair,” explains Boulet. This flavorless powdered collagen can be added to your smoothies, coffee, tea, and even your baked goods. One serving contains 20 grams of collagen and 18 grams of protein— and the included scoop makes it easy to measure out just the right amount.


A travel-size bottle of dry shampoo for styling on the go

For those hectic days in between hair washes, Boulet recommends keeping a mini bottle of dry shampoo on hand for on-the-go styling. “A quick spray on the roots of your hair and a shake through with your fingers will give your hair life again,” says Boulet. Plus, the 1.6-ounce bottle is small enough to stick in a bag (you can even take it with you through airport security). Batiste’s lightweight formula has a delightful cherry scent that will leave your now-voluminous locks smelling yummy.


The frothy face wash that’s perfect for a quick skin cleanse

Cleansing is an important part of any skin-care routine, and if you’re pressed for time, Boulet recommends using this frothy face wash from Origins. Boasting an impressive 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon, the gentle formula proves effective for all skin types, whether it’s oily, dry, or sensitive. You don’t need a lot to remove dirt, oil, and makeup from your face — a little goes a long way.


The matte bronzer for a subtle, shimmer-free glow

No matter who you are, Boulet suggests using a bit of bronzer on the face to add a natural glow during the winter months when sunshine can be scarce. She recommends using NYX Professional’s matte bronzer. Available in five warm shades, the bronzer helps you achieve a sun-kissed finish without any of the shimmer.

  • Available shades: 5


These easy-grip tweezers with a slanted tip

According to men's style blogger Dave Bowden, “plucking out stray hairs in your T-zone and on the periphery of your eyebrows” is a simple way to get your desired eyebrow shape — no shaving required. Using a high-quality set of tweezers, such as these slanted ones from Tweezer Guru, makes the task even easier. The stainless steel tweezers have a wide base for a sturdy grip, giving you full control as you grasp each hair.

  • Available colors: 11


A beard trimmer with attachments that give you perfect stubble

“Instead of using a manual razor, I recommend guys switch to an electric beard trimmer with adjustable settings,” Bowden says. “That way they can choose which amount of stubble suits them best, without the risk of going full bare face.” This model from Philips Norelco is equipped with 17 trimming attachments, giving you full control over the look of your facial hair. Since the unit is battery-powered, it’s completely wireless, so you don’t need to be near an outlet to use it.


The deeply hydrating hair mask you can use once a week

In addition to regularly washing your hair, Shults recommends applying a deep-conditioning hair mask — such as this one from Moroccanoil — on a regular basis. “Invest in a good deep conditioner and use it once or twice a week to help keep your hair looking healthy and soft,” she says. Infused with antioxidant-rich argan oil, this mask only needs around five minutes to work its magic — simply swap it out with your regular conditioner as needed.


This sunscreen that shields your scalp & hair from UV rays

When it comes to sun protection, the hair and scalp are often overlooked, which can lead to strands that are discolored, broken, and brittle, and worse — health problems for your scalp down the line. “Make sure to protect your hair from the sun's harmful UV rays by wearing hats, scarves, or using hair products containing UV protection,” Shults says. This SPF-30 sunscreen mist from Sun Bum is specifically designed to keep your hair and scalp shielded from the sun, without weighing down your strands. The lightweight spray also has a subtle scent that instantly brings summer to mind.


A wide-brim straw hat that offers UPF-50 sun protection

Continuing with Shults’ advice to protect your hair from the sun, here’s a wide-brim straw hat that offers UPF-50+ protection. The hat also earns points in the style department — it has a thick black ribbon that wraps all the way around, adding a contrasting touch. Pair it with any outfit when you’re planning to spend some time in the sun.

  • Available colors: 5


This retro-inspired satin scarf that covers your hair in the sun

Besides hats and sunscreen mists, Shults’ other recommendation for protecting your hair from the sun is to simply wear a scarf. This satin one is so cute and retro-inspired, plus it comes in dozens of unique prints. Tie it around your head like an old Hollywood movie star (just add sunglasses) to shield your head from UV rays. You’ll just so happen to look incredibly chic while doing so.

  • Available colors and patterns: 45


A highly pigmented putty blush with a semi-matte finish

If you’re a makeup minimalist, Abdullah suggests simply applying a small amount of blush before heading out for the day. “When you apply a little color on your cheekbones, it brings color and polish to your entire face,” she says. This highly pigmented putty blush from e.l.f. is creamy and smooth, blending into your cheeks before settling down to a semi-matte powder finish. It’s infused with moisturizing argan oil and vitamin E, so it nourishes skin as well.


A pair of geometric drop earrings that are minimalist & sophisticated

“Earrings have a nice way of drawing more attention to your face and making you look more elegant,” says Abdullah. These geometric drop earrings are on the slightly larger side, serving as a bold but versatile accessory that goes with just about anything — from a jeans-and-tee combo to a cocktail dress. Available in both gold and silver finishes, the stainless steel earrings happen to be both lead- and nickel-free.

  • Available styles: 8


This 3-pack of absorbent microfiber hair wraps

Watson Anthony, hairdresser and editor in chief at Hairstyle Camp, suggests ditching your traditional cotton hair towels for a set of absorbent microfiber ones. Not only do they dry your hair faster than their cotton alternatives, but they’re less likely to cause damage than cotton. “Once you are done drying your hair with a microfiber towel, you will instantly notice a difference,” he says. “There is less breakage and frizz and your hair feels and looks much softer.”

  • Available multipacks: 6


These magnetic false lashes that last for weeks

Have you always been curious about lash extensions, but aren’t ready to commit to the time and cost investment? Lash artist and co-founder of Divine Lashes Asako Ito suggests a set of magnetic lashes. “If you haven't tried magnetic eyelash extensions, it's time to give them a go!” she says. “Not only do they make your eyes look bigger and brighter, but they also last for several weeks.” This set includes five pairs of lashes in different shapes, as well as a special magnetic eyeliner that secures the lashes to your eyes. You also get a handy silicone applicator tool to make the process virtually foolproof.


A boar bristle brush that detangles & adds shine to your hair

“Invest in a quality hairbrush or comb to reduce breakage and keep your hair looking smooth,” says Krysta Biancone, co-owner of Amari Salon and Spa and independent hair stylist at Hair by Krysta based in Santa Barbara, CA. This detangling brush is designed with boar bristles capped with nylon ball tips that help redistribute oil from the scalp towards the end of hair strands. Dry hair is nourished and infused with added shine while, at the same time, excess oil is removed.


This leave-in coconut oil hair mask that leaves hair feeling silky & soft

Want soft, silky hair, but don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to your locks? “Try an overnight oil treatment such as coconut oil or argan oil for added moisture and shine,” says Biancone. This coconut oil hair mask from OGX is fortified with vanilla bean extract and essence of tiare (read: Tahitian gardenia), both of which leave your locks feeling (and smelling) great. Apply the mask before you go to sleep, and wake up to noticeable results.


An eclectic mix of barrettes for experimenting with new hairstyles

While straighteners and curlers are useful in achieving different looks, they have the potential to dry out or damage our hair if you use them every day. “Try out different hairstyles to switch up your look without the need for any heat styling tools,” suggests Biancone. Switch things up in a simple way with this wallet-friendly set of resin hair barrettes that includes 12 opalescent pieces. Each one is fastened to a sturdy alligator clip, which firmly holds your strands in place.


The hyaluronic acid serum that helps create a smooth complexion

Want to bring the best out in your complexion? According to Aisha K. Ashi, professional makeup artist and beauty blogger at Cruelty Free Guide, “You need a hyaluronic or glycolic acid-infused moisturizer for a smooth base.” This hyaluronic acid serum from Eve Hansen is a great pick that packs a powerful dose of hydration in every drop. It’s also infused with skin-brightening vitamin C and soothing aloe vera, making it a versatile product you’ll reach for every morning.


A cool-tone lipstick for brighter-looking teeth

“Make your teeth appear whiter by using a cool-toned color for lips,” instructs Ashi. This liquid lipstick from Honest Beauty is available in cool shades of pink and red, with a creamy formula that dries to a velvety matte finish. It’s also fortified with moisturizing avocado oil and hyaluronic acid, which helps your lips feel moisturized and smooth.

  • Available shades: 8


A lightweight BB cream for subtle, dewy makeup looks

If you want to create everyday, woke-up-like-this makeup looks, Ashi says, “Go for a lightweight foundation with a sheer coverage and natural dewy finish.” This BB cream blends effortlessly into your face with your fingers, with a silky smooth finish that has just a hint of glow. Plus, the addition of natural Centella asiatica extract helps to calm the skin. There are five shades available, so you can pick the one that most closely matches your skin tone.

  • Available shades: 5


This ultra-thin eyebrow pencil for brows that look naturally full

Ashi shares that “on point” eyebrows can instantly elevate your makeup look — this ultra-thin makeup pencil from NYX makes sculpting your brows a breeze. One end features a slim, retractable tip that creates fine, hair-like strokes along your brow, while the other has a built-in spoolie brush for blending and shaping. Plus, there are a dozen shades to pick from, so you can find one that matches your natural brow color perfectly.

  • Available shades: 12


A funky resin chain link bracelet that livens up any outfit

“One of the simplest ways to instantly upgrade your look is to add some eye-catching accessories,” says Harman Awal, beauty and fashion expert at Your Girl Knows. She’s also a fan of the bold, unexpected color combo — which can be found in this resin chain link bracelet. Available in over a dozen vibrant styles, the chunky bracelet incorporates a cool texture into your outfit. An adjustable lobster clasp ensures the piece fits securely on your wrist.

  • Available styles: 14


This skin-smoothing primer blended with marshmallow root extract

Before applying any makeup in the morning, Awal instructs: “Start by using tons of moisturizer and primer to really prime and prep your skin...” This NYX primer softens the skin with marshmallow root extract, creating a smooth base for foundation, blush, and bronzer. Not to mention, it extends the freshness of your makeup, saving you from having to do touch-ups later.


These ballet flats that add a pop of color to any look

Awal emphasizes that the right pair of shoes can bring your outfit to the next level. “Anything from sky-high heels to colorful flats can make all the difference in putting together an amazing ensemble!” she says. Casual yet chic, these ballet flats come in so many different shades and leopard-print patterns. Designed with breathable mesh uppers, spongy insoles, and elegant pointed toes, the flats are comfortable and stylish in equal measure.

  • Available sizes: 5 — 11
  • Available colors and patterns: 26


A vitamin C cream that brightens skin & protects against sun damage

Celebrity esthetician Ildi Pekar recommends "using and taking vitamin C" to prevent sun damage — one way to do so is by using a vitamin C cream. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps strengthen your skin’s defense against harmful UV rays, while also working to brighten and even out your complexion. The addition of vegan probiotics and apple and grape stem cells work to further guard skin against environmental stressors and pollution.


This lightweight, non-greasy sunscreen that’s great for sensitive skin

“Protect your skin by using SPF protection; this should be the last step in your beauty regimen before leaving your home,” says Pekar. This SPF-60 sunscreen from LaRoche-Posay is an excellent choice, as the oil- and fragrance-free formula won’t cause breakouts on acne-prone skin. It soaks instantly into the skin, so your face will feel dry to the touch — no greasy residue.


A nutrient-rich face mask made from natural ingredients

Avocados aren’t just for your toast — they also make for a moisturizing facial treatment. “Natural masks, such as honey, avocado, or oatmeal, can help to nourish and protect your skin,” says Liis Hainla, founder and head editor of vegan beauty and lifestyle blog Vegan Avenue. This face mask combines avocado with potent, naturally derived ingredients including green tea extract, aloe vera, and Dead Sea mud. Together, they work to purify pores, soothe skin, and add moisture, leaving you with a fresh, glowing complexion.