By Eleanor Langston
You've been told this line before: "Okay, I know it's weird, but...." What follows is a surprising piece of advice — about anything from clearing up a zit to taming a flyaway — that totally does the trick. Call it word-of-mouth beauty. Sure, these tips might sound strange at first ("You put diaper cream where?!"), but there's a logic to them. We rounded up tons of such pointers (from pros as well as real girls) and tested them at Cosmo. Though a few clunkers had to be kicked to the curb, all the rest, presented here, are real gems.
1) Powder Your Roots
If your hairline starts to look greasy, dig up a big, fluffy makeup brush, and dip it into a pot of loose powder. Tap it once on the back of your hand to remove the excess, then dust it over your roots. It mops up oil and blends into your strands, so no one will know you didn't shower.
2) Scent Strands with Perfume
Spray a light shot of fragrance into your brush's bristles. Run it through strands from roots to ends and your hair will smell amazing throughout the day.
3) Cure Calluses with Vaseline
Slather on the petroleum jelly, and put on socks before bed to dissolve tough calluses overnight.
4) Spot-Treat Smudges
Dip a cotton swab in eye-makeup remover, and trace it along your lids to erase any slipups or goofs when there's no time to redo your whole look.
5) Fix a Flushed Face
If you turn red and stay that way after exercising (like seriously red for hours, even though you're healthy and hydrated), take an antihistamine like Benadryl when you leave the gym to reduce redness.
6) Soften Your Bod with Avocado
Take a ripe avocado, remove the pit and skin, and mash it up in a bowl. Slather it all over your body, let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse off. Your skin will be sooo soft — avocado is a natural moisturizer.
7) Super-Glue a Nail
Instead of tearing off your nail when it breaks, put a tiny dab of Super Glue over the split, and paint a generous layer of your favorite nail polish shade over it. Go for an opaque option (like red, purple, or coral) to camouflage and seal the crack.
8) Use Makeup Remover on Stubborn Lipstick
Don't try to rub off red lipstick (which makes it smear across your mouth — not so sexy). Instead, take a cotton ball or tissue, dip it in makeup remover, and just dab to erase the dark stain fast.
9) Tame Brows with Eye Cream
Pat any kind of rich eye cream over brows to help keep them hydrated and banish those icky white specks that look like dandruff.
10) Buff with Baking Soda
If you find yourself streaking (not glowing) after applying self-tanner, put some baking soda on a loofah, and scrub away the stripes.
11) Brush on Hair Spray
For the final step of your blow-dry, spray hair spray onto your brush, and run it through strands from roots to tips. This way, your 'do isn't plastered and stiff but still holds volume and shine.
12) Boost Body Lotion with Baby Oil
If you're craving shiny legs that aren't greasy, blend a drop of baby oil into your normal body lotion for extra luster.
13) Dab Essential Oil on a Hangnail
Put on apricot oil, the kind found in health-food stores, to protect cuticles from turning rough and raggedy.
14) Quell a Cold Sore with Cream
When a cold sore is coming on, dab a bit of thick moisturizer, like Aquaphor, over it to prevent it from getting worse.
15) Freeze Your Eyeliner
If the tip of your eyeliner pencil crumbles and smears on your lids, store the liner in the freezer for 15 minutes before use so the tip is firm and goes across your skin smoothly.
16) Use Toothpaste on a Zit
Use just a pea-size amount. Let sit for 15 minutes to absorb the oil so the pimple won't get more clogged, then wash off.
17) Heat Up Your Curler
If you have stick-straight lashes, try blasting your metal eyelash curler with a hair dryer for a couple of seconds to heat it up so your lashes bend more easily. And use a waterproof mascara. The formula dries faster than other mascaras, so it sets the curl more effectively.
18) Use Soap Without Water
You know those fancy bars that are actually too pretty to use? Toss them in your underwear or tee-shirt drawers to make your skin smell delicious.
19) Groom Brows with a Toothbrush
Mist an (unused!) toothbrush or eyebrow comb with hair spray to help flatten and tame unruly brows.
20) Put Diaper-Rash Cream on Dry Spots
Slather on a thick layer of diaper-rash cream to heal cracked elbows and feet.
21) Lubricate Your Lashes
An easy way to draw attention to your eyes without putting on a pile of makeup is to comb petroleum jelly lightly through the tips of eyelashes to get a sexy, subtle sparkle.
22) Steamroll Flyaways
Spray on hair spray, then roll the can over your strands. The round bottle fits the curved shape of your head, locks in the spray, and flattens out frizz.
23) Spike Lotion with Bronzer
If you don't have time to book a self-tanning session, mix a few pumps of body bronzer with regular hand lotion and pat it on your legs for a gradual dose of sexy, beachy color.
24) Air-Dry Your Curls
Let your hair dry indoors before going out in the cold. The curls will be really bouncy and piecey-perfect.
25) Press a Tea Bag on Splotches
If your skin is sensitive or just looking irritated and puffy for some reason, steep a bag of green tea for a minute or two, let it cool down, and dab it over your face. The antioxidants in the tea take down inflammation.
26) Shave with Conditioner
Ran out of shaving cream? Do double duty by coating your stems with a thick hair conditioner. It softens the hair so it's easier to shave off and makes legs feel amazingly silky.
27) Amp Shine with Vinegar
Mix one part vinegar with four parts carbonated water, and soak dry hair. Leave on for 15 minutes before you shampoo to lock in shine and combat dullness.
28) Exfoliate Your Pits
If your underarms start to look dry and flaky, an easy trick is to exfoliate them with a gentle face scrub to keep that skin pretty when going sleeveless.
29) Customize Your Body Lotion
Instead of shelling out for an expensive perfumed body product, you can make your own by pouring a few drops of fragrance into any scent-free lotion. Rub it on — the scent will last for hours.
30) "Brush" with Mouthwash
If you're too wiped out after a late night of partying to clean your teeth, rinse with water and mouthwash, then use a dry toothbrush on the area where your teeth hit your gums.
31) Make an Egg-White Mask
To revive tired, dull skin without hitting the spa table, try this: Crack open an egg in a bowl, separate the yolk, and use the egg whites to make a face mask. The proteins help to heal and restore skin's moisture. Leave it on for five minutes, then rinse off.
32) Dry Sensitive Skin with T.P.
Instead of drying your face with a scratchy towel, pat with toilet paper — it's ultrasoft on delicate skin (and bums!).
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.