The Multipurpose Beauty Products You Should Own

Make the most of your medicine cabinet.

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The beauty industry likes to prescribe different products for every possible eventuality. The fact is: many products are marketed as one thing, when really, they're great at doing two or three of them. Here, we share our list of the hardest working products in beauty—streamline your routine and never look back!

Which of your products are secretly multi-taskers?

Item: Clear Mascara  

Great Lash Clear Mascara, $6, ulta.com.
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Uses

Traditionally, clear mascara is used to separate and lengthen lashes without color, but that's not the only hair it takes care of.

Secret Skill No. 1

Eyebrow Grooming: When you remove the wand, make sure to scrape off any extra product on the opening of the mascara tube. Use the wand to brush up brow hairs, then with the tip of the wand, smooth the ends of the hairs back into place.

Secret Skill No. 2

Edge Tamer: Sometimes the edges (the little strands on your hairline) get out of control, especially if you they have a thick, coarse, or coil-like texture. Take the wand and gently brush the hairs into your hairline—your hair will look more put together with freshly groomed edges. 

Item: Lipstick

Colorlicious Lipstick by CoverGirl, $6, target.com.
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Uses

When you aren't gliding a pretty shade on your lips, apply the pigment to other parts of your face. 

Secret Skill No. 1

Color Corrector: For those of you with darker skin tones, try a sheer, cream orange lipstick to color correct any discolored spots under your eyes. Blend it in, then apply your normal concealer and foundation. The orange color will neutralize the darkness to make you look more awake.

Secret Skill No. 2

Cream Blush and Eyeshadow: Take any lip color you like and quickly blend the shade into the apples of your cheeks or your eyelids. A lipstick with a matte finish will give your look a cool, modern feel when used on the major points of your face. 

Item: Hair Conditioner 

Cilantro Hair Conditioner, $22, malinandgoetz.com.

Uses

Of course, you ultimately need conditioner to hydrate and seal the hair on your head—but if you have some extra product to spare, use it when you need a gentle alternative to creams and detergents.

Secret Skill No. 1

Shaving Cream: Try out a sulfate-free conditioner as an alternative to your shaving cream. The moisturizing components will treat your skin, even while the blade runs against the surface. Take a thin layer and apply it to your underarms or legs and shave as usual.

Secret Skill No. 2

Detergent for Delicates: When a clothing tag on a delicate item calls for handwashing, you can use conditioner. Fill up the sink or bathtub with lukewarm water and add a dollop, swishing around your clothes in the mixture. For added cleaning, rub the mixture directly into clothing with a small scrubbing brush. 

Item: Translucent Powder

Studio Finishing Powder Translucent Finish by NYX Cosmetics, $10, ulta.com.

Uses

Translucent powders are the key to setting makeup for a long-lasting look. The powder can also liven up other parts of the skin, and revitalize oily hair.

Secret Skill No. 1

Root Saver: It's been a few days since you've washed your hair, right? And dry shampoo can be a pain to carry around. Pack up your translucent powder to go and apply little amounts to the roots to soak up any oil that's weighing down your strands. Rub it in so the powder doesn't leave a visible residue.

Secret Skill No. 2

Skin Buffer: If you have a translucent powder with a pearlescent finish, apply it to your decolletage to brighten up dull skin, especially when you're wearing a deeply cut neckline or hanging out on the beach in your bikini.

Item: Body Lotion

Daily Moisturizing Lotion by Aveeno, $11, drugstore.com.

Uses

Body lotions get the job done when it comes to tending to dry skin, but they can also play a crucial role in your hair routine.  

Secret Skill No. 1

Hair Styler: Hey short-haired folks, lotion can help you achieve that style you want to perfect. Take a water-based lotion and use it to help texturize fine hair, or smooth it through your strands to tame frizziness and curls.

Secret Skill No. 2

Makeup Remover: A gentle formula, like Aveeno, is great for removing your makeup at night (just in case you run out of proper remover). Put lotion on a cotton swab or pad, then wipe away the colors. Follow up with a face wash to make sure all of the grime is gone.

Item: Mouthwash

Antiseptic Mouthwash by Listerine, $6, cvs.com.

Uses

The cleansing and refreshing properties in mouthwash do more than keep your teeth nice and healthy—the product can help out your skin, too.

Secret Skill No. 1

Pedicure Helper: When you don't have the big bucks to pay for a pedicure, add a cap full of mouthwash to your soaking water. Let your feet relax in the mixture for 15 to 30 minutes—the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of the wash will clear away bacteria (for a proper clean!) and will soften the dry skin on your heels. Let's just call it the peppermint special.

Secret Skill No. 2

Acne Spot Treater: Now, don't go spreading Listerine all over your face (as it can be drying). But, if you have pimples on your face, take down redness and swelling with a tiny dab of mouthwash—the alcohol will temporarily relieve these painful symptoms. Apply with a cotton swab, then proceed with your skin care routine.

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