When it comes to the beloved products in your vanity, they might not all be as easy to use as they may seem. (And just because your techniques have been the same since high school doesn’t mean they can’t use some improvement.) Ahead, we point out ten beauty products—found in everything from your makeup bag to your hair product drawer—that you’ve likely been using all wrong. Get our tips for using them correctly, and march forward with the perfect hair and makeup you should’ve had all along.
Get It Right
Bobby Pins: You're Using Them Upside Down
Prepare to have your mind blown: Bobby pins are supposed to be worn with the ridged side down. The grooves are meant to create a grip. But the majority of us have been conditioned to think the flat side goes against the head. Trust us: Just flip them around, and you won't have to worry about them falling out.
Nail Polish: You're Shaking The Bottle To Mix The Color
Vigorously shaking the bottle up and down might seem like the best way to get your polish manicure-ready, but all this does is create air bubbles, which results in a bumpy paint job. Instead, gently roll the bottle between your hands or let it sit upside down for a few minutes before applying it.
Mousse: You're Skipping The Most Important Section
Mousse is meant to give you volume, so where you place it makes a huge difference. Many of us tend to start application on the sides of our hair and work it down to the ends. We should actually be massaging it into the crown (where we all need the most lift!) and blend it out from there.
Hair Brush: You're Not Using The Right One At The Right Time
Your hair has different needs when it's wet versus when it's dry. A rough round brush will wreak havoc on wet hair; instead, use one with flexible bristles to detangle after a shampoo. Round metal brushes work best on dry hair with applied heat. Lift at the roots for volume and roll from the ends up the shaft to create a subtle curl.
Eyelash Curler: You're Using It Last
Your eyelash curler should be the first step in creating a standout eye look. Using it after applying liner on the top lash line can smear it, and curling your lashes after mascara can make it clumpy (or, worse, break your delicate lashes). Do yourself a favor and get in the habit of using your curler first.
Perfume: You're Rubbing It On With Your Wrists
You probably picked up this trick from your mom. She probably applied a few spritzes on her wrist, then rubbed them together before rubbing them behind her ears, right? Quite simply, the rubbing can heat fragrance up as it mixes with your natural oils, thus changing the scent. If you like the way it smells right out of the bottle, spray it on and let it get to work on its own.
Hair Oil: You're Applying It On Wet Hair
We're so afraid of frizz that we tend to oil up our hair as soon as we get out of the shower. In truth, no hair product is supposed to be applied to soaked hair, because the water dilutes the formula. Instead, wait until hair is semi-dry (either naturally or with a dryer) before applying oil. Also, be sure to keep oil off the roots, as this can make your hair look flat and greasy.
Makeup Sponge: You're Using It Dry
In this day and age, some beauty junkies still don't realize makeup sponges are meant to be used wet. Soak it in a bowl of water, then wring it out before using it to apply your makeup. Using it dry can soak up too much product, and a dry sponge just won't give you that flawless finish it's known for.
Liquid Liner: You're Lining Your Waterline With It
Liquid liner is fantastic for creating a sharp cat eye, but it should stay far away from the lower lash line. Since the formula is so watery, there's no doubt it will smudge in mere minutes. Instead, save the liquid liner for the top, and use a classic kohl liner on the lower lash line.
Toner: You're Sweeping It Across Your Face With A Cotton Pad
While our favorite way to apply toner and essences is with a cotton pad, the delivery is all in the technique. Instead of just swiping it across your face, press it into the skin to really help the product absorb properly. This is how you get real results.