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I Tried 10 Insanely Popular Pinterest Beauty Hacks IRL

Some delivered — and others (definitely) didn't.

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1. HACK #1: To tone down dark circles, apply under-eye gel pads made out of coffee + gelatin.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: The coffee is supposed to help tighten skin and remove redness, while the gelatin contains collagen, which can help lift loose skin.

DID IT WORK: Nope!

THE RESULTS: Making these caffeine gel pads was a pretty cool experiment that made me curious about coffee jello (which, BTW, is a thing), but it made no difference on dark circles — and also made my eyes feel kinda weird. I'll have to stick to concealer or go au naturel and wait for people to tell me I look tired.

2. HACK #2: Remove sweat stains from clothing by pre-soaking them with a mixture of dish soap + hydrogen peroxide + baking soda.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: The hydrogen peroxide is a natural whitening agent, the dish soap cuts grease, and the baking soda softens clothes and removes odors.

DID IT WORK: Yes!

THE RESULTS: This was so easy and cheap and — most importantly — it freakin' worked. I used an old toothbrush to scrub a mix of dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda onto my lovely lil' sweat stains and let the mixture sit on the shirt for an hour. After hand-washing the shirt with a little detergent and letting it air dry, the stain was completely gone. (I feel so much more equipped for summer, you guys.)

3. HACK #3: Corn starch + cocoa can double as cheap (and streak-free) dry shampoo for brunettes.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: The cornstarch is supposed to help dry up the oil on your scalp — and the cocoa means that you won't gray out or be left with streaks of white.

DID IT WORK: Kinda.

THE RESULTS: I'm a sweaty mess (see: sweat stains), so if I go more than two days without washing my hair, my hair is so greasy I can't go out in public. But after skipping the shampoo and conditioner for a few days (purely for the sake of ~science~) I mixed equal parts corn starch and cocoa and rubbed it into my scalp. It soaked up a lot of the oil — but also left my hair feeling pretty starchy, stiff, and crispy. (Also? Washing out my chocolate-y hair was a bizarre experience, LOL. I literally smelled like pudding.)

4. HACK #4: Swapping out pricey eye makeup remover for plain ol' coconut oil.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: The oil is supposed to break down heavy makeup like eyeliner and mascara. And coconut oil, specifically, conditions lashes.

DID IT WORK: Always. ❤️

THE RESULTS: Honestly, coconut oil + anything = LIFE. As a makeup remover, it was basically softer, cheaper, and less wasteful than anything I could purchase. I took a teeny bit and rubbed it on my waterproof mascara and thick-ass black liquid liner — then used a damp cotton swab to rub the oily residue away. (You could also use a washcloth if you wanted to be especially environmentally friendly.)

5. HACK #5: Prevent blisters with adhesive tape.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: Ultramarathon runners often tape up their feet before a run to create a preventative layer against the friction that causes blisters. So the same idea should work with uncomfortable shoes, right?

DID IT WORK: NOOOOOOPE.

THE RESULTS: I didn't even last a mile in these shoes. (Which was such a bummer because I'm extremely prone to blisters and I've only had success avoiding them with about three pairs of shoes, like these boots.) Still, I bought these gorgeous lil' loafers in hopes of finding a comfortable work option, but they turned out to be tiny death traps that gouge holes in my feet. The paper tape came right off once sweat got involved. This was a no-good, very bad hack.

6. HACK #6: Before bed, wrap wet hair around a t-shirt crown — and you'll wake up with easy, no-heat waves.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: You're supposed to twist the t-shirt into the shape of a halo, and wrap your hair tightly to create loose, low-effort waves.

DID IT WORK: Not even close.

THE RESULTS: In retrospect, every stage of this was attractive. Besides the fact that I look hysterical with the first 'do, the result was a major disappointment, especially after seeing the gorgeous waves in the tutorial.

7. HACK #7: Applying corn starch + top coat will give your nail polish a matte finish.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: You can mix cornstarch and top coat to dull the sheen of your nail polish and create a ~trendy~ matte finish.

DID IT WORK: Kinda.

THE RESULTS: The matte-ness was inconsistent and looked too dull and chunky to be attractive, IMO. But definitely give it a go if you are looking for a cheap solution.

8. HACK #8: Hook a removable strap around the base of a strapless bra for extra ~lift~ and support.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: If you wrap a removable strap around the base of a strapless bra — attaching it in the back, then pulling it all the way around the front — you'll make the bra more secure and get extra lift. (Confused? I was too. Here's the how-to diagram.)

DID IT WORK: YUP YUP.

THE RESULTS: I wanted to try this strapless bra upgrade because I have the blessing/curse of having boobs. (Don't roll your eyes at me until you watch The Try Guys wearing boob weights.) So, I set up my bra, put on a strapless jumpsuit, and put it to the test. I ran around my apartment, danced to some Beyoncé, and got some work done. The bra definitely held up better with the strap, but it didn't get any more comfortable.

9. HACK #9: Make a fool-proof DIY exfoliating scrub with coffee grounds + sugar + coconut oil.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: The ingredient ~trinity~ is supposed to exfoliate, tighten, and tone your skin.

DID IT WORK: Yes!

THE RESULTS: It's been almost a year since I've exfoliated, so I whipped up this sugar scrub and rubbed it all over to remove the layer of dead winter skin. And TBH? I was so thrilled that this recipe made enough for multiple uses because I loved it. My skin immediately felt smooth and dewy, and I feel ready to bare my pale-ass legs to the sun.

10. HACK #10: Set your lipstick with a tissue + translucent powder to make it last even longer.

Emily Shwake

THE IDEA: After applying lip liner and lipstick, lay a piece of tissue on your lips and tap on some translucent face powder through it. That'll set the pigment without dulling the color.

DID IT WORK: YAAAAS.

THE RESULTS: Real talk: I might actually start wearing lipstick every day thanks to this lipstick trick. For comparison's sake, I tried the lipstick on its own first and it only made it three hours before fading to the liner. Then I tried it with tissue and powder combo, and the lipstick stuck through my entire night — and that included eating and drinking without a straw. I got home at 1 a.m. and had to take it off with some coconut oil. 🤗

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