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    I Tried 10 Insanely Popular Pinterest Beauty Hacks IRL

    Some delivered β€” and others (definitely) didn't.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    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 β€” 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 β€” most importantly β€” 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 β€” 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 β€” 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 β€” 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?


    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 β€” 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 β€” attaching it in the back, then pulling it all the way around the front β€” you'll make the bra more secure and get extra lift. (Confused? I was too. Here's the how-to diagram.)


    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 BeyoncΓ©, 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.


    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 β€” 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. πŸ€—