Exactly how did anyone do anything before Google? We’ve heard about the yellow pages, trips to the library, phoning a friend — but how did anyone ever find the time? And what did you do about a question you were too embarrassed to ask someone? Just never ask it? Luckily, we don’t know these woes anymore because magical Google will answer anything for us, with absolutely no judgement (though we can’t say the same for the targeted ads that may follow).
So what beauty questions did we collectively ask Google the most this year? Among them: how to apply magnetic lashes, the secret to drawing a cat eye, and the best products for removing makeup besides makeup wipes. The only hitch? Not every immediate result is as straightforward as the question posed.
So with the help of people who are truly in the know — makeup artists, drag queens, editors, and more — we’re providing 10 no-b.s. answers to your most frequently-typed queries, ahead.
How To Apply Magnetic Lashes
What Google Will Tell You: Apply a coat of mascara, snap the magnetic lashes in place, and magic: LASHES!
What We Say: There’s a reason “how to apply magnetic lashes ” was the top-searched beauty question of 2018, because it is not nearly as easy as the internet would have you believe. Though the top result promises lashes in just four steps, it took us 32 tries spaced over multiple sessions to get those falsies to align with our natural lashes. And guess what? It still didn’t work out for us. Our suggestion? Google “guided meditation for patience” when taking on this challenge.
Eylure Magnetic Lashes – Opulent Accent, $14.99, available at Target
What Is A Lash Lift?
What Google Will Tell You: A keratin treatment done on natural lashes that stokes volume, curl, and length.
What We Say: The algorithm’s textbook answer isn’t wrong, but once you get into the fine print of a lash lift, a few important details reveal themselves: According to the pros we consulted, a mixture of curled and straight lashes can grow in about two to four weeks after the treatment. But that didn’t stop our editor from raving about the treatment, which rendered her eyelash curler useless. If the wonky grow-out factor turns you off, go for a lifting and curling mascara like this one.
Pixi Lash Lift 188 Beyond Black, $18, available at Target
What Google Will Tell You: Pour an oil-based makeup-remover on a cotton ball to wrestle lashes free.
What We Say: Sure, that will work. But not if you want to use those fake lashes again. “An oil-based remover will warp the lash,” explains makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, whose clients include Rashida Jones and Busy Phillips. “It can also leave a residue on the lash that might interfere with the tackiness of the glue or cause your makeup to run when you wear them next.” Her fix? This gentle water-based cleanser, which feels like nothing but gets the job done.
Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water, $46, available at DermStore
What Hair Color Looks Best On Me?
What Google Will Tell You: The best hair color for you is only the one that very specifically matches the undertones in your skin and doesn’t fall within two to three shades of your natural hair color.
What We We Say: The best hair color for you is the one you love, makes you feel like Superwoman, and won’t send your hair to shit. Our motto? Do whatever the hell you want — and let Olaplex handle the rest.
Olaplex Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3, $28, available at Sephora
How To Do A Cat Eye
What Google Will Tell You: Gather an eyeliner, business card, cotton buds, scotch tape, and one hand of a surgeon — then say a little prayer while you follow eight or more steps. You know, the stuff of a regular Tuesday morning.
What We Say: Skip all that and try this handy tool instead. You simply coat the triangular tip with your favorite gel eyeliner before stamping it into your lash line as the name suggests. Even our least-coordinated testers got an even cat-eye every time.
The Vamp Stamp Vixen Wing Eyeliner Stamp, $19, available at Bloomingdale’s
What Google Will Tell You: Pour makeup remover or some variation of oil onto cotton rounds, which is essentially almost the same thing as using a makeup wipe. Hey computer: We love you — but thank, u next!
What We Say: First of all, we’re so happy you googled this, because we’ve long preached that makeup wipes are the devil (for your skin and the environment). Instead, smooth an oil-based cleanser over your dry skin, allowing it to melt before activating with warm water and wiping it off with a fresh towel. Unlike search results, this specific formula has never led us astray.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil, $28, available at Sephora
How To Apply Aloe Vera
What Google Will Tell You: Wash your hands. Slice an outer leaf from an aloe plant you managed to source. Drain the resin, peel the leaves… this is exhausting. Never mind, world, we’ll just let our sunburn peel.
What We Say: Wash your hands. Smooth this unadulterated, alcohol-free aloe vera gel (which our pros swear by for soothing ingrown hairs) over the affected area. Take a nap.
Epicuren Discovery Aloe Vera Calming Gel, $25, available at Amazon
What Google Will Tell You: Google, and every drag queen worth her salt, will suggest a 5-step process of Elmer’s Glue Sticks, spoolies, and lots of powder.
What We Say: Who are we to argue with a drag queen? BUT, if the thought of applying real glue to your skin scares you (and your easily clogged pores), it’s not the only option out there. Other pro drag queens swear by this lesser-known, cosmetic-grade adhesive to get the job done. It takes time and practice — not to mention, a specific remover sold separately — but is well worth it for spectacular arches.
Pros-Aide Cream Adhesive, $4.9, available at Camera Ready Cosmetics
How To Fix Cakey Makeup
What Google Will Tell You: Asking Google this question is like asking your family who makes the best potato salad. So many takes and yet, no right answer.
What We Say: Our go-to solution comes from makeup artist Ricky Wilson, who covers half of the face with a tissue, then traces over it in swirling motions with a Kabuki brush. “That way, you take off some of the foundation, but you haven’t wiped it off and [your base] won’t be red or uneven,” Wilson says. Repeat on the other half of your face, and boom! It’s as if you never overdid anything in your life.
Sigma Beauty Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush, $25, available at Sigma Beauty
What Concealer To Use
What Google Will Tell You: Here’s 69 million or so options to consider.
What We Say: This is the one you should actually get. We tested it against every other 2018 concealer launch, and it came out victorious.
Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer, $28, available at Laura Mercier
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