Top-Secret Beauty Cheats Straight From The Pros

Listen, we get that the artful application of the perfect cat-eye, or the mastery of an intricate braiding technique are accomplishments to take pride in, but sometimes we just don’t have the energy to put that kind of effort into our daily routines.

Over the years, we’ve picked up some pretty greattime-saving tips — line your inner rims with a nude eye pencil to make your eyes pop, spray dry shampoo on your roots to hide unwashed strands — but our usual go-tos were starting to feel a bit “been there, done that.” Time to call in the pros.

We tracked down 11 of the most creative and inventive minds in the beauty biz and coerced them into divulging their top-secret beauty cheats. These are the insider tricks that they use backstage and on their celebrity clients, when time is short and the stakes are high. And, every single one is a shortcut to a more gorgeous you, no tricky techniques or insane list of pricy products required.

What’s that old saying — that cheaters never prosper? We beg to differ…


“For easy beachy hair, put your hair in two pigtails, then spray them from the ends up with a texturizing salt spray. Twist into buns, then use a diffuser on them until hair is dry. Let your hair cool for five minutes, then release the buns. Bang: easy, beautiful beach hair.” 
— Christina Buzas, celebrity hairstylist 

Photo: MCV Photo


“You can add depth to any lipcolor in your bag by using an eyeliner as lip liner first. Blacks, grays, and browns add depth to any color, so they are great with red and wine tones. I especially love how an opaque eyeliner will boost a sheer lipstick or a gloss, which is probably what you’re wearing throughout the day anyway. Time-saving and space-saving!” 
— James Boehmer, NARS director of global artistry 

Photo: MCV Photo


“If you’re running late and your hair is still wet, use a paper towel! It soaks up more water than a bath towel, drying your hair faster.” 
— Randi Petersen, celebrity hairstylist 

Photo: MCV Photo


“After a bath or shower, gently buff the nails with a soft buffer (320-600 grit), brush off with a nail brush, polish if desired, and apply an oil — CND SolarOilOPI Avoplex, or just plain olive oil. Your nails will look fresh and healthy.” 
— Beth Fricke, celebrity manicurist 

Photo: MCV Photo


“For a more sensual lip, use a concealer brush to apply your lipstick. It’s faster than a lip brush and makes it easier to apply and blend.” 
— Val Garland, makeup artist 

Photo: MCV Photo


“When doing your makeup, do your eyes first. That way whatever falls under the eye can just be wiped clean, and you won’t be trying to get dark smudges out of your concealer.” 
— Marina Gravani, celebrity makeup artist 

Photo: MCV Photo


“I think the coolest trick I learned to do is a punk-rock smoky eye. There’s no shadow — just put black or dark eyeliner in the waterline of your eye and a bit on the lower lash line, then close your eye and rub it with your fingers — like you would when you’re tired. Open your eye and use a clean Q-Tip to smooth out and clean up the liner underneath and above. The cotton swab could also be used to smudge it a bit more. This trick makes the eyeliner look slept-in, yet chic.” 
— Nico Guilis, celebrity makeup artist 

Photo: MCV Photo


“I love this backstage technique: Braid hair into two plaits (or as many as suits your hair length and thickness). Spray braids with Bumble and bumble Does It All Styling Spray before taking a flat iron to the braids. Run the iron up and down the braid several times, let cool, then release the braids. You’ll have beautiful, loose, unfussy waves.” 
— Sabrina Michals, Bumble and bumble director of styling education 

Photo: MCV Photo


“Use a nude-colored eye pencil as a highlighting tool on your face. Run the pencil down the bridge of your nose and blend out with your fingertips, then apply under your brow bone to disguise any new hair growth. Lastly, try it on your lips to add volume to the Cupid’s bow and make your lips look fuller. 
— John Stapleton, MAC senior artist 

Photo: MCV Photo


“Mascara is one of those things that most women don’t leave the house without. If you’re rushed for time, create a slightly lived-in, smudged liner look by intentionally applying mascara at the root of the lashes, smudging on to the top and bottom lash line. You have a little bit of playtime before the mascara dries, so with a small brush or a Q-Tip, smear the mascara, creating a smudged line. If you are using a water-resistant or waterproof mascara, your ‘liner’ will stay on longer.” 
— J.B. 

Photo: MCV Photo


“I like to use an eye pencil in a shimmery white, champagne, or light gold to outline the top lip — just outside the natural lip line — fading it out towards the outer edges and making sure the color is strongest over the Cupid’s bow. This gives the lips the illusion of fullness and definition, and is a more modern alternative to lip liner.” 
— Beau Nelson, celebrity makeup artist 

Photo: MCV Photo


“Using hair pads or donuts for styling can really secure your hair for the night and make a style last without the worry. Since these come in one size fits ‘most,’ I cut the very ends off and unravel it into a flat sheet — this makes a foamy sponge fabric that you can then cut it into smaller pieces to work into your style, giving you a little more bang for your buck.” 
— Bradley Irion, celebrity hairstylist 

Photo: MCV Photo

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29.

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