4 Crazy Makeup Hacks You Need To Learn Now

If you’re anything like us, you likely open your beauty products the same way: Rip off the protective plastic, throw away the box, dispose of any extra sheets or covers; toss the little sponges in favor of your own makeup brushes; consider (briefly) using the tiny skincare spoons for caviar, realize you never eat caviar, discard those, and then catapult headfirst into your brand-spanking-new makeup. It’s smoky eye time!

But when you get rid of all that stuff, you miss out on some seriously awesome makeup hacks. “People get excited and dive right into it, without thinking and fully embracing what they have there,” says Tim Quinn, celebrity makeup artist and director of makeup artistry for Giorgio Armani Beauty. “Because I travel so much, I like to pare everything down and make use of anything I can find.” Those plastic sheets that protect your powders, for example, turn out to be amazing eyeshadow guards. Skincare spoons? Fantastic for mixing lipstick. And you won’t believe how you’ve been using those little pigment lids wrong this entire time.

Click ahead to see four gorgeous looks, all created by Quinn, along with cool, easy tricks for getting the most out of your product packaging. If you're tempted to go dig some stuff out of the trash after reading this, well, we won't tell anyone.
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Photographed by Brayden Olson.
Plastic Sheets=Eyeshadow Guards
Technically, those plastic sheets that come with your eyeshadows are meant to guard the pan from dings and smudges. But did you know you can actually use them to protect your undereyes from eyeshadow fallout? “My assistant discovered this while we were in a rush and I was doing one eye [on a client] and she was doing the other,” says Quinn. “I know a lot of women get nervous with powder around their eyes, and using this little thing works brilliant.”

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Duo in Precious Metals, $28.50, available at Elizabeth Arden.
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Photographed by Brayden Olson.
To use it, simply lift the plastic sheet off the product and place it under the eyes to catch any stray flakes while you work.

For these bronze smoky eyes, Quinn used an eyeshadow brush to press a rich, coppery shadow over the lids and along the lower lashline. He swept sheer bronzer into the creases of the eyes. “It adds depth but doesn’t take away from the overall look,” he says.

Nikki Chasin Top; Mociun Cylinder Earrings, $455.
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Photographed by Brayden Olson.
Skincare Spoons=Lipstick Mixers
Skincare spoons are technically meant for applying eye cream hygienically, but we all know their true purpose: to make you feel like a fancy, rich lady as you scoop out $20 worth of a $300 eye cream. Most of the time, they end up lost in drawers or buried in your makeup bag. But Quinn has a special use for them: mixing lipstick!

Use the edge of the spoon to shave (not scoop) a bit of pigment from the sides of two lipsticks. Swirl them together on your hand or on a palette before gliding the mixture along your lips. “This is [a trick] that came from backstage when we all shared a lipstick,” says Quinn. “It works nicely, it’s more hygienic, and it keeps your bullets intact.”

Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Extrema Light Cream, $385, available at Giorgo Armani Beauty; Circa Beauty Color Absolute Velvet Luxe Lipsticks in Rita and Elizabeth, $10 each, available at Circa Beauty.
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Photographed by Brayden Olson.
"Everyone has that one shade of lipstick that they don’t wear — but it can be blended together with another shade to make something totally different,” says Quinn.

For this look, he combined fuschia and orangey shades to make a poppy coral. “That’s my Palm Beach background. People don’t think to blend them but they’re so great together,” he says.

Clover Canyon Distressed Wallpaper Bohemian Dress, $319; Noir Earrings
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Photographed by Brayden Olson.
This one is seriously going to blow your mind. You know those annoying secondary lids that come under the main lids of your makeup and skin-care products? Yeah, we always thought they were a little redundant, too. Until Quinn clued us in to this fact: They’re amazing when used as tiny makeup palettes — especially for loose pigments and powders.

M.A.C. Pigment Colour Powder in Blue Brown, $22, available at M.A.C. Cosmetics.
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Photographed by Brayden Olson.
Shake the container while closed, then open it carefully. Gently squeeze the little lever on the inner lid with your thumb and pointer finger, flip it over so that the flat side is facing up, and — tada! — you have a neat little palette with the perfect amount of product. “It drives me crazy on those TV segments when the artist dips their brush into pigment and then blows it everywhere. It’s not hygienic and it’s messy,” says Quinn. “This lets you control it so much more and use less product.”

For this look, he chose a shade-shifting blue-brown pigment. “I love transformative colors; this one is almost like a beetle,” he says. Quinn swept it all over the lid, then concentrated a bit more pigment on the center to make the color pop. “You could also use it wet for a different effect,” he says.

Être Cécile Dress; Gemma Redux Gold-Plated Resin Earrings, $50.
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Photographed by Brayden Olson.
Eyeshadow Sponges=Liner Sponges
Let’s be real: Those sponge-tipped applicators that come with your eyeshadow are actually not-so-great for applying eyeshadow. They tend to distribute pigment unevenly, don’t blur out lines very well, and can even feel a bit like they’re tugging at your gentle eye skin.

But for eyeliner application, they’re an absolute dream. “They’re really easy to hold and give you that diffused smoky look — not a high drama, precise line,” says Quinn. Plus, they hold pigment in a way that some eyeliner brushes can’t — especially when you use them wet. (Quinn also recommends moistening them with a bit of eye cream first, as water can overly dilute the shadow.)

Giorgo Armani Beauty 'Eyes To Kill' 4 Color Eyeshadow Palette in 5, $60, available at Sephora.
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Photographed by Brayden Olson.
Rather than buying wild colored eyeliners (which are having a serious moment right now), Quinn recommends looking through your eyeshadow palettes to find your least-used shades and experiment with those. For this look, he went with a deep navy and aqua blue, holding the sponge vertically and sweeping it along the lower lashline “like a windshield wiper" until he achieved the desired intensity.

Suno Dress; Mociun Mismatched Triangle Lapis & Diamond Earrings, $391.
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