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The 5 Best Makeup Hacks We Learned In 2021

These unique workarounds really showed off how creative we can get with cosmetics.

When it comes to how to apply makeup, we’re always looking for a hack. Hacks are the workarounds that make life easier and they teach us how to think outside of the box when it comes to the tools we use everyday. It turns your typical red lipstick into an all over face product, lets concealer become a primer and so much more. In 2021, we added a bunch of makeup hacks to our glam arsenals. So, as we look towards 2022 — and the new hacks and tricks the year will bring — we look back at some of our favorite makeup tricks we learned in 2021. 


We can’t lie, when underpainting first began making the rounds on social media we thought it was bizarre. But after watching countless TikTok and YouTube transformations of beauty lovers layering blush (in many instances lipstick as blusher), highlighter and contour products under their foundation, we were sold. If you were paying close enough attention then you know that underpainting didn’t begin in 2021, but it was the year that the hack reached peak levels of popularity with influencers and their followers alike. While laying down your dimension and highlights before foundation does feel like it makes the application process a bit longer, it helps create a more natural finish. If you haven’t already tried the trend, New Year’s Eve might be a great time to experiment. Just grab the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage, L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight, L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Radiant Satin Blush with Camellia Oil and your favorite bronzer to give it a go.

The Faux Brow Lift 

Injections and plastic surgery can become tempting when you’re constantly looking at celebs with seemingly perfect faces and bodies. But if your bank account doesn’t exactly match your favorite A-listers’, then those procedures can seem completely out of reach. Thank goodness for makeup, and for anyone interested in a brow lift, the Instagram makeup version was the holy grail of beauty hacks. First, comb your bare brows so that you can see their natural arch. Then, starting about midway into your arch, start plucking the bottom hairs little by little so that the eyebrow tail is beginning to go straight out, bringing the focus of your face up. The key is to go slowly and take off the hair a little at a time at an angle so that you don’t overdo it. You don't want to accidentally end up with Spock brows if that’s not your thing. If you need to fill in your brows after you’ve reached your desired shape and “lift,” reach for the L’Oréal Paris Longwear Unbelieva-Brow Waterproof Brow Gel to finish and seal in your look. 

Water Tattoo Hair

Gone are the days of toiling with jars of strong hold gel and edge brushes to lay your baby hairs when you’re limited on time. In 2021, we saw water tattoo edges change the hair game. These tattoo hair stickers work just like the water tattoos you played with as a kid. You simply lay them in the desired area, press a damp cloth against the paper and wait for the faux tattoo to transfer to the skin and voilà. People had so much fun with these temporary baby hair tattoos that it didn’t take long for the eyebrow equivalent to make its way onto the beauty scene. Now, temporary eyebrow tattoos are growing in popularity, too. Who knows, they might be the answer to your faux brow lift in 2022.

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Matte Lipstick Fixer

We’ve all had the experience of finding a lipstick in our dream color but not in the finish we love. While it’s easy to turn a matte formula into a shiny or satin finish with the help of lip gloss or tried-and-true petroleum jelly (no judgments, please), getting the reverse is tougher — that is until we hacked lipstick formulas using tissue and translucent powder. Initially used to keep lipstick from smudging, this trick gained new value when we realized that it could also make a high-shine lippie into a matte lipstick. Simply apply your lipstick, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Reds of Worth Satin Lipstick with Saturated Color, toyour lips then blot with a tissue. Hold the tissue up to your lips and using a powder brush, press the translucent powder to your lips through the tissue. It should help to absorb the moisture in the formula. Keep doing this until your lips have the matte look that you’re going for. 

Reverse Makeup

This old makeup hack that’s exactly like what it sounds like set off a challenge in its heyday and made a serious comeback in 2021. It consists of doing your makeup in reverse order — so for many that meant starting with setting spray and ending with primer. Just like underpainting, it had the potential to be an odd disaster in makeup experimentation but for some strange reason it worked. This hack is all about being precise with your application and taking your time. Since it involves a bit of underpainting you end up with a more natural looking contour and dimension on your visage.  

Next: The Best Beauty Trends Of 2021

Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Lorenza, IG/@watchmepan

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