Beauty Tricks and Swaps When You’re in a Pinch

Filed under Hair & Nails Look Your Best on Jun 25 12 by

We’ve all faced that dreaded moment—you’re getting ready for an important event and you suddenly run into a beauty dilemma and are out of whatever product you need to fix it. This tends to happen to me when I take trips and forget to pack certain items. During incidents such as these, it’s important to learn the art of improvisation. Here are some product swaps and clever tricks that have helped me avert the most disasterous of beauty blunders.

Dry shampoo > Baby powder or oil strips

You’ve probably heard of using baby powder to soak up oil from the scalp, but have you ever used your oil strips? (I’m talking the oil strips that you use to blot your face!) This trick recently saved me on a trip to California. When I arrived, I had a serious case of greasy hair and wasn’t able to shower immediately. Fortunately, my Clean and Clear strips blotted the oil out of my hair.

Oil strips > Disposable toilet seat cover

You’re out and about and you realize that your face is getting a bit shiny—but you’re out of oil strips. If you’re near a public bathroom, grab a disposable toilet seat cover and use it to blot your skin. It sounds crazy, but these covers are actually draw out the moisture as effectively as your fancy Clean and Clear strips.

Deodorant > Baby powder or baking soda

If you’ve run out of deodorant before that backyard BBQ out in the heat, give your pits a good scrubbing with soap and water and then apply baby powder or baking soda, both of which absorb moisture and disguise body odor.

Lint brush > Masking or packing tape

One time in high school, I wore white pants and a new black scarf. Upon arriving, I realized that I had black lint ALL OVER my pants. Fortunately, my art teacher gave me a roll of masking tape and all of the fuzzies were easily removed.

Shaving cream or gel > Conditioner

When you are out of shaving gel, your conditioner is a great replacement. It smoothes the skin and makes hair softer and easier to remove.

Cortizone creme > Baby orajel

You’ve got mosquito bites all over your legs, but no itch creme to relieve the irritation. Baby orajel numbs the skin and gets rid of the itching.

Racerback bra > Regular bra and hair elastic

If you packed an outfit that needs a racerback but didn’t pack the appropriate bra, simply cut a hair elastic and tie the straps of your bra together. This trick helped me at a wedding when I managed to snap my as-seen-on-TV bra clip in half.

Professional mani/pedi > Sally Hansen InstaDry

You woke up late and you’re racing out the door in your super-cute open-toed shoes, when you suddenly realize that your toenails are unpainted. No need to switch shoes if you’ve got this nail polish on hand! It dries in 60 seconds, so if you put on a quick coat in the car, it will be dry by the time you arrive at your destination.

Share your tips!

Got some tricks or swaps of your own that weren’t mentioned? Share them in the comments below!

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at