Being a beauty addict and expert can be an expensive hobby. With all the products and colour palettes involved, plus the brushes and all the time it takes to perfect your contour, sharpen your eyeliner, and bump up your highlight, there’s just a lot of effort to get it all right! What doesn’t help is to see everyone on Instagram and YouTube who can quickly apply makeup on their face and still look flawless. Once you’ve finally figured out how to perfectly bake your face after so much trial and error, all those vloggers have already moved on to applying their foundation perfectly with tools you’d find around the house! That $92 set of brushes doesn’t look so great now, does it?
Exploring the weird elements and getting creative with what you use is part of the fun of being a makeup artist, and new trends for makeup application are emerging every day. Boundaries are being pushed, such as: using a spoon to define a cut crease in your eyeshadow and substituting fruit for one of your beloved beauty blender sponges. Check out these 14 makeup application tools that’ll have you scratching your head and wondering, “How the heck did they think of that?” But keep an open mind because you’ll be surprised by the efficiency of some of them.
14. A Spoon For Endless Application Options
When it comes to weird tools used for makeup application, a spoon is pretty tame compared to some of the other things you’ll find on this list. A little while ago, beauty gurus and makeup artists were taking to Instagram to show off how to use the bulb of the spoon to create the perfect cut crease when applying eye shadow, and things kind of spun out of control from there.
After people discovered the miracle a spoon could do for your eyes, they started using the entire spoon to up their contour game. Using the stem of the spoon, makeup artists showed their fans how to hold it against their face to get a soft, rounded edge and to contour their face without making things look too harsh. All things considered, this isn’t too crazy of a beauty hack (that was allegedly started by Huda Kattan – and it’s not the first time you’ll find her name on this list).
13. A Sock As A Beautyblender
To call a sock the “next beautyblender” is a pretty steep claim, but that’s exactly what YouTube beauty blogger Mayra Isabel Garcia said about applying your foundation with something you normally put on your feet! There’s also something to be said for how gross it would be to apply your expensive product with a cheap sock – especially if you’re not too picky about the cleanliness of your socks to begin with! (To be fair, Mayra did use a clean, new, soft pair of socks.) Plus, the fact that beautyblenders have a cult following isn’t something to be sniffed at, so it’s probably pretty difficult to get them to change loyalties. Beautyblenders have become so popular because they don’t absorb as much product as brushes – although we can’t say the same for the knock-offs. Similarly, the material for socks tends to be thick and absorbent enough to keep our feet toasty. Still, we call foul on this makeup application tool!
12. A Dish Sponge For Contouring
If we’re being honest, using a kitchen sponge to apply and blend your makeup isn’t totally far-fetched simply because many people use sponges specifically created for makeup application on a daily basis – this is just the budget version! Like most makeup sponges, it’s recommended to wet the kitchen sponge to allow a more even application, and for your products to just sit on top of the sponge rather than absorb it. However, kitchen sponges are primarily used for cleaning, not applying makeup. But according to one makeup vlogger, a dish sponge could serve as a substitute for a beautyblender. However, when the user tried to apply more makeup over what had already been done, the sponge ended up wiping off all the hard work she’d just completed! It sounds like this weird makeup tool might be good in a pinch, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the items that were made to make your makeup – and you! – look good.
11. A Tampon As A Foundation Applicator
What do you do when you have no makeup brushes, no beautyblenders, no sponges, and apparently all your fingers have been chopped off? You enlist the help of the humble tampon! In the name of experimentation, beauty vlogger Ashley Blue DeFrancesco discovered that – surprise! – a tampon is kind of crap when it comes to applying foundation because it absorbs way too much product (which means it’s doing its job as a tampon, but not as a makeup tool). Plus, its textured surface means that getting a smooth, even finish is almost impossible. The third strike that makes a tampon an inadequate makeup sponge is catastrophic: pieces of cotton fell on her face, piled on the surface, and collected even more product. It might have seemed like a cheap DIY idea when she tried it out, but looking like you have bad skin after applying your makeup is just not worth it!
10. A Silicone Bra Insert Instead Of The Silisponge
This makeup application tool may seem strange, but when you consider the growing popularity of silicone sponges, it actually makes perfect sense! (Although it does mean using perfectly good bra inserts to rub makeup on your face.)
The Silisponge was all the rage a little while back and led to multiple duplicates being produced once the original product was impossible to get your hands on. Even Instagram and YouTube beauty bloggers couldn’t succeed in snagging the coveted makeup tool, so they turned to their underwear drawer for help. Using the silicone – not cloth – inserts found in some bras, these beauty gurus found that this hack worked out pretty well since it didn’t absorb the product too much. Also, the bra insert served as a cushy tool to apply their foundation. Bra inserts also blend everything smoothly if you apply the same light tapping motions you’d use with a regular sponge. The price point between using a bra insert and a Silisponge may be significant enough, since bras are usually hella expensive!
9. A Toothbrush For Contouring
You may have noticed that toothbrush-style makeup brushes are finding their way onto everyone’s Amazon wish list. That’s because people have been praising their ability to spread makeup to every part of their face. With their flat sides and plush bristles, the name says it all. However, while those brushes just look like toothbrushes, beauty bloggers still got creative and decided to use an actual toothbrush to up their contour game!
Miriam Marroquin decided to test this unusual makeup tool and posted a video of her experiment on Instagram. At least she advised her followers to use a “soft” or “kids” toothbrush if they wanted to try this trick at home, probably because toothbrush bristles aren’t exactly kind to the skin. Using the toothbrush to draw and blend her contour, Miriam managed to get a picture-perfect finish, but we think that’s more due to her enviable skills than the tool you use to scrub your teeth.
8. Tape For Definition
Another Huda Kattan hack; using tape all over your face to stencil your contour became a beauty challenge in 2015. By using tape, you create a strange crosshatch pattern on your face and use that as markers for where to highlight and contour. Then, you peel off (probably painfully) the tape and blend, blend, blend to soften those sharp lines the tape created. And voila! You end up with a killer contour!
To be honest, this seems like a pretty intense process, and could be easily messed up, especially if you don’t quite know where to put all that tape in the first place. Adding an unnecessary extra step for the ‘gram is frustrating. And with all that tape-ripping, we can’t imagine that it’s an entirely comfortable process either. But it did start a trend of people taping up their faces, and the before and after alone might be worth it if you’ve got the skills, time, and pain tolerance to pull it off!
7. A Fork Along With Almost Every Handheld Kitchen Tool To Contour
To be totally honest, using a fork to contour was actually part of a parody video done by makeup vlogger Nikkie De Jager (aka NikkieTutorials). She did this to call out all the Instagram beauty gurus who were using anything and everything to contour their faces just to show off their talent and ingenuity to their followers.
Since Nikkie saw the success of contouring with a spoon, she rationalized that the next tool would be a fork, which she placed against her forehead and colored in, leaving behind a strange, jagged effect. In the same video, Nikkie also incorporated a whisk to brush bronzer onto her cheeks, a bottle opener to streamline her nose, a pasta ladle to give the “perfect” blush circles, a kitchen sponge to dab on a bit of highlighter, and finally, she blended the whole look using a dish scrubber! The end result? Well, even talented vloggers can’t make the entire kitchen sink look good when it’s used to apply makeup!
6. Scissors For A Super-Sharp Contouring Effect
To make his contour a “cut above the rest”, makeup artist Jose Martinez enlisted the help of a pair of scissors to create a super-sharp contour, using the edges of the blade as a guide. While scissors are a staple in a makeup artist’s toolkit for trimming fake eyelashes and even hair, it’s still pretty frightening to see such sharpness pressed to delicate skin!
After smearing on his foundation and highlighter like usual, Jose chooses to ditch the usual makeup brush and picks up a pair of trimming shears – which, if you didn’t know, are actually a lot sharper than a normal pair of scissors! Then he uses it as a guide to brush on his bronzer before finally blending everything together. The results of his creative makeup hack are incredible, but it’s still not something the rest of us should try at home. Maybe just stick to the normal brushes, sponges, and fingers for now because risking a facial scar just isn’t worth doing for likes!
5. A Knife For Perfect Highlighter and Eyeliner Precision
We were already worried about using super-sharp scissors against your face for contouring, but what about using a freaking knife?! That’s exactly what beauty vlogger Barbie Gutz did, despite the possibility of having to call 911 and getting extensive reconstructive facial surgery in case anything went wrong. Instead of simply using the blade of the knife to get a precise contour, Barbie Gutz also used the sharp kitchen tool for his highlight and eyeliner, giving a new meaning to the beauty trend “knifeliner”!
In the video, Barbie Gutz already seems to have a perfect face of makeup, but shows how he would use the very large, very sharp butcher knife as a guide for makeup application, after trying the other popular (and safer) hacks of tape and a spoon, both of which we’ve already talked about. We think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t be holding large knives to your face to get a sharp contour, but if you’re still interested in trying this, we recommend a butter knife, not a machete.
4. A Stiletto Heel For Exact Lines
Beyond the ick factor of holding up a shoe you’ve walked as a guide to contour your face, this weird makeup “tool” just looks impractical! It’s annoying to hold up the heel to get the perfect angle, and anything else you need it to do! However, it’s a tool that beauty blogger Sadia Slayy was willing to try because why not?
In her tutorial, Sadia uses a coveted Louboutin heel, but any straight, skinny heel would work for what she’s doing, in case you’re interested in attempting it yourself. Using the heel to contour her cheeks and slim her nose, Sadia manages to get a pretty straight line, but we figure you could do that with something that isn’t a heel just as well! (And probably something that feels more comfortable in your hand.) After all the blending, powder, and final douse of setting spray, however, you don’t notice that Sadia used such an unorthodox tool to contour because the end look is pretty impressive!
3. A Tomato For Seamless Concealer And Foundation Application
We don’t recommend tossing this makeup tool into a salad after you use it, but points have to be given to the creativity of beauty blogger Atreona Willis, who originated this fruity trend! While Atreona uses a Roma tomato in the video (and says it worked a lot better than she thought it would), she advises her followers to use something smaller, like a cherry or grape tomato, to properly get into all the creases of the face.
In her video, Atreona uses the tomato to apply foundation and concealer (although she does switch to a sponge for her highlight). Judging from the firmness of the fruit, we have to say that, while this tool is a strange one, it has a lot of the same features of some of the other hacks on this list. Its smooth skin allows for an even blend, and it’s not the type of thing that will absorb all of your expensive product. Weird? Sure. But definitely resourceful!
2. A Hard-Boiled Egg For A Smooth Look
If you weren’t shocked at any of the above objects being used to apply makeup, and you shrugged at the idea of using a tomato to blend your contour, maybe you’ll be surprised over the latest crazy makeup tool to trend: a hard-boiled egg! Using the egg with the shell peeled off, beauty blogger Nadi (who also goes by PopLuxe) used the protein-packed food to apply eyeshadow, blend his foundation, and contour his face! While Nadi was shocked at how well the egg worked, and how nice and cool it felt on his skin, the ingenious beauty tool began to crumble halfway through – which means it’s still a great snack if you don’t mind ingesting a little makeup with your meal.
The biggest downside for using a hard-boiled egg wasn’t the fact that it eventually fell apart, but the fact that it stank to high heaven! Nadi said using the egg all over his face smelled “like sewage”, but that he was overall impressed with the results. Hey, we have to give him a hand for that level of creativity!
1. A Rubber To Help Stop Product Absorption
One of the most recent additions on this list, and it’s also one of the most trending idea, is a condom! Beauty bloggers and makeup enthusiasts have long been complaining about the amount of product that gets absorbed in their sponges, including the beloved beautyblender. Silicone sponges, while less absorbent, have been criticized for not being as bouncy as a sponge. So, in order to solve both problems, makeup gurus developed a hack that involved putting a condom over their beautyblender to get the best of both worlds! Bloggers said that the condom allowed any product to glide smoothly over the face to create an even blend without absorbing everything, since we all know that that stuff is expensive!
There have been mixed reactions to the hack, though, with some saying that their makeup looks great and others claiming that they got a patchy end result from using it. If you insist on trying this out for yourself, remember to wash off all the lubricant and spermicide from the condom before using it. Otherwise that is just going to be gross to have all over your face!