10 Cotton Swab Beauty Hacks To Try ASAP

February 08, 2017
Jessie Quinn
By: Jessie Quinn | skincare.com by L'Oréal
10 Cotton Swab Beauty Hacks To Try ASAP

It goes without saying that us Skincare.com editors love a good beauty hack. From finding new ways to use coconut oil in our daily routines to testing out a highlighter hack that can camouflage the appearance of dark under-eye circles, we simply can’t get enough of them! Today, we’re taking our love of beauty hacks one step further and discovering new (beauty) uses for one cabinet staple we can’t live without: cotton swabs. Ahead, we share a roundup of 10 must-try cotton swab beauty hacks that can not only save you time and money, but can make your beauty routines a bit easier, too.


Cotton swabs may come in large packs, but that doesn’t make it okay to waste them. The next time you purchase a box of cotton swabs, take time to cut each one in half. Not only can this extend the life of your already vast box, it can save you money, and ensure that you only use what you need, too!


There’s nothing more frustrating than spending what feels like forever on your eyeliner only to mess it up with a small smudge. Before you wipe it all off and start over, consider dipping a cotton swab in micellar water and applying to the mishap. Not only can this help effectively remove the mistake from your eyelid, it can help clean up the look of your cat-eye, too!


If you’re in a pinch and don’t have an eyebrow brush on hand—but, want to add a little definition to your brows—reach for a cotton swab dipped in eyeshadow or brow cream. The small cotton tip can make for easy application.


If you’ve ever tried to stuff a clutch, or small “going out” purse, with more than your credit card and lipstick, you know what a true struggle it can be to make it all fit. That’s where cotton swabs come in. If you’re worried about your dark circles making their debut on the dance floor— or worse: your newly discovered pimple— try applying a bit of cream concealer to a few cotton swabs and storing the in a small plastic bag. Cotton swabs can make for a quick and easy touch-up and take up less space than your lipstick.

Editor’s Tip: Try doing the same with your lipstick or lip gloss! Just be sure to package the products in different plastic bags before storing in your purse.


Instead of using your ring finger or pinky finger to apply eye cream to the delicate skin under your eyes, why not try using a cotton swab? Doing so can help keep the jar of eye cream clean and may make it easier to apply to certain areas such as the outer corners of your eyes. To do so, gently dab the cream onto the surface of your skin and tap lightly until the cream is absorbed.


The next time you apply a spot treatment to your skin, try applying the product to the affected area with a cotton swab. Doing so can ensure a more precise application—plus you’ll keep your hands away from the blemish.


Instead of carting around a giant bottle of perfume everywhere you go, why not try soaking a few cotton swabs in your signature scent and sealing them in a small plastic bag for mid-day touch-ups? Not only can this create more room in your makeup bag, it can make for easy application— no matter where you are— too!


Lipstick bleeds are the worst—we repeat: the WORST—especially when you don’t have the supplies you need to deal with them. To ensure that you never have to try and fix your lipstick with a dry, harsh paper towel, keep a bag of micellar water soaked cotton swabs on hand. And while you’re at it, touch up your eyeliner, mascara, and anywhere else that may need it, too.


For those who frequent the self-tanner bottle, you can probably attest to how careful you have to be when applying the sunless tan with your hands. That’s because it can be so easy for some of the lotion to build up in the crevices of your hands (i.e. between your fingers, on your knuckles, etc.) and leave them looking uneven in tone. Luckily, with the help of cotton swabs, you can buff out your mistakes. To do so, simply wipe away any excess product with a cotton swab in circular motions upon application.


The next time you’re giving yourself an at-home mani/pedi, dip a cotton swab in a nourishing skin care oil—such as, jojoba oil, coconut oil, or sweet almond oil—and apply it to your cuticles. This can help provide dry, cuticles with some hydration for healthy-looking hands, too! 

Editor’s Tip: While you’re at it, dunk a few cotton swabs in nail polish remover and fix any mistakes you may have made while painting your nails or attempting nail art. 

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