I know, I know. You’ve seen a ton of lists telling you to try items you have lying around your house for something other than its intended purpose. And more often than not? Those Pinterest ideas fail.
But every item on this list is one that I’ve used successfully — and many of them I use frequently. So I feel pretty good about recommending you try these items from your kitchen in your beauty routine.
1. Aluminum Foil
As I type this, my thumb is wrapped in aluminum foil. It doesn’t make typing any easier, but it does serve a great purpose! If you like glittery polished or polishes with texture, then you know how hard it can be to get them off. It seems like it takes soooo much polish remover, and that glitter just shreds cotton. Aluminum foil make sit a lot easier, however.
Dunk a cotton ball or round in nail polish remover, and place it around your nail. Wrap the nail securely with aluminum foil. Let it sit at least 3 minutes — the longer the better! Remove the cotton and foil by pressing down on your nail to apply pressure and wriggling the layers from the end of your fingers. Glitter nail polish pretty much slides right off.
If it doesn’t, try leaving it on for loner. You might have to clean up around the edges of the nail, but this trick makes it sooo much easier!
2. Coffee Filters or Tea Bags
Here’s another great nail trick! If you’re nail is cracking or breaking, you don’t need to cut it all off. Instead, you can use a coffee filter or tea bag to make a patch. I actually don’t drink either, so I had to steal a coffee filter from my mom. But the pieces you use are so small, that I’ve had it for over a year!
- Clean your nail and buff gently. Make sure not to crack it any more.
- Cut a small piece of dry/clean filter that’s just bigger than the tear.
- Apply nail glue or a sticky clear polish over the tear/break.
- Place the piece of coffee filter over the tear, so it covers the entire tear and extends to your intact nail.
- Apply another layer of nail polish or glue.
- Buff the edges and surface until it’s smooth. Add another layer of glue or polish if you desire.
- Polish as usual.
Nail glue works better than polish, but a clear polish will help in a pinch. A few layers of glue or polish really makes this technique work. I’ve been able to put off breaking for weeks, until my nail was long enough to cut at the break.
It’s great not to have misshapen nails from an awkwardly placed break, too!
Watch this video below if you want to see it in action.
Bonus: blot your face with coffee filter squares to remove excess oil. A damp tea bag may also reduce swelling in acne.
3. Coffee Stirrers
We’re really getting our money’s worth when it comes to coffee accessories, now! A coffee stir stick with a rounded or square head like a paddle — not just the straight kind. What can you use these for? I’m glad you asked!
You can slip thin coffee stirrers into bottles and tubes of beauty product that are nearly out. You know there’s usable product lining the inside, but the pump can’t reach it, or you can’t squeeze any more out. Simply use the coffee stick to scrape the side and voila! You’re frugally beautiful.
Now, you can buy products almost identical that are marketed specifically for beauty use. However, they cost $5 each. Why wouldn’t you want to save money? Plus, you could just take home and wash the coffee stick from the break room or at a restaurant. It was just going into the trash, anyway!
Coffee stir sticks cost just $10 for hundreds. You can find them anyway, too. I personally like the look of these stainless steel coffee sticks, which will last you forever if you don’t want to contribute to Plastic Island.
4. Toothpicks and Skewers
Want to try that awesome nail art tutorial you just discovered on Pinterest, but you lack the beauty tools needed? Maybe you’re not sure you have the right hand for it, anyway. I know I don’t.
Never fear, however! Use a toothpick or skewer to create interesting lines and dots.
5. Baking Soda
Make a paste of baking soda + water to remove stains from your nails (and any other surface!). Try it on your skin to exfoliate, too. Or you can use the same paste to brush your teeth for a pearly white smile. Add coconut oil for more oral health benefits.
Now, you don’t just have to take my word for it. Give each of these ideas a try. If you don’t love them, at least you didn’t spend crazy money on an expensive gadgets trying to accomplish your goal.
But like I said, I do these things frequently. In fact, I now keep coffee filters and aluminum foil in my bathroom for these exact purposes. So I hope these ideas help you as much as they’ve helped me.