5 thrifty tricks to make your make-up stretch further

Simple ways to eke out your favourite perfume, extend the life of your nail polish and rescue knackered make-up

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By Elle Turner on

When I reached the last few dregs of my favourite perfume two days into January, I thought about going online and dropping £90 on a new one, but then I looked at my bank balance, had a small panic attack and decided against it. I don't want to go without it, nor do I want to live on Pot Noodles for the next four weeks. What a pickle. Instead, I'm trying a bit of make do and mend. Enter Lizzie Ostrom, Pool columnist and perfume oracle. Last year, when we asked our beauty experts for their top beauty tips, hers was a nifty way of eking out of the very last drops of your perfume. So, here's how to stay smelling lovely, along with four other cheap and cheerful solutions for making the most out of the beauty products you already own.

For when your perfume's on its last legs

Pick up a fragrance-free body oil or moisturiser, remove the lid and spray the last of your perfume into the bottle. Make sure to bear in mind the ratio of perfume to moisturiser. Two drops of perfume in a 500ml body cream won't do a lot, so opt for a smaller bottle (around 100ml-150ml) and add around 20 spritzes of perfume, then shake to combine. Use it across the areas of your body that your nose is most likely to come into contact with (wrists, arms and neck). And there you go – a lovely-smelling lotion that also tackles winter-induced rhino skin. Dry elbows will be pleased...


for when your lipstick has snapped

If you too have twisted your lipstick too high, pressed too hard and then sworn violently under your breath after it snaps off, then let me present an easy-peasy solution. It does involve fire, but don't let that put you off. Grab a lighter or one of these rather dashing matches (below),  use the flame to melt the underside of the snapped fragment, then stick it back on the broken bullet and melt both sides together. Finally, put it in the fridger for half and hour to set. Problem solved.


For when your nail polish has gone claggy

It's always a bugger when your favourite polish clogs into an awkward lumpy mess at the bottom of the bottle, but I've found a solution. It comes in the form of Mavala's Thinner For Nail Polish. They're genius drops that, when deposited into your nail polish, break it down into its former liquid glory (and, unlike using nail polish remover, it won't disrupt or ruin the formula). To mix, roll it between your hands, rather than shaking, which will create air bubbles. I've already resurrected several polishes I thought were beyond rescue.


For when your roots need a touch-up (But you can't afford the hairdresser’s)

Raid your drawers for an eyeshadow in roughly the same shade as your hair. Taupe will work on anything, from dirty blondes to mid-brunettes, chocolate is great for deeper brown to almost black hair, and an auburn or rust colour is perfect for redheads. If you don't have one, brands like MUA and Freedom Pro have dozens of colours for under a fiver. (Make sure you choose a matte, though – sparkly roots are a dead giveaway.) Using a fluffy blending brush, lightly dust the eyeshadow down your parting to cover regrowth. This trick also works for making sparse hair look thicker.


For when you've used up your brow gel

This is where the humble hairspray comes into its own. Not only is it great for holding your hair in place and halting ladders in tights, it can rescue unruly brows, too. Go for an unfragranced one (so as not to irritate eyes). L'Oreal's Elnett Unfragrances Extra Strength Hair Spray is excellent for this since it has impressive staying power to keep everything looking neat and is nice and fine, so won't leave your brows crunchy. Hold on to the brow wand from your empty brow gel, spritz it with the hairspray, brush it through and – look what we have – a DIY brow tamer. Easy. 



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