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6 basic makeup products you can use in unexpected ways

If you were stuck on a desert island and only could bring three makeup items with you, which beauty life-savers would you bring?

OK, it's not the most realistic situation (we're sure you'd prefer actual life-saving equipment over mascara) it's a really fun inquiry to ponder — and somewhat practical. Using a single product in multiple ways means you have fewer items to buy and carry around.

“Makeup doesn’t have to be used in just one way,” explains Eric Hendrix, makeup artist and director of education at the American Academy of Cosmetology in Delray Beach, Florida. “Everything from mascara to lipstick can be used in unexpected methods.”

But not all products are intended for every part of your face, Hendrix cautions.

“Be mindful of possible issues, but most makeup can be used in alternate ways without being hazardous. Once you experiment, you may find some makeup is even better used creatively — and it saves you time and money when you can double up products. You may be surprised just how far one product can go!”

Makeup artist and YouTube celebrity Kandee Johnson and TODAY’s YouTube Social Star, Angela Cruz, show which drugstore beauty items they can’t live without with extra tips on how to make them the most useful.

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Kandee Johnson’s top three makeup must-haves:

1. Foundation

  • Foundation has the added benefit of acting as additional sun protection (though you should always use a real sunscreen). Try products with built-in SPF to smooth your complexion and keep your skin from getting sunburned.
  • Apply foundation evenly over lips as a primer to make your lipstick last longer.
  • Darker and lighter foundation colors can be mixed to highlight and contour your face accordingly.
  • Try L’Oreal’s True Match Super Blendable Makeup, which has SPF 17.
Target.com
True Match Super Blendable Makeup, $10.95

2. Black eye liner

  • Line the inner rims of your eyes, then smudge for a sultry, smokey look. Wing out the liner on the top lids to turn it into a dramatic evening look.
  • Fill in your brows with a black eye liner, but have a light hand to avoid a Groucho Marx look.
  • Create a “V” shape on the outer edge of your eyelid, then quickly blend it into your crease with your ring finger to turn the liner into an eye shadow.
  • Revlon’s PhotoReady Kajal Matte Eye Pencil taps in to the trendy “matte everything” makeup look.
Ulta.com
Photoready Matte Eye Pencil, $9.99

3. Eyeshadow palette

  • In a neutral eyeshadow palette, use the lighter shimmer colors as a highlight on the high planes of your face: the top of cheekbones, browbone, inner corners of your eyes, Cupid’s bow of your lips and center of your nose.
  • The darker colors can be used as an eyebrow powder. Even a hint of well-placed shadow can make a world of difference.
  • Want a nude lip? Mix some eyeshadow with a little lip balm to create a hip, neutral shade.
  • Crush shadow shades to use as a touch-up powder for gray hairs as your roots grow in.
  • L’Oreal’s Colour Riche La Palette Nude has 10 pigmented shades that work for all skin tones.
lorealparisusa.com
Colour Riche La Palette Nude, $19.99

Angela Cruz’s top three multi-tasking picks:

4. Mascara

  • Mascara can be used as a brow gel. The spoolie brush can groom stray hairs into place and deposit color to emphasize brows.
  • Brunettes can use a black mascara and blondes can use a brown mascara to touch up gray roots.
  • With an angled brush, you can use mascara as a gel eye liner. Apply the color carefully along your lash line, drawing slowly so the product does not get into your eyes.
  • Once the product runs out, you can use the clean wand to help smooth down flyaways on your hair.
  • Try L’Oreal’s Voluminous Original Mascara as a clump-resistant option.
Target.com
Voluminous Original Mascara, $7.29

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5. Lipstick

  • Lipstick or tinted lip balm can become cheek stains since the formulas are similarly creamy. Dab the product along your cheeks, then blend out the dots with clean fingers for a flushed glow.
  • Lipstick as concealer? Surprisingly, yes! Using a brick red or orange lipstick can act as a correct for harsh dark under-eye circles and dark skin spots. The tones help neutralize blue undertones.
  • A bold lip shade can act as a temporary hair color. Use a bright lipstick or liquid lipstick to paint streaks through the ends of your hair for a fashion-forward ombre effect.
  • Revlon’s Colorburst Matte Balms have a balm-like, moisturizing feel.
Ulta.com
Matte Balm, $9

6. All-in-one contour palette

  • Use the darker contour shade as an eyeshadow or brow fill-in powder.
  • Create a “blush sandwhich” by using all three products in a triple stack of layers: contour in cheek hollows, blush on the apples and highlight on the tops of cheekbones.
  • The blush can be mixed with petroleum jelly or a clear lip balm for a soft hint of color.
  • The highlighter can add shimmer lights into your hair. Use your fingers to distribute the product into the strands around your face.
  • Maybelline’s Face Studio Master Contouring Kit helps you create foolproof contouring.
Walmart.com
Facestudio Master Contour Kit, $12.99

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