Tired of buying a million products to fix minor beauty blunders? Save a little change and keep these four reusable beauty essentials on hand.THE TOOL: Eyebrow groomer
THE SUB: Smoky eye pencil
That little sponge at the end of a smoky eye pencil is great for creating sexy, smudgy cat eyes, but it also really comes in handy when your eyebrows are sparse! An eyebrow pencil is usually less heavy than eyeliner, but using light, feathery strokes and using the sponge to blend the makeup with the hairs will recreate any look your eyebrow pencil can do. Try Elizabeth Arden Smoky Eyes Powder Pencil, $16, elizabetharden.com.
THE TOOL: Blush
THE SUB: Lipstick + Makeup Sponge
As a kid, you probably remember seeing old ladies rub lipstick on their cheeks and found yourself wondering why anyone would EVER do a thing like that. But don't knock it! It actually works if you apply it correctly. Swipe your lipstick (a moisturizing shade works best) with a makeup sponge, then dab on apples of cheeks and use the sponge to smooth out any inconsistency. Illamasqua's rich colors ($22, sephora.com) look great on every skin tone.
THE TOOL: Hair gel
THE SUB: Clear mascara
Even natural beauties like to enhance their features, and clear mascara is the best way to boost your lashes without adding bold color. In the same vein, clear mascara is a great way to smooth flyaways and tame stray hairs, especially if you're in between relaxers. Just remember to blend in with a brush or your fingertips to avoid crunchy clumps. A tried-and-true (and budget-friendly!) classic is Maybelline Great Lash in Clear, $5.29, drugstore.com.
THE TOOL: Long-lasting lipstick
THE SUB: Setting Powder
Before there were products like Revlon Colorstay, how do you think makeup artists make lip color last for hours? The same way they make foundation last! A translucent setting powder, when dusted over lipstick, gives lips a hot matte finish and stretches color exponentially. Try Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder, $34, lauramercier.com.