I have a lot of requirements when it comes to my makeup, but being multipurpose is my number one requirement. To know that I’m truly getting my money’s worth is key, which also helps to diffuse any guilt I may have for paying for quality beauty products.
Disclaimer: It is important to note that while most beauty products can be used as multipurpose makeup, you should be cautious and know the ingredients before you try repurposing your products.
There are many skin care and makeup products that can be used in a variety of ways, but I wanted to streamline the top products that I use daily for more than their intended use!
Lack of sleep? Inherited dark circles? Concealer is the perfect addition to your makeup bag to help mask those pesky under eye bags and discoloration. Or maybe you have a breakout that needs an extra punch of coverage? This is where concealer really shines.
These are all great as the intended use for concealer, but my favorite way to use concealer outside of that is as an eyeshadow primer. It’s a product I already own so I don’t have to purchase a separate primer. Plus, I have a lot of discoloration and veins in my eyelids, and by using concealer and setting that with a powder (because I have oily eyelids) I then have a perfect base for the shadow to stick and show the true color.
A couple of other great uses for concealer: use it as your under brow highlight or to really carve out your brows if you are into that. Or as an inner eye corner highlight, or as a base on your lips to change the color of your lipstick.
Suggested concealer shelf life: 2 years (and I sanitize often with 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.)
The foundation that I use is wax based and it’s my favorite because I can vary the way I use it. What do I mean by that? I can apply it straight from the pan using whichever tool I want: brush, sponge, or my fingers. I can scrape it out and mix it with a bit of moisturizer for more of a tinted moisturizer coverage. Or I can scrape it out and mix it with a facial oil for a liquid foundation/bb cream like coverage (depending on the amount of foundation mixed in). This, to me, is the true definition of a multipurpose makeup product.
But it doesn’t stop there for me! I also like to “contour” (if we really want to call it that) with a darker shade of foundation. I take a shade that is 1-2 shades darker from my current shade and that is what I will use to softly add dimension to my face. Oftentimes this shade is my summer shade that works perfectly as the “contour” shade for me when I am down a shade in the winter (man, does that summer glow fade fast).
Suggested foundation shelf life: 2 years (and I sanitize often with 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle). Foundation lasts less time if it has sunscreen, which is one of the main reasons I use a separate sunscreen.
Now when I’m referring to blush, I’m talking about the pressed powder blush in a pan. I think if you use a cream or whipped formula this might work as well, but I’ve never tried that. My makeup collection contains about 8 blushes, but I strongly suggest you have at least 2-3 to play with and I’ll explain why.
While I love single blush shades, I really love to mix and match my blushes by dipping into several shades and then creating a custom shade. By doing so, I can turn 2-3 blushes into 6-9 shades, roughly. Or I will layer them by using a deep mauve shade in the hollows of my cheeks where I would typically place bronzer and put a lighter shade with some shimmer in it just above.
Another great way to use your blushes is as eyeshadow. Blush often makes a great single shade on your eyelids and if you pair your blush and your shadow together it makes your finish look fresh and complete.
The two last ways blush can be multi-purposed is by scraping a little of the blush out of a pan onto your CLEAN hand or a palette. I mix it with a bit of a facial oil to turn it into a cream blush (yup, now I have the same blush in both powder and cream) or mix it with a gloss to change up my lip shade.
Suggested blush shelf life: 2 years (and I sanitize often with 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.)
When it comes to highlighter, I prefer to work with a cream-based highlighter, but I’ve used a powder highlighter in the past and the uses are the same.
We all know that highlighter can make you glow like you are communicating with satellites in outer space, but in reality, they are a great product to give your skin a beautiful and healthy glow. When I’m not applying my highlighter on the highpoints of my cheeks, I have a couple go-to things I like to do to keep highlighter really multipurpose!
If you take your cream highlighter and apply it on your cheeks and a bit in the center of your forehead as a base, and then apply your foundation over top, the result is a very healthy glow look without shine. This is by far my favorite way to use a highlighter. You can also mix it into your foundation, but I love layering products and feel that gives me a lot more control in the application.
I also use highlighter as an eyeshadow, but I must warn you that cream highlighters can slip on the eyes (especially if you have oily lids like me), so you really need to prime and set when you do this. The last thing I will do with a highlighter is to choose a darker shade for me and use it as a blush. A cream highlighter that was a rose gold tone makes for a beautiful faux cream blush!
Suggested highlighter shelf life: 1.5 years – 2.5 years depending on cream or powder (and sanitize often with 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.)
Now while I love a good sheer and hydrating lipstick, my go-to lip product is always a liquid lipstick. I like the staying power of a liquid lipstick, especially when I drink coffee, snack, and talk!
I only have one suggestion with liquid lipstick to multi-purpose it other than mixing and matching shades to create a custom color (which I do often). I know a lot of people will use a liquid lipstick on their eyelids, but I do draw the line there (no judgment here if you do it though).
Much like I do with blush and pairing it with an eye look, I love to use whatever liquid lipstick I chose for the day and dab a couple dots on my cheeks and blend it out as my blush. This essentially gives the appearance of a cream blush that pairs beautifully with your lips, but has that staying power of the liquid lipstick!
Suggested liquid lipstick shelf life: 2.5 years.
This right here is the big one. It might not seem like the most glamorous or unexpected of them all, but it’s my favorite tip to share with anyone and everyone who will listen!
Sure I use my eyeshadow as well… eyeshadow. I rarely use one single shade on my lid, but will when I just want a quick look. My typical day consists of 2-4 shadows being used, but this is where it gets fun!
Let’s take a four well palette that I use (and I get to custom pick my shades.) I always have a light cream shade which is a great base and I also use to blend out the other shades. And then a taupe shade which I use as my crease/transition shade. That taupe shade though is also the shadow that I use for my brows! WHAT? Yes, mind-blowing, I know! I use an eyeshadow for my eyebrows to fill them in. I do this because it allows me to mimic tiny hair strokes but still looks soft and natural and not over filtered and Instagrammy.
That same taupe shade can also be used as a liner. I prefer using a taupe, dark brown or black eyeshadow as my eyeliner much like I do for my brows because it gives a softer, more diffused look (much less harsh on my eyes especially as I’m getting older.)
The two other shades in my four well palette will be used to keep my eyes looking bright, so I often pick a lighter shade and a darker shade (usually something in the rose family here). That rose shade can then be used as a blush!
Suggested eyeshadow shelf life: 2.5 years (and I sanitize often with 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.)
Much like I am with clothing, and home goods and really everything in life, I choose my makeup based on quality over quantity. I like knowing that the products I have will perform how I expect, give the color payoff promised, and not make me look like a glittery My Little Pony every day.
And while my personal collection is quite large, I use every single product I have in at least two or more ways (seriously, don’t even get me started on skincare). This has also aided in paring down my travel bag to just the essentials that still allow me to feel like I’ve pulled myself together in the way that makes me feel most comfortable and confident.
So, there you have my top products and the ways that I multi-purpose them. I would love to hear what you do to extend the versatility of the products you already own!