The Internet is dark & full of errors: Beauty hacks to stay far, far away from

It’s extremely easy to fall into the deep, dark abyss of beauty tricks (mostly because they’re in every beauty page on Facebook and Reddit). I’m all for making my beauty routine easier but there are just hacks that make me go “been there, done that, never going back.” And I’ll tell you why.

When people concoct phrases like “ditch your chemical-filled eyeliner for a homemade one” and throw in a few pretty words like organic or cruelty-free, it’s easy to want to jump into the bandwagon and try these beauty hacks for yourself. After all, they seem to be going viral, thanks to so many "users" swearing by them. Some hacks encourage the use of readily available and “natural” ingredients (from the plant in your backyard or fruits from the market) to concoct your own products, while others promise to prolong the lifespan or even resurrect your almost-dead products (especially important for when you don't have money to buy backups). Doing these hacks seem like the smart, money-saving option compared to buying stuff from the store. So what’s the problem?

Before I’ll be told off for being cynical or for disbelieving the wonders of the creative minds when it comes to beauty hacks, let me just put this one down: we PV girls (and guys) have got to take care of each other! I may be bursting your bubble on some of these pretty “fun” hacks but when they put you at risk for injury, the responsible thing to do is to speak up. Trust me - I've had my own share of beauty mishaps to say that things can turn ugly pretty fast. In these instances, the smartest thing to do is to stay far, and I mean very far, from these Internet beauty hacks!

DIY eyeliner with activated charcoal

Mix coconut oil (natural and healthy!) with a capsule or two of activated charcoal (non-toxic). Line your eyes as you usually would and voila! natural and non-toxic eyeliner. It stays on all day and provides and intense black pigment.

Activated charcoal is used as medicine. It is charcoal made from coconut shell, wood, and/or coal heated-up to produce pores that “trap” toxins. It is used to treat and manage acute poisoning and reduce intestinal gas and/or bloating. Quite recently, it’s also been deemed effective to whiten the teeth.

You probably can’t hear me but I’m screaming on the inside asking you to drop that bottle of coconut oil and stop thinking about doing this hack. Sure, it involves just two ingredients and they’re both really good for the body on their own. BUT. BUT. BUT. Using them so close to your eyes can be extremely dangerous. The eyes are extremely sensitive, which is why beauty companies invest in product development and testing to make sure that stuff they use are safe.

Some colorants, for example, are approved for use in other cosmetics but not for the eye area. So even if activated charcoal is used as a medical treatment for poisoning and added in toothpaste to help whiten teeth, that doesn't mean it's safe to apply it near your eyes. Activated charcoal may have sharp particles that can scratch your eyes or worse! And no, we wouldn’t recommend using cocoa powder to make brown eyeliner either. Let’s save it for the brownies and cupcakes.

Your safe bet: Try these eyeliners that won’t hurt your eyes or your pocket! Your eyes will thank you, plus they come in a bunch of cute colors so you can play with more than just basic black.

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Use hairspray as a makeup setting spray

After completing your makeup, keep your eyes closed and hold your breath. Spritz all over your face with hairspray. It dries down instantly and keeps your makeup sweat-proof and budge-proof all day long.

Let’s take a deep breath and get real. Hairsprays are pretty intense, even for the hair. Hairstylists even use a plastic shield or their hands to keep the product off your face while trying to set your 'do, so why apply it to your face deliberately? When inhaled, it can make you choke and cough.

Hairsprays typically contain fragrances, plasticizers, solvents, and in some cases propellants. They contain polymers that coat the hair and help maintain its structure. As each bottle contains chemicals and is flammable, managed and careful use of it is advised as regular use and exposure to hairspray can cause irritation on the scalp and can eventually affect health when inhaled constantly. Hairsprays are also heavy on ingredients like alcohol that can dry up and irritate your face. You may end up worrying so much more than just keeping your makeup on.

Your safe bet: Drugstore brands setting sprays such as Nyx Matte Makeup Setting Spray (P520), Nichido Matte Finish Setting Spray (P288), and L’Oreal Infallible Pro-spray (P500) seal makeup well, making them last all day and are affordable. Plus points for actually being setting sprays. For the face.

Create a peeling lip stain with glue and food coloring

Mix (non-toxic) glue and a few drops of food coloring (classic red or combine a few!) until you’re happy with the color. Grab a lip brush and put the mixture on your lips as you would a lipstick. When the glue dries, peel it off and you’ll be left with a tint on your lips.

I'm crying silently over how this hack even exists. I’m pretty sure that had Elmer of Elmer’s Glue-All been an actual person, he’d tell you that to enjoy his product for crafts and not cosmetics. Having the "non-toxic" tag doesn’t automatically make it "completely safe for any use you can imagine". You may not get poisoning from this hack but as glue is not formulated for the lips (umm, yeah), it can cause irritations or trigger an allergic reaction. There's also a high possibility of literally gluing your lips together and peeling off the tender skin (eek). This is a tiis ganda experience you can totally skip.

Your safe bet: Just bitten lips is achievable without the hefty price tags. If you really want the peel-off makeup experience, know that it only works if your lips are not dry or chapped. Maybe opt instead for Korean lip tints that are cheap yet still long-lasting.

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Microwave dried up mascara

Grab your old, dried up mascara, pop it inside the microwave, and set the timer for 30 seconds. The heat will warm up and melt the remaining product so that the liquid is smooth and usable again.

The leftover mascara may not be the only thing that melts in your microwave, assuming of course that it doesn't explode first. You know how heated food sometimes splatters all over the microwave interiors? Imagine that but with an inky mess of mascara residue. So when your mascara wand no longer picks up any product, repeat this mantra: My mascara is dead. I’m going to buy a new one. My mascara is dead…

First of all, mascaras have a shelf life of 3 months. No matter how much you love them, all mascara are only meant to be flings, not long-term relationships. It may seem wasteful to keep buying new ones every few months but your lash love can turn into a tube of eye infection-causing bacteria after that honeymoon phase. Know when it's time to let go and move on.

If you accidentally left your new tube uncapped and the formula dries out, attempting to nuke it back to a liquid state is dangerous. The entire plastic packaging may melt right along with the mascara formula. Some people also recommend placing the tightly-capped tube in a container with freshly-boiled water - this may help soften the formula but probably won't restore it to its original state. And forget about actually adding water into the tube; that's going to change the formula entirely and may give you panda eyes.

Your safe bet: This P280 mascara from Essence can give you all the drama your lashes will ever need without endangering your kitchen appliances. 

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Deodorant as primer

Apply a stick-type deodorant across your T-zone and your cheeks. This will keep you matte and oil-free, while prolonging the wear of your makeup.

If you missed it, fellow PV girl Angela took one for the team and actually tried a similar hack using a powder antiperspirant. TL;DR it did not go well and she got some rashes after (fortunately her skin healed quickly!) Suffice to say that the skin on our faces are more sensitive than those of out pits, so doing a cross-over application is not a good idea.

Deodorants (masks odors) and antiperspirants (prevents sweat) contain aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminium-zirconium tetrachlorohydrate gly that creates a gel plug when mixed with the body’s electrolytes. It helps prevent body odor and excessive sweating by blocking pores, so while it may create a temporary plug against oil production, the clogged pores can eventually turn into a bad breakout.

Your safe bet: These affordable face primers are under 500 bucks and won’t let you down.

Lighting up your curler

Using a lighter or the hot setting of a blowdryer, heat up the upper metal portion of your eyelash curler for 5 seconds before curling your lashes. This will make the curl last longer.

You know how they say, “That look is lit!” Let’s not take things too literally. This trick works, don’t get me wrong, but there are other ways to create that come-hither fluttery lashes without potentially burning your eyeballs in the process. 

Just as regularly ironing or blow-drying your hair can affect its health and moisture, exposing your lashes to heat can weaken the hair structure. They may become brittle and break, or simply fall off. As someone who has accidentally pulled out all her lashes, I can attest that losing them is both painful and weird-looking.

If you really, really want to heat up your curler, use a blow dryer instead of a lighter as the heated air isn't as hot as a direct flame. And don’t use the curler immediately after heating it up! Test the warmth at the back of your hand first to make sure it won't cook your skin or toast your eyes.

Your safe bet: A good curler and mascara combo can affect how your curled lashes hold up. Investing in a good eyelash curler not only helps you avoid pinching your lids, they can help you create the perfect curl AND make it last. The famous one from Shu Uemura and its drugstore dupe from Features and Shades are both great options. Waterproof mascaras are usually the best option for keeping your curl in place - you can even get good ones from local brands!


I know that it can be pretty hard to pass up beauty hacks that make beauty feel more affordable and personalized, but it helps to keep in mind that some “tricks” are just not worth risking your face and skin over. Beauty doesn't have to be an expensive habit. Armed with knowledge and lots of patience, you can find affordable holy-grail products at the drugstore.

Have you ever tried a crazy beauty hack that went wrong? Found any online that are also super sketch? Spill the details in the comments below!