The expert edit: 8 behind-the-scenes beauty tricks

The crafty hacks happening behind the curtain

Editor / July 17 2023

You know the saying ‘you never know what happens behind closed doors'? Well, it’s true, even when it comes to beauty. Everyone commits to certain rituals behind the scenes to show up in the world the way they feel the most confident.

And sure, we all commit to the general steps (think hair washing, eyebrow plucking, and face masking), but there are some that are a bit higher up on the 'unique', 'unconventional', or 'um, that's weird' scale. However, if they work, they work!

The results may be less obvious than fresh foils or lip fillers, but these at-home beauty rituals make all the difference, especially in the self-confidence stakes.

Wondering which out-of-the-box beauty tricks you're missing out on? We asked our expert panel to spill their tried-and-true favourites...

Neha Prasad, Content Creator

Correcting nail discolouration with hairspray

"I love a good nude nail colour, but hate how obvious discolouration becomes. To combat this issue, I love to spray some hairspray onto a cotton ball and rub that on my nails for a few seconds. Any discolouration or staining fades away and my nude nails look better than ever. This trick also doesn't change the finish of my nail polish. Double win!”

KYK Haircare Get A Grip! Finishing Hairspray ($21.95 at KYK Haircare)

Georgia Nelson, BEAUTYcrew's Social Editor

Contouring with fake tan

"I’m a sucker for a TikTok beauty trend, so when I saw the self-tan contour hack, I had to try it immediately. The first time didn’t go so well (read: it was a muddy disaster) but I’ve finally nailed the technique. I use the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops on a foundation brush, then go in on the areas I’d usually contour (cheekbones, jawline and hairline). It gives me a really natural sun-kissed glow, which I need because I’m Cullen-level pale and can’t be bothered to fake tan. My advice? Start light then build up the next time you try it. There’s nothing worse than an oompa loompa mishap…"

Isle of Paradise Medium Self Tanning Drops ($42 at MECCA)

Delaney Loane, BEAUTYcrew’s Beauty Editor

Using a foot file on elbows

"Some people pride themselves on their shiny hair or their ability to play the piano like Mozart. Personally, I pride myself on the smoothness of my elbows. After trying every body scrub on the planet to no avail, I switched to a crystal glass foot file. Honestly, I think I gave it a nicer life than what it was originally destined for (scraping foot calluses; ick), so I feel pretty good about the choice. Speaking of feeling good, my elbows are like silk – there’s barely a texture change between them and my forearms. I won’t say 'you barely feel it' because there is a slight sting as it’s a more sensitive area than the sole of your foot, but it’s five seconds of level-one pain with a pretty impressive payoff."

Dirserry Nano Crystal Glass Foot File ($7 at Catch)

Basmah Qazi, Editor at BEAUTYDIRECTORY

Applying petroleum jelly as eye cream

"Ever since I could remember, I’ve always had issues with my under eyes. Not only have I been blessed with hereditary dark circles, but the skin around my eye area is constantly dry and dehydrated. I’ve used a number of eye creams and serums, ranging from affordable to high-end, and they never did much. Tired of testing out products that weren't working for me, I turned to something everyone has sitting in their cupboard: Vaseline. Every night before bed, I apply a thin layer of Vaseline under my eyes and wake up with smooth and plump skin. It’s a product I swear by. However, if you’re prone to milia, maybe do a patch test first."

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly ($5.99 at Chemist Warehouse)

Samantha McMeekin, BEAUTYcrew’s Editor

Clipping a curtain fringe into shape

"Despite having poor skill for hairstyling, I recently got a curtain fringe. I tried all kinds of brush and blow-dry techniques but the one thing that works is actually hair clips. While the front section of my hair is still warm from the hair dryer (important), I’ll strategically clip where I want my fringe to flick out/bend. I’ll leave them there while I do my makeup and then remove them just before I head out the door. Another key is to add a spritz of dry shampoo, then pinch and rub where the clips were for texture and hold.”

Straand Secure Clips ($14.95 at Straand)

Briar Clark, BEAUTYcrew’s Content Producer

Creating a daily wellness cocktail

"I am extremely pedantic about maintaining all of my beauty rituals — they keep me sane. I load up my morning smoothie with every form of collagen, green powder, and immune booster I can get my hands on. I guzzle water all day long. I eat as much fresh food as I possibly can, and I go for a hot girl walk every day. But like many women that I know and love who’ve mastered doing the most, there’s an art to putting in a lot of effort in order to look effortlessly put together. And it’s all worth it when another woman compliments you on said efforts: 'you look so glowy today'."

Melrose High Strength Turmeric Superblend ($30 at Woolworths)


Kim Pham, Makeup Artist

Face slapping before makeup

"Before doing my makeup I like to do a mini face lift massage using a mix of Japanese techniques and slapping (think FaceGym). I just use regular water and start with an ‘S’ shape using my thumbs on the forehead and temples. Then I move to my cheeks and slap my skin in an upwards motion. I also do this when layering my skin care and it gives the most insane lift and smooth texture to my skin.”

Ruby Cotton, BEAUTYcrew's Content Producer

Trading lip balm for nipple cream

"I’m sure one day the time will come when I’m breastfeeding, my nipples are in agony and I reach for the Bepanthen for some sweet relief. But for right now, I’m less worried about the cracked nips and more focused on the dry lips. What I'm trying to say is: I highly recommend you lather this thick nipple cream over a dry, chapped pout. Sure, there’s a strange initial tingling sensation and a moment where you toss up giving the tube a lick because it looks a little bit like condensed milk. But once you’re through all of that, it’s all smooth sailing and soft lips ahead."

Bepanthen Antiseptic Cream ($10.49 at Chemist Warehouse)

Main image credit: Supplied

Want more great features like this? Read the rest of our digital issue.

Delaney Loane is BEAUTYcrew's Editor (and resident cateye connoisseur). An expert in everything from sensitive skin solutions to lip oil options that won't leave your hair permanently attached to your face, her words have also appeared across mastheads such as ELLE and marie claire.