Allow us to describe what we at Byrdie HQ describe as a “Sephora black hole.” You’re going about your business, catching up on your daily beauty reading, and find a product that catches your attention. You click the product to shop it, and you land on Sephora.com. You check out the ingredients list, the description, and scroll down to read the reviews section. Fast-forward half an hour and you’re suddenly on page 20, ravenously consuming every word of every review and taking it as gospel—after all, these are real women (your very own peers) who have no reason to cushion their feedback. Hours later, you’ve finally made up your mind, and you excitedly either add the product to your cart or click out of the screen, relieved your fellow beauty aficionados warned you the buzzy pick was just subpar. Resume this cycle every few days; repeat as needed.
If this sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. As beauty editors, we get to try so many products firsthand—yet we constantly find ourselves reading reviews online to see if other people’s reactions match our own, or if the product only worked for our specific skin type or hair texture. Along the way, we started noticing something: There are some smart beauty tips in the reviews section. And we’re talking truly ingenious and clever—these aren’t your average run-of-the-mill, universally known hacks. Some of them have changed our lives—our wallets are forever grateful for the self-tanner wipe tip—which is why we’ve compiled some of our favourites in one place for you, dear reader. From primer-mixing to a clumpy mascara cure, keep scrolling for 10 of the best beauty hacks from Sephora’s reviews section!
The product: Kate Somerville 360 Tanning Towelettes ($48)
The user: harmony1977
The hack: If self-tanning towelettes are your jam, you’ll be glad you know this tip: Harmony1977 says she cuts these luxe towelettes into four to six smaller squares and stores them in a Ziploc bag. That way, you can use each small piece one at a time for your body and face, and store what you don’t use. This tip is also perfect if you prefer your faux tan a deeper color—use half, store the rest, and follow up with another application the following day.
The product: Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation ($62)
The user: katedoggg
The hack: People swear by spray foundations for their dewy, even coverage—and the fact that you can spray them directly on your face without blending. However, it can get a little messy, which is why user katedoggg suggests using a damp Beauty Blender ($20) to apply Dior’s version instead. The effect is sheerer and more natural—perfect for days when you don’t need a full-coverage finish.
The product: Make Up For Ever Brow Seal Transparent Eyebrow Gel ($19)
The hack: Any thick-browed girl is lost without her brow gel, and people rave about Make Up For Ever’s version. But there are secret ways to use this brow gel in your beauty routine. User jem1 says she applies it over her brow pencil to lock it in all day, and then over her mascara to prevent raccoon eyes. Meanwhile, melissa929 says she uses it to tame flyaways and baby hairs along her forehead, especially when pulling her hair into a ponytail. Genius.
The product: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water ($32)
The user: nicnacbeauty
The hack: Smashbox says you can use this magical spray three ways—to prime your face, to set your makeup, and to refresh your makeup throughout the day—but user nicnacbeauty says she uses it a fourth way, too. “I also use it by spraying a little on my brush before putting on my foundation, and it works like a charm,” she says in her review. She swears this helps the product lock in her makeup all day—and we’ll be trying it out immediately.
The product: Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($24)
The user: MacBeth7
The hack: It’s no secret we’re obsessed with Urban Decay’s various Eyeshadow Primers ($24)—and so is the majority of the beauty world. Only thing is, the toothpaste-like packaging means there’s often a lot left over that we can’t squeeze out. Luckily, Sephora user MacBeth7 has a genius solution: Once you near the end of your supply, take scissors and cut off the bottom of the tube, scoop out everything inside, and store it in an old eye-cream jar.
The product: Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil ($32)
The user: JuneViolet
The hack: Whether or not you’re a fan of cleansing oils, you should probably add one to your beauty routine. Why? Because you can use it for facial massage, obviously. JuneViolet says she uses Josie Maran’s version not to wash her face, but to massage her face for 20 minutes each night. “I recommend you do this at least three times a week,” she says. “It’s the secret to never-aging skin.” For a visual guide, we’ve got you covered with four anti-aging exercises to do instead of facelifts.
The product: Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat ($18)
The user: Wombatsma
The hack: Nothing is more satisfying than painting your final layer of high-shine topcoat after a painstaking manicure. That glory can be short-lived, however, when your nail polish starts cracking a few days later. Wombatsma has an easy solution: Just wait until the following day to apply your top coat. This will ensure your nails are completely dry and prevent any shrinking and peeling after applying the topcoat.
The product: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23)
The user: jackie1894620
The hack: Clumpy mascara? Try user jackie1894620’s trick and add in a few drops of contact solution—it’ll smooth out the formula in a pinch.
The product: Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation ($35)
The user: courtneyolsen
The hack: People rave about Kat Von D’s cult foundation for its full-coverage, last-all-day finish, but—as with all full-coverage foundations—you run the risk of a slightly cakey finish. User courtneyolsen says she remedies this by mixing the brand’s water-based Lock-It Featherweight Primer ($32) with the foundation. “It helps thin out the thick foundation and gives a beautiful finish,” she says. “It also lasts me about 14 hours without oxidation, separation, or oiliness.”
The product: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Hair Mist ($50)
The user: girloncanvas
Ever find that your hair perfume either makes your ends greasy or gets overpowering, smell-wise? Try this trick girloncanvas shared: spray it underneath your hair, near the nap of your neck. That way, your body heat will allow the scent to lightly disperse, without leaving a super-strong perfume trail (a good tip if you’re planning on wearing hair perfume at the office, or during the day).
What’s the best beauty trick you’ve ever learned online? Sound off below!