Next to almond butter, teabags, and bobby pins, Q-tips are one of the most commonly found products in our household. You’ll find them in the linen closet, on all of our vanities, in makeup bags, in the bathrooms—you get the idea.
Now I know, you’re probably sitting there going, “Why do you all love Q-tips so much?” Well, that’s easy. We use them for basically everything. Q-tips (or “cotton swabs” if you want to be all technical) have so many uses.
Some of the most standard uses for Q-tips are: cleaning out ears (which I know isn’t recommended, but I mean, everyone does it anyway), applying anti-itch cream, and disinfecting an area with rubbing alcohol on it.
However, my family and I have used Q-tips for a ridiculous amount of things over the years. Of course, I won’t list all of them for you, but in case you’re curious, I decided to share eight of the most common beauty-related uses for Q-tips in our household. Hopefully this list will help you see the many, many uses for this (highly under-appreciated) simple product.
Cleaning up lipstick smudges. As you probably know by now, I am obsessed with wearing lipstick, but sometimes I have my days when I just mess up my lipstick completely and end up smudging it all over my face. When this happens, I apply my lipstick as evenly as I can, then dip a Q-tip in some makeup remover (or pop it in my mouth for a second if I’m running late) and clean up the smudges.
Creating the perfect winged liner. I would love to tell you all that I’m a professional at putting on winged liner, but sadly that’s not true. I mess up a lot sometimes. To create the perfect winged liner, I apply it as best I can, then dip a Q-tip in a tiny bit of makeup remover and clean up the edges of my liner to create a crisp, clean line.
Applying eyeliner. You know what really sucks? Being on vacation and wanting to wear your favorite cream eyeliner—and forgetting your eyeliner brush. But no worries! Just rip off majority of the cotton off a Q-tip, cut the end at a diagonal, wet it a tiny bit, and use it as a makeshift brush.
Taking off nail polish. I almost always take off red nail polish with Q-tips. I have the tendency to stain everything red when I take off red polish with anything but a Q-tip. I just dip Q-tips in nail polish remover, then rub it all over my nail until the polish is gone. This works super well when taking off glitter polish or removing that little extra bit that gets caught up by your cuticle.
Painting. So this isn’t really a beauty use, but I literally couldn’t tell you how many things I’ve painted with a Q-tip and paint (hint: way too many). I just use them like a brush.
Applying lipstick. I usually use Q-tips to apply my lipsticks on other people. I’m weird about germs and using Q-tips as applicators help reduce making mistakes (at least for me).
Blending eyeshadow. My blending brushes like to play hide-and-seek sometimes, so when my brushes are winning, I take a Q-tip, fry the cotton at one end (so it makes a giant cotton puff), and use it as a disposable blending brush.
Applying concealer. Sometimes using my fingers or a sponge to apply concealer just doesn’t cut it, so I turn to Q-tips. I feel like when I need really heavy coverage on a spot on my skin (like a pimple or a scrape), using a Q-tip to apply the product makes it easier to build on.
I hope this post inspired all of you to try out some new, easy beauty tricks. I would absolutely love to hear what you use cotton swabs for in your household! Tweet me your ideas or comment on this post. I love hearing about new tips and tricks!
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