I have a love/hate relationship with makeup. I love fancy parties and any excuse to get all dolled up, but I hate how there are a dizzying number of new products and I can’t seem to keep up! Luckily the internet is a magical place and there are several tutorials on how to apply them as well as tips on how to make them last longer! I’ve gathered a few of my favorite tips that have changed my routine forever. From mascara to perfume to hairspray, make every weapon in your arsenal of beauty count!

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1) 100 Mornings of Mascara. I love how mascara makes my eyes pop, especially since some of my eyelashes grow in completely white, so my naked eyes are extra-sleepy looking! However, I despise finding a new mascara. The entire process of testing them makes me feel like the Princess and the Pea; some are too clumpy, some are not volumizing enough, and some give me the dreaded “spider” lashes! Before embarking on my last quest for a new tube, I found this amazing mascara review by Cosmopolitan’s beauty lab. They tested 100 mascaras on the same test subject, so you can see exactly how thick a layer of mascara will be! I’ll admit they all look the same after awhile, but some mascaras definitely stand out from the rest.

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2) A Bubble Bath for Your Brush. You wash your dishes, sheets, and body, so why not wash your makeup brushes? I applied makeup for seven years before learning that I was supposed to be washing my brushes! I was given a sample of Sephora’s brush cleaner and decided to test it out. Even though my brushes looked clean, the mix of makeup, skin, and goop that rinsed out was disgusting! Now, I swear by cleaning my brushes at least once a month. I found an article posted on xoJane gives a witty overview of why you should be washing them and exactly how to do it – no fancy Sephora soap required!

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3) Perfectly Perfumed. Growing up, I would watch my mom get ready and, when it came time to apply perfume, she would always spray it into the air and then walk through it. As I began to read about different makeup techniques, I learned that the “cloud” application method sprays more perfume onto the floor than onto your body! Since then, I’ve been simply spraying it on my neck and wrists, but there are so many options! This guide by our friends over at Free People shows you how to prep your skin for perfume and the many places you can apply it for maximum effect. Now to find the perfect scent!

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4) Fake Eyelashes… for Real! Hands down, this is my favorite beauty trick and it’s so easy! It’s the first step in my everyday eyeliner routine. To achieve the effect of denser eyelashes, simply tightline your eyes. What exactly is tightlining? It is applying eyeliner to the small area of skin between your eyelashes and your eye. It is so tiny, but when it is darkened, your eyelashes look totally transformed! The link to this trick says to use an angled brush, but I just use a sharpened eyeliner pencil. Even on days I only go for a natural look, I still use tinted moisturizer and tightlining!

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5) Spray Makes it Stay All Day. I learned this trick from my old roommate back in Denver. There are so many “finishing” products designed to keep your makeup in place all day, but my favorite method is an old-fashioned bottle of hairspray. As soon as I’m finished applying my powder and mascara, I give my face a light spray of the same hairspray I use on my hair. The trick is to keep your face relaxed with no scrunchy wrinkles so that the spray can reach every inch of skin. Even though I’ve never had a problem with breakouts after spraying, it might be a good idea to test a small area before applying it to your entire face. If you want a more skin-friendly but expensive option, Urban Decay makes a similar finishing spray!

Hopefully these beauty tips and tricks will help shorten your morning routine! And remember, just because a product costs $48 does not mean its better than the drugstore brand. I’ve bought some of my favorite foundation and eyeliner on the sale rack! It’s all about how you apply it. If you need additional help, consider going to Sephora or Ulta for a beauty consultation. Sometimes they offer them free of cost! Another fun idea is to invite a few of your girlfriends over for a night of makeup experimentation. Gather all of your unused products and a bottle of wine and have fun trading techniques and giving each other makeovers!