Whether it’s perfecting winged eyeliner, nailing your contours or cutting a crease, makeup artists and YouTubers have a knack of making difficult beauty tasks look easy. Yet for us non-skilled, everyday folk the reality is very different. That is why we at mamabella LOVE a “cheat” product.
A cheat product is one that promises to take the hassle out of tricky techniques. It’s usually a gadget or tool of some sort that’s been designed to speed things up and which helps you cheat your way to a professional finish. And they’re usually the kinds of tools that pop-up as Instagram ads.
Below we’ve listed our favourites; the cheat products we now can’t live without and ones that we’re sure to save you precious time.
To save you buying a dud, over the coming weeks we’ll be putting a host of miracle makeup products to the test to see which are time-wasters and which are money-savers. If you come across any products that simply look too good to be, send us a link and we’ll add them to the list because if us novices can use them, we’re sure anyone can.
Magnetic lashes are everywhere at the moment, it seems, and there are largely two types. The first consists of two strips of lashes with magnets attached. You place a strip above your natural top lash line and put the other below your top lash line and they’re meant to stick together. This sounds simple enough but the reality is very, very different. As soon as the magnets come anywhere near each other, they snap shut and this results in them sitting anywhere other than your lash line.
The alternative involves similar lashes with magnets attached but they are placed with the help of magnetic eyeliner. You use the eyeliner as you would a normal eyeliner and then the lashes snap to the line.
The beauty of this is that once you own a magnetic eyeliner, you can use any set of magnetic lashes. And they really are incredibly easy to use. Our favourite is the Moxie Lash range (as seen in our Instagram post below), but they’re not cheap. A cheaper, almost as good alternative is from Ardell. These are available at Superdrug, Boots and Amazon.
A couple of points to note:
If you’re a little reluctant to use magnetic eyeliner, The Quick Flick (who you can read more about below when looking to cheat your way to the perfect winged eyeliner) has taken things a step further and created an adhesive eyeliner.
You simply put the eyeliner on like you would do normally and stick any lash to it (check out our guide to the best false It’s really that simple. What’s more, because the non-toxic glue remains sticky, you can remove and reapply your lashes to your heart’s content, until they’re in the best location.
It’s available in black, brown and clear and is vegan and cruelty-free. Plus there’s no drying time – it’s ready to go straightaway!
The downside is that you can’t currently buy this range direct in the UK, so you will need to wait a while for them to be shipped.Buy now from The Quick Flick
Since having first discovered The Quick Flick eyeliner stamp via an Instagram advert last summer, we’re now the proud owner of three different styles and we honestly have never looked back. If you’re after a way to get the perfect winged eyeliner every time – and you’ve tried various “simple tricks” involving lining up eyeliner pencils with your nose – The Quick Flick is the answer.
On one end of each “pen” is a stamp, on the other is a precision liner. You line the stamp up with the corner of your eye and then draw a straight line from the top of this stamp to the centre of your eye. Depending on your style, or the occasion, you can then make this line bolder or extend it further along the lid.
Available in black or brown, there are four stamp styles to choose from – petite, modest, grand and “To the Point” – as well as an eraser pen that uses micellar water to create clean lines or fix any mistakes.
We paid to have ours shipped from Australia (more fool us) but since the end of last year, you can buy every stamp in the range from Superdrug for £19.99 each. We know that £20 isn’t exactly cheap but you really can’t put a price on the time savings you’ll make. Not to mention the many compliments you’ll get.
In theory, a cut crease should be easy – you simply create a bold line on your eyelid with contrasting colours that offers depth and definition. The reality could not be more different. It takes a steady hand, patience, a little artistic prowess – and that’s before you even factor in the type of crease to suit your eyes. Cut creases can also be used to give the appearance of wider monolid eyes, or lift an almond eye.
Back in 2016, a video recorded by Brittney Foley went viral as it showed her using the edge of a spoon to create a cut crease.
Inspired by the reaction, Foley designed the Crease Piece – a cut crease toolkit that consists of a stick on which you attach one of three silicone discs. These discs are placed on your eyelid and are used to form the perfect crease line.
Between them, the three discs are suitable for all eye shapes and eyeshadow looks including Round, Almond and Wing and the whole kit costs $19.99. We’d usually save our cut crease attempts for nights out or special occasions but we can now nail the perfect crease on a daily basis.
The photo below was our first attempt and we’re super impressed.
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I’ve been looking for cheat products for @mama_bella_uk designed to make life a hell of a lot easier and I happened upon the @thecreasepiece – it’s a tool designed to help you master a cut crease and I’m delighted with my first attempt. It’s super easy to use and comes with different crease shapes BUT it’s not available in the UK yet so it’s pricey. Read more at mamabella.uk Eye palette: @beautybaycom Bright Matte with @makeuprevolution glitter Lashes: @lasplashcosmetics Gatsby Faux Mink Waterline: White kajal from @maccosmeticsuk Mascara: @lancomeofficial Monsieur Big #cutcrease #cutcreasemakeup #creasepiece #mamabella #mua
What’s more, we’d like to think we’ve improved our technique and now know where the lines should go for when we don’t have the Crease Piece handy. Sadly, the Crease Piece is not yet available in the UK so you’ll need to import it from the US, which does add almost the same amount onto the price for shipping. As a result, this is definitely not a money saver, but it’s an incredible time-saver.
Nail wraps are not new, Ted Baker is at least one brand that we’ve previously bought them from (see our poor attempt at application in the 2015 Insta post below) but the Miss Sophie range has taken the idea further. Offering more than 100 colours and designs, a pack of Miss Sophie’s nail wraps costs £14 for 24 wraps; enough for two “coats” and wraps to spare. The brand also sells a Starter Kit which includes two designs of your choice, a glossy topcoat and a glass nail file. This kit usually costs £45 but is on offer for £32 at the time of writing. You don’t *need* to get the kit; any topcoat and nail file will do but it’s worth a look.
Not only do they take seconds to apply, literally, and you don’t have to wait for them to dry if you choose not to use a topcoat, they last for weeks. Our wraps are currently on day 13, despite having taken the children swimming twice.
Alternatively, Amazon sells much cheaper packs – 14 strips for £9.99 as an example – but we haven’t tested these to be able to give an accurate verdict. At the least, you could buy the cheaper versions to see if you like the idea before paying for Miss Sophie’s range as/when you want to.
Victoria is founder and editor-in-chief of mamabella, freelance journalist and Mum. She has a passion for empowering people to feel beautiful whatever their age, size, skin type and budget