Ways to Beautify Yourself with Office Supplies
Shhh...Nobody will know you used paper clips to look this good.
Currin Berdine / AdminSecret with Contributing Tips from Katherine Richert
One of an admin’s priorities is to maintain a professional appearance at the office. But everybody inevitably runs into one of those hit-the-snooze-button- didn’t-get-to-shower- couldn’t-find-mascara- drop-off-kids-at-school- spilled-coffee-on-the-drive-to-work mornings. If you need a beauty refresher before happy hour, give yourself a makeover with items and supplies you can find around your office.
Disclaimer: These tips are do-it-yourself – to yourself – using tools not made to perform the functions listed. Please use care and caution, especially with heat, items around the eyes, and always choose non-toxic materials to work with. Also, for the sake of your dignity, be careful with our “highlighter-on-lips” trick.
Exacto Knife = Nail File
Use an eraser on the end of a pencil to push back your cuticles.
An Exacto knife can shave down a broken nail.
Paint your chipped French Manicure with White Out for an easy touch up.
Clean dirt out from under your nails with a bent out paper clip.
Dry and flaky hands? Take either salt or sugar from the kitchen and pour a packet or two into your hands with hand soap. Rub gently over rough patch to exfoliate and smooth away dead skin cells. `
Hand Dryer = Hair Dryer
Need to pull your hair back? DON’T go for a plain rubber band. They will rip your hair! To avoid damage, first wrap the place you want to tie you hair with a few straps of string or even plastic Saran wrap. Once your hair is protected, then you can loosely put a rubber band over it. If you don’t have string or Saran wrap, I’d suggest coating the rubber band in lotion so that it is more slippery over the hair particles. You can either leave as is, or stick a pen in it for extra hold (and pizazz!)
Your ’do look great this morning and is now falling flat? The main things you’ll need are a hand dryer (found in bathroom) and some water. First, take a paper towel and wet it. Run the wet towel through the roots of the hair, avoiding the ends. Don’t drench it, just make it moist. Concentrate on the front and top sections. Then put your head under a hand dryer and dry it. Better yet, if you can turn the dryer nozzle to face up, just lean back and let it blow your hair up. This will add volume and movement. Once dry, flip you head over and give it a shake by tossing your head. Avoid touching your hair, as the oils from your hands will only weigh it down.
“Use a fork to comb your hair, a la Ariel from the Little Mermaid!” -Kayla B, California
Add body and curls: “Take an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll. Cut it up in two inch sections. Make you hair a little damp. Then roll your hair around the round pieces and secure in place. Let your hair set, you could even hold your head under the hand dryer for a minute. Then take the paper rolls out, and now you have body and some waves!” – Cierra, New York (Editor’s suggestion: You can also use soda cans in place of the paper towel rolls. This will give you bigger waves instead of tighter curls.)
One-Ply TP = Shine Eraser
Oily face? Take ONE-ply of toilet paper and press against skin. Don’t wipe, as that will just transfer the oil rather than absorb it.
For an oily face, what works great is a toilet seat cover. The material is similar to that of pricey facial oil-blotting sheets. TRY IT! It won’t smear makeup. – Katie W, California
Stinky armpits? First, stick some facial tissue into your armpits to absorb any smelly perspiration. (It’s a plus if they are the fancy anti-bacterial tissues, as those will kill the stinky germs.) Next grab a bottle of Febreeze (air freshener will do, but Febreeze has proved better) and go to a bathroom stall. Take off your top and hang it up on a hook or door. Next, spray the armpits of your top with Febreeze. No, we are not kidding. It is your choice – smelly pits or odor absorbed freshness? (Use care with delicate or special items as the Febreeze may damage some fabrics. However, it is made to be sprayed all over every item in your house, so it should be okay. Do a spot test if you are nervous.)
Pink Highlighter = Lip Stain
Need some color on your lips? Start off in front of the mirror. Lick your lips so they are wet, then dot the middle of your bottom lip a couple times with a pink highlighter. Use your finger to spread the wet highlighter across your lips, then press the lips together. Depending on how much color you want, continue the few-dots-at-a-time method. It is better to build up the color rather than look like a Barbie with a blindingly pink pout.
Bad breath? First, brew a cup of strong green tea. Once cool enough to drink, have a couple sips, then take a big swig into your mouth without swallowing. Rinse your mouth out like the green tea is mouth wash. Swish around and gargle in your mouth for twenty seconds. Repeat with the remaining green tea. Then take a thick file folder or edge of a envelope (something soft/hard that won’t cut your mouth) and scrape your tongue, then swish out your mouth with water. Then drink a cup of water. The green tea is anti-bacterial and helps kill the germs that is giving you nasty breath. Scraping your tongue physically removes the bad-breath bacteria from your mouth that breeds on your tongue. The final water swigs and drink washes away any loose germs and helps you feel cleaner. Avoid coffee, strongly flavored foods, and sugary foods to keep your breath fresh with less bacteria. Eat apples, tea and water to keep it smelling nice.
Use the edge of a notecard to remove spinach stuck in your teeth. – Fran P., Texas
Pucker Chapped?Sometimes I use scotch tape on my lips! Just press the sticky part to the chapped area and pull softly. Then your babies are primed! – Ashley C., California
Paper Clip = Eyelash Curler
Tame unruly eyebrows with a light stroke of a clear glue stick (I suggest putting a tiny bit on your finger and then shaping the brows, as you don’t want a nasty chunk lingering.)
Need an eye-opener? Curl your lashes with a paper clip. Hold the paper clip under the hand dryer until it is warm to the touch. Then press the wider side of the clip against your lashes, pressing them up to the crease of the eye. Like your blowdryer, the heat will style the hair of your lashes to whatever way you press it. Hold until the clip cools and repeat on the other eye.
Puffy eyes from too-much-salt-on-your-late-night-margarita? Grab a cold soda can from the fridge and stick it on your eye and especially on your undereye. The coolness will decrease blood flow to the area, which is causing the swollen look.
Static cling on your pants? Put a safety pin on the inside between your leg and the fabric. Science lesson: the metal will neutralize the ions that is causing the electric static in your clothes.
Popped button? Use a paper clip to weave through the holes, and bend the clip on the inside of your clothing to secure the hold. Then line double-stick tape around the inside edges near the popped button to close any garment gaps.
Blue sweater spread lint all over your white skirt? Packing slips with adhesive make for really good lint brushes, almost better than the normal ones. Like any Fed Ex slips that attach to the box. – Cierra R., NY
Stapler = Emergency Mending Kit
Run in your panty hose? We all know the clear nail polish trick, but glue works in the same way. Use a light layer over the tear to stop the run. Be sure to let the glue dry before moving around too much.
If the hem of your pants comes undone and you don’t have a sewing kit, you’ll need to resort to desperate measures. First try using double-stick tape to keep up the de-threaded garment. If that doesn’t work, just staple the darn thing together! Take note, however, that this will put two small holes in the cloth. That means you must be very careful when removing the staple to avoid any tears. Camouflage the silver-on-a-totally-different-color piece by coloring the metal with a Sharpie that more closely matches the color of your pant.
“Shoe polish au naturale! I haven’t done this personally, but I saw my boss polish his shoes (black wingtips) with the inside of a banana peel. Then he buffed them up with a cloth. He swears he’s been doing it for years. And I must admit, they did look very sharp when he was done — shiny and scuff free.” – Sally S, California
“For scuffed black shoes, I use a Sharpie to do a quick touch up.” – Heather W., Illinois
Swollen feet cramping your style? Put your legs up on a table to decrease blood flow to the area. Even better, take a trick from Yoga. Go into an empty conference room or office and sit on the ground against the wall. Then sit the entire right side of your body against the wall – shoulder to feet. Then lean your body back and as you go twist your legs up onto the wall. You’ll be in an L-shape with your legs above your head. Sit for a minute and breathe deeply. Come back down on the left side, so that you sit up in a mirrored position. Viola! Rejuvenated legs.
The theme of this article: improvise! Admins improvise around the office everyday, so take those thinking-on-your-toes skills and apply them to making your self beautiful. But shh… it’s our AdminSecret.
Have additional tricks and suggestions? Post them below! We’ll put your name with any new idea.