5 Beauty Lessons We Learned in Very Strange Places

Hallie Gould

There is a chance for inspiration and education practically everywhere. And we’ve all been there—in the bathroom line at a bar, talking to a local while on vacation. People are constantly discussing beauty tricks, and we pick up new ideas everywhere we go.

I polled our editors to find the most helpful (and perhaps, bizarre) beauty lessons they’ve learned in strange places.

Keep scrolling for all the answers.


Urban Outfitters

"I was out late at a bar in New York and walked into the bathroom to quickly freshen up. I was intercepted by a lovely woman who was restocking the various products—mints, tampons, and things. She gave me her card, and then showed me how to fix my cat-eye flick with the corner of it. Genius. Then she ripped off a small piece of those paper toilet seat covers and showed me how to use it as an oil-absorbing sheet. I was in heaven, so I had to ask her for more. As we chatted, she talked about using her pink lipstick as a colour-correcting concealer in a pinch and patted it under my eyes, following it up with a bit of foundation. I was polished and ready to hit the dance floor in just five minutes—with a brain full of new tips." — Hallie Gould, senior editor

"When I was Irish dancing, our makeup had to be big and bold so that it really stood out against the harsh stage lighting (yes, even at age 7). My mum, the DIY genius that she is, applied a bit of lipstick to my cheeks to make them rosier and more noticeable—it was the perfect solution. I swear she was ahead of her time and could have created her own line of cream blushes before they even became a thing." — Lindsey Metrus, associate editor

Dove Clinical Deodorant Original Clean ($15)

"I learned this one in a dance line practice my freshman year of high school. One of the older girls forgot her deodorant before a performance one day and was frantically looking for another to borrow. When I lent her mine, she didn't even use it on her underarms. Instead she swiped the stick of Dove Classic across her upper lip, chin, and forehead. She didn't want to have a sweaty face on the field. Not sure how great this is for your skin, but it works." — Deven Hopp, beauty director

"I learned to master an early iteration of what has become my signature cat-eye as a child doing community theatre (I know, dork alert). Acting in children's plays like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, I made it a staple in my stage makeup routine to draw dual black wings branching from the outer corner of each eye. (Except instead of calling it 'winged eyeliner' or a 'cat-eye,' we referred to the look as 'crow’s feet,' which in retrospect I now realise is so unflattering). Anyway, years of performing in community plays gave me a lot of practice wielding black eyeliner, so even throughout my teen years when my makeup game was very poor, I always felt pretty comfortable doing a cat-eye!" — Amanda Montell, associate features editor

"I was on a camping trip one summer, perched in my tent trying to figure out what to do with my wild curls. When I walked out, one of the girls at the campsite next to us saw me futzing around with my hair and showed me a trick I still use to this day. She had a battery-powered flatiron (seriously!) and demonstrated how to keep my cowlick from going crazy and create effortless-looking waves. Sure, it wasn't the most low-maintenance thing I've ever done, but it was wildly helpful." — Hallie Gould, senior editor

Want more skincare tips? Here are 25 expert-recommended beauty rules.

Explore: Skin, beauty tips

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