Beauty magazines love to tell readers about all the high-tech tools that one simply must have in one’s makeup bag. Lash separators, blending spatulas, and cuticle scissors may come in handy sometimes, but it’s natural to want something a little more multipurpose.
The hardest-working, most versatile, and most sorely unsung hero of the makeup case isn’t some expensive specialized implement; it’s a toothbrush. A plain, medium-bristled toothbrush is the only thing you need to always look well-tressed, and it works so much magic with your hair and brows, your teeth might get a little jealous.
Spritz a few sprays of light-hold hairspray or a shine spray (try Bumble and bumble Shine On (and On) Finishing Spray, $25 at Bumbleandbumble.com) onto the bristles and use it to smooth down those wispies at the hairline. Perfect for creating sleek, polished updos.
Apply Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is great for absorbing oil and giving hair a little lift without washing and restyling. Instead of sprinkling it over your whole head, apply only a little bit at the roots, and use the toothbrush to comb the grains through your hair for a flawless finish without residue. (Try Ojon Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Powder, $24 at Sephora)
Touch Up Roots
Between colorings—either at home or at the salon—a root touch-up kit is a great way to keep new growth camouflaged. After using a touch-up pen, like ColorMark, an Allure Best of Beauty Award winner ($21.95 at ULTA), use the toothbrush to work the product through the hair, making sure it’s evenly and precisely distributed.
Get Some Lift
If you want a little more volume at the crown (or anywhere, really), use a toothbrush to strategically backcomb and tease hair into a fuller shape. The bristles, smaller and finer than a hairbrush, will give you a more subtle result. Hold the style in place with a spritz of L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray. ($15 at Walgreens.com)
Tame Unruly Brows
Before plucking or applying brow powder, swipe a toothbrush across your eyebrows to groom them. For extra hold, apply a little bit of clear brow gel (like Sonia Kashuk Brow Gel, $5.99 at Target) to the bristles.