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Busted! We Put 6 Beauty Tips and Tricks to the Test

In the world of beauty, it seems we're willing to try anything once. From old wives' tales to urban legends to schoolyard gossip, it can be hard to decipher what's effective and safe and what's just silly. Here we test six unconventional beauty tips and tricks to find out whether or not they work.

Red Lipstick to Conceal Dark Circles

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In this viral makeup video, Deepica Mutyala used red lipstick to hide her under-eye circles. This tip has some merit, playing into the basic rules of color theory, but it won't work for everybody. If you're of Indian descent as Mutyala is, your dark circles may be a deep green, and red lipstick would work. However, Caucasian women often have a little surface redness already, so adding more just adds to the problem. In theory, a light, matte peach lipstick works better for bluish under-eye circles; a yellow corrector works best if yours are predominately purple; and African American skin tones can benefit from orange lipstick. In the end, this tip is only half true.

Photo: Shutterstock

Toothpaste to Zap Blemishes

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This is one of the oldest "tricks" in the book. While I see where the idea comes from, think twice before dabbing toothpaste on a blemish. While it will dry out your blemish—thanks to a combination of alcohol, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide—it's meant for teeth, not your delicate skin, and will likely cause further irritation. Skip this trick, and reach for a targeted blemish treatment instead.

Lip-Plumping Devices

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Thanks to Kylie Jenner, 2015 has been the year of the plump pout. With girls drastically overlining their lips and sucking on shot glasses, products like Candy Lipz emerged. Using suction to bring blood to the surface and irritate lips, these products can temporarily plump up lips. But guess what else they can cause? Fun stuff like bruising and blood blisters. Skip this tip, and try a lip-plumping product instead.

Embarrassing-Sounding Primer

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You might feel a little sheepish adding chafing-relief powder gel to your basket, but you'll be surprised to know it makes a really great primer! Dimethicone, or silicone, is what gives primers that silky, pore-minimizing look; and it's the primary ingredient in Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel. I've tried it, and I have to say there is little to no difference between this and traditional silicone-based foundation primers. For $6, absolutely give this trick a try.

Oily Skin Primer

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If you're endowed with super-oily skin, you might find that no primer, foundation, or powder truly "mattefies" to your liking. When nothing works, pull out the big guns—the big blue bottle of Milk of Magnesia, that is! A thin layer of milk of magnesia under your foundation will help cut shine and control oil throughout the day. It works like a clay mask you can wear all day. Remember, if your skin is normal or dry, don't try this trick; it's reserved for only the oiliest. While this sounds like one of the crazier tips on this list, you have to see it to believe it. This video shows the full process really well.

Preparation H for Under-Eye Puffiness

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Carrying some serious baggage under your eyes? A backstage trick for years has been to apply a small amount of Preparation H under your eyes to reduce puffiness and swelling. Without getting too detailed here, I think you can see why a hemorrhoidal cream could work really well for this. However, the effects are usually subtle, temporary, and not without risk. The ingredients aren't intended for the sensitive eye area, so they can be irritating and harmful if you get them in your eyes. You're much better off depuffing with something like Benefit's Puff Off!

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