Here’s a Beauty Product You Never Knew You Needed

Lube has other uses outside of the bedroom.

By Annie Walton Doyle

KY Jelly is not only a multifarious beauty product, but it's cheap. Pick up a bottle for as little as $2.95 the next time you go to CVS or shop at Target. (Art:  Maria Karambatsakis )

KY Jelly is not only a multifarious beauty product, but it's cheap. Pick up a bottle for as little as $2.95 the next time you go to CVS or shop at Target. (Art: Maria Karambatsakis)

Beauty and lube are odd bedfellows. Unlike most beauty products, lube is far from glamorous, and you’re not likely to display it on your dresser along with your perfumes and makeup brushes for all the world to see. It’s probably tucked away in a drawer, where, when the time comes, it does its job without seeking glory.

Yet lube is a surprisingly useful beauty tool. I’m not talking about the flavored, neon-hued, or glitter-filled options, but just plain ol’ KY Jelly. Yes, the packaging is rather sexless — it often comes in a white tube that looks like a travel-sized toothpaste — but despite its bland appearance, lube actually has a lot of perks. Not only does it help hold things in places — be it brows or powder —  but it’s a sure-fire way to nail that new dewy makeup trend.

If you never thought you’d use lube anywhere besides your nether regions, now’s your chance. For an untraditional glow, here are seven ways to incorporate the slimy goo into your daily beauty routine.


As a primer

As something that’s literally intended to make things slide, lube does a good job at creating a smooth base underneath makeup. Unlike traditional silicone primers, lube doesn’t give you that simultaneously dry and slippery feeling. Instead, it dries down to a damp finish, which helps makeup stick down and last all day. It also fills in pores and blurs uneven skin textures. Plus, the glycerin in it helps plump and hydrate dry skin, making for a luminous complexion. Just don’t use too much or it can start to ball up and peel.


As a hair serum

Lube has the perfect texture to add sleekness to hair without weighing it down or making it look greasy. A pea-sized amount, rubbed between the hands and smoothed over the surface of the hair smooths flyaways and adds a healthy-looking sheen.


As a highlighter

In a pinch, a small dab of lube on the cheekbones creates a glossy reflection. Tap it on rather than smearing it to avoid disturbing any makeup underneath. As it dries, the lube retains its shiny glow, but doesn’t stay sticky, so you won’t have to deal with the discomfort of hair sticking to your cheekbones throughout the day.


As a mixing medium

Mixed with loose pigments or glitter, lube makes for a satisfyingly sticky base. This means your product will stick where you want it, not fall on the rest of your face, retain a stronger pigment, and last much longer. What’s not to like about that?


As a leg shine

If you’re going bare-legged and haven’t seen the sun for a while, a slathering of lube down the calf will make you look freshly moisturized and super smooth, adding a healthy glow to your stems.


As an eye gloss

If you’ve been tempted by this Instagram trend but unable to reconcile yourself with the repulsive feeling of a goopy eyelid, fear no more. Lube has the unique ability of looking wet while actually being dry. Magic.


As a brow gel

Comb it through your eyebrows with a spoolie, and lube will give them a flexible, non-crusty, and long-lasting hold. It also adds a subtle gleam to the hairs, making them look shiny and healthy. It’s the perfect no-makeup look to add to your regime.


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