The claim: that an old, clean mascara brush can work as a nail brush. Specifically, that the unexpected substitution 鈥 in tandem with cuticle remover 鈥 is an effective way to remove dead skin around your nail beds, plus buff your nail beds so that your polish will go on smoother and more evenly.

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This, in theory, sounds totally legit 鈥 it鈥檚 a tip that comes from one of the most sought-after nail boutiques in the country 鈥 yet at the same time totally bonkers, so we were excited to put this to the test in our Beauty Mythbuster series. I personally do not have a lot of experience with DIY manicures (I avoided that in beauty school at all costs!), so this is all new to me. Could my favorite mascara applicator double as a nail-buffing, cuticle-removing magic wand? We鈥檒l use the bristle-y mascara wand on Juliette鈥檚 left hand and a soft cotton swab on her right hand to see if we can spot a difference. Read on to see how it went!

  1. Step 1: Wash Your Wand

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    Grab one of your mascaras that is dried up and no longer usable. Take out the wand, discard the tube, then use dish soap to clean off all the mascara residue. Keep washing until all makeup is removed from your wand.

  2. Step 2: Apply Cuticle Remover

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    Grab a cuticle remover like聽Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover ($7) and apply a small drop to the tops of your nail beds where your cuticles are.

  3. Step 3: Bust Out That Mascara Wand

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  4. Fill a small bowl with warm water and set it aside for now. Before you rinse off your cuticle remover, use your mascara wand to scrub the tops of your nail beds and along your cuticles. Then, dunk your nails into the water bowl and rinse off the remover using the same scrubbing technique.
  5. Step 4: Apply Base Coat

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    It is always best to apply a base coat before painting your nails for two reasons: 1) so your polish does not stain your nail beds and 2) so that your polish goes on more evenly. At this point, there was no noticeable difference in application from the hand that was scrubbed vs. the hand that was not.

  6. Step 5: Apply First Coat Of Polish

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    Juliette applied a gray taupe polish to her nails, and we聽have to admit: the polish *did* appear slightly more even on the hand on which the mascara wand was used. But it didn鈥檛 really show on camera, which left us unimpressed.

  7. Step 6: Apply Second Coat of Polish + Top Coat

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    Most nail polishes require at least two coats. Apply your second coat and finish with a top coat (one that helps your nails dry faster is clutch, like Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat聽($8).

  8. Reveal: Can You See A Difference?

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    For the final results, we couldn鈥檛 really spot a difference between the mascara wand manicure and the cotton swab manicure, which made us feel like this was sort of a bust. Maybe our mascara wand was just too soft and had we used a different one, the results would have been more obvious. Even if that is the case, the busy girl in us would 聽rather just buy a legit nail scrubbing brush聽for around $2 and not spend time cleaning the goop out of an old mascara bottle.

  9. mb5Remember, we only used the coarse mascara wand on Juliette鈥檚 left hand 鈥 we used a cotton swab on her right hand.聽So far, the different textures don鈥檛 seem to matter 鈥 the results don鈥檛聽look very different.
  10. Would We Actually Do This IRL?

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    After testing it out,聽we would not use a mascara wand for DIY manicures. All in all, it doesn鈥檛 seem worth the time.聽If聽you鈥檝e already soaped up your old mascara wand, *do* keep it聽close by 鈥 we鈥檒l follow up with some tricks and tips for how to use it for OTHER beauty hacks :)

What other beauty hacks can we test out for you? Share ideas in the comments below!!