There are some great alternatives to blotting paper that are much cheaper than the oil-absorbing sheets. Some of these alternatives are also great for when you run out of your blotting papers since you can find them at home or at work. However, you might think that some of them are rather unusual, and a few of them do require a little work to make them purse-ready. Here's a look at these alternatives to blotting paper:
1. Toilet Seat Covers
This is definitely one of the weirdest alternatives to blotting paper. Most of us wouldn't want to put something sitting next to a public toilet on our face, but you can always discard the first toilet seat cover that you pull out. It's the one that's been the most exposed to all those toilet water particles getting sprayed in the air. You could also stuff a few seat covers in your purse to bring home with you, but there are a few better alternatives that don't have the same ick factor. Toilet seat covers are probably best to use only when you experience an oil slick emergency.
2. Starbucks Napkins
Some women swear by these brown bits of recycled paper. Starbucks coffee is so expensive that you definitely deserve to get a few free beauty supplies with every purchase. You might also want to grab a few of those stir sticks for your next arts and crafts project. You can try to stash the Starbucks napkins in your purse to use later, but I wouldn't recommend this unless you have a clean container like a plastic baggie to put them in. If you leave them loose, they'll just soak up all the gross stuff that's lurking on your phone, the outside of your makeup containers, and the surfaces of those filthy pennies.
3. Coffee Filters
If you're ever bored at work, you might consider crafting your own oil blotting sheets using a few coffee filters. Just use your office scissors to cut them into rectangular shapes and place them inside of envelope to place in your purse. You can later transfer them to a better container like a rinsed-out Altoids tin or a clean coin purse. Coffee filters and blotting papers are made out of a similar material, so they work just as well. The sheets can also be used to wipe off the lenses of your glasses or sunglasses.
4. Wrapping Tissue
Not sure what to do with all that old wrapping tissue that you've been saving every holiday? Just cut it into small rectangles and use it as blotting sheets. This is one of the best blotting paper alternatives because you can make your sheets look prettier by using brightly-colored wrapping tissue. One small sheet of tissue paper goes a very long way. If you're really nice or really bored, you can also create a bunch of blotting sheets for your friends. They'd make great homemade Christmas stocking stuffers if you can find cute containers to put the sheets in.
5. Rolling Papers
Do you roll your own *ahem* cigarettes? If so, then you might have a package of rolling papers lying around somewhere. Some gals swear that Zig-Zags make great alternatives to blotting paper. You can find some rolling papers that are much bigger than the tiny blotting sheets that are sold at stores, so you might only need one of these larger papers to dab up all the oil on your face. Just don't roll up anything in the paper and smoke it after you've used it (ew!).
6. End Wrap Papers for Perms
I've seen a lot of ladies say that they use the end papers that hairstylists use for perms as blotting papers. If you want to test them for yourself, you could always ask your nice hairdresser if you could experiment with one. If you get as stressed out as I do while getting a haircut, you'll probably have a little sweat on your forehead that needs to be absorbed. If you like the results, you can purchase really big containers of end wraps at Sally's Beauty Supply. I've seen a box of 1000 for just under $3.00.
I know the point of using blotting papers to absorb oil is to avoid powder, but there are certain powders that you can use that can help you avoid the cakey look. Look for powders that promise a matte finish—these might save you from getting oil slicks in the first place. You won't have to apply more powder, so you won't have to worry about your makeup looking cakey. You can also look for cosmetics that contain rice powder—Palladio actually makes blotting sheets covered with this natural oil-fighting ingredient. However, Palladio's loose rice powder is a better product since it pulls double-duty by working as a finishing powder and keeping the oilies away.
So if you ever suffer an oil emergency or want to test alternatives to your blotting papers, there are plenty of options available. However, some of them do take a little work, so it might be easier just to purchase a pack of blotting sheets at the nearest drugstore. Have you ever tested any of these alternatives?