No beauty mistake is permanent (promise!). Here, tips to fix the most common missteps
Whether you’ve slept in your makeup, smudged your mani, or over-plucked your brows, the damage can be undone. These fast fixes will get you back to gorgeous in no time.
Trying to dab away lipstick marks with a facial tissue can leave teeny-tiny paper remnants in your mouth (ick!). Stash Pearly Wipes ($7; winewipes.com) in your bag for easy cleanup; each square contains baking powder and hydrogen peroxide that gently removes surface stains in a pinch. And next time, try This Two-Minute Trick to Keep Lipstick Off Your Teeth.
Your just-painted mani looks flawless, until BAM—you ram your tips into the door. Don’t fret: Kimmy Keyes, celebrity manicurist, recommends quickly licking your finger and gently smoothing over the wet polish in a light, feathery motion. “The saliva pats it back out without pulling the polish off,” she says. Then, to rev up the drying process, apply cuticle oil like CND SolarOil Cuticle Oil ($11; cnd.com) to nails.
The cardinal rule of bedtime: Thou must take off makeup before hitting the sheets. Sleeping in even a hint of foundation can clog your pores and oil glands, leading to breakouts. If you didn’t, use a wet wipe first thing in the morning to take off the surface makeup, then do a purifying mask (we like the glycolic acid-rich Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask, $40; us.caudalie.com) to unclog your pores.
Frizz is often caused by this simple post-shower mistake: rubbing wet hair with a terrycloth towel. The fabric roughs up the hair cuticle, making frizz even worse. Instead, use a T-shirt, paper towels, or an Aquis Essentials Microfiber Absorbent Hair Towel ($16; drugstore.com), all of which absorb H2O quicker than cotton and are gentler on strands. “That way, when you go to grab the dryer, your hair cuticle is intact and you won’t have to deal with any frizz,” says Jim Markham, founder of Colorproof Evolved Color Care. Suffering from other hair woes? Check out 5 Easy Fixes for Winter Hair Problems.
There’s nothing worse than lips that look like you’re stuck in the 90s, so when you’ve done too much liner, smudge the line toward the center of your lips using your pointer finger to diffuse the jarring contrast. Then, apply a hydrating lip balm with a similar tint to help blend in the color. Try Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm ($17; clinique.com); $3 of proceeds will go to the Happy Hearts Fund.
When your winter glow goes awry (like smudging near the ankles, elbows, and knees—all tough parts to self-tan properly), celebrity spray tanner Anna Stankiewicz recommends SluffWipes Pre-Tan Wipes ($29; sluffwipes.com.au). “They quickly and gently remove product build-up when you mess up,” she says.
If you’ve shaved or waxed and notice stray hairs trapped below the skin’s surface, you have ingrowns. Exfoliating the area naturally buffs out the hair and evens out the skin, so it’s less likely to happen next time. You can also use a hair inhibitor like European Wax Center Ingrown Hair Serum ($25; waxcenter.com), which contains glycolic acid and antioxidants to gently exfoliate and keep skin smooth.
Getting carried away with the tweezers can leave your brows looking wonky, but in this case, you’ve got to wait it out. Drawing on your eyebrows can look fake without hair to blend the color with, so instead start using a growth-promoting serum, like RapidBrow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum ($40; rapidlash.com), twice a day. Once they grow out, be sure to read 4 Steps to Achieve Taylor Swift’s Fuller Brow Look.