10 Clever Beauty Hacks That Will Save You in a Pinch
Don't let botched eyeliner, a smudged mani, or too-tight curls crash your party. Use these genius tricks to get out of a beauty jam fast.
November 16, 2016
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Fix your biggest beauty mistakes
We all know the feeling: You're getting ready for a night out, a holiday party, dinner with friends...and you totally overdid it on the bronzer. Now you have to take everything off, start your makeup all over, and be out the door in just a few minutes? Not anymore! We spoke with three beauty experts to get a few easy hacks that will undo your most common mishaps, such as messed up eyeliner, a smudged mani, too much perfume, and more. Read on to see how, with a few household items, you can fix those common mistakes, fast.
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You flubbed your eyeliner
You need: A pointed cotton swab
Even pros can slip and end up with a less-than-precise line. "To fix eyeliner mistakes without having to start over, dip a pointed cotton swab in makeup remover—moisturizer works, too—and drag it below the line to sharpen and reshape it," says Los Angeles celebrity makeup artist Kayleen McAdams. (Don't attempt this with a fuzzy Q-tip, she cautions.) Work slowly, and step as you go to get a general idea of how it's coming along. Reapply eye shadow when finished.
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You OD'd on cheek color
You need: A foundation brush or sponge
So you went a little crazy with blush or bronzer. You got this. Grab the still-damp makeup brush or sponge that you used to apply foundation and lightly dab it over your cheeks. "The leftover foundation will diffuse the color and, as a bonus, give your skin a more glowing finish," says Andrew Sotomayor, a celebrity makeup artist in New York City.
Next time, he says, make sure you're applying blush in good lighting, and tap the makeup brush on the back of your hand before sweeping color on the apples of your cheeks. This will remove any excess powder.
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You smudged your manicure
You need: Nail polish remover (obvious, but key)
Did your own last-minute mani and smudged the polish? Argh! Lightly dip a cotton swab or the pad of a finger on the opposite hand in nail polish remover, then gently swipe over the nick to redistribute color. Finish with a quick-dry topcoat to smooth everything out.
To prevent this blunder, blast freshly painted nails with cool air from a blow-dryer for a minute between coats to speed up the drying process.
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You have hat hair
You need: Wrinkle-release spray
Simply brushing through static can make it worse. Instead, tame fuzz with the help of a wrinkle-release spray, says Sunnie Brook Jones, a celebrity hairstylist in New York City and Los Angeles, who always has a travel-size bottle in her kit. "Lightly mist it over your hairbrush and let dry before smoothing through strands." To head off hat hair, spray the inside of your beanie, too, before wearing.
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You've got sparkly-shadow fallout
You need: Scotch tape
The best way to remove sparkles that seem to cling to everything but your eyelids is with a piece of tape, confides McAdams. Carefully tap it over your skin to lift off tiny flecks of glitter without disturbing the rest of your makeup. "When applying eye shadow, I like to use a product called Shadow Shields ($5 for 14-count; walmart.com) to keep loose pigment from sticking to the cheeks," adds McAdams. Dampening your eye shadow brush will help prevent the fairy dust effect, but be aware that it will intensify the color.
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Your waves look more like Shirley Temple ringlets
You need: A leave-in conditioner
Little-girl curls was so not the look you were going for. Spritz a leave-in conditioner spray on your brush and work it through hair to relax curls, suggests Jones. Then pull strands back into a bun a secure with a creaseless elastic while doing your makeup. "When you unwind the bun, curls will be softer and more wavelike," she says. To ensure loose curls in the future, wrap your hair no more than twice around the iron, leaving the ends out so they stay a little undone.
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Your lipstick looks flaky
You need: A makeup-removing wipe
Bold lipstick is a party staple, but it can be very unforgiving as the night goes on. Chances are, you'll have to reapply to avoid cracked and uneven color, so stash a few makeup-removing wipes in your purse. Head to the ladies' room, wipe off the lipstick completely—doing so will also slough off any rough patches—and reapply as usual, says Sotomayer.
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You doused yourself in perfume
You need: Rubbing alcohol
Putting on fragrance seems like the least complicated step in your beauty routine, but it's easy to spray one too many times. To quickly dilute the scent, dab a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol over skin. None handy? Rub the area with your hand or wrist to break down the molecules and shorten the life span of your fragrance, says Saul Pena, a fragrance specialist at Barneys New York.
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Your false lashes have come loose
You need: Mascara
Instead of fussing with your fingers, which can loosen falsies even more, use mascara to set them back in place. "Wiggle the wand above and below lashes and let dry," says Sotomayor. "Mascara can help weave the false lashes back into your natural lashes." Next time, try his smart prep step: "Bend the lashes before applying to break them in like a new pair of shoes." The more flexible the lash strip, the less likely it will lift up at the corners.
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Quick fixes for fashion fails
You put on the new dress you just bought and you're looking good. Then, all of a sudden, you feel it: Your shapewear is rolling or—gah!—you snagged your tights. Recover fast with these tips:
Shapewear that rolls: To stop shorts from bunching up, spritz the inside with a little strong-hold hairspray.
A run in your tights: Paint over the hole with clear nail polish to keep the run from becoming worse. Store your next pair in the freezer overnight to tighten the fibers and prevent snags.
Deodorant stains: Rub old stockings against your dress to erase white marks. This trick even works with delicate fabrics, like silk.
Blisters from heels: No Band-Aid? Apply a layer of petroleum jelly to protect the skin, If you're prone to blisters in a certain spot, slap some on before putting on new shoes to prevent friction.