by Mary Clarke
courtesy of Your Prom Magazine
Scenario: You've goofed up with your deep purple nail color, and discover you've run out of polish remover.
In a pinch, clear polish or topcoat can substitute for remover. Brush a layer of the clear stuff over your nail, then quickly rub it off with a tissue. The offending color will come off too (though it may take a few swipes if the color's really intense). Or you can try layering a new color (close in shade to the old one) on top of the first color.
Scenario: When you started to blow-dry, your hair got all tangled up in your round brush.
It's the grown-up equivalent of getting gum stuck in your hair, but luckily, it's easier to get the brush out. Spritz a detangler or leave-in conditioner onto the tangle. Then take a deep breath, and begin to lift your hair up and away from the bristles. Use the pointed end of a rat-tail comb to grab small sections of hair as you go. With patience and a steady hand, you'll be able to unwrap the snarl without having to resort to scissors. If you're in a sweat, it may help to have someone else do this for you.
Scenario: You wanted to add a touch of sparkle to your cheekbones and ended up with glitter all over your face.
Makeup artist Wei Lang says to use an ever-so-slightly moist cotton ball to blot away as much of the glitter as possible, then go back over your skin with a damp cotton swab to lift off any stray specks. Be patient--this can be a time-consuming process. Ready to try again? Okay, this time use a brush or sponge dipped in just the tiniest amount of glitter, and work slowly and carefully.
Scenario: Your polish is chipped, but you have no time to redo your entire manicure.
There's no need to panic, says New York nail genius Jin Soon Choi. Instead of starting from scratch, simply put fresh polish on the chipped parts only, then wait for about two minutes. When you're sure the polish is dry, apply a second layer of color to the entire nail. Brush on some quick-dry topcoat, and you're done. Your nails won't be 100-percent salon-perfect, but who's looking that closely anyway?
Scenario: You bleached your hair platinum, then decided to go back to natural. For some bizarre reason it's now greenish-brown.
Color gone wrong can happen with do-it-yourself extreme shade changes. That's one reason all the big-time hair color companies have set up 800 helplines. Clairol's Sandra St. Roi says that a shade with some red in it will help neutralize those scary green tones. Note: If your hair is truly green (or orange or fill in the blank), don't even try to undo the damage yourself--it's time to get some professional color correction at the salon.
Scenario: Your mascara made my lashes clumpy.
Take a cotton swab, dip it in makeup remover, then squeeze out the excess. Carefully go over your lashes, using the swab to sweep up the excess goo. You might want to hold a folded-up tissue under your lower lashes as you work to catch any loose mascara bits. Comb out your lashes while they're still wet, then use a tissue to blot them dry. Now you're perfect.
Scenario: You put some shine-enhancing lotion in my hair, and ended up with a bad case of the greasies.
If you don't have time to shampoo and start fresh, reach for some baby powder or dry oatmeal. Either of these will sop up excess greasiness. Rub the stuff into your hair, especially at the roots, then brush vigorously until it disappears (it will, we promise). If the top of your hair is in need of volume, use a light spritz of hairspray at the roots, then follow with hot rollers, a curling iron or a blast from the blow-dryer.
Scenario: You've been putting in late homework nights, and have the dark circles to prove it.
Concealer is your friend--but the secret is not to go overboard with application. A little coverup cream goes a long way, so start by applying concealer only in the inner corners, where the deepest darkest shadows lurk. Tap the concealer in gently with your finger or a brush, then examine your work in the mirror. Lightening up the inner corners is often all it takes for a wide-awake look. If not, apply concealer to more of the dark areas, little by little. Finish with a layer of translucent powder.
Scenario: You woke up this morning with a big, red, shiny pimple, and prom is tonight.
First, resist the urge to treat your blemish with any kind of zit lotion until the day after prom. You need to create a smooth surface for concealer, and pimple cream will leave your skin all flaky. When you're ready to go undercover, follow these steps: Apply oil-free moisturizer to your face (pimple included) and let it sink in. With a brush or very clean finger, dab concealer onto the zit. Pat lightly to blend around the edges, using as light a touch as possible so you don't end up dabbing away all the concealer. Now brush on the teensiest amount of translucent powder to set the makeup. Look--no more pimple!
Scenario: You went on a brow-tweezing rampage and now you've got a bald spot.
It's scary how easy it is to overtweeze your brows. Don't worry, they'll grow back in a few weeks. But for right now, Avon Salon & Spa's resident brow mistress Eliza Petrescu can help you fill in the blanks. Start by brushing eyebrows straight up with a brow brush or even a toothbrush. Using a soft brow pencil, make tiny hairlike strokes between your brow hairs wherever they look a bit sparse. (Eliza says pencils are way easier to control than brow powders, which can be messy and difficult to use.) Now rebrush your brows to blend everything together for a totally natural look. How simple was that?