Fast Fixes For Your Worst Beauty Mistakes

A smiling woman applying mascaraMessed up your fresh mani? Got lipstick all over your teeth? Need a super fast fix for a beauty accident?

Got lipstick on your teeth?

After you run to the bathroom to remove the smudge, here’s what you need to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again: separate a facial tissue into a single-ply and use it to softly blot away excess color from your lips.

“The creamier your lipstick, the more likely it is to smear,” says Poppy King, makeup artist and designer for Boots No7 Lipsticks. Then, wash your hands and place your index finger into your mouth, pucker your lips, and pull out your finger. This removes any color that’s inside the base of the lip, preventing it from migrating onto your teeth.

Smudged your freshly-polished nails?

If you have nail polish remover handy, use your fingertip to apply a tiny bit over the smeared polish—it acts like paint thinner to even out the color (nail polish remover wipes work, too).

In the future, “don’t wait until your mani is done to dry your nails,” says Elle. Run your blow-dryer’s cool-shot button over your polish in between coats to speed up the drying process.

Smeared your mascara?

Give it a minute! Rushing to grab a cotton swab and dabbing it off immediately will remove the excess mascara but also take off the rest of your eye makeup, setting you back even further.

Instead, let the smudge dry (about 60 seconds). It will get a little flaky and come off “almost like a crumb rolling off your skin,” says Kristofer Buckle, celebrity makeup artist. Just dampen a Q-tip or a tissue twisted into a tiny pencil-shaped point and hold it over the smear to gently remove it. And next time you’re swiping on mascara, open your mouth wide while you’re coating your lashes. It keeps you from blinking, so you’re less likely to get a smudge.

Used too much blush?

Blend! “If you can see the color’s edges, you’ve got too much blush on,” says New York City makeup artist Ildiko. Grab a clean dry brush, makeup sponge, or rolled-up tissue and, beginning at the apple of your cheek, go over your cheek in a light circular motion, working up and out toward the temple.

Another fast fix: Sweep over the blush with a little translucent powder or gold highlighter. Next time, be sure to tap excess powder blush off your brush before taking it to your cheeks, so your first dose is sheerer. “Once you brighten your complexion with eye makeup and lipstick,” notes Ildiko, “you’ll find that you’re a whole lot less likely to overdo it on the cheeks.

Applied too much powder?

Just add a little moisture, explains Jillian Dempsey, celebrity makeup artist and Avon’s creative color director.

Fill a plastic spray bottle with lukewarm water and give your face a quick once-over. Or, dampen a bathroom towel, then lightly press it down into skin, starting from the center of your face moving out to the forehead and chin.

Important note: don’t try this using a paper towel or tissue – it will make your face wetter than you need, causing all your makeup to run.

Burnt your hair with your straightening iron?

Put down the iron and reach for a hydrating leave-in conditioner or a light hair oil (even olive oil!) to run through your strands, concentrating on the scorched area. After applying, comb through with your fingers.

“It will instantly smooth and moisturize the straw-like texture,” says DJ Riggs, hairstylist and TIGI creative director.

(Bonus: It also gets rid of that burnt-hair smell.) In the future, use a heat protecting spray before straightening and keep the temp at 350 degrees, max.

Overdid your fragrance?

A little-known fragrance-diffusing hero? Unscented Febreze. “The same way air fresheners cut strong scents, they can instantly take down your perfume,” says Christophe Jouany, creator of Jouany Perfumes.

After OD’ing on fragrance, spritz the odor-eliminating spray into the air in front of you, walk through it, and—voilà—way less floral or patchouli. If you don’t have the air freshener on hand, slather on an unscented body lotion to lighten the scent. Or, step outside.

“Fresh air is a great fix for a heavy fragrance,” says Jouany.

Your Most Annoying Gym Problems…Solved!

( — The gym. All you want to do is get in, crank up your music, get your workout on, get out, and carry on with the rest of your day.

Yeah right.

From embarrassing sweat situations to overly talkative workout buddies, sometimes the gym experience can go from inspiring to down right annoying very quickly.

So what are some of the top ways to get out of some of top gym conundrums?

I sometimes get very bloated and gassy when I work out. How do I avoid stinking up the gym?

“Don’t eat a big meal within two to three hours of working out,” says Anish Sheth, MD, a gastroenterologist at Yale and coauthor of What’s Your Poo Telling You? Exercise, especially a cardio workout, stimulates your GI tract. So eat a low-fat, lower-fiber snack (try an energy bar) about an hour before to fuel up without inducing digestion problems, and hit the bathroom pre-gym.

How do I discreetly deal with a wedgie while I’m in the middle of a class?

Move to the back of the class or near a wall to put everything back where it belongs. If you get any strange looks, say “Just need to readjust!” says Doris Pooser, coauthor of Always in Style. “To prevent wedgies in the first place, ditch cotton panties and look for those made with nylon and a stretchy fabric, including elastine or spandex.”

How do I politely silence a chatty exercise buddy?

Next time they’re gabbing instead of jabbing, speak up. Address the problem in the moment, not an hour later in the locker room, and steer clear of accusatory phrasing (“Can you stop talking so much in class?”). “Say, ‘I really get in the zone in here, so I’d rather not talk. Let’s catch up over a smoothie after class, when I can focus on what’s going on with you,'” suggests yoga instructor Ashley Turner, who is also a body-mind psychotherapist in Santa Monica, California. A good friend will respect your workout wishes.

My trainer flirts way too much, and it’s very distracting. How do I tell them to stop?

“What you perceive as flirting may be an attempt to put you at ease,” says Johanna Subotovsky, a trainer at Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City. Say, “I don’t want to be impolite, but I’d really get more out of our sessions if we talked less and exercised more. If he still comes on to you, tell him, ‘I like your training and I see results, but you’re making me uncomfortable.'”

If your trainer persists, then talk to a gym manager and request a new one.

It’s so cold in my gym that my nipples poke out through my top – what should I do?

The right sports bra can help with this. Seek out one with cups that are slightly padded or made of spacer fabric, a special kind of knit that has two layers with a pocket of cushioning between them.

Someone at my gym talks on their cell phone while on the exercise bikes. Not only are the conversations usually very loud, but a lot of information that nobody needs to know is provided.

Ask the manager to post NO CELL PHONE signs or speak to the chatterbox, suggests John Boyd, group fitness director and manager at Chelsea Piers Sports Center in New York City. You can also smile sweetly and say, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but it’s hard to concentrate on my workout. Would you mind talking somewhere else?”

I’m embarrassed by my crotch/underarm sweat marks. What can I do?

According to professor of exercise science Michele Olson, PhD., you should choose tops with wider underarm spaces and looser bottoms with wick-action fabric. Look for a built-in panty patch to absorb moisture. Also, it may help to sprinkle an absorbent, talc-free powder under your arms or into the crotch of your bottoms before you put them on.

If possible, hit a cardio machine near a fan, and angle the breeze toward your upper or lower body, rather than your face.

I really like my instructor and would like to ask them out. How do I do it?

Instead of approaching them right before or after class, try to catch them as they’re leaving the gym, says dating guru Amy Spencer, author of Meeting Your Half-Orange. Ask if they can recommend a good running or biking trail, or something else that will involve the two of you meeting up. “Then say, ‘I’ve never been; can I join you next time?'” she suggests. “It’s a friendly offer that will get you out of the client category.” With luck, it’ll work and you two will be able to spend time together. If not, your pride will still be intact.

An acquaintance keeps trying to talk to me when they’re naked in the gym locker room. Where should I look?”

Make a lot of eye contact, suggests Erich Schuttauf, executive director for the American Association of Nude Recreation. That way, you won’t get distracted. If you just can’t bear all that skin, excuse yourself when they come over by saying, “I’ll leave so you can get dressed/take a shower/etc.”

Should I greet every runner I pass by on my route?

“During a track workout or race, no one expects you to be talkative. But during your regular morning workout, it’s good etiquette to make eye contact, smile, and say hello,” says Vince Digneo, founder and head coach of Tattersols. If you’re out of breath or passing tons of people, a simple smile and friendly nod go along way.