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Quick Makeup Fixes

July 27, 2012

By Melissa Matthews Brown

woman with mascara brush
woman with mascara brush

Uh-Oh: "My mascara's clumpy"

While rushing through your morning routine, you swipe on mascara too quickly and end up creating a uni-lash. Photo credit: Shannon Greer; hair and makeup by Elisa Flowers for BA-Reps.com

FIX IT: Run the mascara brush over a soft handkerchief or microfiber towel (tissues can tear and leave pieces behind) to gently remove product buildup, repeating until the brush wipes clean. Then, place the wand at the base of your lashes and gently twirl as you pull it upward to separate them.

PREVENT IT: "If there's too much mascara on the brush, it can clump," explains Jennifer Paulson Lee, president of LashControl Mascara. To combat this, swirl the wand clockwise as you pull it out of the tube. Then, dab away the excess from the brush's tip.

Related: Apply makeup like a pro with 5 easy tricks.

Uh-Oh: "Cakey foundation is making my face look blotchy"

When you left the house this morning, you could swear your face looked flawless. A midday glance in the mirror tells a different story. Photo credit: Tom Huffman

FIX IT: Apply a dime-size dollop of a lightweight facial lotion to the back of your hand. Tap your ring finger into the moisturizer and dab it over the cakey areas to blend and smooth away those uneven patches.

PREVENT IT: Coat your face with makeup primer before putting on your foundation. "It creates an invisible barrier that makeup will adhere to more evenly," says makeup artist Mally Roncal. You could also skip the foundation altogether, Roncal says, and just use concealer on the spots where you need the most coverage (under your eyes, along the sides of your nose or over blemishes).

Uh-Oh: "I used setting powder but I'm still shiny"

Your T-zone is playing tricks on you-one minute it's matte, the next it's oily. Photo credit: Tod Huffman

FIX IT: In the case of translucent loose powder, the too-much-of-a-good-thing rule definitely doesn't apply. Sweep it on with a large powder brush as needed to absorb oil without affecting the look of your makeup.

PREVENT IT: "Make sure your moisturizer is oil-free, and use a mattifying primer before applying your makeup," advises Mathew Nigara, makeup artist for NYC New York Color. To decrease slickness in the long run, do a weekly facial scrub with oatmeal, which naturally absorbs excess oil. Simply add a teaspoon of rolled oats to your daily facial wash.

Uh-Oh: "I chipped my nail polish"

At around 3:30 in the afternoon, that can of diet soda started calling. You answered, popped the tab and there went your new manicure. Photo credit: Shuttershock

FIX IT: Apply a small dab of polish to the chipped area. Don't try to repaint completely-it will only make the lacquer too thick. Once it's dry, reapply a top coat over your entire nail to seal and even out the color.

PREVENT IT: Always wear gloves while cleaning, type with the pads of your fingers instead of the tips and file your nails into a square shape with slightly rounded edges, recommends Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, artistic director and executive vice president of OPI. "Pointy nails are more likely to chip because there's less surface area near the tip, making it weaker," she explains.

Related: See beauty secrets from around the world.

Uh-Oh: "My eyeliner is running"

You're in a great mood, but judging from your eye makeup, you look like you just finished watching Beaches. Photo credit: Tod Huffman

FIX IT: With a cotton swab, blot and lift away the smudges and streaks as best you can, suggests Paula Begoun, author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. Or embrace it, and use the swab to create a smudgy line along your bottom lashes for a smoky look.

PREVENT IT: Steer clear of rich moisturizers around your eyes: Emollient ingredients can cause eyeliner to break down and smear. Also, look for gel-based liners, which tend to go on smoother and stay in place, and prep lids with a primer or concealer to help liner adhere better.

Uh-Oh: "My lipstick just smeared"

You gave your husband a peck goodbye and now your lipstick has migrated beyond your mouth.

FIX IT: Dip one end of a cotton swab in makeup remover, squeeze off any excess, then swipe it over the affected area to remove color. Use the other end to absorb remaining makeup remover. Finish with a light dab of concealer to cover up any traces of lipstick.

PREVENT IT: Use clear liner (or one in a shade similar to your lipstick) to prevent color from bleeding into fine lines. And buy matte lipstick, which has fewer slippery moisturizers than creamy formulas, so the color is less likely to travel. Photo credit:Shannon Greer; hair and makeup by Elisa Flowers for BA-Reps.com

Smart Problem Solvers

Keep these picks on hand to look great anytime.

Dab away dirt and oil without wiping away your makeup. Neutrogena Deep Clean Long-Last Shine Control Blotting Sheets, $6.99; at drugstores.

This primer evens out your skin texture to help foundation last longer. Nuance Salma Hayek Smooth Start Skin Primer, $11.99; at CVS/pharmacy stores.

Gentle wipes that remove makeup mistakes with ease. Yes to Cucumbers Eye Makeup Remover Pads, $7.99; at Target Stores.

Related: Fight signs of aging while you sleep.

Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.

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