It never fails: You’re hurrying to get your makeup on in the morning and your eyeliner comes out crooked. Or you touch up your lipstick after a business lunch and it smears past your lip line. Whatever the problem, there’s sure to be an easy, quick beauty tip to fix it, says Rona Berg, author of Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes.
“The key is not to panic — and don’t just rub at whatever it is, which will usually make the problem worse,” says Berg. “Frankly, the worst that can happen is that you’ll have to wash it all off and start again.” Fortunately, correcting most beauty errors takes less than five minutes.
Try these quick beauty tips next time you make one of these blunders — after taking a calming breath, of course.
To achieve a clean look, apply eyeliner in a series of tightly spaced dots right along your lash line. But if it ends up uneven or too high, Berg recommends smudging it gently with a small brush or cotton swab dipped in a bit of moisturizer or petroleum jelly. This will make a softer, smoky line. Don’t try to add more liner — unless you want to end up with raccoon eyes.
Taking a little extra time to anchor your lipstick will help keep it from smearing or feathering outside the lip line. Berg recommends using a lip pencil or a bit of powder around the outside edges of the lip before applying your lipstick. But if your color does smudge, here’s a quick beauty tip: Dab a clean lip brush or cotton swab with a little moisturizer and gently rub it over the problem area.
Lumpy lashes can be made smooth in minutes. “One of the most indispensible tools I have is a clean toothbrush,” says Berg. “Brush it through your lashes to de-clump the clumps.” And what if rain or tears make your mascara run? Get rid of the streaks with a cotton swab dabbed in a little moisturizer or an oil-based cleanser. If you’re prone to smudges, try using mascara only on your upper lashes, wiping the wand on the side of the tube first and applying with a gentle back-and-forth motion.
Using too heavy a hand with blush can make you look unnatural — or embarrassed. “A clean blush-brush is a great way to remove excess blush or powder,” says Berg. Wipe your brush clean, and then sweep it over your cheeks until you’ve taken off as much as needed. Don’t make the mistake of trying to scrub off the extra color with a tissue: “You’ll irritate your skin and get that clown look,” says Berg.
To avoid looking as though you’re wearing a mask, try this quick beauty tip. “Mix a little bit of moisturizer in with your foundation when you apply it so your skin doesn’t get that tight, cakey kind of finish,” says Berg. Apply it lightly — it’s not spackle — and make sure it’s the right tone for your skin (it should match the color of your jaw line). If you notice any caking, Berg suggests spraying your face lightly with water, then using a makeup sponge to smooth out the rough spots.
Photo: Corbis Images