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How to Fix the Six Biggest Beauty Mishaps

If beauty is art, then those of us who routinely use cosmetics deserve some sort of all-purpose eraser. Unfortunately, the tiniest mistakes—a small smudge, a little too much eyeshadow—can ruin an entire look. Here are some tips to avoid having to redo your face every time you lose control of your hand.

If you can’t paint within the lines:
If you’re like me and can never manage to stay within the confines of very small nails, nail polishes, particularly those with thin formulas or wide brushes, always have a nasty way of spilling onto cuticles and other places where it doesn’t belong. Luckily, remover pens exist to save us from these situations. The pens consist of a sponge-tip infused with nail polish remover to quickly erase any smudges or unwanted spills.

A Q-Tip dipped in remover may also do the trick, but it’s far more convenient to have pens on hand so you don’t have to deal risk nicking your nail polish some more—not to mention their sponge tips are specifically designed for accurate removal. Try the Sephora Collection Nail Polish Corrector Pen or the Essie Nail Corrector Pen.

If you’ve smudged your eyeliner :
An eye makeup removing pen will do essentially the same thing for any mistakes concerning eyeliner or mascara, whether you’ve laid on the pencil liner too thick, drawn uneven cat eyes or smudged mascara on your lids. The pens are also useful to have in your purse in case your liner smudges during the day. Try the Ulta Ready to Take Off makeup remover.

Another useful trick for midday smudge fixes is to dip a Q-Tip in makeup remover, let it dry and carry it on you. When you need them, moisten with water and use as you would the pen.

If you can’t keep the mascar a on your lashes:
This is an annoying problem, particularly with the fat mascara brushes that seem to be the current trend. One accidental bump and the mascara ends up on your eyelid instead of your eyelashes. You can always try the makeup removing pen, but prevention is your first real defense. Look for mascara guards in SaSa or other local Asian beauty stores. They are small, plastic beauty appliances that fit around your eyes to protect your lids from the mascara wand.

If you went over boar d with the eyeshadow:
Messing up eyeshadow is a little more difficult to correct, particularly if you use eyeshadow primers. When you’ve accidentally put on too much, try toning it down with some powder foundation before you try removing it. If the shadow is too dark, blend a light layer of powder over your entire lid. If the shadow extends too far, tap some foundation just over the outer edges, so that the shadow blends into your skin. If you don’t already use a powder foundation, try Bare Escentuals bareMinerals foundation.

If you picked at a zit and now it’s red:
You don’t want to have to cake half a tube of concealer over a zit just to hide the redness, so try a simple aspirin spot treatment instead. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory agent found in many acne creams that helps to reduce the size and redness of zits. To treat, take one tablet of uncoated aspirin (available at all drugstores), moisten it with a few drops of water until it dissolves and spread on top of the problem area. The aspirin should dry and start flaking off after 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can wash the rest off with water. If you are having trouble getting the aspirin to stay on your skin, try mixing it with a little bit of aloe vera gel.

If your foundation is too pink for your skin:
For Asian women with yellow undertones, off-color foundation can be a big problem. While many products appear to be the right shade at first, the difference between the undertones of the foundation and the exposed skin becomes evident in direct sunlight. It’s always a good idea to check how your foundation looks under natural lighting before buying it (I always bring a small mirror to take on a short walk outside when I go to buy foundation). But if you’re stuck with a foundation that’s too pink, there are a few tricks you can use to lessen the situation.

1) Mix it: Try looking for another foundation or tinted moisturizer that’s extremely yellow to balance out the pink. Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation has some shades that have almost no pink undertones; look for a shade closest to your natural skin tone.

2) Use a tinted primer: Green primers are designed to balance out redness on your skin, and can help combat the pinkness in your foundation. Try Smashbox’s Photo Finish Color Correcting primer in Adjust.

3) Add layers: A last-ditch effort is to use a yellow finishing powder such as Clinique’s Instant Solutions Redness Reducing powder. It may add just a tint of yellow to balance the pink.

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