It happens to the best of us. You’ve spent hours applying your nail varnish and a chip mysteriously appears or you think you’ve plucked your brows to perfection and instead you look permanently surprised. But unfurl those spindly arches, help is at hand. Whether your foundation’s gone patchy or hours of humidity has left your bronzer sliding down your face, we’ve got a fix for your make-up mishap.
1. The nail nuisance
They take weeks to grow and seconds to snap. A crack in just one nail can wreck a manicure and tear away hours of toil and patience. But don’t panic, there’s hope for your talon trauma. Head to the kitchen and put the kettle on. While a relaxing cuppa is the perfect tonic for your frayed nerves, a tea bag is also the key ingredient for repairing a nuisance nail.
First, empty the contents of your tea bag and cut a rectangle in the fine fabric to the size of the break in your nail. Next grab a tube of nail glue and apply a tiny amount to the split part of the nail, taking care not to let any spill on your skin. Using tweezers, gently place the slither of tea bag on the nail, sealing with a very fine extra coat of glue.
This serves as bandage for your nail and the light tea bag fabric should be almost invisible. Perfect your damage disguise by filing off any excess paper and
smooth down the edges or bumps with a buffer or nail file. Finally, add a topcoat to give your nail a glossy finish. We love Max Factor Glossfinity in Top Coat (Dh31, Boots Pharmacy).
If you’re out and your nail has a jagged edge, and you don’t have a file to hand, simply find the nearest brick wall to file down the edges. You might get a few strange looks but it’s improvisation at its best. Good as new!
2. The sliding base
Picture the scene – you’ve been enjoying a sultry summer evening out on the town when you nip to the washroom and realise that far from looking like you could face anything, you resemble a red-faced fool. Your carefully applied foundation and Kim Kardashian-esque contouring is no more and has left you looking more cheap than chic. If you don’t have any make-up at hand, try using a damp tissue to carefully blot the skin and help make any patchy areas appear even.
The key is in the preparation for this one. When you’re getting ready, start with a good primer under your foundation – this is great if you’re prone to sweating or oily skin, which can also make your make-up slide. You could also try a mattifying moisturiser such as Clarins Ultra-Matte Rebalancing Lotion for oily skin (Dh166) before applying your base to help reduce excess shine and give your make-up something to cling to.
Don’t forget to waterproof your look.
Not only will your make-up stay put for longer, if it ends up being a humid night you don’t need to worry about panda eyes. To make sure eyes stay flutter-worthy all night long try Aqua Smoky Lash mascara by Make Up For Ever (Dh110).
Keep a make-up setting spray or facial mist in your handbag for any emergency touch ups. A couple of spritzes will instantly cool you down after hours of socialising in the heat and will rejuvenate your look, creating the illusion that you applied your base a lot more recently than you did. Try Lancôme Dewy Mist (Dh195), which can be used over make-up for a soft look and will help your face last.
3. Streaky tan lines
Ever missed some valuable beach time and decided to fake a golden glow, only to end up looking anything but tan-tastic? Whether you’ve got the dreaded orange palms or hard-to-hide streaky legs, it’s not a disaster you can’t fix with a bit of imagination.
If the bathroom cabinet’s empty and you’re out of exfoliator, grab some sugar and lemon. Gently squeeze the lemon into a bowl, mix with sugar and apply to the skin. Add some shower gel to the mix if you need more moisture. If the tan’s on your face, try a more gentle ingredient to exfoliate with. Baking soda mixed with your usual cleanser should do the trick.
If you still need to disguise the tangerine tones, mix a dollop of a light-shade foundation with your moisturiser and apply to the skin. This should help even out the skin and hide any unsightly orange marks on your face. But apply sparingly to avoid making your skin look cakey. Try Make Up Forever’s waterproof range, which includes the waterproof Face and Body Liquid Make Up (Dh170) to be used as a foundation or skin corrector on the body.
4. Lipstick on your teeth
There’s nothing worse than trying out a gorgeous new shade of lipstick, only to realise your teeth are also glowing bright pink. A beauty SOS is to apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your teeth, that way any colour transfers will slide off the teeth, making sure you don’t end up with a stained mouth for
But prevention is better than cure, so try a lip primer under your colour. It provides an even base for your lipstick, and helps to nourish lips and avoid smudging. We love Too Faced’s Lip Insurance primer, available from Sephora (Dh98). If you are super organised, start your prep the night before with the Laura Mercier flawless skin lip silk from Bloomingdale’s (Dh93). It smooths over cracks and adds moisture, meaning you can use less lip balm, which can also cause smudging.
If your lipstick is a persistent offender, try switching to a stain. The formula means the colour is less likely to end up sliding, and you should find you need to re-apply less frequently too. Try Lancôme Baume in Love in Sugar Rose from Debenhams (Dh125).
5. Over-plucked brows
You want to make sure there’s not a hair out of place, but after an hour of absent-minded plucking, you realise you’ve gone a step too far. Now, instead of being able to raise a perfectly arched brow, you look permanently surprised. Even the most well-endowed brows need a little help from an eyebrow pencil every now and again. But if you don’t have one handy, try an eyeshadow colour similar to that of your brow shade to fill in any patches where the hairs need to look thicker. Apply with an angled brush and shade in small strokes as if drawing hairs on to the brows. Try MAC’s angled brow brush for a more precise application (Dh110).
This look can slide easily, particularly if you have oily or combination skin, so lightly spray an eyebrow comb with hairspray and brush through to keep in place. Once the regrowth of the hairs starts, pluck small stray hairs daily, rather than trying to shape brows once they are longer. This should result in a neater finish and help you make sure both eyebrows look as similar as possible.
Next time the panic of a botched beauty regime sets in, take a little look around. You’ll be surprised at what might just end up being your beauty best friend!