There’s nothing worse than going about your daily grind, only to have something go epically wrong in the hair, makeup, or skin department. Whether you’ve got a bought of the frizzes, a cat-eye gone awry, or a spray tan that’s bordering on oompa loompa territory — these experts are here to save you, before the rest of your office notices. Heed their advice and then get back to business.
1. You just got your nails done and you already smudged one. “Dip the pointer finger pad of the opposite hand in nail polish remover (avoiding your freshly painted fingernail) and gently wipe the area that has been smudged, from the cuticle downward,” says Maxus Nails founder Dasha Minina. “Depending on the severity of the smudge, you’ll be able to smooth it out and apply another coat of polish if needed.” A good item to have desk side is this Essie Naturally Clean Purifying Nail Polish Remover ($6).
2. One of your nails tore on the side and now it’s snagging everything in sight. “If the nail is ripped on the side, you can buff it out so it’s smooth and doesn’t snag,” advises Minina. “If the nail is broken (but you want to retain the length), you can use a tea bag to enforce the split. Simply empty out the bag and cut off a piece slightly bigger than the split. Apply nail glue to the area, use an orange stick to align the two sides, add some more nail glue and place the tea bag cut out directly on top. Use the wood stick to push it down and keep it in place, before applying a coat of Maxus Nail Strengthener ($20). Buff the area to make sure it’s smooth, then apply a final coat of the strengthener.”
3. You don’t have time for a mani, but your polish is dull and grown-out. Brush on a coat of Londontown’s Instant Smudge Fix ($14). “The formula’s blend of slow and fast evaporating solvents blends the polish, while natural polymers harden and dry it without affecting the quality of color,” says Liliana Pennington, Director of Education at Londontown.
4. Your cuticles are looking dry, cracked, crusty. Minina suggests using jojoba oil, like this Now Foods Jojoba Oil ($27), on the nail and the surrounding skin area because it replenishes the oil content within the plate, which is the cause of dry, peeling nails. Moisturizing is essential, especially during winter months, she adds. “If jojoba oil is not available, coconut oil can work as well.”
5. You have gray roots and no time for a salon visit. “Go to the store immediately and get yourself at-home color to touch up,” says celeb hairstylist and Nine Zero One co-founder Nikki Lee. “Garnier has a wide range of colors to choose from in their Garnier Color Sensation Hair Color Collection ($4 each), and you don’t have to do your whole head to save time. You can do your part and hairline in the morning, then do the rest another day. If you still don’t have time for that, I suggest getting a root spray to help hide your grays.” Brit + Co Pick: L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up, $8
6. You get caught in the rain and your fresh blowout frizzes. “If you don’t have any hair product with you, dig into your purse, gym bag, or office desk and grab a moisturizer like this Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer ($105) for your hands or face,” says celeb stylist Gregory Patterson. “Apply a pea-sized amount to your hands, rub together to warm it up, and apply to your frizzies starting at the bottom, working toward the top.”
7. You curled your hair and it’s flat before you get in the office. Patterson is a master at this “refresh” technique. Grab a spray (sea salt/dry texture/dry shampoo) that helps reactivate volume, texture, and hopefully some of that curl. “Beyond The Zone Sea Salt Spray ($9) and Ion Dry Shampoo (above, $7) does wonders,” he says. “If you notice midday that your curls are starting to fall, I’d recommend creating some cool braids or roll your hair into two mid or low buns, secured with hair pins. Both of these styles, when undone, will create lots of body — just release them and spritz a wave spray, scrunch to activate and you’re ready to tackle your day.”
8. You tried a trendy updo and used too much product. “Try combing it out, then prep the tips with a small amount of molding cream,” says Mia Catherine Smith, professional stylist and the founder of SafeInMyChair.com. “Apply MOP Lemongrass Volume Whip ($22) to dry hair, then blow dry. This product is light weight and soft and will help break down the hair spray. Then finish the hair with a barrel roll or setting with a curling iron.”
9. You’re out of dry shampoo and stuck with greasy strands. “I would pull your hair back into a stylish, sleek, low ponytail,” advises Fernanda Lacerda the co-founder of MB45 and co-owner of Maria Bonita Salon & Spa. “It’s always chic and elegant. You can also braid it!” (Photo via Brit + Co)
10. You can’t tame the static-filled flyaways from your commute. We’ve all been there. You emerge from the subway either drenched with sweat or with a slew of unruly strands from friction. “Spray R+Co FOIL Frizz + Static Control Spray ($27) all over to tame flyaways,” says Lacerda.
makeup and self-tanner emergencies
11. You’re super shiny from your commute and don’t have time to redo your makeup. You can dab Glamglow’s Matte Glow Volcasmic Moisturizer ($54) on top of shiny areas without ruining your makeup, for the ultimate matte finish. The formula contains volcanic minerals, which act like tiny microscopic sponges to soak up oil, so skin looks instantly smooth and your makeup refreshed.
12. You got a spray tan and now it’s rubbing off. Patience is key, according to Tamar Vezirian, owner and founder of Gotham Glow. “If your plan was to allow your tan to develop and rinse before you hit the pavement, it’s best to take a cloth, lay flat and gently blot the wet area while you allow your tan to finish processing. Do not rub or try to buff. Simply pat off the moisture and wait,” she says. “Most likely when it’s time to rinse, you will no longer see the splotch and will be left with a beautiful tan. If you do happen to see spots, take a loofah and soap and buff out any dark edging. Or, if you were planning on wearing the solution during the day and the spots are really noticeable or is damaging your clothing, it would be best to rinse early without allowing the tan to fully develop. Trying to cover up or blend splotches can make the affected area worse, as nothing wet or creamy should be applied to the skin while the solution is processing.” (Photo via Getty)
13. You applied self-tanner at home and you’re super splotchy. “Make a baking soda paste by mixing a tiny amount of water with baking soda, then rub the darkest parts to buff them down so they blend with the rest of your body,” advises Vezirian. “Baking soda is great because it gently buffs without completely stripping your tan away. If you’re looking to remove a tan completely, it’s best to book a Korean Scrub or simulate your own by steaming 15 to 20 minutes in the shower, exfoliating with a natural loofah, coarse exfoliant, and soap, followed by dry brushing the skin.” (Photo via Getty)
14. You used tan towelettes on your face for a subtle glow, but now you’re totally orange. “To get rid of unwanted orange tones, use an astringent product containing alcohol that will strip the tan away. Follow up with a soothing oil to help break down a tan quicker, not to mention a great moisturizer after using harsh products,” says Vezirian. (Photo via Getty)
15. One of your perfectly applied cat eyes has smudged and you don’t have time to redo it. “That’s when it’s time to grab a black pencil and a small eye brush like the Artisan Brush #262 ($24) and create a smokey eye,” says Patrick Eichler, Make Up For Ever’s Executive Director of Artistry and Education. “Apply the pencil over the liquid liner and ‘smoke’ out the line with the brush.”
16. You forgot lipstick or gloss and your lips are crazy chapped. Eichler recommends applying hand cream all over your hands and tapping the excess on your lips.
17. You’re running late after a meeting and only have 10 minutes to prep for a night out. “Apply concealer like the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer ($43) under the eyes and where needed,” says Eichler. “Then powder your nose and other shiny areas using a powder like the Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder ($37). Next, apply lip color, which can also be used to blend on the cheeks — this is super quick and easy. If you have an eyeliner, all the better: Just smudge with your finger in the cab.”
18. You did your makeup in bad lighting and it’s a mess. Notoriously bad office lighting strikes again. Cotton buds and face cream work well to clean up, according to Eichler. “The cream freshens the skin, while the cotton bud removes any mistakes. Plus, unlike some makeup removers, your skin is ready to apply any product instantly.” (Photo via Getty)
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