Beauty Fixes For Last Night's Bad Decisions

Some of our favorite nights are those spent making relatively bad decisions. Was it smart to stay out until 2 a.m. on a weeknight? Not exactly. Was it wise to have a martini or two before dyeing your hair at home? Probably not. Did you really need to binge-watch all of season three of The Wire on a Tuesday? Well, that last one's debatable. The point is some of our fondest memories are forged on those evenings when we're not making the wisest of choices.
The only complication is when you can see the evidence of these adventures on your face (or hair or neck or teeth) the next day. It's not that you're ashamed of that hickey — it's that you don't want to deal with any questions your boss might have. Ahead, 10 bad-decision beauty problems and how to fix 'em — because you look kind of crazy holding that cold spoon to your neck.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
You Gave Yourself A Bedicure
So, you decided to leave your nail painting until the last minute. We can see it now. It's almost midnight. "It's okay," you tell yourself. "I'll just sleep with my hands flat on top of my belly, and my polish will dry just fine." Fast-forward six to eight hours later, and you're looking at a bedicure. And, it’s ugly.

The term was coined by Rouge18's Amber Katz, who found the perfect word for that small hell we all create for ourselves on the regular. Manicurist Madeline Poole says if you absolutely have to do the midnight mani, make sure you're using a quick-dry topcoat. (She recommends Seche Vite Quick Dry Topcoat and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.) And, remember the trick to the bedicure is all in the coats. "The thinner your coats of nail polish, the faster your nails will dry. One coat of a sheer color will dry very quickly (like Jin Soon Tulle), and a topcoat helps cure the color beneath it, speeding up the dry time — despite the fact that it's another layer," she explains.

But, if you wake up with those smudged, weird-looking nails, Poole has some ways you can correct it. "Take a buffing block and even out the wrinkles, smoothing out the nail to an even plane. You'll probably have to put another coat of color on toward the tip wherever there's bare nail showing. Don't glop it on! Then put one more coat of topcoat to seal the deal." Boom.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
You Plucked The Bejeebus Out Of Those Eyebrows
Tweezing can be a slippery slope. Once you get goin' with those tweezers, it can become difficult to see the forest through the trees. So, when you wake up and realize you've gone too far, you're probably gonna freak out. Brow expert Kristie Streicher has some solutions for both a temporary and long-term fix.

To start, you should go ahead and hide those tweezers, because you two are officially on a break. Streicher says the only way to get your brows back to normal is to put them on a growth-training program. We're talking six to eight weeks here, people. "This means refraining from all tweezing — even the random stragglers that grow way down or out away from your brow," says Streicher.

According to our brow expert, tweezing like Shakira (whenever, wherever) confuses the growth cycle. As a result, your eyebrows won't grow to their fullest potential. "The first 'grow-out' cycle is often the hardest," warns Streicher. "But, you can enlist the help of growth serums to aid in the process. Once you've completed four to six rounds of this grow-out cycle, you'll see how beautifully your eyebrows grow out and how low maintenance they've become."

While you're on that tweezing diet, she recommends concealing the straggler hairs you'd normally pluck with something heavy duty, like Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer or Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer. "This will help you to look and feel cleaner without affecting the growth cycle in between shapings," Streicher says.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
You Drunk-Dyed Your Hair
A bottle of red. A bottle of white. If one of these bottles was wine, and the other was your hair dye, you probably woke up with a strange color situation. Mark Hampton, global ambassador for Toni & Guy, isn't judging you. But, he does know this can be a big problem. "In this situation, the best thing to do is seek professional help from a salon stylist — don't try to fix it yourself," he advises. And, fair enough, because you've already shown your lack of at-home coloring prowess.

Since you may not be able to get a colorist appointment right away (you know, like in the next 15 minutes), you can temporarily hide the botched job. "If you need to camouflage the damage for a few days until you can get to the salon, your best bet is to style your hair into a messy top knot, which is one of my favorite looks," says Hampton. "Just gather hair into a high ponytail and wrap into a bun, securing with hair pins along the way. Pull some pieces down in front of your face and out of the bun for an undone, cool edge." Hampton's a bit of a top-knot expert — this is similar to the look he created for the Marchesa fall '14 show earlier this year. So, he basically just took you from tragedy to runway.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
You've Got Hickeys On Your Neck
In the heat of the moment, a makeout sesh can transition to, well, your neck. And, while hickeys themselves are not a bad decision, they're also not something you want to flaunt in front of your boss. So, unless you've got a wardrobe filled with turtlenecks, you're gonna need some beauty help. Dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco reminds us that hickeys are, in fact, bruises, and should be treated as such. "They're hematomas — black-and-blue spots that are the result of trauma from suction." Dr. Fusco has a special laser — the V Beam — to treat this if you're desperate for an ASAP fix. But, if you'd prefer a homeopathic remedy, she recommends Traumeel Ointment or arnica gel, applied topically.

Makeup artist Fiona Stiles also has some hickey-coverage tips. Be sure to start with a good concealer palette. "It's tricky because you need something a bit yellowy/green to counteract the maroon in a hickey," she says. "I would get the heaviest concealer you have and pat it on with your finger, blurring the edges the best you can (use a brush to feather out the edges). Then, take a latex wedge or a powder puff, and press powder directly onto the concealer to set it. If you have a shimmery powder, do a light dusting of that over the powder to bring a bit of life back into the skin. Dust just a little on the rest of the neck, too, so the skin all has the same texture/glow." And, maybe wear your hair down, you saucy minx.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
You Woke Up With Sheet Marks On Your Face
Sheet marks freak us out because of how seemingly unfixable they are. And, if you slept in later than usual, you're probably looking at a solid morning of wrinkle face. Dr. Fusco says to treat marks with a gentle micro-exfoliating cleanser, followed by a moisturizing mask to replump the skin.

Stiles says you can also try a light face massage. "This engages the lymphatic system to try to get the fluids moving under the skin." You can also apply an ice-cold washcloth, which will constrict your pores. That, plus a bit of time, should do the trick." Both advise getting in on that silk-pillowcase action, too. Think of it as preventative medicine.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
You Fell Asleep Wearing A Full Face Of Makeup
Some nights, you come home and just need to be in bed as soon as possible. Maybe you had one too many drinks, or maybe you simply forgot. Don't get us wrong — we love the lazy-girl lifestyle. But, sleeping with a full face of makeup isn't doing you any favors.

Dr. Fusco recommends cleansing with a glycolic or salicylic acid cleanser the next morning. "This will cleanse and loosen any clogged pores. If you have a cleansing brush, use that, too."

Of course, if you're simply looking to repurpose last night's makeup, Stiles has you covered — because you may not have the luxury of waking up in your own home, where you have access to all your supplies.

First, assess what you've got in your bag (or, maybe in that person's medicine cabinet, if you're feeling ambitious). "Is there something emollient, like a hand cream, lotion, or even lip balm? Use that and a Q-tip (or tissue wrapped around the tip of your finger) to clean up the running eye makeup, bringing it all tighter to the lashline," says Stiles. (Fun fact: Stiles actually prefers lotion to makeup remover when doing touch-ups/cleanups because it's less oily.) Once you do the initial wiping up, Stiles says you can use what's left to mimic the look of expertly applied eyeliner. "Wipe off any shadow that's still on your eyes, using the same technique, and make that look more like liner as well."

As for foundation and blush, "take some lotion and rub it together in the palms of your hands. Use your fingers to thin out any remaining foundation and blush, hopefully getting a bit of a tinted moisturizer look in the process. You'll even out what's left on your face and get a nice 'glow' at the same time." And, at your earliest convenience, go home and wash your face.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
Your Wet-Hair Snoozing Left You With A Weird Part
In theory, washing your hair before bed means you can sleep a bit longer the next morning. But, if you sleep with wet hair, you're likely going to wake up with an amateur-hour parting situation. Hampton says this problem is more about perspective than anything. "Creativity is cool, especially when it comes to your hair. No hair is going to look bad if you team it with the confidence and personality to match."

So, we suppose the first step is going in with the right attitude. Then, "spray with a good helping of Toni & Guy Glamour Firm Hold Hairspray, to make sure the strange parting keeps its defiance, and style it as an ‘alternative’ look to your everyday one," says Hampton. "Another thing you can do is create a deep side-part and French braid the underside. Add some texturizing spray to your dry hair and scrunch with fingers." See? We've got all the tricks.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
You've Got Red-Wine-Stained Teeth
Girls' night is always a good idea. But, if your drink of choice was a few glasses of merlot, you'll notice your teeth look a lot like your libations. Dr. Laura Ruof, our go-to expert for all things dental, says that while most damage to teeth will require a visit to the dentist, red-wine stains are fairly easy to fix. She warns, though, that these remedies are for one or two nights of red wine — long-term staining requires more intensive, in-office treatment.

For starters, "get an over-the-counter whitening product like a stain-eraser pen, which is used more immediately (think: the restaurant bathroom). It gently removes stains that are fresh without hurting your enamel, and you can keep it in your purse for touch-ups." Dr. Ruof recommends Glo's Everyday Teeth Whitening products.

You can also use the whitening pen the next morning as a touch-up device. "It's more effective than the stain eraser, whitens teeth more, and it's less expensive than buying a light system," explains Dr. Ruof, recommending the Intelliwhite Pro Whitener Express Pen. Her favorite whitening secret, though, is a gentle gel that you put on your toothbrush with your toothpaste, and it whitens your teeth. "Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster is safe to use every day and doesn't add an extra step to your morning routine." Boom.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
You Have A Rash From An Aggressive New Face Mask
A relaxing night at home often means you take some time to pamper yourself. A face mask can be a great way to give your skin some much-needed R&R. But, if you used a new brand or product, your skin may have reacted poorly.

Dr. Fusco knows this problem all too well — lucky for you. If you're not allergic, Dr. Fusco recommends taking an antihistamine like Benadryl. But, if that's not an option, look in your fridge. "Try a cold-milk compress with whole milk and ice cubes," says Dr. Fusco. Follow up with a topical .5% hydrocortisone cream twice daily. And, go back to your old face mask. It was so good to you.
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Illustrated by Laura Callaghan.
Your Netflix-Binge Gave You Under-Eye Bags
House of Cards. Orange Is the New Black. Breaking Bad. Why would Netflix offer entire seasons of these shows if not so we can binge-watch them? While we support your digital-viewing habits, you're probably going to wake up with a less-than-ideal under-eye situation.

The name of the game here is de-puffing. Again, Dr. Fusco recommends a cold-milk compress to constrict and de-puff the under-eye skin. "Or, try topical eye cream with caffeine or a similar ingredient to de-puff. Drink coffee or tea for an immediate diuretic and de-puffing effect."

For makeup, Stiles says the wonderful rumors about ice water and masks are true: "Wash your face in ice water or hold an ice cube wrapped in a wet washcloth under your eyes to reduce any swelling. Eye masks (SKII or Shiseido make great ones) work wonders, too, and you can multitask while you wear them."

If your problem is less about puffiness and more about dark circles, Stiles has a few great products for you. "L'Oréal's Magic Lumi Primer is a great product. It reflects light so it makes dark areas look lighter. A warm, peachy concealer will also hide a multitude of sins. Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Éclat is a classic for a reason (um, it works), and I also love Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer, which comes in great peachy colors for just such an emergency," Stiles explains. For your eye makeup, she recommends you use a subtle Champagne shimmer on the lids, curl those lashes, and use lots of black mascara to make your eyes look fresh and sparkly. See? It's like you slept all of the hours instead of just three of them.
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