Problem: Your New Hair Color Is Too Dark or Too Light
Solution: There’s no shortcut here. Your best course of action is to head back to the salon. And if it’s a home hair-color mishap, get thee to a stylist, stat! Correcting botched color is a tricky process, and doing it yourself can land you in an even bigger mess. That said, if you must take matters into your own hands, here’s what to do: If your hair is too light, apply a darker semipermanent color (go one half to one level deeper than your current color). “Choose a neutral or warm shade, and avoid ash tones,” which can look greenish on bleached hair, says Mark Garrison, the owner of the Mark Garrison Salon, in New York City. If you went too dark, lighten it up with highlights instead of trying to bleach out the dark tones, says Garrison.
Problem: You Applied Self-Tanner in a Rush and Now Your Skin Is Streaky
Solution: Hop in the shower as quickly as possible and use a body brush or a loofah to gently slough your skin. “It generally takes a few hours for a self-tanner to fully develop and dry,” says Schick, “so if you exfoliate within that window, you can at least prevent the streaks from getting worse.” Next, run baby oil–soaked cotton pads over particularly stripy areas. “The oil won’t rub the tanner away, but it will dissolve it a bit,” says Freedman. If you’re still splotchy, “apply a tinted, shimmery body lotion to any exposed skin,” adds Freedman. “It will diffuse light, which can camouflage streaky spots.” Try Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect After Sun Lotion ($8, ulta.com).
Problem: You Bought a Product, then Found You Don’t Like/Want It
Solution: You bought Technicolor eye shadow or a $100 face cream, then realized it was a bad idea. Now what? Believe it or not, you can probably return it. Many national drugstore chains, including CVS and Rite Aid, allow returns on beauty products—still in the package or already used—as long as you have a receipt. The same goes for some department stores, such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. Many beauty specialty stores, like Sephora and Ulta (and their online sites), allow you to get your money back within 60 days. And the shopping channels QVC and HSN accept returns within 30 days. There can be exceptions, so check each store’s website for complete details. Notes Schick, “You’ll have the most luck with a return if the product is unopened or barely used.”