How to Recover from Beauty and Fashion Faux Pas
Expert solutions to keep you looking (and feeling) like you just walked off the runway.
"Ever since I got a keratin treatment, my hair gets greasy just one day after washing it. I don't want to have to wash it daily." — Jennifer, via e-mail
THE FIX: Switch to a volumizing shampoo. It will strip your roots of natural oil, resulting in less grease, says Paul Labrecque, the owner of the Paul Labrecque Salons and Spas, in New York City. If you use conditioner, apply it only to the bottom half of your hair; the keratin, a nourishing protein, has already conditioned the top. To further deter oil troubles, spray a dry shampoo on your roots twice daily on the days that you skip washing. (Try L'OrÃ©al Paris EverStyle Texture Series Energizing Dry Shampoo; $17, amazon.com.) And when you're out and about, avoid touching or brushing your hair. Both actions stimulate oil glands and could worsen the problem, says Candace Bossendorfer, a hairstylist in Los Angeles.
"I have a ton of outdated and broken jewelry." — Liz, via e-mail
THE FIX: Give reinventing it a go. Jewelry designer Lindsay Cain has a few ideas for costume baubles: Glue a pin closure to the back of a pendant to turn it into a brooch; attach an earring to a beaded strand to make a bold necklace; or tie ribbon to the ends of a choker to extend its length. To revamp precious metals and gems, go to an expert, such as Joel McFadden, a designer based in Red Bank, New Jersey (jmdjewelry.com). For $350, he'll design an intricate model of a new piece that uses your old stuff. (Executing it costs extra.) Not your thing? Flip it. Gold and silver (even broken) is easy to sell. Find a trustworthy jeweler near you through the Jewelry Information Center (jic.org).
"I blew my nose so much that it's chapped and red. What will make it look and feel better?" — Claire, via e-mail
THE FIX: Upgrade to premoistened saline wipes (like Unscented Boogie Wipes; $5, shop.boogiewipes.com). "They cause less friction than dry tissues," says Mary Lupo, a dermatologist in New Orleans. To guard against inflammation, take lukewarm (not hot) showers and wash your face with cool water and a gentle cleanser. (Try Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser; $13, amazon.com.) Follow with an emollient face lotion (like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream; $14 at target.com). To hide a Rudolph nose, slather on nourishing argan oil (such as Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil; $48, sephora.com), says Gretta Monahan, the author of Style and the Successful Girl. Once the oil has been absorbed, dot cream concealer down the bridge of your nose to the tip and blend toward the corners of the nostrils and, if necessary, above the lips. Finish with a moisturizing translucent powder. (Try EstÃ©e Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Smoothing Powder; $55, nordstrom.com.) You'll look fresh, not feverish.
"My ponytail always leaves a bump in my hair." — Allison, via Facebook
THE FIX: The best (but most time-consuming) tactic is to get the hair that was under the elastic a little bit wet, since damp strands are more malleable, says Nick Arrojo, the owner of the salon Arrojo Studio, in New York City. Then, using a paddle brush, blow-dry from the roots to just past the crimp to smooth out the strands. Busting out a flatiron to straighten the kink is another way to go. However, if you don't have any of these tools handy, you can try this super-quick camouflaging trick: Apply a small amount of product (gel, hair spray, or even baby powder or hand lotion will work in a pinch) and scrunch your hair from the roots to the ends. This will create allover texture to help disguise the offending bump.
"My favorite new shoes give me horrible blisters." — Jen, via e-mail
THE FIX: The old Band-Aid–as-buffer trick works in a pinch (get it?), but there are better and more discreet tactics to keep new kicks from rubbing you the wrong way. Meghan Cleary, the author of the style guide Shoe Are You?, recommends sticking foam cushions onto problem spots in shoes. Foot Petals makes a variety of sizes, including narrow strips that fit skinny straps ($7 for eight, footpetals.com). Or borrow a runners' trick and coat the blister-prone parts of your feet with an invisible antichafing balm before putting on shoes (try Bodyglide for Her; $8, drugstore.com). For serious friction prevention under full-coverage footwear, Marlene Reid, M.D., a podiatric surgeon in Naperville, Illinois, suggests a wide, self-adhering elastic wrap (try the 3M Nexcare No Hurt Wrap; $5 at amazon.com). And consider a preemptive effort to protect the backs of your heels, a common spot for blisters: Gently push in the upper rear sections of new shoes a few times to help soften the material before wearing.