4 beauty emergencies solved! Makeup meltdown. Bad-skin day. Post-work party. Experts offer their favorite five-minute fixes

4 beauty emergencies solved! Makeup meltdown. Bad-skin day. Post-work party. Experts offer their favorite five-minute fixes

Laurie Drake

Last-minute touch-ups don’t have to look it. When there’s no time to lose between gym and office or office and cocktail party, you can revive your makeup by focusing on a few key aspects — and letting them steal the show. All it requires is a little advance planning in the form of a cosmetic kit stocked with just the right things — essentials that our team of experts can’t live without (and neither should you). Their tips and tools will lift your looks in five minutes flat. And we guarantee your spirits will follow.

BEAUTY EMERGENCY You have a long day ahead and your skin isn’t cooperating

Five-minute fix Draw attention to your eyes and lips.

* Cover a zit with a small pointy brush dipped in concealer and “paint it out,” says Eugenia Weston, makeup artist and founder of Senna Cosmetics boutiques in Southern California. “A tiny brush allows you to target the blemish.”

* Dust on oil-free powder to keep the concealer in place and cut shine.

* Define your eyes with pencil liner and enhance your mouth with a darker or brighter lipstick than usual. And if your skin and eyes are suffering from lack of sleep, a bronze/gold/rust eyeliner or shadow placed near the lash line is the quickest way to wake things up. Bronze works on everyone to enhance eye color, says Valerie Sarnelle, a makeup artist and owner of Valerie Beverly Hills cosmetics boutique in Beverly Hills.

* Apply bronzer lightly across your forehead and under your cheekbones, to add a healthy sheen.

Expert tools Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Concealer ($8; at drugstores), Trish McEvoy Concealer Brush #16 ($19; at Saks Fifth Avenue), Lancome Matte Finish Shine-Control Sheer Pressed Powder ($22; lancome.com), Tarte Double-Ended Eyeliner in Black/Brown ($18; beauty.com), Revlon Eye Glossing in Amber Ablaze ($5.50; at drugstores), Estee Lauder Mineralites Creme Patina for Face ($25; esteelauder.com) and Almay Fall Tempt Your Pallette Lip Palette ($8.75; at drugstores)

BEAUTY EMERGENCY A lunchtime workout pumps up your energy levels but deflates your look

Five-minute fix Post-exercise, use a cleansing towelette to remove sweat and oil. Then, a quick and easy makeup application is all you need.

* Spot-cover imperfections with concealer, fill and brush eyebrows, and add cream blush and lip color. Color palettes and three-in-one products for lips, cheeks and eyes help lighten your gym bag.

Expert tools Physicians Formula Concealer Twins 2-in-1 concealer ($7; 800-227-0333), M.A.C. Brow Set ($12; maccosmetics.com), Rimmel Colour to Go Blush for cheeks, lips and eyes ($3; at Wal-Mart stores), Urban Decay Gypsy Den Face Case ($34; urbandecay.com) and Chanel Double Contraste Cheeks and Lips Compact ($60; gloss.com)

BEAUTY EMERGENCY You’re giving a late-afternoon presentation and need to look on top of your game

Five-minute fix Like energy levels, foundation can flag by 4 in the afternoon, but a bathroom touch-up will do the trick.

* Blot your face to get rid of excess oil and blend in foundation that has creased using a clean makeup sponge in a circular motion, says Weston.

* Dab on under-eye concealer in a peach tone (peach neutralizes grayness and dark circles).

* Dust translucent powder all over, swipe on a subtle blush and lipstick to seal the deal.

Expert tools Senna Cameo (for light skin) or Bag Out (for darker skin) concealer ($15 each; 800-537-3662), Makeup! Bobbe Joy Invisible Blotting Powder ($25; 877-22-MAKEUP), Aveda Color Plus Highlight ($17; aveda.com), Bobbi Brown Blush in Brown Berry ($19; gloss.com) and Cover Girl Outlast Shimmers Shade Enhancing Topcoat ($4.75; at drugstores)

BEAUTY EMERGENCY You’re headed to a party right after work — and need to look fresh and gorgeous

Five-minute fix First, clean your face with pre-soaked towelettes and dab on eye cream before applying concealer to prevent caking. Then, it’s just a matter of “great base, great brows and a pair of false eyelashes, which will open up your eyes and make them sparkle,” Sarnelle says. To get the look:

* After applying foundation, groom your brows, then glue on the strip eyelashes directly above the roots of your own. Eyeliner will help the band of the lashes blend in. If fake lashes aren’t your thing, liquid eyeliner and a swipe of curling mascara is a shortcut to glamorous eyes. Perfect the line (or fix any mistakes) with pointed cotton swabs.

* Balance dramatic eyes with a neutral lip and you will look like a million bucks, Sarnelle suggests. For a long-lasting lip color, Bobbe Joy Dawson, a Los Angeles makeup artist, fills in the mouth with lip pencil and tops it with matching lip color.

Expert tools Maybelline EverFresh Makeup SPF 14 ($8; at drugstores), BeneFit Brow Zings eyebrow kit ($22; benefitcosmetics.com), Valerie Beverly Hills synthetic eyelashes ($12.50; valerieeverlyhills.com), Prescriptives Inklings Liquid Liner ($16.50; gloss.com), Clarins Pure Curl Mascara ($19.50; qloss.com) and Elizabeth Arden Dual Perfection Lipstick/Lip Liner in Copper or Peony ($19; at department stores)

RELATED ARTICLE: look-great ESSENTIALS

Whether you stash them in your desk or gym locker, here’s what you need:

Clean cosmetic sponges (about $3 for a bag; at drugstores) buff and blend creased foundation.

Mary Kay Beauty Blotters ($5; markay.com)

remove sweat and shine without disturbing makeup.

Pond’s Cleansing and Make-Up Remover Towelettes ($5; at drugstores) remove makeup and cleanse skin quickly (no water necessary).

Pointed cotton swabs (about $3; www.salleybeauty.com) help erase eye-makeup application mistakes.

* The right cosmetic bag ($42; shopsarahshaw.com) is stylish and fits everything you need for anywhere touch-ups.

Laurie Drake is a Santa Monica-based freelance writer who specializes in beauty, health and fitness.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group