10 Beauty SOS Questions, Answered By The Experts

In this series, we let the experts answer your beauty questions and this time, it’s all about fixing last-minute issues. From chipped manicures to sudden breakouts, here’s what the top skincare experts, hair stylists and manicurists would do…
Image: OHLAMOUR STUDIO/STOCKSY UNITED

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Shiner File, £2.80 | OPI
01

How Do You Fix & Hide A Chipped Manicure?

“When your polish chips – be it gel or normal varnish – it’s raised off your nail, so you don’t want to paint straight over it, as this will just create a mess. Instead, smooth the chip by gently filing it down or, if it’s regular polish, tap a little nail varnish remover just over the crack. Both these steps will flatten the surface so you can paint over it gently, using a similar colour. Only use fresh polish in the place you’ve chipped it – there’s no need to go over the entire nail. Give it a minute to dry, then paint over everything with a good topcoat. This will hide any bumps or ridges and smooth everything out. It’s a quick-fix and may not look flawless, but it will buy you a few extra days.” Georgia Rae, manicurist & minimal nail artist

Dr Glycolic Multi-Acid Micropeeling Pads, £35 | Beauty Pie
02

If Self Tan Goes Wrong, Can You Correct It? 

“Prevention is better than cure with self-tan, so make sure you moisturise well pre-application to avoid any issues. However, if you do hit some bumps in the road, a soak in a hot tub with a good quality bath oil will help slough off uneven tan. If you don’t have time for that, try a glycolic body scrub or pads – this ingredient causes DHA (self-tan’s active ingredient) to separate on the skin, lifting it away much quicker.” Amanda Harrington, founder of InParlour & tanning expert

03

Any Advice For Taming Pesky Flyaways?

“Serums, balms and gels are what you need to control frizz and flyaways. I am loving the Hair by Sam McKnight Self Control Gel which allows you to style your hair in whichever direction you like – it gives impressive shine, too. The trick is to use these products on wet hair, then seal them in with a good hairdryer. Otherwise, if you apply them to dry hair, the strands tend to lift quicker. Blow-drying hair with a nozzle is also key – you may think this doesn’t make a difference, but it really does help seal the hair shaft and close your cuticles faster, meaning everything stays smooth for longer.” Syd Hayes, A-list hairstylist

Self Control Styling Gel, £16 | Hair By Sam McKnight
Acne Pimple Master Patch 24 Patches, £5.99 | COSRX
04

What Can You Do About A Sudden Breakout Before A Night Out?

“You want to dab on a soothing, gel texture that cools and shrinks the breakout. Treatments like CeraVe’s Blemish Control Targeted Gel are ideal as they combine blemish-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid with hectorite clay, as well as hydrating emollients like niacinamide and ceramides. These all work together to prevent further irritation and reduce redness fast, which is key if you’re about to head to a big event.” Dr Alexis Granite, consultant dermatologist

“Don’t dismiss spot stickers. Though they’re not a long-term solution, they can be a good quick-fix before an evening out. This is because they act locally, providing an anti-bacterial and healing effect with key ingredients like hydrocolloid. They get to work absorbing excess fluid and drawing out unwanted debris from the affected area. If nothing else, they’ll certainly reduce redness and the size of your spot.” Dr Tiina Meder, dermatologist & founder of Meder Beauty

F70 - Concealer Brush, £12.35 | Sigma Beauty
05

If Spot Treatments Don’t Work, How Can You Disguise A Breakout With Make-Up?

“If you are trying to cover a large area, use a good buffing brush to apply your foundation and really work it in so everything looks even. Then, go in with a smaller brush to cover the specific areas that need it – I love using an eyeshadow brush for this and Zoeva does some brilliant ones. Apply your concealer – or foundation – to the spot in sheer layers, then use your clean finger to gently tap over the formula for a smoothing effect. Using the same brush, apply a second layer to any little spots that you feel need it. Always use non-comedogenic formulas as these won’t clog your pores or make the problem worse.” Jessica Kell, make-up artist

Instant Relief Eye Spray, £15 | PeepClub
06

Are There Any Quick Ways To Get Rid Of Bloodshot Eyes? 

“If your eyes have suddenly gone bloodshot from a lack of sleep or too much screen time, the easiest thing to do is to get a cool compress. This works every time to take down redness and inflammation at speed – ideal before a big event. Soaking some cotton pads in very cold water will do the trick, or a towel – either way, the coldness will cause the blood vessels to shrink, making your eyes appear less red. Another fast-acting solution is to use a good eye spray or drop. I recommend the Peep Club Instant Relief Spray which provides instant relief and is often used by make-up artists as it has a brightening effect on the whites of the eye. Plus, all the ingredients are natural, so it never causes further irritation. You can also try using a white or green eyeliner as these colours offset the redness.” Nicola Alexander-Cross, optometrist & co-founder of Peep Club

07

How Do You Combat Dry Shins Quickly?

“If your legs are dry, scaly or rough in texture, then you’re probably not the only one at this time of year. To beat the issue, use a dry brush and allow the rough bristles to dislodge any rough, dry cells that are sat on the surface of your legs. It’s quick to do and will immediately leave behind a smoother surface. Just remember to follow up with a nourishing body oil which will give limbs a healthier, smoother look, while coating them in hydration and a healthy sheen.” Kate Shapland, Legology founder

Lymph-Lite Boom Brush For Body, £14.40 | Legology
Baume Essentiel, £35 | Chanel
08

Any Tips For Refreshing Make-Up Between The Office & Dinner Out?

“Rely on products like Chanel’s Baume Essential Stick. It’s my answer to reviving skin and giving it an instant overhaul. Pat it on with your ring finger over cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the very top of the forehead. Products like this give you a subtle glow, but they also bring any existing products on your skin back to life. A good rose water mist will also revive make-up, while setting any new products into place. If your skin tends to become oily throughout the day, keep some cigarette papers in your handbag ahead of a night out. They take up zero space and work so well to blot away shine – they don’t leave behind any residue either.” Zoë Taylor, make-up artist & SL beauty contributor

Dry Texturising Spray, £33.75 | Oribe
09

What’s The Best Way To Rescue Limp, Lifeless Hair? 

“Invest in a good dry shampoo, or something like Oribe’s Dry Texturising Spray. It works on day-old hair, but I love it on freshly washed hair that looks too flat or is too soft to work with. It adds volume, absorbs excess oils and gives the hair some oomph without feeling too gritty. Always give the can a good shake before you spray and try using the butterfly technique, where you drop different layers of the hair into the mist as you go. Then with your hairdryer, blow the hair upwards on a cold setting: this will disperse the spray and leave hair feeling fresher and cleaner.” Patrick Wilson, A-list hairstylist 

“If time really is of the essence, try my Lazy Girl Cleanse Cloths. I often work with models who arrive at shows with hair that needs washing or has lots of product in it from the previous shows they’ve walked. These cloths immediately clean and refresh the hair without you having to start from scratch – they’re biodegradable, too. Perfect for your office drawer, they instantly boost limp, lifeless hair by giving it a bit of life at the root.” Sam McKnight, A-list stylist

Eye Basics Primer, £18 (was £24) | Laura Mercier
10

Finally, Are There Any Easy Ways To Stop Eye Make-Up Smudging?

"To ensure your eye make-up doesn't transfer or smudge, you need to put in some prep work. Before you apply any eyeshadow or liner, dab on a primer, like Laura Mercier's Eye Basics. This will stop product creasing up as it acts as a base for everything to adhere to. To keep your mascara going, switch to a water-resistant formula. The Sensai Volumising Mascara gives you a full-on lash that will only come off when you rinse it away with warm water – it's genius. Once you've applied your eye make-up, set the area with a dusting of a mattifying powder. This will prevent any mascara from running or imprinting itself onto your skin. I love Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder." – Sophie Tilley, make-up artist 

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