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5 Embarrassing beauty nightmares & how to fix them

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Fast beauty fixes

Some beauty mistakes are so embarrassing that you dread seeking help for them. Our fixes for the most common beauty blunders will help you salvage your pride -- and get you back to beautiful in no time.

Woman whitening teeth

1Hair color disaster

You color your own hair, and it comes out looking nothing like the color on the box. Don't panic: You can correct the problem without ruining your hair. Purchase a box of gentle hair color stripper from a beauty supply store (you'll find it in the hair color section) or online drugstore. You apply it much like you did the haircolor. The stripper removes any permanent and semipermanent color, most likely leaving you with a head of orange hair. Once your hair is dry, you can safely recolor it.

How to avoid at-home hair color mistakes >>

2Splotchy sunless tanner

Sunless tanner is the healthy way to get the color you crave, but it's so easy to misapply. If yours has left you looking blotchy or streaky, here's how to fix it:

  • Lemons. Cut open a lemon and rub it on stained areas such as the palms of your hands and bottoms of your feet. Rinse and reapply as needed.
  • Baking soda. Make a gentle exfoliating paste with baking soda and water. Apply it to the too-dark areas and let it dry. Rinse with water while gently scrubbing with the baking soda.
  • Toothpaste. Apply white toothpaste to orangey knuckles and fingernails. Wait several minutes before rinsing.
  • Alpha hydroxy lotion. If your self-tan oops covers large areas of the body, apply a lotion containing alpha hydroxy lotion. Follow with a shower using a loofah and/or exfoliating scrub. Reapply the lotion.

How to find the best self tanner >>

3Excess facial hair

We already spend too much time shaving other parts of body, and now we have to worry about facial hair? Perhaps you've noticed a darkening of the hair above your lip or new hairs sprouting from your chin. Stay one step ahead of your beard and mustache with drugstore creams and lotions. They work well to bleach or remove the unflattering hair. If the problem gets worse, talk to your doctor to rule out hormone or glandular issues. Your doctor also may be able to prescribe a stronger cream to decrease facial hair growth.

Managing menopausal hair issues >>

4Sweat stains

You shower and use antiperspirant, but you're still sweating through your blouses. Excessive sweating can crop up at any age and can be temporary or ongoing. Clinical-strength antiperspirants are now available without a prescription. If they don't fix the problem, consult your dermatologist about Drysol, an antiperspirant solution with a high percentage of the drying agent aluminum chloride. If you're still sweating buckets, ask your doctor about Botox injections; one treatment can paralyze sweat glands for up to a year.

Don't sweat the small stuff >>

5Dingy teeth

You love a cozy cup of coffee in the morning, a refreshing diet cola at lunch and a nice glass of wine with dinner, but regular consumption of dark beverages is one of the main causes of stained teeth. At-home bleaching products have made it easy to whiten and brighten your smile. In addition to your twice-a-year dental cleanings, you can use over-the-counter whitening toothpastes, rinses, strips and trays. Even dental floss is available with whitening agents. For $500 to $1,500, your dentist can give you dramatically whiter teeth; talk to him about laser treatments or custom-fitted whitening mouthpieces.

How to make your smile look brighter >>

More beauty & skin tips

6 Quick beauty fixes for moms on the go
7 Skin crisis solutions for busy moms
Mouth sore basics: How to prevent, treat & conceal

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