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6 Bridal Beauty Emergencies—and How to Handle Them

You want to look your best, but sometimes you have to prepare for the worst.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: BEN ALSOP

In a perfect world, you would wake up on your wedding day with a radiant glow. Your skin would be breakout free. There would be no puffy eyes, cold sores, or hives. Tears of joy wouldn't leave you with raccoon streaks, and your lipstick wouldn't stain your teeth. All in all, your bridal gorgeousness would be perfect from ceremony to cake cutting. Well guess what? You don't live in a perfect world, and stuff happens. As a bride you've got to be able to handle your business—and still look beautiful. New York makeup artist Elaine Madelon imparts some quick-fix wisdom on coping with any worst-case beauty scenarios that may arise.


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You wake up with puffy eyes.

Solution: Try the old school spoon trick. Put two teaspoons in the freezer for 15 minutes. Once they're chilled, hold the rounded, bottom part of the spoon to your eyelids. The coolness will help drain excess fluid from the blood vessels around your eyes. "You can also put ice in a reusable water bottle and gently roll in on your face," advises Madelon, adding, "splashing icy water on your face can be effective, too."

Your skin breaks out.

Solution: Don't pick at a pimple. We know you want to, but we are warning you—don't. It will only make it worse. "The last thing you want to do is create an open wound as this is nearly impossible to apply makeup on top of," says Madelon. "The best advice is to ice it, apply a thin layer of your favorite acne treatment, then use a waterproof concealer over the general area." And remember, it's okay if you don't make it completely disappear. The point is to de-emphasize, not to remove.

Your mascara smears.

Solution: Sometimes even the strongest waterproof mascara can't survive a deluge of tears or sweat. If you find yourself with those dreaded dark streaks, "use a damp paper hand towel and whisk it under the eyes to prevent ruining your remaining makeup," she suggests. For something a little more precise, take a small-tipped concealer brush, dip it into a little foundation, and use it to remove any smudges.


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You chip or break a nail.

Solution: Carefully file down the fractured nail without removing the polish (filing from underneath works best.) Smooth the rough edge with a sanding block. If you've got no tools around and no one to run out and get some, master the art of camouflage. "Hide the broken nail behind your bouquet for the photos."

Your false eyelashes detach.

Solution: "Pick up the offending lash and pretend it didn't happen," jokes Madelon. Or you can try to re-attach it using a little glue and a small stick found at beauty supply stores. Apply a little glue to the eyelash with the stick, then gently press it back into place. "Duo Adhesive is the gold standard of eyelash glue. I would suggest keeping some on hand if you plan on wearing lashes" ($9, 


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You get lipstick on your teeth.

Solution: You can simply wipe it off, but the best way to avoid this is by "drinking with a straw or blotting your lipstick after applying," says Madelon. "Generally I advise against an overly made-up mouth anyway. Wear your favorite lip-liner color over great-tasting balm, and that should stay in place through the night without much fuss."


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About the Author

Terrie Collymore

Terrie Collymore made her wedding debut as a 5-year old flower girl. She loved the blue taffeta dress so much she refused to take it off. Her weary Mom gave in and allowed her to sleep in it. This was the start of Terrie's love affair with "fancy dresses." She's parlayed that passion into a successful multi-media career as a fashion, beauty, and fitness editor for top magazines and...


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