Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Makeup Tricks to Cover Up Waxing Mishaps

It's happened to all of us at least once in our lives. While doing a routine waxing of our face, we accidentally rip off a little skin along with the unwanted hair. Ouch!

There are many reasons why this happens. We could have been using an acne cream that thinned out the upper layer of our skin, or we just got a little overzealous and forgot the golden rule of waxing, to never go over the same area more than twice in one session. Whatever the reason, we'll help you learn a few tricks to help you survive the 5-10 days it takes for the minor wax burn to scab, peel off, and return to normal.

From experience, I can tell you, the look of a minor wax burn is going to look worse before it gets better. That means that you probably won't scab until the third day after you've ripped off your skin. Once it starts scabbing, the color of the scab will get darker before it starts peeling off to reveal new, pink skin underneath. It's best not to apply any product at all during this period. Just keep your skin clean using a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil and let your skin breathe and heal on it's own. If necessary, apply an over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment like Neosporin to the area to help it heal faster.

But, if you must make an appearance in front of others and are afraid to do so without makeup, here's what to do. Again, it's best to wait at least 24 hours after waxing to apply anything to the face at all, so if you can, give the makeup a rest for a day. After 24 hours have passed, try these makeup tricks to hide your waxing mishap.

Step 1: Get a good non-comedogenic concealor like Makeup Forever Full Cover and pat it onto the scar. Take care not to apply too much powder on your face while you're waiting for a scab to heal, if you can, skip powder entirely. Powder has a drying effect, and will make scars more visible. It's best to keep the skin dewy and natural looking, so just stick to the concealor.

Now, if concealor is not enough and you have, say, a wedding to attend the day after you've botched your face, try the super duper state-of-the-art advanced concealor known as Lycogel Camouflage, by Dermacia MD. It comes in eight shades, one of which is sure to match yours as it is meant for women of every color tone. What makes Lycogel such a wonderful product is that it not only hides scars, it promotes healing of scars up to 2 days faster than wearing nothing at all. Check out the link to see pictures of women using it to cover up the effects of a chemical peel. I haven't personally used it yet, but it looks like amazing stuff. Makeup artists are known to love this product, and use it on celebrities and TV news anchors/personalities all the time to cover up everything from birth marks to sunburn on their clients.

Step 2: Since most facial waxing is done around the mouth/chin area, avoid using a dark colored lipcolor or attracting attention to your lips with high-shine gloss. At all costs, avoid lipsticks in shades of brown, red, dark plum or fuchsia. These colors are very similar to the color of the scab that is going to show up on your face, and only make your waxing mishap more visible. Instead, try using just a dab of Vaseline, Chapstick, or a one of Vasanti's tinted lip balms. They add just enough color and shine to make your lips look soft and healthy. My favorite neutral color of the bunch is Bahamas. Don't use a matte or taupe colored lipstick that makes your lips look dry and parched. Dry lips, and lips that are too nude in color attract attention to the mouth as well, and trust us, the next place eyes will wander is the darker colored waxing accident on your upper lip. Lip balms are the best thing to wear when you want a neutral lip look during this time because they're neither too glossy, nor too dry.

Step 3: Play up your eyes so when people look at you, they focus on your eyes, instead of your mouth. A good look to try is using a peachy shimmer shadow, like Vasanti Paris all over your eyelids, lining both your upper and lower lashline with a dark eyepencil, and piling on lots of mascara on the upper lashes. At night, you could even go for glittery, shimmery shadows in bright colors, anything to get attention away from your lips.

Step 4: Go easy on the blush. Avoid colors that are too bright, like red or fuschia. Again, it's best if you can try to go without blush for a few days, and you can totally pull if off if you're sticking with a smokey eyes and neutral lip look. If you must add a little color to your cheeks, try something very neutral and barely showing, like MAC's Blush Baby.

Step 5: Hairstyle can make a big difference too, so choose a hairstyle that keeps the focus on your eyes rather than your jawline. Some hairstyles draw more attention to your face and facial features than others. Bangs help attract attention to the eyes, but if you don't have bangs, wearing your hair in a side part and pinning it with a big pretty hair clip will also work. A nice flashy scarf or headband, with your hair pulled off the face, also helps attract attention to your eyes. It goes without saying that if you can leave your hair down, do that instead of wearing your hair pulled back into a pony tail. The less attention you draw to your mouth and chin area, the better.

Remember, due to the large amount of blood flow in the human face, waxing accidents rarely leave permanent scars and usually heal on their own within a week to 10 days. It may seem like it's taking forever to heal when it happens to you, but you'll be fine before you know it, and you'll most likely be more careful next time!

NOTE: If you've taken off more than the upper layer of your skin and can see pink, yellow, and/or blood, get help from a doctor IMMEDIATELY. This is usually a sign of a second degree burn and may require a visit to the Emergency Room for treatment.


  1. I can definitely identify with this post! Thanks for the advice :)

  2. Trust me, I've been waxing for over 15 years, and I still manage to nip myself now and then!

  3. After a few too many such mishaps (even from professional waxers!!) I now stick to threading.

    Oh, and I find a thick layer of vitamin e (from a capsule pierced with a sterilised needle) overnight does wonders!

  4. Thanks so much for the advice! It's exactly what I've been looking for... after ripping off a massive layer of skin from waxing :-(

  5. Much thanks for the advice. This really helps... I just ripped layers of my skin in not one, but three different areas of my face- the upper and lower cheek and side of my eyebrow :-(

    Can somebody tell me what this threading is about? I heard from somebody that the hair grow thicker and faster. Is that true? And how does the vitamin e work? Does one apply it over the waxed/threaded area over night?

    I am sick of dealing with this facial hair! I am thinking of doing laser, but I am afraid of the risks of scarring as I have medium brown olive/beige skin. Any suggestions from those who have gotten laser hair removal?

  6. Thanks so much for this article.
    I had my top lip waxed yesterday and some skin ripped off in the corner of my mouth (looks like a big cold sore). I do in fact have a wedding to go to in 3 days!!! The beautician recommended witch hazel to dry it out and aloe vera to heal, and I'm going to try the vitamin E capsule trick mentioned by another reader.

    Am sticking to threading from now on -- much kinder as it hardly even touches skin in this delicate area!!!

    Thanks again.


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