The beauty mistakes you can fix with dishwashing detergent...








So much of my beauty writing concerns how to get the perfect skin/hair/tan/manicure/teeth/etc and yet so much of my life is spent correcting the errors I make when I invariably mess these things up. It doesn’t seem right. As such, I thought I would take some time to honour some of the great correctors out there, things that undo the damage and clean up the errors and ameliorate the fails…

1. For precise eye makeup cleaning up and correcting: Simple kind-to-eyes eye makeup corrector pen

There’s nothing wrong with a cotton tip dipped into makeup remover to fix eye makeup mistakes, but for perfect precision when removing small amounts of shadow or liner fall down, and help cleaning up/shaping winged liquid liner, the very fine nib on this makeup corrector pen is great. I find it especially good for removing mascara on the eyelid without it taking any of the shadow off underneath. One downside is it stains quite easily, and we are encouraged to clean the tip after each use, which, let’s face it, we probably won’t, even though we really should.


2. For stubborn fake tan stains on the ankles, knees and wrists: Chux magic eraser. (Not recommended for sensitive skin.)

I know we don’t generally like putting household cleaning agents or tools on our precious skin, and with good reason – Ajax is a terrible moisturiser. But sometimes we are so shitty at applying our self tanner we are faced with very little choice on dark blotches and streaks. So, next time you’ve messed up and have orange splodges, gently rub/dab a damp Chux magic eraser on the spot. DO NOT RUB MADLY BECAUSE YOU ARE PANICKED. It pays to bath in salts and exfoliate too. (Before applying the tan in the first place, and once you’ve messed it up also.)


3. For correcting nail polish errors: Revitanail precision corrector.

There is something so meditative about painting ones’ nails. Unfortunately overspill and polish-on-fingers can reduce this peaceful state by approximately 678% so I always keep a corrector pen on hand. (Or near hands, as they are busy being painted/painting.) As with the eye makeup remover pen, you can use cotton tips dipped in remover, yes, but the very finely tapered tip on this guy makes it wonderful for scraping out polish that spills down onto cuticles and causes swearwords in ones’ mouth. This one is also great because it has three spares in its lid, (economical!) and has jojoba oil as well as remover so you don’t end up with dry cuticles.

4. The teeth stain corrector: Philips Zoom at Pitt St Dental

I’m often asked whether to do home teeth whitening or do in-dentist, and I always recommend in-dentist. It’s the difference between you doing a facial at home and having one performed by a beauty therapist using salon-strength products, basically. Sure, it’s more expensive, (approximately $1000) but think of the cost per smile. I last had whitening – Zoom! Advanced Power – back in 2006 and my teeth were still quite white, however, I went in and had the new Philips Zoom two weeks back, and that’s when I realised they weren’t actually very white anymore. Now they’re dazzling (but natural white, not The Hills white – my request to the dentist) and so face brightening, and all in under an hour and with almost NO sensitivity. (This is the biggest feature of the new Zoom, the lack of post-procedure sensitivity.) Sure I had to drink coffee through a straw for a few days, but OH, MY TEETH! My glorious, white, gleaming teeth. It’s like a blow dry for your teeth. Cept it lasts for years and years. I’m making my fiancé do it too, since you asked. And then hopefully we’ll get that gameshow host gig we’ve always dreamed of…

Would you?

5. For correcting an at-home dye job that is too dark: Dishwashing detergent.

Again with the cleaning products! Sorry. Obviously, I would advocate a trip to the salon for a professional colour fix first. But if that’s not an option and you want to to try and get your hair back a shade or two, mix in some Morning Fresh or similar with shampoo and wash your hair twice thoroughly. (I used to recommend something like Head and Shoulders but that stuff is so gentle on colour these days I no longer can.) Then condition the life out of it, and dry it off to check the colour. ONLY TRY THIS ONCE. And hit the salon if it’s all still a mess. Much better to have too-dark hair than utterly trashed hair.


Zoe Foster is an author, columnist and porridge fan. Her books include the beauty bible Amazing Face, dating and relationship guide Textbook Romance, and three novels, Air KissesPlaying The Field and The Younger Man. Find more info on Zoe Foster here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.

Please understand that Zoë Foster cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.

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