Quick Fix Cheat Sheet

We asked the pros for their most tried-and-true tricks for any — and we do mean any — last-minute beauty or fashion emergencies.

1. Chipped Nails

According to L.A.-based manicurist Jenna Hipp, if it's minor, dab a touch of rubbing alcohol directly on the area to remove oils, then follow with a spot of matching color over the chip. Two minutes later, apply a top coat. If you're prone to post-mani chips, Hipp recommends trying a nude shade that mimics skin (like HIPPxRGB Nail Foundation Nail Lacquer, $16) so it's less visible. "Steer clear of metallic and matte finishes that tend to accentuate imperfections and are harder to cover up."

2. Broken Heel

Unless you have some serious secret cobbling skills, fixing a broken heel requires professional attention. "Depending on the severity, an emergency tube of ShoeGoo can be a temporary solution," says Chassie Post, lifestyle editor at Gilt.com in NYC. "Otherwise, the stilettos have to come off." She always tucks a pair of roll-up flats in her purse, just in case.

3. Fallen Hem

Keep a roll of hairpiece tape handy. "It's called TopStick [$4, try wigwarehouse.com and it's a stylist's best friend, responsible for keeping J.Lo in her dresses, RuPaul in his wigs, and repairing hems in a jiffy," Post explains. "If I don't have it on me, I use masking tape, duct tape, even a stapler [paint the staples black with a Sharpie] to fix a rogue hem." A paper clip works in a pinch, says Shopbop stylist Aya Kanai. "If it shows, just roll with it as part of the look."

4. Loose Button

If you don't have time to break out the sewing kit, a twist tie can also do wonders on small buttons — "remove paper, thread wire through the button, and twist the tie in back," says Post.

5. Migrating Makeup

When lipstick or eye products begin to run, Uzo, the bicoastal and international lead makeup stylist for Nars, suggests forgoing traditional removers and using a primer instead. "Removers have a tendency to wipe away the entire look rather than just fixing one area," she says. "Place a drop of oil-free primer on the edge of a Q-tip and gently swipe away migrating makeup." Or, Uzo adds, try a concealer. Blending in a small amount will correct a minor mess.

makeup brushes

(Image credit: Archives)

6. Deodorant Mark

No matter how fervently the label emphasizes its non-streaking ability, most deodorants leave a residue, particularly on dark clothing. In those instances, Gilt.com's Post reaches for baby wipes. "They always do the trick," she says. "Look for travel-size containers [available in most drugstores] so they fit in your purse."

7. Stuck Zipper

Don't panic and tug too hard on the fabric — that never ends well. Shopbop's Kanai suggests instead using a bar of soap: Rubbing it gently along the stuck zipper should do the trick.

8. Flat Hair

The quickest body booster is dry shampoo (try Naturia by René Furterer, $24). "Turn your head upside down and spray the scalp area with the product, brush through from root to end, then fluff," suggests Sean Davis of Manhattan salon Tosler Davis. "Flip hair back, style if necessary, and add a bit of hairspray."

9. Perfume Overload

If you've spritzed once too many — generally that means no more than one pump on each side of the neck and one on each wrist — Kilian Hennessy, founder of fragrance line By Kilian, says it's best to grab a washcloth and quickly wipe away excess scent from anywhere perfume was applied. If the scent remains intense, try an unscented soapy towel.

10. Clumpy Mascara

Avoid the issue by waiting for the first coat of mascara to dry before applying a second. Or, use a lash comb. "Start from the base of the lashes and wiggle through to the tips until they separate," suggests Uzo. If mascara has already completely dried, comb through with a wand that has been dipped in a capful of makeup remover. "Make sure it's oil-free; otherwise, additional emollients can interfere with the product's durability."