By Carolyn Brundage, Times correspondent

In a perfect world, every hair cut would leave you with commercial-ready locks, every facial would leave your skin flawless and every waxing service would leave skin soft and smooth but never sensitive. In the real world, however, treatments sometimes go awry. Beauty uh-ohs can be unsettling, but when calm heads and creative solutions prevail, any grooming gripe is easily resolved.

Eye don't

Recently, a quick visit at a trusted medical spa to review an anti-aging eye treatment left me, just days before an important event, with a serious, albeit accidental, shiner — an eye-opening reminder that no medical grade service should be done before a big occasion.

Thanks to lots of ice and Arnica gel, my secret weapon for bruising and swelling, I looked like my normal myself in no time. Arnica comes for the Arnica Montana plant, a member of the sunflower family, and is said to boast anti-inflammatory properties. Arnica is sold as supplements, creams, extracts and more, but for the eye area, purchase an Arnica Gel, and keep it in the fridge so that each application cools and de-puffs under eye skin. Get Boiron brand Arnica Gel at vitacost.com for $4.79.

Soothe sensitive skin

Between childbirth and more bikini waxing appointments then I care to count, there's not a shred of modesty left in my body. I'm not ashamed to admit that the waxing process itself can be undignified at times, but there's no need to add insult to injury. It's not uncommon for skin to be red and inflamed post-waxing and a no-frills, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream will treat mild redness effectively. What's worse — and not the norm — is for skin to actually get singed by too-hot wax.

Thankfully, Sudocrem, an over-the-counter medicated cream aimed at diaper rash, effortlessly takes the sting out of red hot skin, acting a topical anesthetic. And while this secret post-waxing weapon is primarily sold across the pond, you can typically pick up a jar on eBay for less than $10.

Color correction

As a teenager, I turned my hair a lovely shade of khaki green with the help of an at-home hair coloring kit. Since then, I put my locks strictly in the hands of professionals, but if you're a die-hard DIY girl, there are things you can do to correct bad color.

Start by washing hair with a clarifying shampoo and then turn to "Color Oops," an ammonia- and bleach-free formula that restores hair to its original shade ($11.99 at Ulta.com). And next time, feel free to paint your walls any hue you choose, or even go wild with your nail polish color, but when it comes to altering the hue of the hairs on your head, always seek professional help.

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of PrettyCity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn at @tampabaypretty.

By Carolyn Brundage, Times correspondent 12/05/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:15am]

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