It’s officially winter for the majority of the country, which means your previously glowy, hydrated, kissed-by-a-dew-drop skin has probably devolved into a flaky, angry mess. And as anyone with dry skin knows, there are few things more frustrating than meticulously blending layers of concealer and foundation over your skin, only to accidentally dredge up a cluster of flakes around your nose (and mouth, and eyes, and eyebrows…).
But thankfully, you’re not alone—it happens to even the fanciest of fancy and famous people at the most inconvenient times (think: before a photoshoot, or minutes before walking the red carpet). So we asked the pros, the people whose job it is to make sure skin flakes stay hidden, how they deal with dry-skin hiccups. And weirdly, the fix is probably sitting on your desk right now.
“Scotch tape is the best for dealing with dry skin,” says makeup artist Robin Black. “It sounds odd, but you can use Scotch tape to remove skin flakes by tapping it gently over dry patches without messing up your makeup.” We’ve tried it, and it really does work. Just rip off a few inches of tape, stick the ends together to form a loop, slip it over your finger, and dab, dab, dab the flakes around your nose and eyes, like a lint brush. And if that doesn’t get rid of all of your flakes—or if you have a tape allergy—grab a clean spoolie brush and lightly swipe at the flakes with the tip of the brush until they lift away from your skin.
If your skin is especially flaky, and you don’t want to carry a roll of Scotch tape around with you to a holiday party, Black swears by Daisy Japan Sticky Cotton Pieces , which can easily fit in your clutch, pocket, or bra (hey, you gotta do what you gotta do). “They look like Q-tips, but on one side of the tip is a skin-safe adhesive that’s just sticky enough to lift off skin flakes—or glitter and smoky eyeshadow bits—without ruining your foundation.”
Of course, the best way to deal with flakes is to prevent them from ever happening by massaging a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and ceramides (two of the best hydrators) into your skin 15 minutes before applying your makeup. But if flakes do strike, and it’s too late to moisturize, then grab some Scotch tape and a spoolie brush, and give a silent shout out to Robin Black.