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The cathartic release of a good cry can be great for emotional stability—but not so great for the stability of your makeup. Some days all it takes is one ASPCA commercial to take us from put-together to wet, weepy, and smudged. We don’t mind if it’s Friday night and we can stay in with Ben and Jerry, but when it’s a weekday with a schedule full of meetings, we need to dry our tears and fix our face fast. Here’s how to tackle the meltdown.

Runny Mascara

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There are few more telling signs of a good cry than cheeks streaked with your favorite mascara. While your first instinct might be to grab a tissue and wipe the trails away, wiping can actually spread the makeup mess further and increase redness. Your best bet is to dab away at the makeup with a spot remover like Bare Escentuals On the Spot Eye Makeup Remover ($5; These swabs come pre-filled with makeup remover to easily stipple along streaks until they disappear.Puffy Eyes

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If crying causes your eyes to puff up like you just ate a plate of sodium-packed nachos, you’re going to want to find something cold quickly. If you can get your hands on ice cubes, wrap them in a paper towel and apply to the skin under the eyes. Similarly running your fingertips under cold water and pressing in the same area should help reduce swelling. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer ($20; provides a similar cooling effect and is full of caffeine to help draw excess water out of the skin. The glide-on formula comes in a convenient, portable package for those extra-emotional days.

Red Eyes

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Bleary bloodshot eyes are a beauty killer. You look more tired and people may think you actually contracted conjunctivitis. A few drops of your favorite drugstore eye drops in a redness-reducing formula will help cool things down. Bonus: If eyes are still wet from crying, you can just blame it on the eye drops. To brighten things up even further, swipe a navy blue liner like Clinique’s Quickliner for Eyes in Intense Midnight ($16.50;, on the lower waterlines. The blue helps counteract the red and will leave you looking more awake.

Blotchy Skin

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Once you can see the whites of your eyes again, it’s time to tackle the hive-like redness that has likely broken out around your eyes, nose, and lips. Instead of redoing your entire face and risking a cakey appearance with a powder formula, spot treat with a brightening liquid concealer like YSL’s Touche Éclat ($42; It provides full coverage and a touch of highlight to bounce light and brighten skin.