It could happen.
You're at your desk when your stocking snags on an open desk drawer. As you bend over to inspect the damage, a button pops off your blouse. Scrabbling about on the carpet to retrieve the button, you get dust in your eye -- which starts to water, washing mascara down your cheek.
It's a lot easier to deal with a minor grooming or dress crisis if you are somewhat prepared. That is, if somewhere in your office there is a drawer or closet stocked with such items as paper towels, cotton balls, safety pins, needle and thread, clear nail polish and makeup foundation or concealer.
The faster you react to a spill or stain, the better, said Jim Parham, owner of Acme Cleaners in Orlando, Fla.
The first step is to blot the spill with a dry paper towel or napkin, or with an absorbent agent such as talcum powder or cornstarch, said Jane Rising, a spokeswoman for the International Fabricare Institute. "But be gentle. Do not rub," Rising said.
Rubbing may spread the stain, she explained. It certainly will force it deeper into the fabric.
After blotting, place a dry towel under the stain to soak up excess moisture, and sponge the discoloration with a little cool water. Then leave well enough alone.
Sometimes, merely sitting down too abruptly can split a seam. And women will swear that anything -- including sharp criticism from the boss -- can put runs in their stockings.
It helps always to have a needle and thread or a few safety pins. Split seam. Turn the garment inside-out. Now, place a few stitches (or safety pins) in the middle of the split, then secure each end of the split so it can't open any farther.
Ripped hem. First, knot the loose ends of the broken thread so they can't unravel farther. Then secure the sagging hem with a few stitches or safety pins. In a pinch, masking tape or even staples will hold a hem together.
Run in hosiery. A dab of clear nail polish is the well-known remedy. If polish is not handy, try a smear of bar soap.
Mascara probably gives women more problems than most cosmetics. All it takes is a speck of dust to start the eyes watering, and mascara can turn into drippy black sludge. The solution: Mix up a little warm water with a few drops of soap. Soak a few tissues in this solution, then squeeze out the excess and gently wipe the mess from under your eyes and off your cheeks. Wipe with water to rinse away any soap residue. Touch up with foundation or powder.
Pub Date: 10/03/96