Let's say, hypothetically, you are extra-tired one Wednesday morning because you stayed up late the night before helping your elementary-schooler with a project that was essentially homework for parents. (Hypothetically! She definitely did it all by herself.) And now it is very early on the Wednesday in question, and you get a little heavy-handed with the eyeliner, or maybe that new shade of eye shadow is a tad darker than you realized, and you are suddenly wearing an awful lot of eye makeup for 7 a.m. on a Wednesday.

Fear not: You don't have to take off your makeup and start over. There are ways to tame eye makeup gone wild.

If it's your eyeliner that has gotten a little aggressive, dip a Q-tip in a liquid eye-makeup remover (I like Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, $5.99 at drugstores) and run it along your lash line, being careful not to remove any of your other makeup. Once the offending eyeliner has been removed, dot concealer on the newly bare area and set it with translucent powder. (I love Maybelline Age Rewind, $6.79 at drugstores, and Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, $22 at Ulta.) You'll have a nice blank slate to take another stab at your eyeliner -- or, depending on your level of exhaustion, this might be the morning to skip liner.

If your eye shadow is the culprit, grab a small face brush (try the Real Techniques Setting Brush, $7.99 at Target) and your face powder. (This is not the translucent powder we used above, but a pigmented powder that matches your skin. I'm pale; for me, this is Bare Minerals Well Rested, $20 at Sephora.) Lightly buff the skin-tone powder over your eye shadow. The goal here is to diffuse the color of the out-of-hand shadow until the overall look is toned down.

Of course, depending on your plans for the day, you can always decide to sport that fabulously winged eyeliner, no taming needed.

Alison Smith has totally rocked a smoky eye at work on a Wednesday morning. Got a burning beauty question? Email asmith@philly.com.