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Beauty File: Alterna's Instant Root Camouflage

Courtesy of Alterna
Beauty Intel: Alterna's Instant Root Camouflage

What it is: Alterna 2 Minute Touch-Up, $24 (available in blonde, light brown, dark brown, black)

What it does: Blends visible roots and covers stray grays, but then washes right out.

Why it works: Ugh—roots are the worst. But what's a girl to do when your next color appointment is days (or, err, weeks) away? Forgoing a full on at-home dye job usually means resorting to weird cover-up crayons, which can leave hair looking dull, waxy and clumped together; runny liquid wands, which are fine for renegade grays but leave larger patches too shiny; or spray-on formulas, which can get on the scalp and look super obvious.

Altnerna's new gel touch-ups find the balance—viscous enough to go on easily, but thick enough to really cover. The wide brush is similar to a foundation brush, which we found easy to maneuver and able to handle large sections with ease. But the thing that keeps it looking the most natural is the mineral-based formula, which dries with just enough sheen to look like real hair color, and doesn't flake when you brush through it. It washes right out and won't screw up your existing color, so no more slinking into your salon appointment with a Guilty McGee look your face when you have to explain your self-inflicted botched color job.

Why you care: 58 percent of polled YouBeauty readers found their first gray hair before the age of 40. With this, no one needs to know.

MORE: Is it Possible to Reverse the Graying Process?

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