After a week of sniffling and sneezing, I was finally feeling like myself again. In fact, I was feeling good. That was until my 7-year-old son asked me why my nose looked so “splotchy” and a colleague told me I looked “really, really tired.” (Did she have to add that extra “really”??) When I shared my dismay with a friend, she said she always feels unattractive for at least a week post-cold or flu. So I asked celebrity makeup artist Amy Oresman how you can look pretty when a cold or flu has made you look, well, like hell. Here are her top tips.
Problem: Your nose is red ‘n ruddy and/or dry ‘n flakey from all that nose blowing.
Constantly blowing your nose with tissues can be harsh on skin, drying it out and leaving it chapped. Soothe skin with a gentle moisturizer. “Look for one that is lightweight enough to go under makeup and one that has SPF,” says Oresman. Give it enough time to soak in before applying makeup. Then? “To mask redness I recommend a full coverage foundation,” suggests Oresman. And next time a cold strikes, use the gentlest tissues you can find to blow your nose. (i.e. skip the toilet paper and spring for the real deal!)
Problem: Your weary peepers are a roadmap of tiny, red squiggles.
And those squiggles just aren’t pretty! “Bloodshot eyes can be a result of lack of sleep so try and rest as much as you can,” suggests Oresman. Besides that, your best bet for a quick fix is to use eye drops like Visine to treat dry and tired eyes. There are several varieties. “Plus, the bottles are so small you can just pop them in your bag or take them as you travel,” adds Oresman.
Problem: Tossing and turning because you can’t breathe, and thus can’t sleep leads to dark circles.
Remedy dark circles that are playing ring around the rosy around your eyes with a concealer that lightens the area while providing enough coverage. Oresman says her sick-day lifesaver is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector. “This do it all for you product brightens and conceals the signs of fatigue, puffiness and dark circles. I’m obsessed!,” she says. “It’s the equivalent to an expensive prestige illuminator but at drugstore prices.”
Problem: Sick day skin looks oh-so pale and pasty.
“Looking your best when you feel awful can be difficult, but with a few simple steps you can look better instantly,” says Oresman. To make skin glow with flawless, dewy coverage, spread on a lightweight liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer, like Lancome Imanance. Next, warm up your complexion with a little flush of color by sweeping blush or bronzer over the apples of your cheeks. “Then wake up your look and make eyes pop with a wash of mascara,” says Oresman.
Problem: Your lips are chapped and painful.
When you’re sick, it’s so important that you continue to hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more because dehydration can show on your skin—especially on your lips. “Avoid chapped lips by drinking tons of water and applying moisturizing balms,” says Oresman. For lips that look healthy, hydrated and pretty, look for a balm that’s nourishing, moisturizing and contains the sheerest amount of color.