I Have a Code in My Node . . . *sniff*
If you’re anything like me, Mother Nature telegraphs her intention to make you ill. 24 hours before I come down with something, I have a scratchy sore throat. And, sure enough, I awake the next morning with a full-blown cold or flu.
For most of us, a cold means blowing our nose constantly, runny eyes and sneezing; not exactly ideal conditions for keeping makeup on!
If you are not violently ill and still have to go to work or school, there are a few things you can do to try to look less sick. These tips are also useful for allergy sufferers.
First, take a decongestant to minimize blowing your nose. My nose gets red and flakey within a day of getting a cold and it’s really unattractive. Moisturize WELL. This is one time when too much moisture is probably a good thing. If your nose is swollen from the effects of the cold, apply an ice pack for a few minutes to reduce the swelling. Then use a yellow-tone concealer or foundation to hide the redness.
Apply in thin layers and build up as needed, where needed. But, seriously, people will be able to hear that you’ve got a cold in your voice, so don’t feel you need to present a flawless face to the world at this time. Powder lightly to set.
For touch-ups during the day, a light wand-type concealer is ideal – Physician’s Formula Wanderful Wand is a great product of this type
The yellow concealer is also good for hiding dark circles you may have under your eyes should you have trouble sleeping while you’re sick.
Use eye drops specific to cold and flu only if you absolutely have to, as the body can develop an immunity to these over time. For allergy season, I have Claritin eye drops to use on those days when the pollen counts are sky high. Dark eye shadows in neutral tones are your best bets to hide redness and swelling. DO NOT wear purple or pink eye shadows when you’ve got a cold. They will only emphasize redness. Taupe, brown or grey-blues will minimize the appearance of swollen eye lids.
Waterproof mascara is a MUST. Apply two coats lightly and don’t bother with eye liners.
You might find that your lips are dryer than usual when you’re sick because you’re breathing through your mouth more and syrup cold medicines contain alcohol which is also drying.
I find it’s best to not bother with lipstick at all. A clear, medicated lip product like Blistex is your lips best friend during a cold or flu. If you feel you must have colour on your lips, use a lightly tinted gloss.
And if you are prone to cold sores, do NOT use something expensive on your mouth, because once the cold sore clears up, you should discard whatever you were using to prevent re-infection.
Once you get home, wash your face immediately and put on more moisturizer. One of the best things you can do for your nasal congestion and your skin is to inhale steam. Fill a bowl with boiling water and put eucalyptus or lavender oil in it. Drape a towel over your head and put your head over the bowl. Breathe deeply – it will help clear up your nose and your skin will be glowing. Rinse with cool water and apply more moisturizer.
Bundle yourself up in comfy clothes and blankets and pamper yourself with herb tea and your favourite cookies.
It is possible to get through cold and flu season and still look like yourself. And the best thing about it being the month of March is that this time of year is almost over for those of us in the northern hemisphere!