I look terrible lately.
These past couple of weeks have slain me. Between the weather and a cold that will not go away and the fact that our house is hovering around negative eighty thousand percent humidity (we have humidifiers going in the bedrooms, but still), I am a shriveled, pale little gremlin, and it’s honestly just best if I stay put right here in my pajamas so that none save for those who are obliged by blood and marriage vows to love me no matter what have to bear witness.
Except it’s been a couple of weeks of this, now. And hibernating for a few days is one thing, but once you get into the double-digits it starts getting a little ridiculous. You need to start seeing people once in awhile, lest they think you died.
So: let’s talk how to look good(ish), even if you’re feeling bad.
What I’ve found works best when trying to face the world with a head cold: focus on your skin, and on “repairing” rather than “hiding”. Plastered-on makeup will only draw attention to your sick self; it works far better to try to restore moisture and even out your skin tone, and then to keep the rest of your look as simple (and effort-free, because honestly: who wants to spend time putting on makeup when they’re sick?) as possible.
Step 1: Make sure that the cleanser you’re using is moisturizing, and isn’t irritating your already sensitive skin. My skin is extra-crazy sensitive when I’m ill – red cheeks, chapped nose, breakouts, everything – and Simple Skincare Moisturizing Facial Wash (which is pictured above in an actual stream of water to indicate just how nice it feels) has Vitamin E to keep skin soft and smooth.
Step 2: Moisturize. All the time. When I’m sick, I skip the makeup when I’m at home, plant a bottle of Replenishing Rich Moisturizer (which contains chamomile to sooth skin), and reapply it as often as I can.
Step 3: Apply concealer to Jordan’s Patented Magical Spots. I’m serious: a small amount of concealer (I like Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer because it has high moisture content and blends well over dry or chapped skin) in these spots is actual, for-real wizardry, and will make you look instantly healthier and more awake.
Put a little on the outer corners of your eyes…
And right around the edges of your nose. Miracles.
Step 4: Add a flush of color to your cheeks, but keep it light – too much color combined with the whole sneezing/coughing thing will make you look like you have an actual fever.
Step 5: Instead of elaborate eye makeup (which will likely smudge and run), go for a couple of coats of waterproof lengthening mascara, focusing on the outer corners of your eyes and skipping the lower lashes.
Step 6: Finish with a moisturizing lip balm. I especially love Smith’s Rosebud Salve because it’s meant to be used anywhere on your body that’s chapped or irritated, so I usually rub a little into the skin underneath my nose and onto my perennially dry hands, as well.
Final tip: Stock up on Puffs Plus Lotion With The Scent Of Vicks. The fact that this product exists makes me so happy I can’t even tell you.