The flu season, and all its accompanying symptoms, are a reality for most of us every year, but no matter how yucky you feel, with work, family, and previously scheduled commitments, life must go on. We'll fill you in on how to look good, even when you're not feeling so hot.
All the extra facial rubbing and itching that comes along with the flu can leave your skin irritated. Look for products loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients like Green Tea and Willow Herb Extract to calm irritated areas and replenish the skin with antioxidants like Vitamin C, Olive Oil, and Chamomile. Try Paula's Choice CLINICAL Instant Calm Advanced Redness Relief for immediate soothing, morning or night.
A lingering cold can leave your skin looking dull, pale, and fatigued. On top of that, redness around the nose is exacerbated each time you wipe away the sniffles or blow your nose. Adding to this pretty picture, dark circles and puffiness under the eye increase as congestion and restless sleep take their toll.
You can disguise redness, puffy eyes, and dark circles by applying a light-weight moisturizer brimming with soothing agents and hydrating ingredients around the eyes and nose area and then applying a matte-finish concealer over those areas. (A concealer with a matte finish is better able to withstand the day's wear and tear, as opposed to one that's creamy or greasy.) The color should be just a shade lighter than your natural skin color to convincingly camouflage flaws, and you should follow up with a sheer layer of liquid highlighter on the cheeks and around your hairline to add a radiant glow and draw attention away from the problem areas. Find top-rated concealers and highlighters here.
What about puffy eyes? There are many things you can do to reduce puffy eyes, but the myriad products claiming to get rid of them won't help. These products always disappoint, as does the old wives' tale of applying cucumbers or tea bags to your eyes. Instead, save your time and money, and try these tips for decreasing puffy eyes.
As unsexy as it sounds, being stuffed up from a cold or flu tends to result in more mouth-breathing and drooling through the night, which in turn leads to dry, chapped lips. It is essential to apply an emollient-rich lip balm before you go to bed to ensure smooth, hydrated lips in the morning. Keep the balm by your bedside so you don't forget. During the day, maintain your lips with a moisturizing lip color, such as Neutrogena's Moisture Smooth Color Stick.
Applying blush is such a basic in makeup it is almost a no brainer to add a bit more to enliven your skin. It takes mere seconds to apply and will make a huge difference in your overall appearance. The trick is to apply it softly with a great brush and to blend evenly so it doesn't look like a stripe.
When you're sick, stick to the makeup basics, or you could end up looking like a hot mess by the end of the day. Forget about doing a heavy eye-makeup design and leave the red lipstick at home. Focus on the guidelines above, along with a tinted moisturizer, foundation, or powder to even out your skin tone, and a waterproof mascara if your eyes are watering. These steps create a confident, put together look that can last all day, and when you look in the mirror you will feel much better!
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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international TV including:
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