Though we’re really excited for warm weather to return to the Northern Hemisphere, it has come with a serious downside: the return of our seasonal allergies. Itchy, red eyes, a runny nose and a permanently puffy face REALLY mess with our beauty game. What’s a girl to do?
She gets expert help, that’s what. We talked to Jamie Greenberg, celebrity makeup artist to stars like Kaley Cuoco, Jordana Brewster and Lucy Hale, for her very best tips on hiding the dreaded Allergy Face.
The first giveaway that allergens are in the air? A puffy face. Whether it’s caused by sinus pressure or airborne allergens, Jamie’s favorite way to reduce this is by tackling it at the source. “A cold compress is always good,” she told us. This helps reduce inflammation both internally and externally, and it’s really easy; simply run a cotton washcloth under cool water and drape it over your eyes while you’re lying down. Never put an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables) near your eyes, no matter how sore they are! If you need additional cooling, we recommend a gel mask like Earth Therapeutics Gel Bead Mask ($8), which can be chilled in the fridge and is totally safe (and comfortable!) to use on your delicate eyes.
However, sometimes we don’t have twenty minutes to lie down and de-puff; luckily, Jamie has us sorted with a quick fix. “If you don’t have time for a cold compress, I recommend contouring with a matte bronzer…it instantly reduces the appearance of puffiness.”
Blessedly, this is incredibly easy: sweep a light coat of shimmer-free bronzer under your cheekbones to hollow them out, and brush a tiny amount over your under-eye area to help conceal any puffiness or dark circles. We love Guerlain Teracotta Bronzing Powders ($53), which come in eight beautiful shades to match every skin tone, and add warmth to your complexion without making you look like a disco ball.
Another problem for allergy sufferers? Those awful makeup smudges caused by our perma-watery eyes. Luckily, Jamie says we don’t have to abandon our mascara and liner until Fall; we just need to get smart about maintenance. “I love using bareMinerals On the Spot Makeup Removers ($5), which are cotton swabs with makeup remover in them,” she says. “You can carry them in your purse and just crack the top to use it. Very handy!”
As for reducing any ocular redness? “I love an eye drop for instant pick me up,” says Jamie. Though the type of eye drops you use will depend on your specific allergies, pre-existing medical conditions and whether you wear contacts, we love Bauch and Lomb Advanced Eye Relief ($4.79) for the hydration and comfort they give our eyes. (Double-check with your doctor to see if they’re right for you, of course.)
We also find that no matter how hard we try, our skin gets a little dry and dull during allergy season. Fortunately, there’s an easy way around it. “Spraying a hydrating beauty elixir with lots of moisture will bring a fullness back to your skin,” says Jamie. “Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir ($49) is a great one!” Because it’s a spray rather than a lotion, you can use it multiple times a day—and as a bonus, it’ll refresh your makeup each time you spritz!
Speaking of facial dryness: raise your hands if get those awful scaly patches on either side of your nose from too much tissue use. Yeah, us too. According to Jamie, the way around this is lots and lots of hydration while we sleep. “Lather in coconut oil, argan oil or even Aquaphor ($14) or Egyptian Magic ($33),” says Greenberg. “Wear overnight so by the morning your skin is soft enough to take concealer without revealing rough texture.”
But of course, looking good only goes so far; allergy attacks also mean we feel pretty terrible. Jamie, an allergy sufferer herself, knows all about this—and she shared with us the advice she gives her celebrity clients. “Sleep, Zyrtec to feel better, drink lots of water, eat right and exercise…we don’t want to hear it, but it works!”
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