Fake It Until You Make It: Looking Good When You’re Sick

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Through all of our handy beauty products, we enhance and improve upon our features that we were born with, and play up the ones that we wish had a bit more prominence. So that saying “fake it until you make it” can really ring true in the beauty world — if you want fuller lips, make them; bolder brows, create them; and a countered jawline, contour it! In this column we’ll teach you the tips and tricks to tweaking your features and “faking it” until you “make it.”

It’s that dreaded time of year: Cold and flu season. Just when we’re ready to show off our new fall threads and try out the latest autumn beauty looks, cold symptoms sweep in, making us want to crawl right back into bed. You can only look so cute when you’re constantly blowing your nose like a French horn or coughing every few minutes. Why, cold and flu season, why must you be so cruel?!

Having a cold really takes a toll on you physically. Between the itchy and watery eyes, red noses, inflamed sinuses, chapped lips, and everything else, it’s a recipe for disaster. Since each of these factors messes up your beauty game, it’s important to have a few tricks up your sleeve (along with maybe a few tissues) to help trick everyone into thinking you’re actually feeling awesome.

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Stay Hydrated: This one may sound like a no brainer, but it couldn’t be any more true. As the saying goes, “Feed a cold, starve a fever”, so be sure to feed your body lots of water and water-based fruit to stay hydrated from the inside out. In addition, moisturizing from the outside-in is key too, so load up on gentle moisturizer in the morning and before you go to bed. Try Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion for a tried-and-true skin saver.

Decrease Eye Puffiness: Because fluid tends to build up in the eye area when you’re sick, start by sleeping at a more elevated position to drain fluid overnight. Also, before you get into bed, place two metal spoons in the freezer, and right when your wake up, set them over your eyelids for a few minutes. The cold will help constrict blood vessels to make your eyes look less puffy (and not to mention, wake you up while you’re at it!). If all else fails, try Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On which not only helps de-puff, but also brighten dark circles.

Tend to Your Sinuses: Since your nose can feel like it’s 10 times its normal size when you’re sick, keep a bottle of saline solution in your handbag to help clean out your nasal passages throughout the day, or try a vapor treatment by placing your face over a bowl of steaming hot water and eucalyptus oil for a few minutes before you head off to class or work.

MORE: 9 Gross Beauty Problems and Their Fixes

Choose a Stay-Put Foundation: Since having a cold requires constant nose blowing and wiping, wear a long-lasting foundation like MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation to help keep your makeup in place. Keep a tube of concealer with you as well, like Stila Stay All Day Concealer for touch-ups.

Go Waterproof: Chances are your eyes will be watery or need to be rubbed a few times throughout the day, so choose a waterproof mascara and eyeliner to keep everything put all day long. Also try placing some redness relief eye drops in your eyes in the morning before applying eye makeup to help nip the redness in the bud.

Perfect Your Pout: Stuffy noses often result in the dreaded mouth-breathing, which then leads to dry lips — it’s a lose-lose! To help combat this issue, use a tin of super-hydrating lip balm, like Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. Just be sure to wash your hands in between applications!

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