Beauty Tips to Help Mask Allergies

Aly Walansky

Photo: Getty Images

As much as we are thrilled to say goodbye to winter, allergy season is pretty miserable. From sneezing and congestion to red, watery eyes, we all have symptoms we’d like to shake. Even worse, as the season goes on, we look as bad as we feel. With these tips, we’ll still look our best, even when we’re feeling our worst.

Keep yourself hydrated.
“Oral antihistamines can dehydrate your body (and your skin!) if you are taking allergy medications. Make sure to drink plenty of water and add a hydrating mask or a Hydrafacial to your routine,” says Dr. Cascya Charlot, who is board certified in allergy and immunology and internal medicine and the medical director of Purely Natural Medical Spa in New York.

Drink cold water.
This works well to reduce eyelid or generalized facial puffiness, says Dr. Charlot.

Contour to combat puffiness.
When we wear black, we look slimmer. “In the same way, shading and highlighting can help us chisel and define a puffy face,” says Zyrtec celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg. Using highlighter can also help draw attention to specific features, like cheekbones, and away from others.

Hide runny, red noses.
When you have a red nose from blowing your nose too much, use tissues that have aloe vera, and never use any napkins that are rough for your nose. Celebrity makeup artist Norma Lopez suggests using a green-tinged primer to hide any redness in your nose. “On top of the green corrector, add your concealer that you use on a regular basis and cover the rest. Now apply powder or foundation, and your nose is close to looking flawless and perfect,” Lopez says.

Accentuate your lips.
When your eyes are watery and your nose is red, you don’t always have to cake on the makeup. “Instead, move attention to large, luscious lips by outlining the outside of your natural lip line with a colored liner. Then, finish off with a colored lip gloss and blend,” says Greenberg.

Save those tea bags.
For red, swollen eyes, placing a tea bag over your eyes for 10 minutes after cooling it down to room temperature will do the trick. It should bring them back to life almost instantly, says Lopez. Before applying your makeup, always use eyedrops that will help moisturize dry eyes. If you’re wearing waterproof mascara, switch to a regular version. Waterproof will only dry out your lash line.

Another tip for those swollen eyes is probably sitting inside your breakfast cereal bowl right now. “Eliminate under-eye bags by holding chilled spoons over your eyes until they return to room temperature. This will help improve circulation and soothe unsightly puffiness,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon and president of

You are what you eat.
“Be careful with skin care products that contain fresh fruits or raw vegetables: Some patients with pollen allergies can become sensitive to fruits and raw vegetables that are botanically related to pollen, a condition known as an pollen-food allergy syndrome,” says Dr. Charlot. This syndrome tends to worsen during allergy season. “My patients have reported that something as benign as a homemade mask with, say, apples and cucumbers caused their skin to become itchy, red and swollen,” Dr. Charlot says.

Eliminate the allergens where you can.
A good day starts with a good night’s sleep. Close your window and sleep in a room with a humidifier. “This will break up congestion and help you breathe easier. It’s also important to change your sheets, pillowcase and pajamas on a regular basis to reduce the amount of allergens around you. If you’re still stuffed up in the morning, the steam from a warm shower will help clear your sinuses,” says Dr. Schlessinger.

Stick to what you know .
“When your immune system is working overtime to battle aeroallergens, this may be the wrong time to introduce something new into your skin care routine,” says Dr. Charlot. Stick to what you know, and if you must use a new product, try a hypoallergenic product.

Stay away from anything that will accentuate red undertones.
This may mean using a bronzer or concealer with a light brown or yellow tint. Pay special attention to the allergic shiners (dark discoloration under the eyes). Although these can often be genetic, they are my clue as an allergist that someone may be suffering from allergies, Dr. Charlot says.

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