Watery eyes, sneezing, puffy eyes, red nose—the telltale signs of seasonal illnesses neither feel, nor look, particularly good. It’s hard enough to combat the physical effects of symptoms from a cold, the flu,and even terrible seasonal allergies, but in those rare situations that we need to get out of the house and present our best semblance of health (like, ahem, going to work), these beauty tricks will carry you through. You may still be feeling under the weather, but nobody will be the wiser.
Invest in quality tissues.
It’s true: The softer the tissue you can get, the less redness and chapping you’ll have on your nose, says makeup artist Jennifer Trotter. “Yes, I learned this lesson the hard way so you don’t have to!,” she adds. Trotter recommends springing for the Puffs Plus with lotion—you’re welcome.
Up the ante on moisturizer.
Go heavy—and we mean heavy—on the moisturizer. Before bed, be sure to coat the tip of your nose with moisturizer, too, or if it’s especially chapped, use petroleum jelly, says Trotter. You want to avoid any residual rough and flaky skin, as it’s difficult to cover with makeup. Do your heavy-duty moisturizing at night and stick to your regular moisturizer during the day.
Get swelling under control.
Reduce inflammation around the eyes and nose by using an anti-inflammatory cream, suggests Marian Rothschild, a Certified Personal Image Consultant, makeup artist, and author of “Look Good Now and Always. “Lots of cosmetic lines make them, but the best by far is the Sisley Eye Contour Mask. It’s pricey, but well worth it,” says Rothschild. For a more affordable option that works great, try Kinara Flawless Renewal Eye Cream.
Use a thick, yet creamy concealer under the eyes to cover any redness without emphasizing dryness, and stick to light eyeshadow colors around the eye. Don’t use pink eyeshadow (though we don’t know why you would), as it will accentuate any red that’s in your eyes due to your illness, says Rothschild. Use the concealer around the bottom of your nose to hide any telltale redness and blend well. For dark circles with a brown or purplish tone, use an under-eye concealer with yellow tones to counteract that darkness, suggests Lyn Tackett, esthetician and owner of Genesis Studio Spa. “I would advise avoiding white and other pale shades during your bout with the cold or flu, as your skin tone isn’t going to have as much color to begin with. White will draw attention to our paler complexion, but yellow will help color correct while keeping to a warm tone,” Tackett says.
Less is more.
Don’t overdo your makeup, and stick to natural tones. Peach tones will also help brighten up the eye area, says Tackett.
Choose the right colors.
Avoid all blue-based color products on eyes, cheeks, and lips as they will make the under eye area look dark and heavy, says makeup artist Corinna Cooke. Use warm bronzes and gold on the eyes instead and, stay away from black or charcoal liner—when we’re looking heavy around the eye area, it’s a good idea to skip dark liners and focus on brightening the eye instead. Curl your lashes and use extra mascara, too.
Use a warm-toned blush to breathe rosy-cheeked life back into the face, and brighten everything with a pop of color on the lip—just not a blue-based pink or red. A little gloss in the center of the lip makes it look juicy and hydrated instead of flat and parched. “I like cream blushes as they make the skin look more alive. Be careful with bronzer, as it can make your washed out skin look orange, and generally looks wrong in the cold months,” says Cooke. If you have dry patches around your nose from sneezing and blowing your nose, spot-treat the area with Make Up For Ever HD Elixir, suggests Cooke. It instantly hydrates and soothes dry, rough skin, and the primer finish helps enhance makeup application, as well as wear.
Check your posture.
Stand up straight and maintain good posture so that you look healthy and energetic—when we’re sick, we tend to slouch, says Rothschild, so it’s kind of a dead giveaway that you’re feeling under the weather.
Drink plenty of water, both to hydrate and to help to flush out your system so that you’ll be back on your feet in no time at all.
Read more: 12 Scary Facts Your Skin Can Reveal About Your Health