I have been snotty and ill for what seems like weeks now and a hacking cough and dribbly nose can really wear down your self-confidence.
Putting make up on is a thankless task when you sneeze it off or wipe it into a tissue but it is a necessary evil to mask the true horror of an unwell complexion.
Whether it’s germs, allergies, hormones, a hangover or simply lack of sleep, the signs of feeling unwell are plain to see. Looking bad makes you feel worse and, when you do start to feel a bit better, a pitying look from a friend or family member can be all it takes to send you back into relapse.
It would be nice to hide under a duvet until you feel well again but most of us plod along through our daily routine despite feeling and looking like the undead. Illness requires copious amounts of make up to hide the black bags, sallow complexion, crusty cold sores or giant pimples but fortunately there are a whole host of weapons in your arsenal:
Primer – I always use primer when I feel really rough and have to go out in public. It is the ultimate undercoat, designed to fill in cracks and crevices and keep your other make up in place for longer.
CC or BB cream - These are magic ‘everything-in-one tube’ creams that act as moisturiser, foundation, hide blemishes, even skin tone and protect against the sun. Many of them are more lightweight than foundation so may feel less claggy on dry, tired skin.
Foundation – The original base coat to cover up all sins and best for total coverage. I sometimes find it too heavy when I am ill and it makes me sad when I blow my nose and it comes off on a tissue.
Concealer - Use either a wand like Touche éclat or a stick to apply directly to problem areas as needed such as dark circles under the eyes, a giant spot or around bright red nostrils.
Powder – A light dusting of face powder will take the shine off your skin which is especially useful if you have just put on three layers of the above.
Creating the perfect nude
- The trick to ill make up is making it look like you have no make up on and are natural and fresh faced. I rarely reapply make up throughout the day but always carry concealer and face powder to touch up around my eyes and red nose when I am ill
- Take care to choose your base make up in a shade that is natural to you. It never helps to be too pale or an odd shade of orange. Make sure you blend the layers in carefully, especially if you don’t usually wear much make up in the day, as ill skin is much drier so make up can be harder to absorb and go a bit crusty in the corners
- Use a pale eye shadow colour such as ivory or light beige and apply it to the eye lids and under the eyes to disguise redness and look less squinty
- Take great care when applying mascara – waterproof is probably best. Sneezing is the enemy of black eye make up, especially when you are trying to apply it and a tickly nose means it sprays all down your face
- Blusher is very important. You can spend hours creating a perfect nude face but without a bit of colour on your cheeks you will still look like a corpse
Being ill is annoying but it is much worse when you look as awful as you feel and have to go out and about with everybody looking at you like you are a terminal case. The best thing to do is stay under a duvet and watch some low brow television but, if you do have to face the world, don’t be ashamed to pull out the skincare big guns.