6 Beauty Must-Haves for My Fellow Allergy Sufferers

Makeup bagI just got a glimpse of myself as I strolled past the bathroom mirror and had to backtrack. Yikes. Actually double yikes. Eyes all puffy, skin all patchy and blotchy, lips all dried out like two big cactus puffs. I am an allergy sufferer (emphasis on sufferer). And today, I look every bit the part, though I haven’t yet done anything to fix myself up to appear presentable. I also haven’t taken my little pills yet, though I’m not sure if even the miracles of modern medicine are any match for the rural sprawl of trees, shrubs, and grass here at my mom’s house in Pennsylvania, where The Girl and I are spending Memorial Day weekend.

Still, I’ve come prepared with my magic kit of girlie stuff to help me get it together before the family barbecue kicks off and my younger cousin, who fancies himself quite a witty one, shows up with an arsenal of jokes about me looking like MJ in “Thriller” after he skips past the cemetery. You know, like this: 


Not to be confused with Janelle Harris

Anyway, here’s my list of tried-and-tested-and-proven must-haves for getting it together when the sneezing, nose-blowing, watery eyes, scratchy throat, and clogged up sinuses threaten to make me look strung out.

Noxema. It’s old school but I swear by it. It takes the inflammation out of a red, tissue-blasted nose and flushed cheeks, so I slather some on my face in the morning and leave it on for about 30 minutes, then rinse it and put some moisturizer on. As an added bonus, the smell works a little to clear my nasal passages.

Covergirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara or L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara. I keep both of these in my bag and they both work beautifully. My one gift rained down by the beauty gods is a nice set of lashes—not great skin, not perfect teeth, not a killer body but hey, I’ll take what I can get. So the clear mascara works well on days when rubbing my eyes is the best, most satisfying feeling and I don’t want big, black smudges across my hands and face in the process.

And on days when the eyes aren’t quite as victimized, the waterproof stuff (in brown black) works well to pack a little extra oomph without running the risk of raccoon eyes in case I do tear up.  

Olay Regenerist Eye Regenerating Cream. It deflates those pesky bags, thank goodness, but the touch of concealer is the real godsend. It brightens the whole undereye area and makes me look perky and awake, even if the allergies themselves make me feel like I could nap standing up or the meds drug me out like a walker.

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint. I am admittedly a lip gloss junkie. If you unzip any given pocket or hideaway section of my purse right now, you’ll find some tube, pot, or wand thingamajig somewhere. But when allergies make me feel like exerting zero effort, this shiny, pretty color picks up the slack and moisturizes my lips without all of that drying and peeling. Sweet.
Smashbox primer. Between all of the rubbing and blowing and dabbing, any kind of powder I even try to apply gets whisked right on off. I don’t mind a little dewy shimmer but it’s that mirror-like glare, especially on my nose and the tops of my cheeks, that makes me grump. This stuff helps it stick a little better and keeps the shine at bay in the process.

MAC Studiofix powder. To even out that blotchiness, I apply this stuff with a fluffy brush so it’s not too heavy and use the sponge for my undereyes and eyelids. Ta da. No more leopard look.

If I’m feeling really spiffy, I’ll pull out some bronzer for my cheeks and maybe throw on a little as a shadow, but when allergies attack, I’m shooting for presentable, not phenomenal.

So everyone in the allergy gallery, what do use to make yourself look decent on a sneezy, snotty, stuffy day?

Image via Vivianna_love/Flickr

Read More >