As the wind blows in my hair, the scent of freshly cut grass fills my nose and the sight of flowers blooming in the park greets my eyes, the one thing that comes to mind is “I blooming hope I remembered to take my allergy tablets this morning.” For the nearly 18million of us Brits who suffer from hayfever, summer can mean months of muddling through unexpected symptoms – including watery eyes, a red nose and puffy face. I developed hayfever in my 20’s and mostly have it under control, but when those occasional flare ups occur it can absolutely ruin my day; a nice stroll in the park becomes akin to a battle field, as I attempt to blot away my watery eyes and runny nose without looking like a wally. Smudged mascara, a reddening nose and general puffiness is never a good look (although giant sunglasses do help to cover the majority of it;) I’ve been known to cancel nights out when my eyes are so puffy I don’t look or feel like myself, while many a lovely afternoon has been spent inside as I can’t deal with the impact of the pollen up my nostrils.
Aside from sneezing and sniffling, new research from Benadryl (those guys that make effective and fast-acting allergy relief products,) shows that allergies can also play havoc with the way women look and subsequently feel. In a recent survey they found that 95% of women with allergies experience an impact on the way their makeup looks and feels when their symptoms flare, which can impact on self-confidence as well as their social life. If you’re a hayfever or allergy sufferer like me, you don’t have to spend your summer hidden and waiting for the pollen to blow away: you just need some top tips and recommendations to help you on your way…
STEP ONE: Counteract Redness
The best way to conceal colour imperfections is to use the opposite shade to the problem area on the colour wheel; in the case of redness, that’s green. Using a green concealer such as Max Factor’s CC Stick Colour Corrector (£9.99) over a red nose will help to blend away discolouration. You can apply it under makeup in the morning as a preventative measure, or dab a little onto your nose when you experience a flare up – just be sure to apply your foundation or powder over the surface so you don’t have a green tinge showing through! (Bonus Tip: apply a white liner to the inner corner of eyes to brighten and conceal redness.)
STEP TWO: Contour Away Puffiness
Contouring palettes are a girl’s best friend, but especially when you’re having a puffy moment. If you feel like your face is rounder than the Marshmallow Man, gently contouring in the shape of two ‘3’s from forehead to cheek and out to chin can help create depth. For a more intense look, use an angled brush from ear to mid cheek along where your face naturally sallows. My personal favourite products include the Bourjois Delice de Poudre bronzer (£7.99) and the Kat Von D ‘Light and Shade’ palette (£37.00) for a stronger look.
STEP THREE: Catch The Light
I feel naked without a touch of highlighter on my cheekbones, but it does more than add sparkle to my look. A swipe of highlighter adds radiance to any complexion in an instant, which counteracts the dullness and puffiness your Allergy Face may have left you with. You don’t need to spend a fortune (Makeup Revolution do some great ones for only £3.00,) but do buff on a little to the tops of cheekbones and down the bridge of the nose on those days when you’re feeling less than sparkly.
STEP FOUR: Detract With A Bold Lip
If all else fails, embrace the ultimate makeup trick and detract from what’s going on elsewhere with a bold lips. During the summer months a beautiful red-orange is flattering on any skintone and incredibly easy to wear – don’t think that the bold lip needs to be left until Autumn. To give it staying power and keep it in place all day long, line the lip with a transparent liner and blot thoroughly after applying the first layer; apply a second layer and add a dusting of translucent powder over the surface. Hey presto, you’re done! My current fave affordable lipstick brands include Sleek, Bourjois and Maybelline for a hit of colour without having to worry if it melts in your bag!
You don’t have to suffer the symptoms of hayfever this summer, nor do you have to put up with the runny eyes or reddened skin they can often cause. Make sure you take your tablets every morning to counteract any symptoms before they appear, get prepared and make the most of the warmer weather!
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