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How to Avoid Looking Like a Slobbery Mess: My Tips for Allergies

Product Sent for Review I Bought It Myself

Allergy face and eye issues: How to fix them with makeupIt seems like every year the pollen counts are just getting higher and higher, doesn’t it? For me that means a few weeks dealing with a stuffy/runny nose and watery red eyes.

I’ve found a couple of fool proof ways to deal with this time of year. Read on to see what I use!

Makeup for puffy eyes and runny nose
1. Medicate Yourself!
I don’t usually recommend meds (even over the counter ones) on this site. Well, maybe I’ve said to take ibuprofen here and there, like in my how to treat a sunburn post. Anyways, these are my favorite over the counter medications for allergies. I take them before going out, it is much easier to treat the allergies before they start rather than after you are a runny nose, watery eyed mess!

My favorite allergy pill is Zyrtec, which used to be prescription but is now available pretty much every where. It doesn’t make me drowsy and lasts all day. I don’t usually have very watery eyes, but when they’re affected I’ll add in allergy eye drops. I usually just use the ones from Visine.

2. De-Puff Your Eyes
The worst part of allergies for me is usually the puffiness under my eyes. If I have time, the best way to depuff is to apply cold wet tea bags (only caffeinated!) to the area for about 10 minutes or so. Which I obviously don’t have time to do. The best substitute I’ve found is the Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller, which feels a little bit cool when it goes on, but has been reformulated to have more caffeine so it can tighten like there’s no tomorrow.

3. Illuminate that Area
Once you’ve depuffed, a lighter concealer than usual is best. (Which seems counter-intuitive, but is true, for me at least.) I do best with an illuminating concealer. The YSL Touche Eclat is mentioned a lot, but I get good results from
Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector and Maybelline Dream Lumi, which are much cheaper.

4. Correct Redness
If you have any areas of redness on your skin, a little green concealer can go a looooong way. Use sparingly and cover with concealer. Darker skin should mean you go to a more intense corrector. Maybelline and FACE Stockholm make correctors, but my favorite are these NYX Concealer Correctors. (Read more about how to use color correctors and concealers.)

5. Blending, Blending, Blending.
I’m a fan of a little brown eye liner, on top and bottom lash lines, and then blend it out carefully. The darkness will actually make the puffy areas recede, so you won’t notice them. Don’t go too far out under your bottom lash line (3-4 mm at the most, make it most intense at the lash line and feather it out), if you use black or too much color it will just look like you’ve smeared your makeup.

The blended liner trick works best for me with a slightly soft liner like the CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner, which is also waterproof. SUPER important for water eyes. You’ll have a minute or two to blend, and then it sets. So, a light line at the very base of your lashes, and then I use a short brush like the Sonia Kashuk Shader Brush to blend it out to roughly 3 mm below my lash line. Things immediately look less puffy!

Cara on Maskcara recently wrote a post about blended eye liner and while it isn’t 100% what I do (I use only liner on the bottom), it’s pretty close!

6. Waterproof Mascara
Somehow I always end up rubbing my eyes more when I’m consciously trying not to rub them. A good waterproof mascara is a big must have for allergy season, no one wants to look like a raccoon! The new CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara is working pretty well for me, it’s waterproof and stands up to accidental rubs but is really easy to remove.

What are your favorite products for combating allergy season? These would also be great for a wedding. I know I’m always a teary eyed girl by the end of the ceremony!

Product Sent for Review I Bought It Myself

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 6.3.13

    These tips are great Christine! I, too, suffer from allergies (both year-round and seasonal). The pollen and airborne molds are pretty bad in GA. I recently "graduated" from my 5 years of allergy shots. Now I just take Zyrtec and Nasonex when my allergies act up (mostly in Spring and Fall). I rely on good concealers for redness and dark circles. Right now my two faves for under eye are MUFE's HD or Hard Candy's Glamoflauge. I find that using a brightener/highlighter in the inner eye corners works wonders: I love BeneFit's Eye Bright, NYX's Milk, and Pixi's Eye Brightener. Never tried NYX's color correctors! Will have to check out! 🙂

  2. 6.3.13
    chatchien said:

    With my allergies, it is not my eyes that are the problem. It is my nose.

    After applying my foundation and setting it with powder, I have to wipe or blow my nose within the hour if not sooner. And with all the tissue wiping, there goes my foundation and powder on my nose and my nose is back to being red even if I use a corrector.

    I have to re-apply a foundation all day long just to my nose. I am using a mineral foundation simply because it is the easiest to carry with me and repair my Rudolph Red nose. If you have the same problem or know anyone else who does, what do you or they do for an allergy red nose?

  3. 6.3.13

    Thank you Christine! The timing of your posts are always so relevant and handy! Actually, the timing is sort of uncanny here–bc I just had an allergy skin test today and the results weren't very pretty…also weird is how Pammy mentioned shots bc it was just suggested to me today that I should think about getting them…

    Anyway, beauty products for allergies: My absolute must-have for undereye's is the Graftobian Hi-Def Glamour Creme Corrector Palette. The texture/pigmentation is very similar to Bobbi Brown corrector/concealers and there are 5 correctors: in yellow, peach, green, pink, and highlight. You can get each color separately if you'd like though. I also like Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in Brightener and Neutralizer (these are correcting colors).

  4. 6.4.13

    @Chatchien For my nose I haven't had much luck with any makeup staying put. If my nose is really irritated I'll use something like mentholatum ointment, something about that seems to soothe the skin quite a bit. I've tried so many different concealers, foundation, steroid cream, other heavy duty creams, even visine to bring down the red…. pretty much only the mentholatum actually helps me.

  5. 6.9.13
    Anonymous said:

    @catdog, I have a somewhat disgusting solution for runny noses. If it's a rather viscous drainage, I use a cotton swab (only if I'm in private- I can't stress that enough) to remove the offending mess. It doesn't mess up my make-up, and it takes care of the problem. Obviously this won't work at the peak of allergy season, but it's great for the rest of the year.

    I feel like I should throw in an obligatory "consult your doctor" remark, though. Oh, and I only go about 1-2 mm inside my nose with the swab. I can't believe I'm posting this on the internet, no matter how anonymous I may be!

    @Christine, I love your site. Your sunscreen posts are particularly invaluable! I am terrible about lurking and never commenting, but just assume that I am mentally "liking" all your posts!