Seasonal allergies can really throw a lady's beauty routine out of whack.
As a life-long allergy sufferer, I know all about the special challenges they present: watery eyes, a puffy face, and blotchy, dry skin from excessive nose-blowing.
It's definitely a "less is more" situation as far as makeup is concerned. Instead of playing with colour, I always pay more attention to soothing my skin and neutralizing redness—plus allergy management strategies such as avoiding triggers and taking medication.
These are the products you can find in my makeup bag and skincare regimen during allergy season. For more tips on how I cover up my symptoms, check out this tutorial!
1. Calming Serum
When your face is blotchy, itchy and inflamed, swap your usual skincare products (which could have irritating actives) for a calming serum that helps take out the redness.
My first choice is the all-natural Éminence Calm Skin Arnica Booster-Serum, with botanical extracts that reduce swelling and minimize redness. There's also Darphin Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum, which I was surprised to discover is 83 percent natural and has a beautiful watery texture. Another option is SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer, which was developed for and tested on extra-sensitive skin; it has peptides that cool skin temperature and alleviate irritation.
2. Moisturizing Balm
Repeatedly blowing your nose sure takes a toll on your skin, leaving it red, flaky and tender. Regular moisturizers just won't cut it, so I repair the damage with a rich, nourishing skin balm.
True Organic of Sweden All You Need is Me is my current favourite. Made with 100 percent natural ingredients, it has a balmy texture that heals dryness without leaving you greasy (just give it a few minutes to sink in). A little goes a long way—it also doubles as a lip balm, cuticle cream and hair mask!
Speaking of runny noses... after you apply your skincare, you're going to want something to cover up the redness. (Otherwise, prepare to hear "Are you sick?" all day long.)
As y'all know, my go-to is RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up, not just as a concealer but also sheered-out as foundation. It's great on a flaky nose because it's super-balmy and hydrating. However, if I need serious camouflaging power, I always turn to Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer. It's opaque, requires no setting powder, and just doesn't budge.
4. Soothing Mist
When it's not practical to slather on a serum or skin balm (if you're at the office, for example), face mists are a great way to soothe allergy flare-ups.
Ole Henriksen Nuture Me Facial Water is made just for this purpose; it contains cucumber extract, chamomile extract, and pro vitamin B5 to cool, calm and hydrate the skin. I also love the classic Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater, which is high in aloe vera.
5. Eye Drops
Makeup artists always have eye drops in their kits, so their clients' eyes look whiter and brighter on the red carpet. If allergies give you irritated, bloodshot eyes, consider adding them to your kit, too.
VISINE® SEASONAL RELIEF® Eye Drops are specifically made for allergy sufferers and will quickly take the red out and help clear mucus from the outer surface of the eye. (Just remember, they should not be used for more than three days in a row without consulting your doctor.)
6. Nude Eyeliner
Another thing you can do for bloodshot eyes is swipe a waterproof nude eyeliner along your inner rims. It'll neutralize the red and give the illusion of brightness. The idea is to not even look like you're wearing eyeliner, so stick with soft, beigey shades. Avoid white—it's too artificial.
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil in Walk of Shame is the perfect product for this purpose; it's even creamier than the brand's original liners and glides on like a dream. At the drugstore, another great option is Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Waterproof Gel Pencil in Soft Nude.
7. Water-Resistant Mascara
My mascara smears on a good day, so imagine how bad it gets during allergy season, when my eyes are extra-teary! Ergo, water-resistant mascara is a must.
So many waterproof formulas can dry out your lashes (or aren't actually waterproof!), but not Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Waterproof Mascara. It also gives very decent volume. Alternatively, "tubing" mascaras such as Blinc Mascara Amplified form tiny tubes around each lash, and are water-resistant and smudge-proof.
8. Lip Mask and Balm
Chapped lips and allergies often go hand in hand, since a blocked nose means you're probably breathing through your mouth more often. Heavy-duty lip balm is essential—or one of the new lip masks that double as balm!
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask is one of them—a leave-on mask that delivers amazing intensive hydration. Guerlain Super Lips Lip Hero is a similar mask-balm hybrid with a slightly thinner texture. Then there's Lancôme Absolue Precious Cells Nourishing Lip Balm. Yes, it's splurgey for a lip balm, but it's one of the best I've tried.
9. Allergy Treatments
Finally, I'm a big proponent of keeping allergy treatments on hand, so you can ease your symptoms as soon as they start.
REACTINE® NaturEase Nasal Spray is all-natural and soothes dryness while clearing irritants from your nasal passages. For more symptom relief, there's oral REACTINE®, which can be taken daily during allergy season to relieve a runny nose, sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and itchiness. It starts to work fast (in only 20 minutes), and lasts 24 hours.
With this coupon, you can save $6.00 off your next purchase of REACTINE®!
Allergies are never fun, but with these products, at least you'll be equipped to deal with them. Like I said, my beauty routine during allergy season isn't about being creative or wearing tons of colour. If I can keep flaky skin and redness at bay, I'm happy—and these products do just that!
Don't forget to follow @ReactineCA on Twitter for a daily pollen forecast that can help indicate how bad your symptoms might be, to help you plan your day.
What's in your allergy season makeup bag?
Have you tried any of these products?