8 Ways to Instantly Look Better When You're Sick

We all need a little pick-me-up every once in a while.

This article originally appeared on MIMI. 

We've all been there: hot mess status with a sore throat, unbearable cough, runny nose, under the weather bed-head, and that God-awful migraine. But as sick days become more of a rarity in this crazy world we live in, you sometimes have to pull yourself out of bed, put yourself together in a presentable way and take on the world. Luckily, there are many easy and extremely quick (because who has time to fuss when they're battling a fever?) beauty tips to liven up your complexion and have you looking good. Well, as good as you can considering the circumstances, because after all—look good, feel good, right? 

1

Highlight Where It Matters

0507tissue-paper
Photo by James Baigrie

This is a quick and effective fix because one obvious giveaway that you're not feeling your best is a sullen, lackluster complexion. The solution? Grab your favorite highlighting pen or brightening concealer — and highlight where it matters. Dab a spot of product under the eyes, on the corners of your nose, and the sides of your mouth. Blend out by patting your fingers on each area. You've now concealed those pesky under-eye circles, the redness around your nose from all that blowing, and highlighted the corners of your smile for a lifted effect.

L'Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighter Pen; $9.49, target.com
YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch; $42, sephora.com
Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer; $28, sephora.com
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer; $21, macys.com
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer; $6.99, drugstore.com

2

Sculpt Those Brows

You'd be surprised how much an arched, sculpted brow can wake you up. Not only do well-tamed eyebrows make you look put together, a nice arch will give a swift lift of the entire face. Your arches are distressed and unruly from all the time you've spent on your pillow—so whether you have naturally full brows (lucky you) or more sparse hairs, a tinted fiber rich brow gel is the quickest way to add color, texture, and shape. Simply brush through and you're ready to go. And if you're feeling well enough for the extra step, add a matte brow highlight or concealer under the high points of your arch for a perfectly polished look.

Benefit Gimme Brow; $24, ulta.com
L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper; $7.99, target.com
Eyeko Tinted Brow Gel; $24, birchbox.com
Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Pencil; $18, nordstrom.com
Sephora Collection Brow Enhancer; $12, sephora.com

3

Get Some Glisten Going on Those Cheeks

One of the major ailments of getting sick is dull, dehydrated skin. If you don't have time to apply a skin-care treatment, you can fake it with a touch of cheek highlight. Any shimmery or luminizing product placed on the high points of your cheekbones will help you fake the illusion of a healthy, dewy complexion. Whenever feeling lackluster, a touch of glow really gives the face life. Opt for a cream for convenience and great texture—apply effortlessly with your ring finger and get ready to take on the day.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector "Poured" in Moonstone; $38, sephora.com
Benefit Watts UP; $30; sephora.com 
Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer; $26; sephora.com



4

Try a Caffeinated Face/Body Scrub

For most people sick in bed, a good shower is the only thing that will truly wake them up. Between the sauna-like steam and refreshing exfoliation, you end up stepping out of the bathroom feeling a new woman. An energizing caffeine-powered scrub is just to thing to revive your senses and clear your head because any caffeinated beauty product tightens and brightens, and leaves you with a delightful tingling sensation, which is perfect to start your day when you're not feeling 100%. The scent of great coffee? That's just an added bonus!

Pacifica Kona Coffee and Sugar Detox; $28; ulta.com
Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub; $38; birchbox.com
Wash with Joe Coffee Mint Invigorating Bodywash; $28, amazon.com

5

Break Out the Frozen Spoons

Keep two frozen spoons in your freezer at all times for crisis control. When your eyes are swollen from sickness (or any other reason), simply place the frozen spoons on and under your eyes for just a few minutes. This will INSTANTLY de-puff and soothe, faster than any eye cream or treatment ever could. Follow up with some cooling eye drops like Rohto and your eyes will be bright and awake!

6

Use a Soothing Sheet Mask

Your dehydrated skin will also appreciate when you take time to use a soothing, intensely hydrating sheet mask to give moisture and life back into your face. A sheet mask is kind of like an emergency thirst quencher for your visage, packed with concentrated ingredients/serums to nourish on the worst of days and soothe that feverish head. Simply apply the mask, wear it as long as you can/want, and rub in whatever's left over after removing.

Sephora Brand Ultra Hydrating and Brightening Rose Mask; $6, sephora.com
Dr. Jart + Dermask Water Jet Soothing Hydra Solution; $6, sephora.com
Tony Moly Tea Tree Face Mask Sheet; $7.50, sephora.com
Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask; $95, barneys.com



7

Cream Bronzer is Your Friend

Being dull, pale, and tired, you may assume that adding a touch of blush is a quick pick-me-up when you're sick, but adding any rouge to your cheeks will bring out ANY other redness in your face. So opt for a cream bronzer instead—something that will really warm up your complexion and put some pep in your step. I advise cream because of the easy blend-ability and the fact that its texture isn't so dry. But if you are comfortable with a powder and brush, you do you! As long as your product of choice is a warm, glowing toned bronzer, you'll be well on your way to a better looking day! 

Tarte Park Avenue Princess Bronzer; $30, sephora.com
Becca Shimmer Skin Perfector "Poured" in Topaz; $38; sephora.com
Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel; $48; nordstrom.com
Make Up Forever Pro Bronze Fusion; $36, sephora.com
Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Cream Bronzer; $11; target.com

8

A Little Lip Gloss Can Go a Long Way

Dry, cracked lips are a dead giveaway that you're sick, but you'll be pleasantly surprised to see how far a little gloss can take you away from that. Try to use a sheer, natural pink close to your lips that is just slightly more pink in color; a nude may wash you out even more, and a red/berry will be too bold for a flu-like gal such as yourself.

Maybelline Color Elixir in Blush Essence; $8.99, ulta.com
Urban Decay Revolution High Color Lip Gloss in Failbait; $22, sephora.com
NARS Lipgloss in Chelsea Girls; $26, saksfifthavenue.com
BITE Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Currant; $22, sephora.com
NYX Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie; $5, ulta.com