How to Combat Allergy Face

Beauty tips to survive the “pollen tsunami.”

woman-sunflower-allergy-face
Photo by 1001nights/Getty Images

Just as you were celebrating the fact that spring is finally here (bare legs! sandals! more hours of daylight!), you were slapped in the face with miserable symptoms—red, watery eyes and a runny nose brought on by one of the worst allergy seasons in the history of forever. So instead of wearing bright lipstick and showing off your first pedi in months, you’re more concerned with how to looked pulled together even with an “allergy face.” Yes, it’s a thing. Makeup artist Ashleigh B. Ciucci shared tricks on how to feel pretty despite the pollen count. 

Iron things out.

Help deflate puffy eyes by using a cream with a metal tip applicator. The extra pressure will help reduce swelling and increase circulation. Try Benefit Puff Off ($29, sephora.com).

Go green.

Fake a flawless canvas by applying a green tinted primer all over your skin. Doing so will help cancel out any redness and blotchiness. Try Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer ($39, ulta.com). Wear it alone or top it with your favorite foundation to increase its longevity—a must when you’re blowing your nose (gross) every five minutes.

Seal the deal.

Getting your eye makeup to stay intact throughout the day is a feat in itself. Add watery eyes to the mix and you’re on the road to looking like a raccoon before lunch. Keep shadow, liner, and mascara in place by choosing waterproof formulas. Yes, they require a little more elbow grease to remove, but these three budge-proof picks will keep your eye makeup in place despite a sneezing fit or repeated eye wipes. Try L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eyeshadow ($7, target.com), Sephora Collection Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner ($13, sephora.com), and NYX Cosmetics Doll Eye Mascara Waterproof ($10, ulta.com).

Be bold.

An easy trick to distract from puffy eyes or a red nose: Pick one feature and try a bold look—it'll direct the attention there (and away from your not-so-cute symptoms). Option one: Bold brows. If you don’t have them, fake them by using a pencil in a shade that matches your brow color (if you’re blonde, go one hue deeper) to create thin strokes to lightly fill in your arches. Try Sania’s Brow Bar Angled Mechanical Pencil ($28, qvc.com). Brush them with a spooley to blend, then top them with a clear brow gel to keep them in place. We like Sonia Kashuk Brow Gel ($6, target.com). Another option: swipe on a bright (think coral) lipstick so your smile steals the spotlight. Puffy face crisis averted.

Give your brushes a bath.

To help prevent pollen from spreading in your home, experts suggest stripping down when you get inside, washing your clothes, and showering before hopping into bed. The same theory applies if you travel with makeup brushes, since they can carry allergens. Gather any sponges or brushes you use on-the-go (you know, the ones your stash in your purse or car) and clean them with warm water and a mild soap or baby shampoo. Dab them with a paper towel, then lay them out to dry.

And when all else fails, pop in a few drops of Visine (look for their Allergy Relief formula; $8, drugstore.com) and throw on your sunnies.