Ugh! Ever wake up with allergies? Today I did. I dont get them too often, but today I woke up with the full on blocked up, congested, swollen face, swollen eyes thing going on, and felt somewhat like death warmed over. Hardly glamor-rama.
In fact I looked like an alcoholic after a mad dog night of party-hearty binge drinking.
And, of course, I had to get out the door to go do makeup on a client.
So whats a gal to do?
I have a trusted routine that I swear by, that gives me results like crazy, but that I’m sure the medicos will say is all old wives tales…
So here’s what I find to be the best solution.
First up if you can squeeze even a couple of extra minutes in to your already rushed morning, grab a clean washcloth, soak it in icy cold water, and lie back down with it over your eyes.
I have bought those eye masks that you keep in the refridgerator before, but find that they never quite mold to the shape of my eyes, whereas a wash cloth will, everytime.
I am convinced the lying down part is important too.
Next up I pour boiling water into a bowl which I place in the sink and add a couple of drops of peppermint oil. With a towel over my head to hold in the steam, I do some deep inhaling. This helps clear out congestion.
It also seems to help allergy headaches, and on top of that, I find that when I have allergies my skin feels pulled and dry, so the steaming and the peppermint oil help open it all up so that my moisturizer can really get in there and do its job, rather than just sit on the surface of the skin.
I swear by steaming the skin – it really does work wonders.
I have this great product in my makeup kit that I throw on next. Its called Morning After Rescue Gel and its by Nickel Spa for men in NYC. And its brilliant!
It was designed for men who’ve had a big old night on the boogie, and now are looking truly hungover and crap-tastic the next morning. But it also works brilliantly when you’re puffy from allergies.
I found out about this magic potion a few years back on breakfast TV. The early morning crew frequently have puffy eyes and swollen faces, and this is fantastic for bringing their skin back to life.
It has caffeine in it, which really does waken the skin. It also is genius at reducing puffiness around the eyes (although you’re not supposed to put it there).
Its mentholated so sometimes can get a bit fumey, but I absolutely swear by it!
In fact on mornings like this morning, I would have loved to just dunk my head into a bucket of it.
A little side note here: you often hear about people using Preparation H around puffy eyes. The ingredient that supposedly reduces puffiness was removed from Prep H years ago. In all my years in the business I have never seen it used on any set that I’ve worked on. My theory is keep backside products to your backside, and facial products for your face….
The last part of my routine if I’m doing the allergy thing, or if I’m just looking super tired & wrung out in the morning is to leave out the java. For some reason coffee seems to make the skin look worse when taken internally on a bad day.
I’ll either put lemon slices in hot water, or drink peppermint tea. It may be urban myth, but it seems to either detox a little, or maybe just invigorate the skin and get rid of the bloaty face that we’re battling.
So ice it, steam it, keep your caffeine topical, and rock on looking all kinds of fabulous!