It is hayfever season. If you are a sufferer like me I am telling you what you already know. Five months of itchy eyes, tickly ears, sneezing at the speed of a Boris Becker serve and eyes that run faster than Usain Bolt is not fun. Just because I suffer from hayfever does not mean that I don’t want to maintain my beauty regime…. but… my symptoms do mean that I need to make some amendments.
W A R N I N G
MY MUM WAS A NURSE BUT I AM NOT A DOCTOR.
GET MEDICAL ADVICE.
Are you sure it is hayfever?
It might for example, be a summer cold or a chest infection or something else. Get yourself to the GP
If it is hayfever, are you taking medicines that work for you?
It is 2012. There is no reason for you to suffer horribly or in silence. If neither over the counter medicines nor homeopathic remedies are working , get yourself to your GP to discuss some alternatives.
Name it and Claim it!
Hayfever is not funny, it is not a fake illness and it is not a joke – it can be extremely debilitating. Don’t pretend that you ‘just have a sniffle’. You don’t. It is hayfever and it is horrible.
Before I talk about the makeup, can I just take a step back and talk about skincare please? Thank you. We all know that it is important to wash your face, twice a day – no change there, but, your hayfever symptoms may mean that you need make some amendments to your routine..
If your eyes are so itchy, that it feels like there is barbed wire between your eyeball and your eyelid you are likely to be suffering from sore dry lids and puffy eyes. Under these circumstances why or why would you spend time and money using a really ‘active’ eye cream/serum. If your active cream does not cause you further irritation, carry on, but if you are finding that it is making it worse, stop using it. You don’t want to do anything that will further irritate the eye and with the amount of rubbing that you are doing what you need is something super moisturising, something cooling and something that you can put on the lid. I’m currently using Monu and loving it. It does not irritate at all, it does not make the puffiness worse and my lids feel supple and moisturised hours after application. To remove eye make up, I like to use a cleansing water like Bioderma, which not only removes the make up gently, but is also cooling on the lid, especially if like me – you keep it in the fridge. Then continue with your normal cleaning routine.
If when you sneeze, you can literally feel your brain bouncing around in your skull, I feel your pain. You may be suffering from congestion which makes you feel like your head is going to explode. Or maybe your nose is behaving like a geyser with regular gushes of bogey (sorry do you prefer mucus?) streaming from your nose, towards your mouth and in fact into your mouth if you do not get there fast enough with the tissue. If nasal symptoms are your issue, try to find a light moisturising cream that you can reapply on your nose. Hydrafloral by Decleor is one of my favourites – light, moisturising, non irritating. Also, make sure that you are using a soft tissues. No tracing paper loo roll. No super thick super stiff kitchen roll. No two ply nonsense that disintegrates into nothing. My preference is for balsam tissues but the choice is yours. Even if you are using soft tissue, you may find that you get sore/red/dry patches on the sides of your nose due to all the nose blowing. I like to use a small about of shea butter or if you have an unscented/multipurpose balm you could use that.
Please get yourself some sunglasses. Sunnies are your friend. They cover up your puffy red itchy sore eyes, they look stylish (if you have chosen the right shape for your face) but more importantly, they keep the pollen out of your eyes. Wear them as much as possible. Not on the tube or in the office or… as I saw recently in the cinema (yes, REALLY) but, when you are outside or on the bus/overground train, put them on.
Ok, on to the make up.
Question. Do you really need to wear a full face of makeup today? You do? Any chance you can wear just concealer? No? Ok.
If your brain attempts to leave your skull via your nose when you sneeze, stay away from pigmented lipstick, and lip gloss. You don’t want to end up with Nars Schiap up your nose, on your hand, down your chin and as happened to me recently, on your new silk black and white scarf. That is what happens when you do a hayfever sneeze and trust me, it is not easy to get lipstick out of silk! Stick to a lip balm, or a light layer of lip gloss or a neutral colour lip. Basically nothing too pigmented because it will end up all over your face.
If you feel like you want to pull your eyes out of their sockets with your bare hands they are so itchy, step away from doing a five eye-colour with a cut crease masterpiece on your eyelid. STEP AWAY from the 217 MAC brush and put the powder shadow down. I said, PUT IT DOWN. You also need to step away from tight lining. No eyeliner on the inner rim of the eye. To paraphrase Rastamouse, ‘why make a bad thing worse?’ Tight lining is not your friend right now… unless your eye symptoms are under control. What you need to do is use a cream shadow and a gel eyeliner (my current combination of choice is MAC Constructivist and Bobbi Brown Ivy). You can wing your eyeliner if you like, but, I would not advise it if your eyes water from the outer corner of your eye. Your winged masterpiece will end up on your tissues/hand. Simplicity is the key and you don’t want to use anything powdered if you can help it. Fall out and sore eyes are a combination made in purgatory. Mascara – nothing with fibres please, oh and do not wiggle the wand from the root to the top of the lashes. For the duration of hayfever season you will only be wearing mascara on the ends of your lashes. You may want to go to a waterproof formula, but make sure you remove it properly.
There will be days when both your eyes and your nose are conspiring against you. On those occasions, if you have to wear makeup, focus on brows and blusher.
Powder formulations. Sigh. Outside of hayfever season, I have nothing but love for powders. However, during hayfever season, powder, in pollen irritated eyes and noses is going to make a bad thing worse. If you don’t have cream eye and blush formulations, I would suggest that you use your eye colours wet or that you spritz your face after application with water, or some kind of fix plus or my current fave, Monu Rosewood Reviving Mist
As you continue to take your medication regularly, you should find that your symptoms settle down. If they don’t, back to the GP for you. There is really no reason for excessive coughing and spluttering due to pesky pollen.
Keep your hair out of your face. The number of times I have seen women with their fringes in their eyes trying to take eyedrops. Why? No but seriously why would you do that? Get a hair grip and put your fringe to the side. A ponytail, bun, braid, chignon or variation on that theme is the best thing during hayfever season.
Have you had any hayfever beauty disasters? What remedies are working for you at the moment?