I chuckled while writing this blog title. Why? Because I just got over one of the worse flus I have ever, EVER had. I honestly thought I was on my deathbed. You name the flu symptom, I had it. Horrendous sore throat, runny nose, aches and pains, fever, coughing…and get this: pink eye. What am I? A kindergartner? I felt all sorts of terrible.
Now, I’m going to start off this potentially ridiculous beauty guide by stating that if you have influenza, you should quarantine yourself at home until the bulk of the symptoms are gone. You are not only doing yourself a favour, but others too. Something that a lot of people don’t think about is that the flu can go from a few days of feeling terribly under the weather to a deadly situation really quickly, especially for those with underlying chronic conditions. For example, the flu can be a death sentence for an elderly person already suffering from other medical conditions. Just to hammer that last point home, the Spanish Flu of 1918 infected over 500 million people worldwide and killed 50-100 million people, or 3-5% of the world’s population. Yes – you read that right. So, be smart about it. Stay at home and rest.
If you absolutely feel the need to leave the house, arm yourself with some Tylenol Cold & Flu, a bucket of hand sanitizer and this guide for not looking like a walking viral incubator of the plague.
You have to rest. I mean it, dammit. Stay in bed. Sleep as much as possible. It helps the body recover from the flu faster and will help curb nausea, dizziness and headaches. Can’t nap? Grab your laptop, get in bed, and watch 10 straight episodes of The Crown like I did.
Water is your best bud.
Drink as many fluids as you possibly can. Chicken soup, warm tea, organic fresh squeezed orange juice and green juice (I just discovered the juice bar at my local grocery store thanks to this flu), and water, people. WATER! Drink as much of it as you possibly can. Fluids help flush out the nastiness, keep you hydrated which minimizes headaches and cuts down on the pallid look we all suffer during sick times. It also helps with any puffiness you may experience (my eyes puffed up real good and the increased water intake really helped reduce the swelling).
Arm Yourself with the Softest of Tissues
Buy the best tissues you can get such as those loaded with aloe and other moisturizers. This will really cut down on soreness caused by the repeated blowing and wiping of a runny beak. Your nose will thank you!
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize…then moisturize again.
Speaking of noseys, your nose will most likely get sore and dry from the repeated wiping. There isn’t too much you can do about this but heavy moisturizing will help. I use Aquaphor, a medicated, Vaseline-like ointment on my nostrils to minimize flaking from dry skin in a pinch. I will load it on especially before bed where it will have a chance to sink in and work its magic.
After washing my face in the morning, I’ll slather on my favourite moisturizer by Kat Burki to keep my skin looking relatively human-like.
Concealer is your other best friend
Use concealer to hide red nostrils, dark under eye circles and any breakouts that you may suffer (I always breakout when I get the flu). Use a small concealer brush to apply your concealer especially around delicate, small areas such as nostrils and corners of your mouth. It allows for more control which leads to a more precise, flawless application.
Stay Away From Pink, Red and Pale Makeup and Don’t Overdo It
Pink and red eyeshadows will obviously make your eyes look more sore, tinier, more deepset and sunken – all hallmarks of colds and flus. Stay away from really pale makeup too as your skin will already be lacking colour and use a light hand when applying makeup. Too much blush, etc. will simply draw attention to an already Mortician-Like complexion.
Stay Away From Blue-Based Makeup
When choosing eye makeup, blushes and lipstick, stay away from dark, blue-based colours. They will accentuate dark circles and enhance the appearance of sallowness. Opt for warm tones such as golds and bronzes. Skip heavy black eyeliner too and apply some extra mascara. Extra Tip #1: Add a touch of MAC Strobe Cream to your foundation for a dewy glow. It just so happens to be loaded with green tea and vitamins (who knew??) to counter effect the look of dull, flat skin.
Get Some Great Lip Moisturizer
During colds and flus, I tend to mouth-breathe (I’m sorry – my nose is stuffed!), which saps your lips of moisture, in turn making them really dry and chapped which makes your lipstick look pretty brutal. Keep your lips hydrated with a great quality lip balm. I reach for those containing shea butter as they are the best moisturizers, feel soft and creamy and give a nice glow. Extra Tip #2: put down the matte lipsticks until you are all better. They’ll further dry out your lips and they also highlight dryness.
Got any other tips to share to mask cold and flu symptoms? Please share in the comments. Stay healthy!