Sniff, sniff. That's an all-too-familiar sound during allergy season, when thousands of allergy sufferers are reaching for tissues and rummaging through makeup bags to find the right cover-up for red noses or itchy, watery eyes.
If this description hits close to home, you're not alone. Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, or nasal allergies. Women spend thousands of dollars on beauty products to hide blemishes that are aggravated by their allergies.
Don't fret if your allergies -- and the accompanying symptoms like itchy eyes and a runny nose -- leave you feeling less like Wonder Woman and more like Ugly Betty. Here, top Hollywood makeup artists dish on the best ways to put your best face forward, even when your allergies are in overdrive.
When women are dealing with allergies, they tend to overcompensate with makeup, says Shalini Vadhera, celebrity makeup artist and author of Passport to Beauty: Secrets and Tips from Around the World for Becoming a Global Goddess.
"What they don't understand is usually when they're having allergies, their skin tends to get drier from taking antihistamines so the makeup actually looks more pronounced," she says. "That's why you should go with a little bit less and just use it in key areas versus packing it on."
"I am big proponent of 'less is more,'" says Vadhera. "My philosophy is to enhance what you already have and make you look more beautiful than trying to change with a lot of makeup."
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You need just a few key things in your makeup bag to look flawless all the time, says Vadhera.
Every woman should have a silicone-based primer, she says, which fills in your fine lines and pores. "You'll notice, especially on the days you have allergies, you won't need to wear as much makeup -- and the makeup you do wear will look 10 times better," she says.
Keep a bronzer on hand that has brown rather than red undertones. "A bronzer is great to use as a contour or as a blush to chisel the face and take away the appearance of puffiness," she says.
A good bronzer can even make you look refreshed when you have allergies. "One that has a little bit of shimmer, not too much, is going to help really wake you up and give you a more perked up look rather than if you go with matte textures," she says.
For trouble spots, makeup artists like to apply a green corrector that you can pick up at the drugstore. "Green cancels red. It's one of our tricks," says Joanna Schlip, celebrity makeup artist and author of Glamour Gurlz: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Great Make-up and Gurl Smarts.
Carry a touchup bag with you during the day. "When you make facial expressions, makeup moves," she says. "You laugh or cry as you go through your day and what you put on at 9 a.m. isn't usually there at 9 p.m."