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Bright, Pretty Eyes

All it takes is a little extra makeup to hide the signs of a bad cold. Brighten the inner corners of red eyes with a soft peach or champagne eye shadow. Use a pencil liner that matches your skin tone on the rim of your lower eyelid to hide redness and make your eyes look bigger.

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Waterproof and Pretty

Make your eyes look wide awake -- even when they’re puffy, watery, and red -- with a coat or two of waterproof mascara.

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woman applying concealer
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Get the Red Out

Are you glowing like Rudolph? A mint green color corrector will balance redness around your stuffy nose. Pat it around your nostrils, making sure to blend around the edges. Then apply a concealer that matches your skin tone over the green corrector.

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water on skin
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Moisture to the Max

When you have a cold, you're probably dehydrated. Even if your skin is dry, you can still get a bright, healthy complexion. Slather a rich moisturizer onto your skin when it's still damp. It will help trap and hold moisture in better. In a pinch, extra virgin olive oil does the trick, too.

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woman applying blush
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Getting Warmer

Use a creamy blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend it toward your temples to add dewy freshness to sallow skin. Brush a little bronzer on the high points of your face -- nose, chin, and forehead -- to add more warmth.

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woman wearing lipgloss
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Smooth Move

When your lips are dry and cracked, you might be tempted to scrub the flaky skin off. Some experts say that's a bad idea. Instead, pile on a petroleum jelly-based lip balm or moisturizer to lock in moisture until your lips have healed.

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woman drinking water
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From the Inside Out

Fill 'er up! While you're sniffling, drink lots of water. This helps you avoid the dry, sagging skin that can come with mild dehydration. Lay off the alcohol and caffeine for a little while, too. They can dry you out.

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beauty sleep
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Poof Puffiness

To help prevent swollen eyes in the morning, sleep on two pillows. The extra height can bring swelling down. Or try frozen gel packs or ice cubes under your eyes for 15 minutes. Wrap ice cubes in a paper towel and put them in a baggie.

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makeup brushes
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Brush Up

Clear skin starts with clean makeup brushes. Dirty ones are loaded with bacteria -- especially when you have a cold. Work warm water and a dot of baby shampoo into the brush. Rinse bristles until the water runs clear and let air dry. For extra protection, go over them with an antibacterial wipe and let dry.

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woman twirling skirt
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Art of Distraction

When you’re sick, wearing comfy PJs all day sounds like heaven. But if you want to hide how you feel while boosting your mood, wear something pretty, like a dress. It can help distract from your sniffles, plus it's a full outfit in one step.

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woman applying primer
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Prime Time

Help keep your makeup on your face, not your hands. Make foundation last all day -- even through sneezing and eye-rubbing -- by putting on primer first. Let it sink into your skin about 5 minutes before you apply foundation.

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creamy foundation
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Go Natural

Stay sheer! A good way to keep your foundation from looking cakey and piled on is to mix it with your moisturizer. It thins out the foundation, giving you lighter, more natural coverage.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 11/08/2017 Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on November 08, 2017


1)   Simon Wilkinson / Iconica
2)   Peter Griffith / Photographer's Choice RF
3)   DAJ
4)   Veronique Beranger / Stone
5)   Philippe Regard / Lifesize
6)   Uli Pfeiffer / Picture Press
7)   Biggie Productions / Taxi
8)   Peter Dazeley / Photographer's Choice
9)   amanaimagesRF
10)  ZenShui/Milena Boniek / PhotoAlto Agency RF
11)  RunPhoto / Digital Vision
12)  MIXA Co. Ltd.



Chynna Steele, MD, dermatologist, Aesthetic and Dermatology Specialty Centre, Roswell, Ga.
Clifford Bassett, MD, allergy specialist, clinical assistant professor of medicine, NYU School of Medicine.
Debra Jaliman, MD, assistant professor of dermatology,
Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Jacqueline Bush, creative director, Assembly Hair/Makeup Salon, Los Angeles.
Janelle McCalla Muhammad, professional makeup artist, Houston, Texas.
Liz Washer, editorial makeup artist, Boston.
Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, dermatologist; assistant clinical professor, Yale School of Medicine.
Monique Gooden, bridal makeup artist, Fredericksburg, Va.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on November 08, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.