I’ve had a bad cold and I looked as bad as I felt–itchy, irritated, red eyes; swollen eye lids at half mast; a runny, red nose; and dry, cracked lips. But I couldn’t stay in bed. Responsibilities required me to get up and get going. Can you relate?
I think half of Utah Valley residents share the same cold and may appreciate some tips on how to look like we’re on top of the world, instead of under the weather.
While you’re still in bed in the morning, fight back with a series of stretches to limber up and pump oxygen through your bloodstream to help get you moving. Stretch your right leg toward the bottom of the bed while stretching your right arm up towards the headboard. Hold the stretch for a count of five, then exhale. Likewise, stretch the left side. This should leave you feeling a little more alive.
Once you’re up, it’s a question of bath or shower. A bath can be wonderfully soothing, but if time is short and you must shower, make it comfortably hot and steamy. It’ll help clear your sinuses. Let the water run over your neck and shoulders to limber you up. After bath or shower, take time to apply your favourite moisturizing lotion as protection against the drying effects of winter weather and central heating.
Don’t forget to apply a light film of protective lotion on your face. If your nose is red and raw from continuous blowing, apply a little petroleum jelly on the area and let it soothe sore skin.
Good decongestant eye drops will soothe irritated eyes and help red eyes look less red. Compresses made from tea bags that have been steeped in ice-cold water are good for swollen eyelids. Tannic acid in the tea aids the cold in reducing swelling. For best results, lie down and place the tea bags over your eyes for 10 minutes.
Eat a light breakfast that includes hot orange juice or lemonade. It does wonders to sooth a sore throat. Then be sure to brush your teeth. Fresh breath makes you feel fresh all over. Then flash a smile in the bathroom mirror; even a practice grin can perk you up.
For us women, makeup gives us an extra boost—looking and feeling the best we can. Stay away from dark or heavy foundation makeup. If you’re fatigued, heavy foundation will only make you look even more tired and drawn. Use concealing cream to hide red areas around your nose and dark areas under your eyes. Powder very lightly.
Avoid bright coloured eye shadows such as turquoise or emerald green. They contrast with red, making red eyes more noticeable. Instead, use muted colours such as soft gray or brown to minimize puffiness. Line the inner rims with a blue, blue-gray or midnight blue eye pencil to make the whites look whiter. A light coating of mascara will provide a nice frame for your eyes and detract from their redness.
Blusher does wonders to create a healthy looking glow to otherwise pale skin. Avoid lip liner on chapped lips. Lip balm followed by lipstick or lip gloss not only adds needed colour but soothes and protects dry lips. Avoid dark, dramatic blush, and lip colours in favour of a sheer, lighter peach or pink. Light colours appear fresh and perk you up.
In choosing what to wear, it’s important to think in terms of boosting your spirits. Now is not the time to wear your sloppiest, thrown together outfit simply because you don’t feel good. Instead, put on a favourite outfit, one you often get compliments on. If you look great, chances are you’ll soon begin to feel more like it too.
Face the day with a smile and during the day, sip hot herb tea, apple juice, or lemonade. Rely on positive self talk, congratulating yourself on making it through the day. If you follow these tips, most people won’t even know you have a cold.