Makeup is usually applied to accentuate the positive, enhance your features, or to simply have fun, experiment, and embrace colors and trends. Makeup can also be used to distract and divert attention from areas you may want to hide altogether. When puffy eyes, a red pimple, or an angry cold sore have you eyeing a paper bag as your only recourse in which to face the world, use makeup to not only accentuate the positive, but divert attention from the negative. Think of it as makeup misdirection. I first made mention of makeup misdirection with my How To: Look Great When Battling a Cold post and the same rules apply. Below are some tips and tricks to bring out your inner Houdini:
Pimple- Depending on where your pimple is located you want to play up your features to draw the attention away as much as possible. In example, if your pimple is on your forehead, play up your lips with a bold lipstick. There are endless options but you can try a poppy, red, or orange lip. Let your lips make a statement, not your blemish. Conversely, if your pimple is on your chin, keep the lips simple with a swipe of lip balm and play up your eyes instead. For more on dealing with a blemish, refer to How To: Erase a Blemish.
Puffy eyes- Puffy eyes are a drag, so you want to draw the eye up to make it look more open and you more awake and alert. Skip light shades or shimmery eye shadows, these will only enhance the bags. Instead reach for mid tone shades and matte textures. Define your eyes with a thicker line of eyeliner on the top lid, reach for black, dark brown, or navy. Curl your lashes and apply mascara to your top lashes only, skip mascara and eyeliner on the bottom lashes and lash line. You want to draw the eye up and away from your under eye bags not make them look more pronounced, mascara and eye liner on the bottom will create shadows and make your under eye bags worse. For more on combating under eye puffiness, read Lose the Baggage.
Redness- If your cheeks are red and irritated skip the blush. Instead, even out your skin tone with a yellow based foundation or tinted moisturizer. The yellow will help cut the red tones. Set with powder and apply bronzer-this will help warm up your skin and give it some life (what blush typically does) and also help downplay any ruddiness. Avoid a rosy or red lipstick, this draws attention to anything else red on your face. If blush is a nonnegotiable, opt for a brown based pink like my personal favorite, NARS blush in Douceur.
Cold sore- Fever blisters or cold sores can be even more irksome than a pimple because of their tendency to stick around and really wear out their welcome. With cold sores you want to keep the affected area clean, hydrated, and medicated. Use your prescribed or OTC medication, pop Lysine and Zinc supplements if they work for you, and whatever you do, don’t pick! Use a protective and hydrating nude tinted lip balm to keep your lips moist as medications can dry them out. The nude color will help tone down any redness, much like yellow based foundations counteract redness in the skin. Get creative and play up your eyes, do a soft, smoky eye one day and a bright, colorful eye the next.
What are some of your makeup misdirection tricks? Have you ever used makeup to divert attention from a blemish?