Makeup can perform miracles at times (goodbye raccoon eyes, blotchy, dry skin and dull colour, hello sparkling eyes, even tone and sculpted cheekbones!). It can make us look like better versions of ourselves on most days, but there are times in a girl’s life when cosmetics are not solution to our beauty concerns. Here, a primer on when no makeup (no matter how wonderful its formulation) isn’t the best route to go with.

Makeup routine switch-up: Under-eye bags and puffiness

If you’ve been burning the midnight oil at the office (or enjoying many late nights on the town!) and you’ve got yourself some puffy bags under your eyes to show for it, even the most advanced concealer won’t help you at this point. “Don’t even try,” says Andrea Claire, a celebrity makeup artist based in Singapore. “It will only accentuate it,” she says. Instead, she recommends starting with an
eye cream with anti-inflammatory properties (to help bring down the puffiness). To help mask your puffy eyes a bit, then go for a cream that has light-diffusing particles, such as NARS Copacabana stick for light skin tones, she says. A little distraction doesn’t hurt either. Claire recommends brightening up your lip colour. “It will lift up a tired face plus pull the attention away from tired eyes.”

Makeup routine switch-up: Flight-weary, dry skin

If your jet-setting has earned you not only stamps in your passport but also some parched, dry skin, there’s no amount of
foundation or concealer that make your skin look flawless. In fact, they’ll enhance your dry skin and fine lines, says Claire. She recommends ditching them for now and opting instead for a tinted moisturizer that will hydrate your skin more (she likes Bobbi Brown BB Cream) and a concealer that offers a sheerer coverage, such as Smashbox HD Concealer, so that you won’t have any cake-y makeup.

Makeup routine switch-up: Breakouts and pimples

While you don’t have to ditch your concealer, you want to make sure to treat your pimple first, so it will disappear faster, says Holly Sherrard, education manager of the International Dermal Institute in Toronto. “Try a product that heals and conceals at the same time, so you’re getting two in one,” she suggests. You can also use two separate products, but one thing she recommends checking in your concealer is whether the colour is mineral-based. If it’s artificially coloured rather than mineral-based, the colourants may actually worsen your breakout.

Combat fine lines without the makeup on the next page …
Makeup routine switch-up: Dreaded cold sores

You want to hide out at home when you’ve got a cold sore, but there’s that little thing called “life” that keeps on going even when you’ve got this on your lip. Extreme weather changes and stress can all contribute to giving you a cold sore and so many people get them, there’s no need to hide in shame. And while you may want to pack on the concealer and powder—anything!—to make the sore disappear, you risk making it more exaggerated.

To help heal it while also concealing it, a patch such as Polysporin Cold Sore Healing Patch, can help. It not only contains ingredients to help make your cold sore heal faster, it also allows you to apply makeup overtop without risk of contaminating your makeup or worsening your cold sore by introducing bacteria to the area. When it comes to the concealer you use, Claire suggests using one with a creamy consistency. “You’ll also want to avoid matte colours. Use a satin finish colour close to the darkest shade of that unwanted friend,” she says.

Makeup routine switch-up: Fine lines

Don’t rely only on the high-tech properties of a BB cream to help
minimize fine lines, says Sherrard. Often, dehydration is exacerbating your fine lines issue, so use a cleanser that is pH-balanced (“So it won’t over-cleanse and strip the skin,” she says) and follow up with a hydrating serum and moisturizer. At night, Sherrard recommends using a retinol product to help reverse some of the photo damage that’s contributed to the fine lines.

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