How To Not Look Sick and Tired (When You Really Are)

I’ve been inspired by what I’ve gone through this week: I caught a doozy of a cough+cold that’s been making the rounds. It hurts, and sounds like I’m coughing up a fur ball.

I’m finally getting better (hallelujah!) but being sick has made my skin red, dry and flaky. I thought it might be helpful — for the many people who are sick this time of year — to show you what I’m doing to avoid looking like death.

For the interest of this tutorial and to keep it real, I haven’t Photoshopped my skin here (!!!). What you see is what you get.

sick fotd before and after

Step 1. Fill in the brows. You already knew that. I’m using my trusty MUFE Eyebrow Corrector.

sick fotd step 1

Step 2. Skip heavy foundation and lightly conceal problem areas only instead. The keyword here is lightly. You don’t want concealer to cake up on dry patches. I applied the light side of Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-5 ($35) with a brush on my undereye areas, around the nose, blemishes and red patches on my cheeks.

Look, I’m already starting to look normal!

sick fotd step 2

Step 3. Brighten the under eye area further. I like YSL Touche Éclat in 1.5 ($50) applied to the shadows formed by my eye bags.

I hate those words, eye bags. Gross.

sick fotd step 3

Step 4. It’s all about the complexion, babe. Get some of that healthy glow back with strategic placement of a highlighting cream. I am using Laura Mercier Primer in Radiance ($40) everywhere. Well not everywhere, but almost: brow bones, cheekbones, down the centre of the nose, on top of the lips and chin.

sick fotd step 4

Keep reading to see the rest of the tutorial.

Step 5. So you’re looking kinda pale, eh? Blush fixes that. I layered a cream (Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cream Blush in Nectar) and powder (Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful) for maximum staying power.

A tip: when you’re sick with a cold, you’re likely to get redness around your nose area, so stay far away from this area when applying blush. Otherwise, you’re making yourself look sick again. We don’t like that.

sick fotd step 5

Step 6. You’re probably noticing the highlighting theme here, and the same applies to eyeshadow. A light, low-shimmer peach on the inner corners of your eyes brightens instantly. I love the one from my shu uemura palette in Orange & Pistachio. I love it so much that I’m smiling so widely here.

sick fotd step 6

Step 7. Finish up with a trusty non-smudging mascara (Annabelle Le Big Show) and a long-wear gloss stain (L’Oréal Colour Caresse Shine Stain in Pink Resistance). The glossy finish hides any lip flakies and the stain formula means your lipstick doesn’t end up on your yucky tissues. 😉

sick fotd step 7

Optional Step. If you have oily skin, go ahead and powder as well. Go lightly to avoid cake face!

All done!

sick fotd final result

I can almost pass for a human being again… and not a kitty stuck in a human’s body, sleeping all day.

sick fotd final 2

sick fotd final 3

Do you have any makeup tricks when you’re feeling under the weather? Share them in the comments.

This entry was posted in Looks, Makeup and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Woooow! Amazing tips! Thanks for showing (:


    • You’re welcome Natalie! 🙂

  • Thanks for the tutorial, Arianne! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t get too sick this season, but if I ever do I’m coming back to this! I hope you’ll fully recover soon!

    • Take care of yourself Sunny! Lots of vitamin C and D and whatever else!

  • Lisa

    Colds are the worst. Great blog and I like how light you were with the makeup.

    • Thank you Lisa! A light hand is a must on irritated, sick person skin. 🙂

  • Icequeen81

    great one I needed this , cause i know hot it looks when u are sick and u don’t want to look that bad

    • LOLOL exactly Icequeen81!

  • Vanessa

    Awwwww Arianne. Feel better!

    • Thanks Vanessa! I’ve just about recovered now. 🙂

  • BooBooNinja

    Great tutorial, Arianne. I hope you feel better soon.

    • Thanks BooBooNinja! I’m feeling much better!

  • what a transformation! and you still look so fresh, natural. I will keep those tips in mind for my next ‘I look like sh*t days* 😉

    • Thanks Claire. 🙂 God, I have those days, too. And I can’t even use sickness as an excuse, ha!

      • LOL!! no way! I hope you will feel better soon <3

  • Geez, I look worse than you on a good day without makeup on. You don’t look sick at all!

    • You lie, Lelo! But thank you for that.

  • Aw man, I’m in the same boat as you, but you definitely look much more alive and glowy LOL. Will keep these tips in mind for next time….which hopefully doesn’t happen for a good long while. Undereye concealer makes a huge difference, and that’s usually all I have energy for when I’m under the weather. Hope you’re feeling better!

    • Do my eye bags look glowy to you, MM? 😛 I’m feeling much better. You get well soon, k?!

      • LOL they look full of life, if you must know! I’m definitely a lot better too, at least I can breathe in my sleep now -__- had a rough couple weeks. Glad to hear you’re healing 🙂

  • Glad to hear you’re feeling better Arianne, and seriously- you skin looks great even in the before pic! Beautiful ‘healthy’ look you’ve created though, I need to try this when I’m under the weather.

    • Hi Jenny! That skin is the product of a face cream and two oils.

  • Toya

    Darn, hope you’re kicking the cold in it’s butt now, Arianne! You certainly can’t tell you’re feeling miserable – in the before shot as well as the after! Excellent tips my dear!

    • Thanks Toya! I’m feeling better, so I’m back at work. *WOMP WOMP*

  • Sneha

    I’d like to try the LM Secret Camouflage based on your results here and the recommendations by Lisa Eldridge but too lazy to go to Sephora! I think your skintone is similar to mine – can you remind me in MAC terms where it would fall for you?

    • Hi Sneha. I don’t know right now. I’m paler than my summer colour, so I’m guessing about NC35. I go to NC40-42 in the summer and I can still mix these two colours together to conceal.

  • I’ll be honest here Arianne, I wished I looked that good when I’m sick! I literally look like a zombie, ugh. Love this post, the blush and the concealer makes such a nice difference! Glad to hear you’re feeling better :).

  • You don’t look anything like a sick person, before either. I love this application for everyday. Love how you created such a dewy and radiant look! Your skin is just so lovely! My makeup look is cover my face in a balm and hide 🙂 that’s what I’m rocking right now, unfortunately.

  • Aww I really hope you feel better soon, Arianne!! But I have to say–DAMN do you look good when you’re sick! You don’t even wanna KNOW what I look like! 😛

    PS: you have the most amazing brows ever!!

  • Great tutorial! AND you look awesome. Anyway… bookmarking this for later. Feel better soon! 🙂

  • Pingback: Sunday Random Ramblings, Vol.57 |

  • Pingback: Feeling the Love: I’m One of FLARE Magazine’s Favourite Canadian Beauty Bloggers! | Glitter Geek()

  • Pingback: The Battle Against Sick Face | Glitter Geek()