Like millions of other people, I have hayfever which is an allergy to pollen. Some people might suffer from some or all of the symptoms such as a blocked or runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. It tends to be seasonal, hitting hardest in spring or summer, depending on whether the sufferer has an allergy to tree pollen (spring) or grass pollen (summer).
My eyes are quite badly affected when the pollen count is high so technically I shouldn’t really wear any eye make-up because it will just make the irritation worse. Let’s face it, you only get one set of eyes. The thing is, I feel like I need a little something, just to give me that confidence boost and emphasise my favourite features.
The safest and easiest thing to do is wear a bright lip colour in red, orange or fuchsia, to draw attention away from my eyes completely. That way my eyes will not be further irritated and my whole face will get a lift from the flattering hot lip colour. Besides, bold lips go perfectly with big, dark sunglasses, which are a summer fashion and sun safety essential anyway!
The thing is, sometimes my eyes really do need a bit of defining . I have a couple of hayfever eye make-up rules.
- No eyeliner on the waterline. This is a sensitive part of the eye for anyone, allergy sufferer or not . Generally speaking I don’t use eyeliner on my waterline just because I think it increases the risk of infection. I tend to do it only for special events such as weddings, parties, and other times when professional or close-up photos will be taken because it really does make a difference in the photos. Also, when my eyes water or use eye drops it will wash away the eyeliner making it pointless.
- No mascara. I definitely don’t use mascara on the bottom lashes as it will just run when my eyes water or use eye drops. I don’t wear mascara on the upper lashes either as the pollen sticks to the mascara which just leads to a mega-itching attack!
So, I guess you’re now wondering what I am left with, considering I skip what most people consider to be the most important eye defining steps. I cheat and create illusions! I can also hide behind thick rimmed glasses or sunglasses. Even if you don’t need glasses you can still wear the frames with non-prescription lenses for a change.
My steps for hayfever eyes include:
- Prime then conceal any dark circles. I recently discovered that under-eye concealer primer exists. I prime the under eye area then conceal with a cream concealer. I might then set it with powder. I use primer in the summer in an attempt to make my concealer last longer in the make-up melting heat. I also need the extra layer because if I use eye drops or my eyes water, I don’t want the product to wash away too easily exposing the dark circles..
- Black liquid or gel eyeliner on the top lash line only. If you have brown eyelashes, dark brown eyeliner would work for a daytime look. The eyeliner needs to go right into the lashes to give the appearance of fuller lashes, which would otherwise have been achieved with a volumising mascara.
- Curl the eyelashes with an eyelash curler. I have a little confession – I don’t actually do this as I am scared of eyelash curlers since I painfully curled my eyelids as a child! But, if I did ever get over that, I would curl my eyelashes to open up my eyes, which also replaces the need for mascara.
- Black waterproof pencil eyeliner on the top lash line only. If I don’t have time to create a precise line with liquid or gel, I line my eyes with a waterproof black eyeliner pencil again, as close to the lash line as possible to create the illusion of thicker eyelashes. I then use a small, soft blending brush to soften the line and push the colour between the lashes if needed. It’s a quick and easy way to cheat a defined eye as if you draw the line a but so by, it all disappears when you blend. Sometimes I blend the line out further and into the crease a little to make a smoky eye. So it’s also a cheat for a simple smoky eye too! I use waterproof eyeliner in the summer so it doesn’t melt into an undesired mess.
- Make sure all tools, makeup and pencils are kept extra clean. You don’t want an infection on top of the hayfever! Sharpen pencils with every use and and use a spray brush cleanser in between brush shampoos.
I don’t tend to spend ages contouring or colouring my eyelids with eyeshadow. If the hayfever defeats me, I’ll rub my eyes and smudge it everywhere wasting my time and making me look very silly indeed.
Remember, the best thing to do is to avoid wearing eye make-up but if you really can’t, try these tips. Do you have any of your own for me?