Painting on “Normal” – Creating the Image of Wellness

There are few “secret weapons” in my beauty arsenal that help me paint on my fake well-person face, in this post I’m going to share a bit about them with you.
Some days you may feel too tired to go full on with the make-up and just want to go for something simple and quick, I’ll cover a short routine for the roughest days that you have to somehow push through after going through the more time-intensive products first. Where I use a higher end product I’ll do my best to offer a high street (drugstore) alternative as everyone has different budgets and when you’re sick your cosmetics resources can really take a hit. At the end I’ll cover a couple of salon treatments that can save us time and energy in our at home beauty routines.

Products For Painting On Wellness


  • Always prep with a good moisturiser, one with hyalauronic acid is great if your skin shows fine lines from dehydration or your eye area appears sunken. The skin is one of the last parts of the body to get any of the good stuff we take in from our diets, the body prioritises where nutrients are needed the most and the skin is way down at the bottom on it’s list of priorities so a little bit of extra help never goes amiss. Una Brennan Super Facialist is a brand I’m rating quite highly at the moment and it’s surprisingly affordable. If you have breakouts or otherwise broken skin a great product to try is La Roche Posay’s ‘Cicaplast’ which has vitamin B5 to help heal your skin, it also provides a great base for make-up.
    When you’re having a very bad day and you’ve no choice but to spend time on the sofa watching ‘This Morning’ do treat yourself to a moisturising face mask and try to relax and ignore Schofield.
  • Stick and compact powder foundations are quicker and easier to apply than liquids or creams. Make-Up Forever do an amazing stick foundation and I really like the Benefit powder foundation. L’Oreal also produce good powder foundations on the high street. Powder foundations are however to be avoided if you have flaky dry skin as the powder will sit in the flakes and emphasize them. Invest in a good scrub exfoliator and a bottle of Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation or similar.
  • If you opt for a liquid foundation I recommend a good brush to apply it with, I don’t use your standard flat foundation brush I use a Real Techniques stippling brush. If you wipe the foundation on as with a regular brush it can lift up any dry patches and emphasize them where the stippling brush keeps them patted down. Using the stipple brush in a swirling motion can also hide large pores. Budget store Wilkinsons do a surprisingly good own brand stippling brush for just £4.
  • Sleek ‘Barekissed Illuminator’ in ‘Monaco’ or a similar glitter free (that part is important) illumination fluid mixed with your liquid foundation or worn thinly underneath a stick foundation does wonders for putting that healthy glow back into a dull complexion. Choose one that works well with your skin tone, I’m naturally very fair so ‘Monaco’ is perfect but others will benefit more from a different shade.
  • Concealers that actually conceal problem areas can be hard to find, I often use Kat Von D ‘Lock It’ foundation as a concealer on break out areas that need more coverage. Other good options are camouflage creams like Vichy Dermablend or professional brand Kryolan’s Derma Colour – remember you need to set camouflage creams with a powder. High street concealers are getting better but they’re not there yet, this is one area you do have to look elsewhere. The cheapest option would be the Kryolan Derma Colour which you can buy direct from their own website it’s also the one available in the widest variety of shades so you’re sure to find something to match your skin tone. NARS ‘Radiant Creamy Concealer’ is a good one but again, quite spendy.
    24481800122_0e45b06c9e_zColour correcting concealers (worn underneath foundation) are thankfully now much more widely available and can be found on the high street. Green is a must have for any areas of redness while peach, salmon or orange (depending on your skin tone) will help neutralise dark circles. Max Factor do green in a handy stick and NYX (available from Boots online) produce liquid and pot varieties, for a good orange check out LA Girl.
  • A touch of blush can work wonders, I recommend a cream formulation for both easeCream Blush of application and blending. Dab three dots onto the cheek bone and blend with your fingers, avoid the apple of the cheek unless you want to look like an old fashioned china doll. Teenagers can get away with that look but the rest of us, not so much! Illamasqua do some lovely ones but you can now pick up cream blush from brands such as No.7, MUA and Sleek.
  • If the very thought of blending powder eye-shadows makes you tired but you stillcream shadows want to wear eye make up invest in a wardrobe of cream shadows. They are available in almost every hue and pretty much every company makes at least three or four as either pots or sticks. NYX probably has the widest range of shades available in their crayons, Maybelline’s ‘Color Tattoo’ range are also brilliant, frankly amazing for the money.
  • Lipstick. A good lipstick choice draws attention away from other “problem areas” on the face and can reflect a bit of colour and life into the skin too. There’s nothing quite like lipstick for making you feel like you’re ready to face the day. If your medication has affected your teeth and caused yellowing (long term antibiotics in particular can have this effect) choose shades on the cooler/blue end of the spectrum rather than the warmer orangier end as they will make your teeth look whiter.
    LipsticksI have more lipsticks than your average branch of Boots and one of my little rituals is choosing which one I will wear that day. MAC, Illamasqua, Charlotte Tilbury and Rimmel London make some of my favourites.
  • At the end of the day if you feel too tired for a full on at the sink cleansing ritual use a good alcohol free (alcohol is terrible for your skin, avoid it like the plague) micellar cleansing lotion. Please don’t be tempted to just use wipes – these are fine to start off the process but don’t rely purely on those. If you’re a wipe user try using a micellar lotion straight after your wipe and you will be amazed at how much make-up was still on your skin. Super Facialist and BioDerma are both very good ones.

A Quick Make-Up Routine for Sick Days

On our worst days we need a routine that doesn’t require too much thought, that we can do almost on autopilot. Here are a couple of alternatives:

On bad days or on very early mornings when I’m half awake I often do step one and sometimes even step two while still in bed as I keep both micellar cleanser and moisturiser by the bed for times when I’m too tired for a full on bathroom cleanse/tone/moisturise.If you have hair loss because of your condition you can find specific tutorials for dealing with loss of lashes and brows over at Look Good Feel Better.

For a more made up look:
1. Cleanse with micellar lotion
2. Moisturise well and allow it to soak in
3. Apply a stick or powder compact foundation
4. Apply concealer to any areas that require it
5. Apply cream blush
6. Apply lipstick (avoid nude shades)
7. Apply a cream shadow and mascara.
For a less made up look:

1. Cleanse with micellar lotion
2. Apply tinted moisturiser
3. Apply concealer where required
4. Apply a sheer cream blush
5. Apply a lip product such as a tinted balm or Chubby Stick
6. Apply mascara/pencil if desired.

Time Saving Salon Treatments

To save time in your routine you may wish to consider a salon treatment such as brow or lash tinting, this will save you time filling in brows or putting on mascara to make your lashes stand out. Many local colleges also offer these treatments to the public at a lower price so that students like myself can practice the technique and practice dealing with clients before going into industry. The amount of time the tint lasts varies from person to person, eyebrows around 3 weeks and eyelashes up to 6 weeks. Not bad for a half hour lie down!
Professional hair removal treatments such as waxing and eyebrow shaping save you struggling to do it yourself at home and giving up half way through out of tiredness or fear of mucking it up. It’s far easier to have a professional do it! Yes, waxing is painful but it’s also over very quickly. Avoid waxing if you have easily damaged skin such as that of Ehlers-Danlos Classical or Vascular types, or use topical antibiotics on the area to be waxed. Brow plucking or threading should still be fine but you know your own body.

Do let me know your thoughts!

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