How To Look Like You Weren't Just Crying

Going through a breakup? How to look your best when you're feeling your worst.
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Katrina Persad
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Going through a breakup? How to look your best when you're feeling your worst.
How to hide crying

Hide the signs of crying in 7 easy steps. You'll feel better—we promise!

Breakups suck. Even the most amicable of splits usually involve lots of tears, little sleep and copious amounts of Häagen-Dazs. 

When you inevitably have to leave your apartment to, you know, go to work, it's a good idea to bring your beauty A game and leave the Kleenex at home. 

I recently went through a breakup while interviewing for jobs (of course!), so I was desperate to hide the fact that I'd been up all night in tears. 

Here's my master list for how to fake it 'til you make it (and you will, I promise!).

Step 1: De-Puff

To add insult to injury, a crying spell often leaves you with swollen, puffy eyes. 

If your lids resemble those of a pufferfish, your first step is to take down inflammation before applying any makeup. A cold compress helps reduce swelling, so reach for ice cubes wrapped in paper towels, two metal spoons iced for 10 minutes in the freezer or wet tea bags.

Puffy eyes wet tea bags

Swollen, puffy eyes are a telltale sign of crying.

I also like to give my eyes a boost by using cooling eye gels that go on with a metal rollerball. I love Clinique's All About Eyes Serum, and store mine in the fridge for that extra refreshing feeling.

Try to apply it at least 15 minutes before applying makeup. It's also an easy pick-me-up whenever your eyes feel bleary (say, after hours of staring at a computer screen) or itchy (seasonal allergies, anyone?). To apply, I hold the rollerball like a pencil and run it over my upper and lower lids using a shading motion.

Step 2: Reduce Redness

When my eyes are dry and red, the last thing I want to do is put in my contact lenses. I wear my glasses instead, and use a redness-reducing eye drop like Visine Maximum Redness Relief Formula to restore some moisture. Within 15 minutes, the redness is gone and I'm well on my way to faking that I had a good night's sleep.

Note: I try to only use eye drops on occasion (once or twice a week, max) since they're not meant to be used on a daily basis. Excessive long-term use can even cause rebound redness! Eek. Also, if your lifestyle calls for contacts, make sure you use a contact-safe solution—Visine For Contacts is my fave.

Another way to boost brightness is by rimming your eyes with navy eyeliner such as Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in Sapphire. The blue tones counteract the red, helping your eyes look whiter. 

If you feel like no amount of Visine or makeup will help, slip on a pair of sunglasses and call it a day (bonus: UV protection!).

Step 3: Re-Hydrate

A good cry can wash away your sadness—and all of the moisture from your skin. 

If tears have left your entire face feeling tight and dry, rehydrate with a big glass of water and then cleanse with a gentle, moisturizing face wash such as First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser.

The moisturizer you use will depend on your skin type, and the time of year it is. Gel products like Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream will soak in quickly without leaving you greasy, and give your skin a fresh, plump base over which to apply makeup.

As cooler temps roll in, I like to swap my gel products out for lighter lotions. Clinique's new and improved Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ (read about the swanky NYC launch party Michelle attended here) boosts hydration with sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of gold-standard moisturizing ingredient hyaluronic acid.

Step 4: Conceal

Blotchy skin and a red nose are synonymous with sadness. Reach for a heavy-duty concealer to reduce redness around your nostrils and to cover up dark circles under your eyes. I prefer to use my fingers to do this, as I find they offer more dexterity and control than a brush.

I've had great luck with the Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation, which I use as a spot treatment since it provides amazing opaque coverage but is really heavy for a full face.

Pair your concealer with a sheer foundation like NARS Sheer Glow Foundation to even out your skin without making it cakey or mask-like.

Step 5: Add Colour

It might sound counterintuitive when the goal is reducing redness, but pink is all about placement. Unwanted redness (read: around the eyes and nose) detracts from a healthy, happy appearance, but pink hues on cheeks and lips add warmth and vibrance to your skin.

I like to perk up my skin using cream and liquid products for a sheer wash of pink. I use my fingers or a stippling brush to blend multipurpose products like Benefit's Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain or Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic onto my cheekbones and lips.

Remember this pic of Emma Watson? Gorgeous stained lips and flushed cheeks make everyone look better.

Step 6: Waterproof

Unless you're trying to look like Beyoncé in her "Why Don't You Love Me" video, emotional times call for waterproof mascara. If you think you might shed a tear (or 30), a waterproof mascara will help keep your makeup intact. 

First, give your lashes a good squeeze in an eyelash curler to help them stand out against puffy eyelids.

My fave waterproof mascara is Revlon's PhotoReady 3D Volume Waterproof Mascara, which has held up for me in pools, oceans and a full viewing of The Notebook.

Waterproof mascara can be harsh on lashes, so make sure to remove it with a gentle hand and plenty of makeup remover (I press remover-soaked cotton pads over my eyes for 15 seconds before beginning to swipe).

Step 7: Smile!

Hey, if Kristen Stewart can crack a smile, so can you!

Kristen Stewart - Kid's Choice Awards 2013

Kristen Stewart at the 2013 Kid's Choice Awards.

Did you know that when you smile, you can make yourself happy? Several studies of the influence of body language on emotions have found evidence that the act of smiling can positively influence our mental state.

So now would be a good time to perfect your gleaming grin. For a big impact with minimal effort, try an over-the-counter whitening product, such as Crest 3D White Whitestrips Intensive Professional Effects.

Your smile signals to yourself (and your ex) that you're going to be just fine.

Remember that you are lovely and wonderful, and deserve to be happy. And you will be!

Have Your Say

What's YOUR best tip to hide the signs of crying?
Have you tried any of these products or tips?
Ever forced a smile to put yourself in a better mood—and did it work?