How To: Look Better When You're Sick

How was your weekend? Mine was spent battling this nasty atypical pneumonia infection I've got, but I watched tons of movies, thanks to your suggestions! I'm usually good at resisting colds (see my How to Kick a Cold tips) but couldn't escape this time. I was too sick to drive home for my Mama's birthday or even visit my friend JeWa for her birthday. Other than for walking Charlie, I ventured out once to get my hair done. Priorities! Anyway, when I posted the pic below of Sick Me on Instagram, so many of you sweetly responded that I looked great. I thought I'd share my tips with you. Enjoy!

sickie selfie

Ooh, I can't stand when someone tells me I look sick. "Sick" is a nice way of saying "awful" so if I can avoid looking like that, I will! Unfortunately, I can't just throw on some moisturizer and call it day. I need a little (ok a ton) more help than that, so for those days when I need to look nice, this is what I do. I'm going to give a lot of options here, so use what applies to you!


the tools

wipes, bb cream

  • Start off by using a wipe on your face. If your sickness is bacterial (aka not a cold), try Neutrogena Oil-free cleansing wipes in Pink Grapefruit. Your immune system is fighting your infection, and that can cause breakouts. I'm using these Radiance Wipes from Simple (review coming soon).
  • If your eyes are red, make sure you aren't wearing contacts and apply some eye drops. If they're puffy, try these eye pads.
  • If your lips are chapped, apply some lip balm. See my recipe here for a DIY lip scrub.
  • To blur imperfections, use your favorite tinted moisturizer/BB/CC cream. I'm using Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream.
  • Next, add concealer underneath the eyes to hide circles. I'm using Cover Girl + Olay concealer.
  • Try a brightening concealer to help hide the redness around the nose. Note: if the redness is severe, try a green corrector. I used Maybelline Age Rewind and a Sigma E50 brush to blend.
  • To add some color to my pale face, I lightly brush some bronzer (NYC in Sunny) along my temples, cheekbones, and my lower jawline. 
  • Noses tend to swell when we're sick, so I lightly contour the sides of my nose with the bronzer.
  • To help eyes look more awake, use a white or nude pencil to line to waterline of eyes. I'm using Studio Gear cosmetics pencil (see review of their products here).
  • You can also help eyes look awake with a champagne-shimmery shadow, but I skipped that today.
  • Curl lashes and add mascara if desired.
  • To add some more color, use a cream blush, like this one from Revlon. The color looks really bright, but it goes on so naturally.
  • Finish the look with color on the lips.
  • For my hair, I sleep on a satin pillowcase, which prevents tangles and frizz. I literally just raked my fingers through my hair and that was it!


  • I separate the brushes I use when I'm sick from my other brushes by keeping them in a cup. Once my sickness is over, I disinfect them with rubbing alcohol. My favorite is the Sigma F80.
keepin' it real with dirty brushes

By the way, my earrings I'm wearing are from Anjolee! They're so pretty! Check them out for your jewelry needs, including Diamond Hoop Earrings and Diamond Stud Earrings


  1. Great look for when you're sick!

  2. Very good routine. You look lovely, not sick at all!

    Hope you managed to have an okay weekend and that you're feeling all better very soon :)

    Amelia @ Ducklingtoswan.com! :) xxx

  3. I'm just about to go ask facility department to shut down the air con in my office if possible, because soon I won't be able to breathe, my nose is so dry.. and all this before my trip to Italy this weekend, I really want to avoid getting sick.. if I put makeup on, then it must not be to cover the sickness!

  4. Sorry to hear that you were ill, hope you're feeling well, the transformation form being sick to stunning in just a few steps is amazing. P.S Will try and change the comment settings :)

  5. ha - usually when I'm sick I am such a lost cause that makeup doesn't even cross my mind - but it does make a difference... and those earrings are amazing!

    Pearls & Paws

  6. You look fantastic when you're sick! I don't think anything could help me when I'm under the weather. Hope you feel better!


  7. Wonderful tips! And I hope you are feeling better. You certainly did look very nice and definitely not unwell.

  8. amazing tips!! alot of people often forget to sanitize their everyday personal things when they're sick.

    you look so fresh and there's no sign of sickness at all, great job! :)

    I hope you're having a beautiful day ~ XO
    NEW POST: www.chriissydollxo.com

  9. You look great! I'll definitely be saving these tips. Hope you're feeling better soon!

  10. Good tips. I always look like a wreck when I'm ill.

  11. Good for you for looking this great when you're sick! I usually can't be bothered:P

  12. I hope you're feeling better now! You DO look great though, not sick at all. I'm definitely saving these tips for the next time I'm under the weather :)

  13. your after is gorgeous... and really, truly your before is too. I think you cheated with natural beauty :)

    and glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. have a great week, girl

  14. you definitely don't look sick - these are great tips! i'm so glad you stopped by my blog :)


  15. Hope you are feeling better, we were all sick this weekend too. I'm ready for Spring!!

  16. Aw, hope you're feeling better!! And, by no means, did you look sick! Great tips! xo, Julie

  17. Nose contouring - how brilliant because my nose does get quite red!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  18. I've never used concealer in my life, but you may have swayed me, I am a klutz with makeup so I totally appreciate the tutorial and recommendations :)

  19. I feel like even if I do look okay when I'm sick I feel like such crap that it doesn't matter, lol.

  20. You looked fine at dinner the other night.

  21. So simple and you look great!!! I need to check out the BB cream :)

  22. I hope you're feeling better! You definitely look fab while sick, I wouldn't be able to tell you didn't feel well! :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  23. Oh Elle! I needed this post over the weekend. I am feeling better today but won't be up to posing for my post til Thursday.

  24. Oh my gosh, you are adorable and you looks fabulous in your before shot :)

    Usually when I am sick, I don't care enough to try to make myself look pretty, but then when someone does tell me that I look sick, I feel insulted. I love your tips :)

  25. SO sorry you're sick! But wow can you rock it anyway ;) Great post! Now following your blog.

  26. The magic of Makeup aye! It's a miracle worker.

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.

  27. You definitely hid being sick well! :) I think this is very fresh looking!

  28. Whoa, you are motivated lol I embrace the whole death look when I'm sick and take the opportunity not to have to do my hair and makeup.

    Thanks so much for linking up this week with the GFC Collective, now following you!

  29. Great post and I hope you feel better soon.

  30. I laughed at the title of this post Elle- but year, nodded along to some very good tips!

  31. Fun post! I was sick this weekend, but I think I'm coming around today. Thank God!

  32. NICE tips girl. Love when bloggers do something unusual and interesting.

    Need to try the BB cream. Heard all but wonderful things.

    Girlie Blog Seattle | Casual Chic Fashion

  33. Oh, I had such a headcold last week and I'm still exfoliating and moisturizing my chapped nose! Great tips!

  34. Ugh, I'm so sorry to hear you're battling an infection. I've been sick, too, but it sounds like what you've got is much worse. I would have never guessed from looking at that picture that you were sick, though! You look great!

  35. It's amazing how much better you feel when you take the time to get ready a look a little nicer. May not make a difference physically, but it does mentally and emotionally. Thanks for the tips!

  36. hey girl! stopping by (:

    ahhhhh i loved living in atlanta! i used to live off 26th street in buckhead!


  37. Love the makeup tutorial! I look like a train wreck when I am sick, ugh. I could definitely use some excellent foundation/concealer for my Rudolph-esque nose. Ha ha!

  38. Great tips! So glad I found your blog through the hop! Can't wait to read more! Love those earrings!
    Hated on the Playground

  39. Thank for sharing! And thanks for stopping by and following me today ;)
    Have z great week!
    xoxo- Kaara

  40. Oh ps, I'm following you back ;)

  41. I'm beyond impressed. you look better sick than I do probably 85% of the time. Not fair.


  42. Great tutorial! Makeup can work wonders!

  43. This is lovely. Lord knows I need it daily, haha. I barely ever sleep!

  44. Great post! Very helpful. Good tip about keeping your sick brushes separate. You look really pretty, especially for a sick girl :)

    Following <3


  45. You look really great! I'd never have known you were sick. I love your tips on the Neutrogena wipes, too. I'll have to try those.


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