Millions of women will be facing a new kind of beauty dilemma this summer - as allergy face wreaks havoc on the nation. New research has found that 95 per cent of women with allergies like hay fever experience beauty challenges when their symptoms flare.
Almost a quarter of women say allergies make them look older and 20 per cent say they make them look sick. Shockingly almost one in four would give up chocolate for a year if it meant eliminating these symptoms. And one in five would avoid a first date while symptoms reside.
With almost 18 million people in the UK suffering from hay fever – that could mean a whole host of romantic trysts are being spoilt because of dust and pollen.
Nikki Maguire, Brand Manager for Benadryl UK, who commissioned the survey, said: "Our research shows that, aside from sneezing and sniffling, allergies can affect how we look, which can impact on women's self-esteem and summer plans, which is less than ideal.
"A third of the women we surveyed wanted to know how to more effectively conceal their "Allergy Face" using make-up, so we've teamed up with make-up artist Jo Freeman to share simple make-up tips to help women put their best face forward, and embrace summer."
The research into how hay fever, dust, pet and skin allergies affect women found that almost all women with allergies experience "Allergy Face" beauty challenges when their symptoms flare.
The main beauty culprits identified by Benadryl include watery eyes, a runny, red nose (from tissue overuse), dry skin and a puffy face, and the resulting 'look' can impact women's self-esteem as well as their social life.
A fifth of women report feeling 'ugly' and 'embarrassed' when their symptoms take hold, and if we weren't feeling self-conscious enough already, it seems colleagues don't mince their words either – 14 per cent of women at work have simply been told they 'look awful.'
To help combat 'Allergy Face', make-up artist Jo Freeman has given seven useful tips:
1. Make sure you prep your skin with a hydrating moisturiser before applying any make-up, Neutrogena Hydro Boost is great, so apply that first.
2. To neutralise any redness around your nose, use a green colour corrector before applying your foundation.
3. To widen and brighten watery eyes, use a white kohl eye pencil along the lower waterline and inner crease to make your eyes look bigger, fresher and more awake.
4. To help your eyes look fresh and natural despite your allergies, use a matte vanilla eyeshadow shade all over the lid, and a darker beige in the corner.
5. If you think your eyes could start streaming, use a good waterproof mascara, as this will stop your make-up from running down your face and giving you dark smudges under your eyes
6. Combat puffy face by contouring with a bronzer and highlighter. Apply bronzer to the hollows of the cheek and temples, and use highlighter on the cheekbones and down the bridge of the nose to help disguise any puffiness.
7. A bright statement lip can help make your lips the focus of your face, taking attention away from puffy areas. Choose a vibrant colour that suits your skin tone.