How to Survive Flu Season Without Looking Like a Reptile

I can safely say that it is officially cold and flu season, having spent the majority of the last week in bed with the worst cold/flu/allergy attack I can remember in recent history.

You might think that spending that much time in bed I’d be caught up on “beauty sleep” and would be positively glowing. Turns out, the only glow I’ve had is that of a fever, and I’ve been rockin’ the puffy-eyed, chapped lipped, dry skin look.

Not cute.

So, in light of my recent foolishness, here are some tips that I’ve found useful in escaping flu season without looking like a crocodile.

1. Stay hydrated. This will not only help speed along your recovery time, it will help keep you skin from becoming dry and cracked. I drank a lot of tea during my recent bout with dryness. Peppermint is my new favorite – it helps soothe a congested head!

2. Moisturize! Even if you can’t bear to drag yourself out of bed long enough to really spruce yourself up, do yourself a favor and always put on your moisturizer. My nose, cheeks and lips all became outrageously dry last week, to the point where the skin on my nose actually cracked and started bleeding. However, after just one application of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisture Lotion, I was healed. I’ve been using it daily ever since.

3. Hand in hand with moisturizing your face is moisturizing your lips, and for that I say Burt’s Bees! I’ve been layering on various balms and glosses, but only Burt’s Bees was able to soothe and cure my chapped lips. And it’s fortunately available just about everywhere. Drug stores, grocery stores, health food stores, you name it. Get some!

4. Buy Puffs Plus. Totally worth the extra few cents.

5. If at all possible, drag your sick, tired butt out of bed and take a shower. It’ll make you feel like a human.

Following these steps will help ensure you make it out without scales. And these suggestions are all also guy-friendly, so feel free to pass them along to your boyfriend/husband/brother/whiney sick male friend.

I’m actually feeling much better and am mostly back on track, skin-wise. Although I’m currently sporting a volcanic pimple on my cheek.

Time for Queen Helene!

Shop for the Cause

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To show support for the cause, virtually every designer and cosmetics company has created a special, limited edition pink product, the proceeds from which go to various breast cancer awareness and research organizations.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this week I’m urging readers to do two things. First of all, flip through all your October magazines, do a little online browsing, and find a pink product you just can’t live without. Some of my picks this year? Sonia Kashuk’s target line is featuring adorable pink makeup brushes, as well as a pink eyelash curler. Lacoste has several pink items available this month, including an alligator emblazoned towel. OPI has a pale pink lacquer called Pink Of Hearts that would make any girl’s feet look lovely. And my personal favorite, and the item I purchased for myself this week, a set of mini pink lip glosses from Clinique. They are the perfect way to perk up a pallid October face.

Secondly, do what you know you should and give yourself a self exam. Yes, you may feel a little silly feeling yourself up, but we should all be doing it monthly, so get used to it. I found a lump while I was still in college, and though it thankfully turned out to be a false alarm, it was a scary time and I’m diligent about doing my self exams. A few years ago, a close friend of mine found a lump that did have to be removed, but her early detection of it kept it from getting out of hand. All women, young and old, can benefit from doing regular exams. As my doctor has often pointed out to me, simply knowing what your breasts normally feel like will make it easy for you to detect any abnormalities.

So please, in honor of all of the aunts, mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends who have battled or are battling breast cancer, remember to check yourself for any unusual lumps. Then go buy yourself a little something pretty.