You aren’t ashamed of your war wounds when you’re on the field or the court, but come prom time, it’s a different story. Don’t let a game-clinching bruise or floor burn make you self-conscious in a strapless. Here’s how to camouflage your injuries so you look beautiful, not busted, on the special night.
“Help! My black-and-blues from practice don’t match my prom dress.”
Bruises can take up to two weeks to fade. If you have one, avoid aspirin or other blood thinners as well as vitamins, which may lengthen healing time. Before you cover it up, moisturize the area with body lotion or face cream. Then use your fingers to blend in a small amount of creamy concealer, like Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Stick ($5.49). The shade of your bruise will dictate the color of the concealer. “Yellow takes away blue bruises and green will combat bluish/red ones,” says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Phoebe Ogan. To disguise a facial booboo, sponge your regular foundation over the colored concealer, pressing it on top without wiping away the existing makeup. Follow with a flesh-colored concealer that matches your skin tone and set with a loose or pressed powder such as Almay Clear Complexion ($12.99). For a body bruise, simply use a flesh-colored concealer over the colored one and set with powder.
“The floor burn from last night’s game takes the shine off my metallic minidress.”
While skidding across the floor to rein in that loose ball earned you kudos from Coach, the friction destroyed the outermost layer of your skin, leaving an angry red mark. To speed up recovery, try slathering on some good old Vaseline Petroleum Jelly ($3.29). To hide the burn, use a breathable foundation that provides coverage while aiding the healing process, suggests Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist in Omaha, Neb. His pick: Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation ($9 for a small sample).
“My scab isn't healing fast enough. What can I do to avoid being nominated for prom scream?”
“A scab is a nonhealed area of dead or dying skin,” says Dr. Schlessinger. “Keeping it moist and covered are the best things you can do. Picking at it is the worst thing you can do.” To help your body repair quicker, dab on hydrogen peroxide (found at any local drugstore). It'll let you remove the scab naturally with little or no harm. To cover it with makeup, apply a concealer that matches your skin tone, gently tapping to blend until the blemish is hidden. But keep in mind that it’s better to keep the area moist so it heals most effectively. Your best bet: A flesh-colored Band-Aid with Polysporin underneath. When you’re further along in the healing process, reduce your chance of a permanent memento with a cream such as Mederma Gel Scar Treatment ($16.49).
“What's the best way to hide bandages — or worse, a cast?”
It’s tough to conceal a cast. But you can show you’re a good sport by turning your wound into a work of art. Ogan suggests visiting a local craft store and picking up glitter markers, a glue gun and crystals, nontoxic paint markers and whatever else inspires you. Invite your teammates to help you bedazzle — and show off — your sports injury.