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You Can Cry in Makeup and Still Look Good: Here's How

With the arrival of 2016 has come a new age of sadness—a fine age of sadness. Sensitivity, it seems, is now being celebrated; even Lana Del Rey made being sad into her own personal brand. And so the time has finally come for us to bid farewell to the stiff upper lip and welcome sensitivity in all its glory.

Except you, Claire. No one wants to see that.

For some, this might be inconsequential—but not for me, the unofficial ambassador of crying in public. For me, this means a lot of things, but namely that I no longer need to explain away a quick bathroom cry, or blame it on a sneeze gone awry. Next time someone asks me what’s wrong, I can say, in full honesty, “It’s cool, I was just reading about this burger dog and it really got to me.”

As an authority on all stripes of crying, I have had to adjust my makeup accordingly. One of the first things I learned is that, while waterproof makeup is resistant to everything from moderate rainfall and a sexy dip in a hot tub, to the humid Everglades and a Zumba class, it is not resistant to salty human tears. Maybe it’s the chemistry of tears or the tenacity of my sadness, but I’ve never met a makeup I couldn’t cry off. Apparently, you can only ask so much from mascara and eyeliner.

Crying while fluting is almost as dangerous as drinking while driving.

And yet, there are exceptions. Eyeliners made by professional makeup artists are generally the ones that stick around in sadness and in health. As do Clio’s Waterproof Pen Liner and Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner. Mascaras that deem themselves “breakup-proof” are surely pulling your leg, or else assuming you’re the type of person who gets dumped a lot. Avoid them; they’re probably just frenemies anyway. I recommend sticking to tubing mascaras—D.J.V. MIARAY’s Fiberwig Mascara is a superb choice—which, unlike most oil and wax mascaras, are made of a polymer formula that wrap around each lash and wash off remarkably easily with warm water. What a time to be alive.

What no one tells you about cry-proof (re: waterproof) cosmetics is that, in their world, crying looks less like Kim Kardashian after losing a diamond earring while vacationing in Bora Bora, and more like a Roy Lichtenstein painting. This isn’t so much real emotions as it is Hollywood emotions—and involves about one plump and weepy tear, dramatically drizzling down a wrinkle-free face. But should you find yourself releasing more than one tear, for God’s sake dab—don’t rub! Unless you’re going for the Taylor Swift “Blank Space” look, in which case you’ll want to rub your eyes like there’s no tomorrow.

Emotional? Me? Never.

One major downside of crying in makeup is how much that stuff burns when it seeps into your eyes. The feeling is akin to being maced and, in turn, brings forth more weeping. For this, grab the nearest redness relief eye drops—any will do, but ideally Rohto’s Cool Redness Relief will be within arm’s reach. Then procure Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Concealer and dab some around your nose to cover up any residual redness, or to replace the concealer you inevitably wiped off mid-cry—et voila! No one at your office will know how upset you are.

You can’t anticipate any number of egregiously upsetting things that might befall you throughout the day. But what you can do is stock up on makeup that’ll be there for you when your tear ducts aren’t. And if all else fails? Just spritz your whole face generously with a facial mist and say you’re going for a dewy look. A really dewy look.

Original images by Kathryn Chadason. 

Stay tuned to Milk for more tearfully terrific beauty recommendations. 

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