Ah, crying. It’s one of those things that can sneak up on you and make your perfect(ish) makeup go to shit in less time than it takes to say “Pass the tissues.” As a self-proclaimed bawl bag, I spend more time than I care to admit trying to unsmudge eyeliner that’s halfway down my face.
Ideally, we would never lose our cool and cry in public but in reality things happen. Maybe you’re really stressed, you just got bad news or your coworker sent you a video about a dog that died and BAM tears. And then your face (and maybe neck and chest) turns red and blotchy and your nose starts to run and the next thing you know, your whole face is leaking.
When you cry, blood rushes into your nose and face. This blood dilates the blood vessels, and since the skin on your nose is quite thin the redness becomes evident. Your nose runs because some of those tears in your eyes actually leak into your nasal cavity through the nasolacrimal duct.
Your eyes get puffy because tears actually contain sodium, which irritates the skin below your eye and the skin in your eyelid because your eye skin is incredibly thin. Sodium also causes imbibition of water - making your eyes swell up.
If you feel like you’re going to cry, I suggest walking calmly to a quiet place (like a restroom stall). Don’t fight the tears: you’ll just make those weird gasping noises that make you sound like a car that won’t start. Take some deep breaths while you’re walking. Maybe avoid eye contact.
Now that you’re in the safety and solitude of the restroom stall, cry - but don’t forget to breathe, mmk? Holding your breath will make your face redder and you could also pass out which is bad. Also: the breathing is integral to the post-cry recovery since it keeps the redness down!
Also: don't look in the mirror. Looking in the mirror when you're crying makes you cry more. Trust me, I know things.
Once you’ve finished your sob-fest, take several deep breaths. Blow your nose. Blow it again. Blow it again if you have to. Clear that shiz outta your schnoz.
If you were wearing makeup, don’t rub your eyes. Instead, fold a tissue in half and gently dab below your lower eyelashes until all of the makeup is cleared away.
Now that your eyes are dry again, hold your RING finger under cold water for a few seconds, shake dry and hold the cold finger on the puffy area below your eye. Do this a couple of times. Why ring finger? You’ll likely be more gentle using your pinky or ring finger than your index or middle finger.
BONUS: Flip your head upside down and mess up your hair a little. It’ll fool people into thinking you’re disheveled because you’re a little windblown.
BONUS BONUS: Before you walk into the conference room, sneeze (real or otherwise). Everyone knows your eyes water and your nose can turn a little pink if you’ve got a touch of hay fever or a cold.