Breaking up with a partner sucks. Your daily routine — nay, your whole life — might feel turned upside down. Though it's reasonable to get a sudden urge to do something drastic with your look at such a time, chopping your hair off is one of those things you shouldn't do after a breakup. Instead, you might want to consider creating a breakup beauty routine to help you cope with your feelings while also also preventing you from making an impulsive aesthetic decision that you might regret in a week or two.
The key to an effective breakup beauty look is hiding the fact that you're going through a rough patch. Even if you feel like a total bum, you don't want anyone else to know that from looking at you. Then, once you're over the hump and have stopped sobbing uncontrollably at the drop of a hat, you'll want to channel your feelings into doing something crazy without doing irreparable damage. So rather than getting a breakup tattoo, which is permanent, now's the time to play with makeup, which washes off.
Going through a breakup can be emotionally taxing, but it's also an opportunity to try something different and shake up your routine for the better. If you're too overwhelmed by feelings and need a place to start, here are 11 beauty essentials to help you get through even the toughest of splits.
1. Repairing Eye Cream
Kiehl's Eye Alert, $22.50, kiehls.com
If you've gone through a breakup without crying, then good on you. (Seriously. Can you teach me your ways?) But for most of us, lots of tears come with the territory of ending a long-term relationship. If you're anything like me, you're probably going to need some heavy duty eye cream to help with the inevitable puffiness and dark circles that come with crying all of the time.
This formulation from Kiehl's includes caffeine to help fight the look of fatigue quickly, but it's also good for long-term use in case it takes you a while to get over your formerly loved one.
2. Makeup Removing Wipes
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, $3.69, amazon.com
When you can barely muster up the energy to leave your bed to grab another glass of wine, you probably don't have the time to take off a full face of makeup, even if your eyeliner is smudged beyond recognition and your lipstick makes you look like The Joker. But the last thing you probably want right now is an accidental breakout because you fell asleep with makeup on again. This is when you need a good pack of makeup removing wipes in your arsenal. Going through a breakup doesn't mean you have to go to sleep with a face full of makeup on.
3. Cleansing Body Wash
Burt's Bees Fabulously Fresh Peppermint & Rosemary Body Wash, $6.39, amazon.com
There's a song from the Rodgers And Hammerstein musical South Pacific called "I'm Going To Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair," and though the tune is cheesy and the reference arguably outdated, there's something about that refrain that's always stuck with me, especially during times when I (often drunkenly) declare that all relationships are stupid because I just got out of one bad one.
All you likely want to do after you move out and move on is to wash that person right out of your proverbial hair, and there's no better way to do that than with a potent peppermint body wash that'll leave you feeling squeaky clean, physically and spiritually.
4. Decadent Bath Bomb
Big Blue Bath Bomb, $6.50, lush.com
One of the best reasons to treat yourself is because you've just gone through a breakup, and a totally reliable way to relax is by taking a long, warm bath with a decadent product. The bath bombs from Lush are legendary and an easy way to jumpstart any evening of self-care.
5. Cooling Eye Patches
Diaforce Gold & Diamond Hydrogel Eye Patch, $22, us.memebox.com
Whether you're crying a lot, or simply find yourself tossing and turning at night because you're feeling too many things, you're going to have to deal with those dark circles in the morning. You probably want your coworkers and bosses and friends and family to at least think you got a full night of sleep, after all.
That's where these eye patches come in. They hydrate the dry area under your eyes. And since these patches from Diaforce are golden-hued, it's another easy way to feel like you're treating yourself during a crisis.
6. Heavy Duty Concealer
Benefit Cosmetics Erase Paste Brightening Concealer, $26, sephora.com
No matter how much you treat the darkness under your eyes, be it with creams or gel patches, you might still need some extra help when you wake up in the morning. This concealer from Benefit is heavy duty, easily hiding even the darkest under-eye circles.
But be warned: A little bit goes a long way, so use it judiciously and blend vigorously to get the full erasing effect. If you use it properly, you'll definitely look like you got a full eight hours of sleep, regardless of how late you stayed up or how much you cried.
7. Waterproof Mascara
CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof Mascara in Black, $9.95, amazon.com
Even once you think you're finally over your ex, you never really know what might trigger a memory and set you off on an extended crying jag. It might be something as simple as walking by the bar where you went for your birthday that one year. You need to always be prepared for the tears, whenever and wherever they may come, and using a good waterproof mascara will minimize the fallout from any emotional outbursts.
8. New Signature Scent
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum Spray in 0.33 oz., $25, yslbeautyus.com
After a breakup, one of the best things you can do is distance yourself from anything that might remind you of ex, including their scent. Treat yourself to something decadent that doesn't have anything to do with your old relationship, and get a rollerball or travel size version of a brand new fragrance.
If you're not ready to commit to a new signature scent quite yet — which is totally OK because commitment can be hard, especially when you're just coming out of a long relationship — you can always go to a department store or Sephora and ask for a lot of free samples. Play the field. It's just like dating!
9. Sparkling Nail Polish
Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Polish in Big Money, $3.94, amazon.com
Another impermanent way to have fun with your look is by putting on a bright, glittery nail polish, like this rosy one from Sally Hansen.
10. Highly Pigmented Highlighter
NARS The Multiple in Orgasm, $39, sephora.com
If the goal of your post-breakup beauty routine is to look alive, highlighters will be your best friend. Using a highlighter will make your face seem fresh and dewy with a minimal amount of effort.
11. Classic Red Lipstick
MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo, $17, maccosmetics.com
No matter how nasty it might have been, your breakup doesn't have to define you, and you will survive it. It might take some time, but once you're ready to take on the town again, you'll want to grab your trusty red lipstick and let everyone know you're ready to get back in the game, looking totally fabulous all the way. Besides, you can always count on your faithful red lipstick, even if you can't ever count on your ex again.
Breaking up is hard to do, but these beauty essentials will make it easier to deal with it all, and maybe even make you feel more confident and help you get your mojo back. At the end of the day, isn't that what makeup is for?
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Images: Maxine Builder; Courtesy Brands