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Let’s get real—who doesn’t like a long, steamy makeout session? Extended kissing is hot—especially when it’s taken down to the neck. Neck kissing is just as hot as many other sexual activities, it’s stimulating to an erogenous zone, and, I mean, it just feels damn good.
It’s easy to get carried away, though, and then you might be stuck with an unsightly hickey the next morning which is annoying at best, but downright embarrassing at worst—like if you happen to have a big presentation or a meeting with your boss. No one wants to walk into work with a telltale splotch on their neck and have to field comments and glances all day.
We’re not saying you have to forgo a pleasurable activity for the sake of your job—no one wants to live in a world like that. But when you do find yourself faced with a hickey situation, the best thing you can do is learn to cover it up. That’s why we turned to award-winning celebrity groomer Melissa De Zarate for advice. Has she had to cover up hickeys on the necks of her famous clients before they go on camera? “Not very often, but it has happened,” she says. Follow her foolproof four-step plan to have your makeout moment without the post-hickey embarrassment.
Cool It Down
Grab a tool and pop it into the freezer until it’s ice cold. It could be a spoon, a jade roller, a gua sha stone or anything else that gets cold fast. After about ten minutes, take it out and press it to the hickey. “You want to break up the bruise so it heals faster but also make the skin lay smoother,” says De Zarate. “The cold element depuffs and restricts the blood vessels around the bruise.”
Speed Up Healing
Once you’ve cooled down the area, apply a bit of arnica gel, which “helps the bruise heal faster,” she says, just keep it away from your eyes or mouth if the bruise is nearby (hey, we don’t know your life). Then apply your usual moisturizer over the gel “to soothe the skin and prep it for the next steps.”
Now time for the main event—covering that sucker up. What you’ll need is concealer. Two shades of concealer in fact: one that matches your skin tone and one that’s a shade lighter. “You need the lighter shade to knock out the deeper tones of the bruise like purple and blue,” says De Zarate, who says to first apply the lighter color to the hickey itself (don’t go beyond the edges) with your finger. Then go back over it all with the darker shade and use your finger to blend it out into the skin around the hickey. Use a tapping motion with your finger to blend, don’t rub it.
Read more: Best Makeup for Men
Set It And Forget It
Once you’ve sufficiently covered the hickey with your concealer and it’s completely camouflaged, set it with a little bit of translucent powder to keep it from melting. The powder, she says, is “like a little invisible shield to keep everything in place.” And voila, it’s like the hickey was never there.
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