There’s no question that a medical workplace is serious business, and that styles that fly in an office—look-at-me lips and nails; long, loose hair; dangling earrings—have no place in a hospital. Yet a little bit of beautifying can give you inner poise as well as outer polish. “I truly think that when my patients see me walk into their room with an air of confidence, looking well-groomed, they’re immediately at ease and have the sense that they’re being cared for by someone who has it all together—it even increases their confidence in my abilities as a nurse,” says Theresa Fleskes, a medical review nurse in Highlands Ranch, Colo. “We have to treat ourselves with respect, and if that means taking the time to do our hair before a shift, then we need to do it!” Coming right up from the Spring 2011 issue of Scrubs, simple fixes that’ll boost your spirits as well as your looks.
The Two-Step Skincare Routine
It can be depressing to catch a glimpse of yourself at 2 a.m. with tired, sallow skin—but there’s no need to break the bank by stockpiling a battery of skincare lotions and potions, says Miami Beach-based dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD, who advises using one simple retinoid cream. “It speeds up cell division, which causes dead cells to flake off and the remaining healthy skin cells to become more compact.” The result? A smoother surface that reflects light and gives your skin a natural radiance that’s flattering under the harsh glare in a hospital. Simply apply a pea-size dot of prescription retinoid (or a milder over-the-counter formulation like RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, $22) each night, then follow up religiously every morning with an SPF-packed moisturizer (try Purpose Dual Treatment Moisture Lotion with SPF 15, $9).
Tip: It’s very important to wear a moisturizer with an SPF if you’re using retinoids as any exposure to the sun (outside on a break, to and from work) can cause sensitivity.
The first place long shifts and late nights show up is under your eyes, which is why a good concealer should be at the top of your beauty arsenal. Realize, though, that the trick to getting perfect coverage is restraint! Rather than hiding dark circles and spots and then applying a layer of foundation, Los Angeles-based makeup artist Brett Freedman advises reversing the order. “If you use just a little bit of your foundation on lids, lash line and under your eyes—where most women see redness—you’ll end up using less concealer and dodging an overly made-up look.”
Tip: Instead of thick coverage, which can lend a cakey look that actually accentuates lines and dryness, NYC makeup pro Nick Barose reaches for a liquid, brush-on concealer with light-reflective pigment—he loves Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector ($12) or Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Cream Concealer ($7). “The light reflects off the dark circles, so you don’t have to apply a ton,” he explains.
For more Wellness Tips pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!