It happens to the best of us – allowing yourself to get too caught up in the moment and ending up with a mark that you don’t really want your friends, let alone GSIs or professors, to notice. Hickeys are those bruise marks that show up when kissing or sucking, and sometimes biting, the skin breaks small blood vessels right underneath. They last around a week (five to twelve days), and are really just like any other bruise. The embarrassing part, for most of us, is when they are pretty noticeable in spots you wouldn’t generally get bruises from; such as, say, falling or otherwise hitting that body part against something (“oh, yeah, I totally fell off my bed this morning and slammed my neck on the bed post!”). So, whether or not you are in a relationship others know about, having a mark like that for everyone to see can make someone feel like they’re being judged. Hey, some of us may like the attention – but this article is for those who don’t, or at least who need to appear more proper and professional because of some upcoming event.
So let’s figure out the best way to make that hickey less noticeable. According to most websites and blogs, the first thing to do is to ice the bruise. If you catch it early enough, it should help reduce the appearance pretty quickly and reduce swelling. Some sites advise you to rub a chilled spoon or a rounded tip of a pen or tube of lipstick or chapstick to break up blood clots (you can use your fingers if nothing else is around, of course, but it is less effective). If you notice an older hickey later on, a warm compress can help dilate vessels and promote blood flow. Cosmopolitan even suggests applying a cream that has vitamin K to constrict the vessels and reduce redness.
Of course, there are other ways to camouflage a hickey, such as with makeup like foundation or concealer or by using turtleneck sweaters or scarves for the neck, or other such clothing depending where the bruise is located. Just make sure not to make it too obvious – such as by wearing a heavy scarf on a nice, sunny day.
Let us know your secret ways to cover up your love tracks below!