How to get rid of a hickey asap!?
July 8, 2012 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Advice to get rid of a hickey STAT?

An overzealous and obviously inept lover gave me two hickeys last night right on either side of my throat; one is nearly 3/4" high. We are decades out of the zone when that is even vaguely acceptable, so this is a real problem for me (not least because I'm supposed to be on a date with someone else in 5 hours!).

I iced them pretty much right away, and last night and this morning I've tried a few suggestions I saw online such as taking ibuprophen, twisting it with an open lipstick cap, and I'm currently attempting the combing trick, though I'm not sure if I'm doing that right. If all else fails, I'm contemplating a last-ditch visit to an upscale department store makeup counter to see if they have any special-effects wizards who have some concealer that not only conceals but stays on. I'm going out of town in a few days and really, really do not want to cancel this date tonight!

If anyone has any suggestions for quickly reducing the appearance of these stupid things, please please share them. Also: please share how long a hickey usually lasts--I have to give a presentation on Wednesday and this could be a complete disaster. I know there was a similar question 6 years ago, but I'm hoping there is some current wisdom on this topic. Thank you!!
posted by roxie110 to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
None of these "tricks" will actually work, to which legions of grounded high school kids can attest. You might try some arnica cream to make it go away faster than a week or so, though.

DemaBlend is the heavy base makeup you want. When you see an actor on stage that you know has a visible tattoo on their bare arm but you can't see it? DermaBlend happened.
posted by elizardbits at 12:49 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:51 PM on July 8, 2012 [7 favorites]

Hemorrhoid cream will reduce the blood flow, keep icing it and then make up the crap out of it just before you go out

If that fails a jaunty scarf?
posted by wwax at 12:52 PM on July 8, 2012

No need for scarf or turtleneck suggestions... I don't wear either, and they are too high on my neck to be covered! It's quite awful.
posted by roxie110 at 12:52 PM on July 8, 2012

I (on the advice of the internet) used a healthy dose of Physicians Formula Conceal Rx (from the drugstore) paired with some drugstore foundation when a date gave me a hickey the day before a job interview. It worked really well (and I got the job, so.. yay?).
posted by brainmouse at 12:57 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your best bet is the make up counter as you suggest. Make sure to check out how well you are covered in natural light too, so go outside and check with a mirror.
posted by Snazzy67 at 12:57 PM on July 8, 2012

Makeup is the answer. They do it for actors all the time.

As was said above, I see...
posted by dfriedman at 12:57 PM on July 8, 2012

If it was only one hickey (or it's easier to conceal one with makeup but you can't do the other) then just put a bandaid on it.

Most ppl are polite enough to ignore the bandaid, and if they inquire about it tell them it's an embarrassing pimple gone bad.

But two bandaids would start looking weird...
posted by jpeacock at 1:09 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Back in my hickey-getting days the thing to do was put toothpaste on them. I have no idea why or what the science was supposed be behind that. In the end the only thing that worked was a turtleneck or a scarf. Maybe call in sick for your date. Plead food poisoning or a migraine and ask for a rain-check.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:26 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not sure what you can do about tonight other than a physical cover up or a raincheck, but for your Wednesday presentation try some arnica or witch hazel. It's essentially a bruise. Here are some more possible ideas - bruise cures.
posted by waterandrock at 1:32 PM on July 8, 2012


You will need green concealer and since it's so hot, I recommend this kind of spray to fix the make up to your skin.
posted by Tarumba at 1:38 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Complain loudly and often about having gotten hives, and scratch at them often. Mumble something like "why is it cats gravitate to people who are allergic to them!?"
posted by vitabellosi at 1:47 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ha! That would be great except that I have a cat... :) I'm thinking I might rush out to Macy's to try to get some of that dermablend stuff? If it could cover that Guinness World Record zombie tattoo man, maybe it would work for me... ?
posted by roxie110 at 2:04 PM on July 8, 2012

Just to throw this out there: cancel today's date.
posted by rhizome at 2:05 PM on July 8, 2012 [5 favorites]

Stop touching it. No twisting!! A high-coverage concealer (not foundation) is probably your best bet if you can't get your hands on any Dermablend. And remember, you don't need to try to make it 100% invisible, you just need to get that area close enough to a normal skin tone that it's easily dismissed as a shadow.

Also, this would be a great time to emphasize your eyes with liquid liner and some rich black mascara. No necklaces or dangling earrings. Maybe put a little shimmer on your decolletage (and show a bit more of it) if you're into that kind of thing. This is a great time for some strategic misdirection!

Beyond that, don't worry -- have a great time tonight!
posted by argonauta at 2:06 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

came in to suggest something along the lines of what vitabellosi said.... claim its from hives, a heat rash, allergic reaction to something, poison ivy!
posted by easily confused at 2:06 PM on July 8, 2012

band-aids. make up a good story about how you got injured...something boring and banal, then don't use it unless asked what happened. how about...hmmmm...lessee..."oh this? jesus. I got tangled up in my seatbelt while trying to get groceries out of the backseat. then i got the bags caught in it while trying to get out and was all like 'hurrrkk'. I felt really stupid, like 'ok, now i'm gonna get strangled to death by a safety device' was your week?"
posted by sexyrobot at 2:07 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

I've had good luck in at least fading them fairly quickly by taking a hot shower and letting the spray 'massage' the hickey.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:21 PM on July 8, 2012

If there were only one hickey, I might get away with any number of excuses (insanely drunk female friend goofing around, that sort of thing). With their size and placement what it really looks like is someone tried to strangle me from behind with one hand, if that makes any sense. Sigh.

All that rubbing/twisting action didn't help and actually may have made the smaller one more visible (a small dot seems to have gotten a lot bigger, or maybe I'm just imagining it), sigh again. Macy's here I come. If I can't get it to look good at VERY close range, I'll just cancel. It wouldn't be a big deal if it were a first date, but it's decidedly not.
posted by roxie110 at 2:40 PM on July 8, 2012

CoverFX. Not cheap, but it worked to cover something similar in my case. I got it at Sephora and it worked like a charm.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 2:50 PM on July 8, 2012

I covered a huge patch of poison ivy on my face with a green based concealer + mineral powder (think along the lines of Bare Minerals) and it was not noticeable. I also used the same trick on hickeys back in my high school days. Worse comes to worse, you could always claim a rash that you've covered with makeup - or cancel. Good luck!
posted by sarahgrace at 2:56 PM on July 8, 2012

I've had some success with the combing -- be sure to rub hard in both directions.
posted by coppermoss at 4:43 PM on July 8, 2012

I am green with envy. Have fun!
posted by thinkpiece at 4:49 PM on July 8, 2012

Disaster averted... by some miracle, tonight's date canceled. Maybe he felt my panic, ha. I did go to Macy's and the sweetest cosmetic person in the world figured out what colors of Dermablend I needed and actually gave me enough free samples to last me a few days (it is $$$!). That should be enough to get me through this presentation I have to do if they're not faded by then. I also bought some arnica cream, figured it couldn't hurt. Wow, this has been a stressful day. Thanks, all!
posted by roxie110 at 5:44 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's probably for the best--if it was a romantic date, even with makeup on he might have uh...decided to chart that territory at the end of the evening.

Glad something came up!
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:59 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Phew for the cancellation!

You could use bandaids and claim you had a couple of moles removed. What the hell - maybe liberally apply bandaids all over your arms as well to make it more believable.
posted by lulu68 at 6:40 PM on July 8, 2012

For future reference, here's a believable story.

You were cleaning the head of your vacuum cleaner: you left the vacuum running, the hose was propped between your legs (pointing up) when you removed the head to clear the blockage, and stupidly you leaned over the bare nozzle which then glommed onto your neck.

You couldn't believe it, and it surely couldn't happen again next time you vacuum. But it does.

Yes, I have done this. I was still accused of having hickeys but I could honestly swear no-one else was involved.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 7:30 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ha! That vacuum-cleaner story is the best. If cornered, I was planning to blame it on a drunk and overzealous girl friend (she gets a little flirty sometimes when she's wasted).

And jenfullmoon, that's exactly what I was worried about... I kept asking the cosmetics lady does it dry fully? Is it waterproof? Will it come off if he puts his hand on my throat? Does it have any scent? Etc. Etc. :)
posted by roxie110 at 7:51 PM on July 8, 2012

Those go in the "hit by a golf ball," "curling iron accident" category.
posted by rhizome at 8:43 PM on July 8, 2012

Dermablend - which I've used on my arms and shoulders to cover sunburn and keratosis pilaris - is waterproof and smudge proof as long as you use the setting powder and don't rub it vigorously with some sort of abrasive. It's actually kind of amazing - in the shower, water beads up on it, and it takes a couple days to wear off if you don't use a remover.
posted by bookdragoness at 1:55 PM on July 10, 2012

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