Rogue Tricks: How to Stay Beautiful (and Comfortable) When You Have a Cold

Greetings from behind a small mountain of tissues, fellow rogues!

I disappeared from view for a couple of days because I’ve had that bane of every change in seasons, the scourge of every advenuring party that’s trying to get something done…a cold.

Yes, I realise that that might have been a little anticlimactic – I can hear the scoffs now: ‘Pfft, a cold? Suck it up, Syl! It’s not like you have the ‘flu or anything, jeez!’ πŸ˜€ Leaving aside for the moment the fact that there are a lot of people out there who claim the ‘flu when they have nothing even remotely near it (fortunately!), and that colds are sucky enough as it is, this post is not about whinging! No, this is about tried and tested rogue tricks for staying on top of your game, even when you have a temporary hit to your Constitution score (Cold: -1 pestilence damage per turn for 5 turns, no saving throw).

Anyone who’s squeamish about references to the types of personal gelationous cubes your body seems to manufacture during rhinoviruses can look away now, but you’ll be missing all the tips!

My horrifying Gelatinous Cube, complete with partially digested adventurer. A more colourful rendering can be found here.

My version of a horrifying Gelatinous Cube, complete with partially digested adventurer. The ones that come out of your nose will hopefully be smaller and more manageable…

I’ll start with the number one tip: Lip Balm for your Nose

That’s right, lip balm is for your nose (and upper lip) today. Because you’re a smart rogue, you know that one of the best ways to get rid of a cold quickly is to make sure that you blow, cough, hack up and generally expel all the gelatinous substances as soon as your body makes them available for you to do so. Not to mention that keeping track of what your gelatinous cubes look like is a great way to track what’s going on and figure out whether you *actually* need to go to the doctor or not!

Since this means that you’ll be blowing your nose a lot over the course of a few days, the skin in that general area is going to get red, sore, and possibly even cracked – you know the drill. What I want you to do is get a non-tinted lip balm, preferably one that comes in stick form, and stick it up your nose. Swivel, remove and repeat with the other nostril. Run it over the edge of your nostrils, under your nose, and over your top lip. Every. Single. Time. You . Blow. Your. Nose.

Do It.

I can hear the squeals of ‘EWWWWWW! GROSS!’ as we speak. But I want you to consider: you’ve just blown your nose. Because you’re not four years old (or a goblin), you’ve used your tissue to properly clean up and remove any gelatinous cube remnants, so your nose is clean and dry inside and out. The lip balm, therefore, isn’t going to get dirty, but without it your nose will get too dry. If you’re really particular, or want to perk yourself up a bit, you can use two balms – a clear one for your nose, and a different, maybe tinted or flavoured one for your lips. I promise you that if you use the lip balm(s) exactly as I’ve mentioned, the skin of your nose and lip will look, feel and be perfectly normal the whole time you have a cold, which will improve how you feel about how you look, as well.

This applies, actually, to any situation in which you blow your nose a lot – allergies, dusty environments and bouts of crying are also fair game for this rogueish lip balm hack.

So which lip balms are rogue approved for this purpose? You can use whatever you prefer, but remember to stay away from strong sunscreens, irritant flavours/scents (like mint, lavender or citrus) and tints/shimmers (for your nose, anyway). Also keep in mind that you can go through up to a lip balm a day using this trick, so gauge your price tolerance accordingly. I have tried, tested and loved the following:

Lip Balms for your nose

Nose champions! All images taken from the respective manufacturers’ websites: Nivea, Badger, Elizabeth Arden.

So there you go – the ultimate in rogue-approved, adventure tested cold beauty tricks. You’re welcome πŸ˜‰

Additional Cold-Beauty/Comfort Tips (in no particular order):

  1. Stay home from adventuring for a couple of days. Your party with thank you for not infecting them, dungeons are draughty and damp (hello chest infection!) and if you just relax a bit, it will go away faster.
  2. Forgo mascara unless you like the waterproof stuff – instead, maybe just curl your lashes to help yourself look a bit more fresh and awake.
  3. I don’t bother with foundation/bb cream etc – I wipe my face too much for that when I have a cold, especially round the nose/mouth area! Instead, if I have to go out, I might just conceal any particularly egregious blemishes and maybe put a little bit of powder on any shiny spots. Or I might not bother at all.
  4. Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise well – I try to do this anyway, but it’s particularly nice when you have a cold to feel clean and plumped up in the face department! Do a face mask. Treat yourself nicely!
  5. Do your brows. I find it just helps me to feel a bit more tidy and awake if I have to go out when I have a cold.
  6. Drink as much water and herbal tea as you can stand, but go easy on the coffee and soda. Ginger beer (one with real ginger) and Apfelschorle (clear apple juice mixed with fizzy mineral water) are nice if you’re feeling a bit bleh in the stomach department.
  7. A Whiskey health potion – but only a small, medicinal amount. Good for soothing the throat, staving off colds in the early ‘scratchy throat’ stages and clearing the nose. Seriously, I’m talking about one shot or less, well gargled with and swallowed, or made into grog with your tea, and not more than once a day. Generally, alcohol will just dehydrate you and make you feel worse, and it won’t ‘kill’ any viruses (unless maybe you inject it into your bloodstream or sinus tissue, in which case enjoy your hospital stay/funeral!). My favourite whiskey for this purpose is Johnny Walker Black Label (not so expensive you feel like you’re wasting it, not so cheap it tastes like paint thinner). You can also substitute another medicinal spirit of choice, such as rum (for traditional grog).

Right! Those are all the best rogue cold survival tips off the top of my head – if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go continue doing battle with the gelatinous cubes, wielding my trusty lip balm. Got any tips of your own? Share them in the comments!

Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!


I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com, or use the contact form provided! All images on this blog, are the property of the author of this blog (unless otherwise stated) and may not be reproduced without permission. If you do, I’ll send minotaurs after you. Crazed ones. πŸ™‚


12 thoughts on “Rogue Tricks: How to Stay Beautiful (and Comfortable) When You Have a Cold

  1. Yes, people, lip balm on the nose. Seriously, Syl has been doing this forever and it totally works!!
    Ooly’s Top Tip: With the 8-hour cream, be careful putting that one INSIDE your nose. I can’t speak to the Rogue Nose (who knows what she’s got in there), but the 8hr is not mucous-membrane friendly. #1 super effective for external use, though.

    I like to steam my face as well as cleansing, exfoliating, etc. Couple of rounds with a nice, hot cloth. No inhale-y stuff, just heat. Sure, things get a bit… gelatinous sometimes, but it feels great when the fresh air hits your face again. Practical, too: in the busy, fast-paced world of adventuring, your party isn’t going to wait for you to sit over some steam bowl with a towel on your head (ever noticed how no one who does that ever looks better after? IDK, maybe it’s just me, LOL).

    Also, hot toddies FTMFW. Best thing ever in an occasionally damp and chilly mountain cave. Ranger-approved.


    • Good point about the Eight Hour Cream – I’d forgotten about that, actually!

      I second the bowl steaming comment too – much better to use a facecloth, or just (my preferred method) luxuriate in the shower for longer than usual!


  2. Aw, I hope you feel better soon! I know a cold isn’t the flu, but still, colds SUCK! The blocked nose (that, or either a waterfall of snot), the irritated lips and nose from all the blowing your nose, the sore throat, the teary eyes, BAH. I like your tips though, and I definitely agree about drinking plenty of water.


  3. Hey girl, so sorry to hear you’ve been ill! I had that not so long ago, and it wasn’t the happiest days of my life! I’ve never tried to use lip balm for around my nose! I got this tube of Homeoplasmine from the pharmacy, and that’s what I use for irritated skin. I basically forget about makeup when I’m sick as well. I admire people who still make an effort, but I just… can’t! Hope your cold is almost over!


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