BEAUTY 911: Am I Allergic to Alcohol?

This is an aesthetic emergency in the sense that as of late, drinking alcohol turns my face into a tomato. Time to decide: booze or beauty.
Publish date:
March 27, 2012
alcohol, flushed, red face, wine whoas

At age 13 I had my first Bacardi Breezer -- a fizzy, fruity, kid-friendly intro to booze. I lived in England at the time where the legal drinking age is 16 -- or at least it was then -- so we started pretty young.

When I moved to the US for high school, I Americanized and switched to Coors Light. Twenty pounds later, I discovered vodka-soda, a lower calorie alternative.

With each passing year though, I cut back on my alcohol consumption, ditching vodka for champagne or


, and just drinking


. My tolerance is fall-down-the-stairs-after-two-drinks low, so I sort of don't have a choice.

I've learned from Olivia

how to stay out all night without a sip of booze. If you want an incentive to skip alcohol, just take a look around the club at 4 am and observe. It's sobering stuff.

Cat is also indifferent to alcohol. I noticed this

the other night in Santa Monica

when we ordered wine with dinner one night. She took a few sips and then sort of lost interest. We were done with work and had decided to stay in, so I drank two glasses.

I thought everything was fine until she shot me a judgey look -- the one she reserves for people who talk about bodily functions, or when she hears

Madeline and I speaking French at the office.

"Dude, what's wrong with your face?" she asked.

When I looked in the mirror I saw the blotchy, red product of some sort of allergy. All we had eaten for dinner was grilled chicken and mesclun greens, which left wine as the only possible culprit.

Back home in Brooklyn on Sunday, I went to Nitehawk or "the drinking theater" to see a movie followed by dinner and more drinks. Again my face erupted in a mess of firey hives.

The longest I've gone without drinking alcohol since I started is three weeks surrounding a surgery. The first week was sort of tough socially since everything is "let's grab drinks!" even for business meetings, but by the third I didn't really miss alcohol anymore. Still, I sort of dread finding that I truly am allergic. Being sober just involves so much explaining. Especially on dates. Plus, I


having a drink.

I'm going to the doctor this afternoon for more information, but until then I'd love to hear if anyone else has experienced a sudden allergy. To anything; not just alcohol. Cat is going to be


when she sees that I've written about something so unattractive. Also, have you ever had to give up alcohol? Let's talk.

Follow Julie on Twitter @JR_Schott.