Photo: Levi Brown/Trunk Archive
Look alive, folks: the season of no sleep is almost upon us. A quick review of the calendar reveals Oktoberfest is up next, followed by Thanksgiving, and a gauntlet of holiday parties that means no sleep ‘til New Year’s Day. Moms with kids, students with exams, and overworked everyone else know it’s only a matter of time before you run out of time to spend on face masks, eye plumping creams, and actually doing your hair.
Luckily, there are plenty of tricks that can help you look alive when you feel half dead—that don’t take 20 minutes in the morning. Here are some great fake-up-wake-up tips from both a derm and a makeup artist.
“Take a few moments in the morning to stretch; this will get your blood flow going and your lymphatic draining,” says Dr. Jennifer Ahdout, board-certified dermatologist, who cites a rosy complexion and reduced under eye puffiness as your just reward. Go ahead and stretch your face out too—there are a lot of muscles in there!
Dr. Ahdout says this is the time to pull out the Clarisonic Mia, or cleansing brush of your choice, along with an exfoliating wash to remove that top layer of dead skin and reveal the fresh skin below. “Do this in the shower for best results: the warm water will dilate your pores and facilitate clearance of debris.”
Obviously, a cup of joe might be in order, but topical caffeine via a good eye cream like Clarins Eye Contour Gel can be your best friend. “Applied topically to the eye area it can constrict dilated blood vessels and improve lymphatic drainage from the area,” she suggests, with a gentle reminder that cool tea bags have the same effect. Oh, and one more tip: “For improved effectiveness, leave these products in the fridge.”
Your favorite serum and moisturizer might be the key to a brighter day, literally. “Brighten up the skin by applying an antioxidant serum to get the glow you need to look fresh,” counsels Dr. Adhout.
Using a tinted sunscreen adds much-needed color back to your face while protecting your skin. “(It) will give you some color, cover up any blemishes, and protect you from sun damage. And a healthy bronzed look will make you look rested, like you’ve just returned from your vacation to the Bahamas—without the sun damage.” Dr. Adhout suggests Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40 or SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50.
Romy Soleimani, Beauty Director-at-Large for Beauty.com, swears by concealer when trying to conceal a lack of sleep. “For those of us getting very little sleep, concealer is your best friend,” she says. She uses ByTerry Touch-Expert Advanced concealer brush: “It erases the dark circles under the eyes and reduces any redness around the nose and mouth that a lack of sleep can cause.”
Both Dr. Adhout and Soleimani agree that this is not the morning to skip your day cream. “Don’t underestimate the power of moisturizer for making your face looked brightened and awake,” says Soleimani, who also suggests a good eye cream like Colbert MD Nourish Eye Cream to eliminate fine lines and puffiness. As a new mother, she suggests adding a luxurious oil like Sunday Riley Isis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil to replace lost moisture and combat excessive dryness.
Soleimani says the ultimate trick to looking well rested is a flush to the skin. “Blush is a secret weapon for looking less tired than we feel. Applying a rosy blush to your cheeks will instantly give your complexion some healthy, natural color.” She suggests a cheek stain for multipurpose use. “It’s easy to apply with my fingertips and I can dab any leftovers onto my lips for a bit of extra color.”
“Curl your eyelashes! Even if you don’t have the time to apply mascara, using a lash curler will open up your eyes making you look rested and awake.” Adding a coat of mascara seals the look.
Yes, eyeliner. “While it may seem counter intuitive to darken the eye area if you are trying mask dark circles, adding eyeliner can actually camouflage darkness around the eyes.” Soleimani suggests smudging an eye pencil onto your lash line, instantly transforming tired eyes to a daytime smoky look.”
No, none of these will help with that 3PM nap-craving, but at least you’ll look wide awake!