Have you ever arrived at work, caught a glimpse of yourself in the bathroom mirror and wondered, “What the hell happened?” This happens to me on a daily basis. Each morning I leave my house confident that I look somewhat presentable (my expectations aren’t low, just realistic… There’s a difference, right?), yet arrive to school looking more like something that the cat dragged in.
I can say with some degree of certainty that lack of sleep (and perhaps bad lighting?) is the largest contributing factor to my less than ideal appearance these days, although the extra glass of wine each night isn’t helping my cause. I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be getting more rest any time soon, but I am holding out hope that I can perhaps find a way to at least fake a full night’s sleep.
Instead of grading the stack of papers that I have managed to avoid for the past week, I’ve decided to scour the internet for tricks and tips to help me look more rested. My theory is that if I look more rested, I will feel more rested, and if I feel more rested I will finally get around to grading all of those papers. So you see, this endeavor is completely warranted and not another way to procrastinate at all.
Here are some of my favorite ideas that I plan on trying out STAT. And by STAT I mean when I get paid.
1. Line Your Lower Lashes
But don’t use black. To make your eyes look bigger and brighter, trace a nude eyeliner (like Tarte EmphasEYES™ Inner Rim Brightener, $18; Sephora.com) on the inner rims of your lower lashline. “Make sure the liner is a beige-y color and not too white,” says Tim Quinn, celebrity makeup artist for Giorgio Armani Beauty. “Beige looks more natural and does a better job of neutralizing redness in or around the eyes.”
2. Even Out Your Complexion
A sheer, dewy foundation can do more than a concealer alone to make you look beautifully awake. Case in point: An actress we recently worked with arrived at our O shoot straight from a red-eye flight—yet looked as if she’d just woken from a long, delicious nap. She credited a layer of Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation ($62,KohGenDoCosmetics.com). “It’s luminous and totally imperceptible,” she raved. “Even though it’s light, it evens out redness and discoloration, and makes me look instantly refreshed.”
3. Deflate Lids
To counteract puffiness, choose an eye treatment containing a mix of peptides — some of the least irritating anti-aging ingredients — and caffeine, which has a diuretic effect. Try First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller ($24, Sephora). Stash it in the fridge before applying under eyes. “Coldness counters puffiness,” says Elise Brisco, O.D., an optometrist in Los Angeles. Or, rest refrigerated 2nd Skin Moist Burn Pads ($8 for six, drugstore.com) on lids for five minutes. They’re filled with a soothing gel that’s 97 percent water.
4. Hang Around the Water Cooler
Sleep deprivation can mildly dehydrate you, even if you’re not suffering from a happy-hour hangover. And dehydration actually compounds fatigue, Breus says—so sipping water will help lessen sleepiness. Drink enough so you’re not thirsty and you have clear-ish urine, Breus recommends.
Another trick: Throw in a few ice cubes. “Unlike warm drinks, which tend to relax you, cold beverages can increase alertness because they are more refreshing,” Kennedy says.
*I am really good at this. I drink water all day long at school, and wine all night long at home.
5. Don’t Skip Your Lids
If you’re focused on under eye circles and puffiness, it’s easy to look right past another dead giveaway of exhaustion: pink eyelids. Baumann tells patients to dab them with a cotton ball soaked in (of all things) Afrin.“Nasal sprays contain something called oxymetazoline, which addresses both redness and swelling,” she says—and notes that it’s particularly effective when you’ve been crying. If they still look pink, makeup artist Troy Surratt recommends applying an eye-shadow base. “One that’s peachy will neutralize blue, purple, and gray tones,” he says. In a pinch, yellow-based concealer will work on purple circles—just be sure to pick a formula that isn’t thick or drying. Try: Estée Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Peach
An under eye concealer is a new mom’s BFF. Try: Benefit’s Erase Paste ($26; benefitcosmetics.com)
A dab of eye brightener in the inside corner of each eye diverts attention from dark circles.
*I use a white, shimmery eyeshadow & dab it in the inside corner of each eye with a Q-tip. Sometimes I think it makes my eyes look awkwardly close together. Perhaps I am not applying the shadow correctly?
8. Exercise for dull complexion
If skin isn’t allowed time to renew overnight, it can look sallow, ashy, and pasty. “When you don’t sleep, your body doesn’t have a chance to increase microcirculation, which means it can’t deliver key nutrients to the skin, ” says Jeanette Graf, M.D., a dermatologist based in Great Neck, New York. Even a short morning workout session can help boost circulation, as will a dry body brushing before you shower.
*Good in theory, at least.
9. Eyelash curler– Curling your lashes opens up the eyes and will make you look more awake and alert. This eyelash curler by e.l.f. retails around $1.50! Eyes Lips Face (e.l.f.) products are not only inexpensive, but cruelty-fee, as well. You can find e.l.f. products at Target & Walgreens.
10. Blush- NARS Blush provides a healthy glow to flatter any skin-tone. Orgasm Blush makes cheeks blush a perfect pinky-peach flush and subtly highlights with accents of golden shimmer. The perennially pleasing, universally flattering shade is again and again a makeup artist and beauty editor favorite. According to Sephora.com, “the super sexy pink flush gives the effect of a radiant afterglow.”
*Sign. Me. Up.
11. Birth Control… Not going to help you look rested, but will pretty much guarantee a better night’s sleep.
I am definitely going to try some of these ideas over the next few weeks. I’ll keep y’all posted on how it works out. Do you have any tricks to help you appear rested when you actually feel like the walking dead?