Mornings are not my specialty to be honest; I’d much rather spend a leisurely morning eating breakfast, watching daytime telly and catching up with emails than getting up at the crack of dawn and being on a commuter train by 7.30am. I’ve always needed at least eight hours of sleep to feel my best, and I’m badly effected if there’s any level of disruption during the night – it impacts not only my energy levels, but my skin always shows the signs of lack of sleep like a badge of dishonour. Dull skin, dark circles, more visible fine lines… It’s not a good look. But over the years I have perfected the best way to fake it, helping to boost my skin and create the illusion of the most rested overnight session imaginable, to ensure nobody knows I was up pondering the ending of The Good Place at 4am. If you’ve ever thought of a morning ‘how do I look less tired?’ out of pure desperation, here are my tips and tricks for ensuring you look well rested every single day.
The invention of these has been a godsend for anyone overworked and under-slept, as they deliver a potent mix of skin loving ingredients exactly where they’re needed for visible results in only a few minutes. Our under-eye area is the first to show signs of tiredness and dehydration because the skin is so thin, but a tired eye can also have a negative body-wide impact if it’s not fixed fast.
In my opinion the absolute king of these is the Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks, which contain a mix of Plankton Extract, Padina Pavonica and Chlorella to provide an instant skin-tightening effect, whilst Hyaluronic Acid hydrates the fragile eye area and helps to smooth out those telling fine lines. They’re super pricey though (around £50.00 for a pack of six) so as a cheaper alternative the Sesderma C-Vit Eye Contour Patches (£20.00 for a pack of five) are basically just as good; they contain Stabilized Vitamin C, an antioxidant booster system, Sweet Orange extract and a low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid to help hydrate deep from within.
You simply pop these patches under your eyes while you’re drying your hair / brushing your teeth and remove them before applying your usual skincare and makeup; they really do help to plump the skin, reduce signs of fatigue and generally leave you feeling more awake. Although too expensive for most of us to use every day (although Pixi do a cracking pot of 30 caffeine-enriched Depuffing Eye Patches for £22.00) they’re great for emergencies.
I’m such a fan of facial massage, for its blood flow stimulating properties in particular, but when I’m tired I always make time for five minutes massaging my skin in front of the bathroom mirror because you can instantly see the difference. Manually lifting and massaging away any tiredness is incredibly uplifting – both physically and mentally – and a great way to start your day. (You can read more about facial massage here and learn some easy techniques.) Although you don’t need anything but your usual skincare and your hands, I’m a fan of using a cooling Jade massage aid.
ARK Skincare do a fab Jade Tool (£20.00) which has been specially designed to work with the contours of the face, lifting and aiding drainage to leave your complexion looking far more radiant; Hayo’u also offer a bigger alternative I’ve used for a few years (£38.00) if you fancy something heavier. Although I don’t personally think traditional Jade Rollers are as effective, they are a great way to intro into facial massage and help you to start navigating around your face for manual lifting and skin boosting benefits.
The temptation is real to coat your under eye area in as much concealer as possible, but that can actually have the opposite effect by creating a heavy and cakey base that shows up every dehydrated line. Opting instead for a lightweight brightening concealer will help to reflect the light and give the illusion of wide awake eyes, and applying your concealer in a ‘V’ shape underneath the eye will enable you to blend the product more naturally – drawing the attention down towards the centre of the face and reflecting the light effectively. Often we apply too close the the lid, when actually the benefit is in creating the illusion of light from much lower down the face. A sponge is also your friend here, helping to effectively blend the texture effortlessly into skin to create an airbrushed finish that looks and feels incredibly natural.
LIGHTWEIGHT RADIANT BASE
Reaching for your heaviest foundation on a knackered Monday is never a great idea, as the thick texture will remove all of your skin’s remaining natural glow and replace it with a uniform colour that’s often even more dull. My go-to base is the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (£32.00) as it features colour correcting pigments, light reflecting properties and hydrating ingredients to leave skin looking and feeling fab all day long; it also helps to minimise imperfections and reduce the appearance of pores, so you’ll look like you’ve had a great nights sleep even when you haven’t.
LASHINGS OF MASCARA
Subconsciously we tend to find defined eyes (created via liner and mascara) attractive because they’re a sign of vitality; if you focus on creating a wide and bright eye it will help you instantly look more rested and radiant, as it draws more attention to your limbal ring and conveys the idea of youth. Similarly, our lashes tend to be thickest and healthiest during our younger years, so enhancing them with a slick or two of mascara helps to brighten the face and keep us looking fresh. Spending a few minutes applying lashings of mascara, but skipping the liner and eyeshadow, will help your complexion look all the more radiant – while saving essential minutes. So simple, but so effective! My personal fave mascara is definitely Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Mascara (£7.99) but if you fancy some more recommendations, here are five of my must-haves.
It’s simple science that light colours reflect and bring out the brightness in surrounding similar hues, but have you ever used the age-old trick of using white eye liner when you’re not feeling your best? Applying a touch to the inner corner of eyes can help brighten dull tones, conceal dark circles and emphasise the whites of your eyes – the result of which is a much more ‘awake’ look that you’ll love. I still love Essence’s Big Bright Eyes pencil (£2.49) but it’s tricky to track down; NYX do a great alternative though in their Jumbo Eye Pencil (£5.50) which is just as creamy and easy to use, while Makeup Revolution (£3.00) also have their own affordable offering. If you’re not a fan of pencils, then a white or silver highlighter would do the job just as well: apply the smallest amount with a brush to the inner corner of eyes, blending outwards to add much needed light to an otherwise dull area.
ADD A BRIGHT LIP
If in doubt, just add lipstick. It’s amazing the power a pop of colour has on the overall appearance of your face, helping to distract from any skin dullness or dark circles in an instant while giving you the confidence to walk with your head held high. One of my all time faves is Elizabeth Arden’s Beautiful Color Lipstick (£19.00) which offers great pigment, long lasting results and a comfortable finish – all wrapped up in a luxe case that will definitely help you to feel your best. The Bobbi Brown new Crushed Oil Infused Gloss (£19.00) is also a great way to add a comfortable flush of colour to your lips, but without the same level of commitment or heaviness; the ‘Rock & Red’ colour is a personal fave, just for the classic ‘I’m bossing it’ impact of such an iconic shade.
So if you’re wondering how to look less tired every morning, these seven simple steps should help you look wide awake and feel ready to face the day. And a cold shower never hurt anyone either…
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