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How To Look Alive When You Are Very Tired

I wish I lived my life in a way people believe I’m living it… Yes, there are certain perks of being a blogger with all cool events to attend and new products to try, but for the most part you just don’t see what is happening behind the scenes. Late night photo editing, unstoppable social media notifications, pressing deadlines, emails that never seem to end, 6:00 am photo shoots, half of my day spent on the commute… Add to it the deadlines that I have at NYUall the midterms and finals and presentations and papers—and you will realize that at this point of my life my schedule is as hectic as it could possibly be.

While there is  a lot going on the back side of my online and academic careers, there is also a front side where I’m expected to look presentable every single day. Let me tell you here: looking alive after sleeping no more than 6 hours a day is not easy, but it’s definitely doable. Especially if you know all the tips and tricks that make you look a bit more fresh and healthy. Today I’m collaborating with Clarins to share with you my hacks on how to look fresh even if your life consists of pulling regular all-nighters.

Tip #1: Think About the Canvas

If you know that you’ll be working late that night or you just realized that your wake up call is less than in 6 hours, give your skin a favor and use an overnight mask. Granted: a few hours of sleep is not a legit “night of sleep,” but with the help of the modern technologies it’s possible to illuminate your skin at night time so you have a better “canvas” to work with in the morning. I wrote about my favorite overnight masks a few weeks ago, but if you don’t own one I would recommend applying any hydrating sheet mask and sleep with it. I know, it sounds like a super inconvenient way to sleep, but since you are already exhausted you might not even notice that tiny sheet on your face while catching a few hours of the Vitamin Zzzzz.

Tip #2: Remember That Truth Is in the Eyes

At least in my case, number one thing that reveals how tired I am is my eyes. I wear contacts so when I’m staying up all night my eyes are getting red and puffy and the under eye area is turning so dark that I look 10 years older the next morning. While you can fix the red eye situation with the help of eye drops, the skin around your eyes needs more love on the days you are not sleeping enough. I’ve heard that one of the most popular things for those situations is to use an ice cube to refresh the under eye area, but this trick never really worked for me. On a regular day I do not mind some ice therapy, but when I’m under-slept and cranky the last thing I want is to put ice on my skin. There are less harsh (and more effective!) ways to brighten up and de-puff the under eye skin though.

My latest favorite product is Clarins Multi-Active Instant Eye Reviver which is an instant anti-aging and radiance improving eye cream. The product that comes with a handy applicator which allows to distribute the cream evenly and massage the around eye area at the same time. The tip of this eye product is made out of smooth metal which always remains cold. So when you are applying a cream by using this applicator you are essentially doing the same ice cube trick, but in a more convenient and civilized way. There is no water leaking all over your face, your fingertips are not getting cold from holding an ice cube, and you can actually tolerate the level of coldness this applicator delivers so three minutes of massaging do not feel like torture.

Another reason why I recommend this product is because it creates a great basis for applying eye makeup. The cream is lightweight and gently luminous so you are not only helping your skin to look brighter, but also ensure that your concealer and foundation apply evenly.

Tip #3: Illuminate and Cover

Another new trick that I recommend trying while attempting to look alive in the morning is to use a color-correcting primer. I recently wrote about color-correcting when you are putting together a full glam look, but this particular product that I will be talking about is more of an everyday essential. I tried Becca First Light Filter Primer when I received it as a gift with purchase at Ulta and it literally changed my “super tired situation” makeup routine. The primer comes in a light purple shade that instantly makes your skin look more refreshed. It features hydrating ingredients (such as spring water and prickly pear flower) so your foundation will apply more evenly. I usually use this primer in a combination with e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation in the shade Porcelain which is a super affordable but luxurious-feeling foundation. I apply the primer by padding it into my face and then follow-up with foundation that I distribute all over my skin with the help of the original beauty blender.

Tip #4: Play the Camouflage Game

When it comes to makeup, the most important thing you can do is to apply a concealer. What I mean by that is that you should apply as many layers of concealer as you need to make your under eye area look brighter. I recently started using a super hyped Tarte Shape Tape Concealer and in my humble opinion it’s the best product for the days when you are feeling ‘meh’ and your under eye area reflects that.

Another trendy tool that I started using is a miniature version of a beauty blender which is designed for applying concealer. It’s smaller than the original beauty blender which ensures a better precision while applying a concealer.

Another tip that I learned through trial and error is that I need to avoid baking with a loose powder underneath my eyes when I feel particularly tired. I know, for some people it seems counterintuitive as the goal of baking is to make the area more smooth, but for me it makes so much more sense to just lightly dub into illuminating powder and apply it under my eyes with a help of an eyeshadow blending brush. I’m currently using a highlighting powder from Clarins Face Contouring Palette and it works so perfectly! The product has an orange undertone to it which is great for illuminating blue and purple area underneath my eyes.

Tip #5: Make Yourself Blush

My personal favorite trick on bringing my face back to life is to use a blush. Being such a pale person, I always receive comments about whether I’m feeling sick on the days when I’m tired and do not wear blush as my face naturally has no pigment in that area. However, I noticed that I can totally fake that I’m not tired if I apply a pink undertone blush onto my cheeks. My current favorite blush for that kind of days is a mineral blush by an indie makeup brand Claré Blanc. It feels on my skin as a typical loose powder while providing a very natural color and glow to my skin—which is perfect for the days when I’m just feeling and looking too tired.

Tip #6: Distract and Charm

If you wonder how you can tell on a photo that I haven’t slept enough the day it was taken, look for those where I’m wearing way too much mascara. I don’t know when and why I came out with this idea, but it always works: on the days when I didn’t have enough sleep I try compensating it by applying three to four layers of mascara. That way, your eyes look more defined than they actually are and you basically distract people from looking at your tired self and instead direct their attention towards your eye makeup.

Tip #7: Know Your Limits

Talking about eye makeup, try avoiding pink, purple, black, and blue tones on the days when you are feeling tired. I personally noticed that those shades make me look even more exhausted so I just stick to a neutral palette of ivory, light brown, gray, and golden shade eyeshadows. I also make sure to outline my lower lid with a beige or white eyeliner as such trick helps to make eyes look more awake.

When it comes to the eyeliner, I’m very flexible about it. Meaning, if I feel like wearing a winged eyeliner I’ll apply it; if not, I’ll just stick to eyeshadows. Honestly, it’s just a matter of time here. If you have a few minutes to apply an eyeliner it will definitely improve the appearance of your tired eyes. But personally I would rather sleep longer instead of mastering up my winged liner.

Tip #8: Illuminate

If there is one thing I’m passionate about in makeup, it’s highlighter. I feel that a subtle glow really helps to make your skin appear looking more healthy and fresh. I don’t recommend going too blinding though on the days when you are feeling too tired. Bright highlighter is a statement that in my book requires a glowing-looking canvas to begin with so I would recommend sticking to less blinding options on the days when you are just not feeling it. One of my favorite highlighters for that kind of situations is ColourPop Super Shock Cheek Highlighter in the shade Lunch Money. It features a powder like consistency and provides an illuminating but not too sparkly coverage.

Tip #9: The Bright Lipstick Rule

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know that in my book any life related situation is an occasion to wear a bright lipstick. I hope you will not be surprised to hear that on the days when I’m not feeling great I’m using this same tool to make my face look brighter. The red or pink lipstick trick also works for distracting people’s attention from the areas that often reveal how many hours exactly you’ve slept. My only advice here would be to avoid wearing liquid lipsticks when you are not feeling your best as your skin and lips are probably dry anyways from the lack of sleep so why emphasizing it even more? Instead, stick to moisturizing formulas that will not only hydrate your lips, but also add a bit of shine so your makeup looks a bit more radiant.

Tip #10: Get a Hair-Do

Finally, when your makeup is on point don’t forget to style your hair as your hairstyle always shows whether you had time to get ready or not. Of course, I’m not telling you to spend a good hour on creating perfect curls or a braided crown. A few loose waves or a sleek pony will do! Just try pretending that you are experiencing a good hair day or, if you have absolutely no desire to wash and style your hair, perhaps try stopping by at the blow-dry salon before your first meeting? It’s expensive, but it’s actually super efficient. You can still check your email and answer phones while getting your hair done. Isn’t it amazing?

Clarins Multi-Active Instant Eye Reviver

Those were my tips and tricks on how to make yourself look presentable on the days when you are just not feeling it. I hope you found some new ideas and would be delighted to hear yours. Please share your suggestions on how to look more alive on the days when you didn’t have enough sleep in the comments area below.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Clarins. All opinions are my own.

  • Thanks for the tips, Katya! I really struggle with making my eyes look rested after a night when I’ve had trouble sleeping. I get bags under my eyes and they are so hard to conceal…

    http://www.memoriesofthepacific.com

  • Thank you for sharing these really awesome tips

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Such great tips, need to abide by some of them more that is for sure!

    Lotte | http://www.lottebeautybox.blogspot.co.uk

  • Zara McIntosh

    I enjoy using my Body Shop eye cream on mornings where my eyes look puffy and tired, I have yet to try any Clarins skincare but love their makeup so I’ll definetely check some out!

  • Nay

    I always wear a bright lipstick when I look tired or ill! Will try an overnight mask soon though, that’s a great idea!

  • MOISTURIZATION is the KEY! Agreed!

  • Great tips! I’ve been using that highlight from the Clarins face palette as well as an under -eye brightener and it works wonders when you’re hungover haha

  • These tips are really good !! I’ll keep them in mind.
    I recall the period I’ve been the most tired in my whole life was after the birth of my second child. I was so exhausted I didn’t even felt like wearing makeup !