8 beauty tricks to look well rested (even if you're far from it)
"Using mint as an ingredient in skincare products can increase mental alertness for a morning pick-me-up and instantly brighten dull, tired skin," says Renee Rouleau, esthetician and founder of Renee Rouleau Skin Care, who adds that the invigorating herb helps to stimulate blood circulation, bringing new nutrients to skin cells. Translation: Serious radiance. Upon waking, wash your face with a mint-infused cleanser such as Rouleau's Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel ($35; reneerouleau.com).
We all know someone who swears that placing cold cucumber slices on her eyes instantly eliminates puffiness. But there's no miraculous anti-puff ingredient in the veggie, Rouleau says. "It's the cold that reduces puffiness. Anything chilled—ice, a bag of frozen peas—should do the trick as long as it's held on the area for at least 10 minutes," she says. You can even stash your eye cream in the fridge, Fusco adds. "The cold cream constricts blood vessels and the lymphatic system, reducing puffiness," she says.
Exfoliation brings oxygenated blood flow to the surface for an instant glow, says Francesca Fusco, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Do it with a treatment that contains dull-skin dissolving fruit acids or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). We like the fruit-acid-based Decleor Life Radiance Flash Mask ($42; DecleorUSA.com), which works in just three minutes.
Try using a champagne-toned highlighter to brighten a dull, drab complexion—it's the backstage secret of celebrity makeup artist and global artistic director for Stila Cosmetics Sarah Lucero. "Fashion models get exhausted during fashion week and it shows in their skin first," she says. "I mix a liquid foundation with a drop of a liquid luminizer and blend into the skin." She likes Stila's All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer in Kitten Shimmer ($20; stilacosmetics.com), a sheer, champagne gold.
When you're bleary-eyed, curling your lashes is a must, according to every single makeup artist we know. Lifted lashes give the appearance of bigger, more open eyes, explains Maybelline makeup artist Melissa Silver. For the most impact, she suggests a double curl—once before you apply mascara and then again when your mascara-coated lashes are completely dry. Go slow and consider using a plastic curler, which tends to yield a gentler crimp. Try Sephora's Ultimate Curler To Go ($18; sephora.com).
You might think that swiping lids with a pale, frosty eyeshadow will brighten your eyes, but the truth is, it can exaggerate lid puffiness, says Silver, who suggests sticking with matte finishes. And just as darker clothing can be slimming, deep-toned shadows can visually deflate bloated lids. "A warm brown shadow is perfect," Silver says. Stay away from anything with pink or red undertones as it can draw more attention to the pink surrounding your sleepy eyes. We like Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow in Made For Mocha ($4; maybelline.com).
Are you feeling like you need toothpicks to prop open your half-closed lids? Lucero has a much better idea: Grab a pencil liner in a bold, eye-brightening shade like navy. Then, on just the center of the lash line, "dot" the tip of the pencil in between your lashes. We like Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner Pencil in Navy ($5; drugstore.com). By concentrating the color in just the center, eyes look wider and more doll-like, she explains. "Finish with two or three coats of black mascara and add an extra layer on the lower lashes—just in the center."
Blending a creamy peach or coral blush a bit higher on the apples detracts away from dark circles, Lucero says. "This trick works in two ways: Orange helps to neutralize or correct the blue undertone most dark circles have and it will also add warmth to the complexion." Try Josie Maran Argan Color Stick in Coral ($22; sephora.com).
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If you skimped on sleep and paid the price with dull skin, dark circles, and puffy eyes, here are 8 expert-approved ways to instantly look more awake.