Dark circles? Puffy eyes? Lack of sleep is no joke when it comes to keeping your skin in tip-top condition, but if you’re showing signs of a few too many late nights, fear not—we’re here to help. From pepping up dull complexions to brightening tired eyes, we’ve got the tricks you need to get yourself looking less tired ASAP. Short of a peaceful eight hours under the duvet, nothing will have you looking bright and bushy-tailed faster than these quick skin and makeup tricks.
Keep scrolling for the Byrdie guide to looking less tired stat.
A puffy face, especially under the eyes (hello, bags), is a huge giveaway that you’ve had less than adequate shut-eye. But with a little help, this can be quickly fixed. According to Michael Roizen, MD, chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, this temporary puffiness is just fluid that, had you gotten proper rest, would have been distributed around the body. Without sleep, however, this excess fluid pools under the eyes instead.
To get things moving again, you’ll need to give your body’s lymphatic drainage system a helping hand: Enter DIY facial massages. While several techniques can help to de-puff, the simplest is to use your ring fingers and, starting at the inner corners, slowly sweep your fingers along the skin towards your temples—manually helping to disperse the fluid. Use very gentle pressure (the skin here is super delicate, remember) and a soothing oil like Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil ($29) or a de-puffing eye serum like The Ordinary Caffeine Solution (see below), to help your fingers glide over the skin.
Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge also suggests freezing green tea in an ice cube tray, then using the cubes to press along the under-eye. You’ll help to cool, soothe and de-puff in one go while the caffeine in the tea will help to stimulate the skin and get things draining again.
#2. Tackle Dark Circles
If puffy eyes aren’t your number one giveaway, you’ll likely be sporting some rather fetching dark circles instead. As with puffy under-eye bags, dark circles are caused by a buildup of fluid too. If you’ve been up all night staring at a laptop, rubbing your eyes more than usual, or pushing your body a little too much of late, blood can pool here as a result of sluggish drainage and slow circulation—hence the discoloration. Your first port of call is a good eye cream. Scan the ingredients list for caffeine that’ll boost circulation and constrict blood vessels in the area, retinoic acid that’ll temporarily thicken the skin to disguise discoloration, or arnica (used to treat bruising in herbal medicine), which will reduce swelling and inflammation.
#3. Plump up Lines
Ever notice your lines are more prominent when you’re tired? Or that your skin’s a little less tight? That’s because your body hasn’t had the chance to properly replenish its collagen reserves overnight (there’s a lot to be done during eight hours of beauty sleep, you know). The fix is to plump your skin with super hydrating skincare—look for creams or serums that contain hyaluronic acid, or face oils rich in vitamins A, C, and E.
#4. Boost Radiance
Looking a bit sallow? According to Amit Sood, MD, associate professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic, both a lack of sleep and chronic stress can trigger a drop in the body’s melanin production, meaning your skin can appear dull or washed out. While proper rest is, of course, the best fix, a dab of radiance-boosting primer is a great interim measure. Victoria Beckham combats her facial fatigue with her Estée Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme, while we also love mixing a creamy highlighter like Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow in with our foundation and dabbing along the brow bone and over eyelids.
#5. Flush of Color
Nothing peps up a tired face quite like a flush of color. Look for a luminous blush that’ll give your cheeks a rosy glow, and focus on blending it across the apples of your cheeks and up towards the cheekbones to help give your face a little put-together definition. Cream formulas are great for giving skin a dewy glow; we love the RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek cream color in Modest, a rich berry pink, which can be dabbed everywhere and built up for a more intense shade. Finish up with a slick of mascara and some under-eye concealer and you’re good to go!
#6. Energize from Within
If you need to get through the day on less-than-ideal sleeping hours, mainlining coffee isn’t going to have the effect you’re hoping for. “Guzzling caffeine is a temporary solution,” sleep expert Dr. Stanley tells us. “If you drink too much caffeine, it actually becomes a sedative—it will give you a boost, but then too much will have the reverse effect,” he explains. Instead, keep yourself hydrated with lots of water (which will help to plump your skin too) and look to energizing herbal teas instead, such as mint, ginseng, and licorice blends.