11 Makeup Tips for Looking Refreshed (When You're Actually Exhausted)

Eye opening makeup

Rosdiana Ciaravolo
 / Contributor / Getty Images

Ugh, Mondays, am I right? Pulling yourself out of bed is hard and looking not exhausted is even harder. Rather than wishing the day away and pressing snooze yet again, there are few things you can do—with makeup you probably already own—to look like you woke up refreshed and properly pampered. Even though, let's face it, you probably didn't. No judgment here, only easy-to-follow advice that'll make tired eyes and makeup mishaps a thing of the past.

Below, we compiled the best tips from makeup pros Charlie Riddle and Robert Sesnek to turn your makeup bag into an arsenal of resources to treat, cover, and de-puff. Armed with the proper tricks and products, you'll leave the house looking bright-eyed, even before your first cup of coffee.

Meet the Expert

  • Charlie Riddle is a pro makeup artist and serves as the Global Beauty Director at Stila.
  • Robert Sesnek is a celebrity makeup artist and ambassador for Catrice Cosmetics.

Keep scrolling for some simple and easy makeup tips to wake up tired eyes.

Mix Eye Cream With Tinted Moisturizer

Clinique all about eyes cream
Clinique All About Eyes $35.00

Dab your favorite eye cream (we suggest a cooling, de-puffing option like Clinique's All About Eyes) around your orbital bone. While it still feels dewy to the touch, brush on a sheer wash of tinted moisturizer around your eye, over your lid, and along your lash line. This way, you'll be treating your fatigue while also covering any darkness or imperfections. 

Use Sheer Shadow Instead of Liner

Catrice Cosmetics Palette À Porter Eyeshadow Palette $7.00

Rather than lining your lower lash line, which can make your eyes look smaller, sweep a sheer layer of light brown shadow along your lashes instead. "Using a lighter wash [of powder] reflects light and gives the appearance of more space," says Sesnek, who says this is an easy way to make eyes appear larger and takes literally seconds to do. Not to mention, using eyeshadow as liner allows for more long-lasting results, as powder lasts longer then cream products.

Groom Brows For a Lifted Appearance

brow kiki
One/Size Brow Kiki Micro Defining Brow Pencil $19.00

Sesnek says that it's important to have your eyebrows properly in shape for your specific eye shape. Go for a long arch if you have close-set eyes and opt for softer brows if you've got wide-set eyes.

Color Correct Dark Circles

Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette
Stila Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette $45.00

Use a peach-toned concealer (rather than your usual lighter shade) to balance out the blues in your under-eye bags. Riddle recommends applying the the corrective tones beginning at the most inner part of the eye (which is usually where you want to counteract the darkness the most). Tap on the product to make a V shape—with the point landing right above your cheekbones. Then, blend. Riddle recommends this color correcting palette from Stila because it offers several color correcting cream shades as well as powders to set.

Use a Concealer

Premium Concealer
Hide Premium Concealer $32.00

Have tired eyes? Find a full-coverage concealer that won't tell the world you were up all night binging Netflix. After color correcting, Riddle says to look for a concealer that has a little bit of color correction built into it, especially if you have really dark circles.

Avoid Black Eyeliner

Pixi Endless Silky Pen in Bronze Beam $12.00

Rather than your go-to black, opt for a brown eyeliner with a hint of shimmer. The color will reflect light against your eyes and make them look so much more awake. Plus, Sesnek says that bronze or warmer brown eyeliner can be much easier to wear on eyes as it’s not as drastic as ultra black eyeliner, which can close off the eyes instead of opening them. Try smudging this bronze eyeliner from Pixi along your lash line for an instant wake-up call.

With smaller shaped eyes, Sesnek says to avoid lining the entire eye and waterline, as this can make the eyes appear much smaller then they are. Instead, opt for eyeliner on the outer corners of the eyes—this will give the illusion of more space and a larger eye shape.

Curl Your Lashes

Face Stockholm Lash Curler $16.00

Curling your lashes is like a bra for your eyes. "When you curl the lashes it elongates, lifts, and makes the eyes appear more open," says Riddle. "If you don’t wear a lot of makeup and want an instant eye-opening effect, curling your lashes is the best way to do it." Bottom line: don't skip this step.

Widen Eyes With a Lengthening Mascara

Magic Extension 5mm Fibre Mascara
MAC Magic Extension 5mm Fibre Mascara $25.00

Sesnek says that applying several coats of mascara on the upper and lower lashes will help make the eyes appear larger. We're fans of this one from MAC, which is essentially lash extensions in a tube thanks to five millimeter-long fibers that swiftly coat each lash.

Eliminate Shadows With a Brightening Powder

Face It All Brightening & Setting Palette
Jaclyn Cosmetics Face It All Brightening & Setting Palette $39.00

According to Riddle, setting your concealer with a brightening powder will not only help prevent creasing, but it'll also bounce off any shadows and make the eyes appear brighter. Try the Jaclyn Cosmetics Face It All Brightening & Setting Palette, which promises to blur, perfect, and brighten even the dullest of skin.

Awaken Eyes With Nude Eyeliner

Brilliant Eye Brightener
Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener $24.00

Take a pale pink or nude pencil, like this one from Thrive Causemetics and line your bottom waterline—it’ll instantly refresh and make the whites of your eyes look whiter, brighter, and your entire face more awake.

Brighten Skin with Luminizer

Becca First Light Filter Face Primer $39.00

Use a ratio of one part luminizer and two parts face makeup to immediately brighten lackluster skin. It'll refresh your complexion in mere seconds. Becca's First Light Filter Face Primer ($39) uses translucent, cool violet pigment mixed with spring water and prickly pear flower to hydrate, revive, and scatter soft light across your face. It's basically magic for your tired, possibly hungover face.

Related Stories