We all know the seemingly endless beauty tricks to employ when it comes to looking rested—use an eye cream with caffeine, dab a shimmery pale shadow in the inner corner of your eyes, apply mascara on your top and bottom lashes, don’t forget blush and bronzer—but there are also other measures you can take to ensure you look more awake without using makeup. Read on for 12 tips that really work!
Get moving first thing in the a.m.
As dreadful as it can be to wake up an hour or two early to hit the gym, it actually works. Think of it this way: Morning exercise wakes your organs, your bones, and your muscles after a long slumber, which sends a “we’re up!” message to your brain. It also gets your blood pumping, giving you a rosy, healthy, awake-looking glow.
Don’t belong to a gym? Try following a 15-minute workout in the morning from YouTube, or pledge to run, bike, or speed-walk around your block a few times before getting dressed for work.
Wear color—but it has to be the right color.
Super-drowsy mornings are not the time to reach for neutrals. Black won’t do you any fresh-faced favors, as it can cast dark shadows on your face, while the wrong shade of white will make you look washed out. Instead, it’s key to choose a color that will flatter your skin tone and give you a healthy flush. Choosing the wrong color, though, can actually make you look more tired. Here’s a quick breakdown:
If you’re cool-toned: Choose jewel tones: shades of blue, pinks, purples, blue-greens, magentas, blue-based reds, or pure whites.
If you’re warm-toned: Choose earth tones: yellows, oranges, browns, chartreuses, army and deep greens, orange-based reds, or ivory.
Use ice-cold water. Or spoons.
Splashing your face with ice-cold water as you get up shocks your brain, and opens up your eyes. If you’re brave enough, you can also try turning your shower knob to the coldest setting for 10 seconds before getting out (which will also give your hair some extra shine—bonus!) If you’re really dedicated, place two spoons on the fridge or freezer the night before and lay them over your eyes in the morning for a cooling, de-puffing fix.
The right pair of statement earrings—generally those with soft-colored stones or gems like mint, emerald, turquoise, or amethyst—can reflect beautifully onto your skin and eyes, giving you a more awake visage. Plus, they’ll take away unwanted attention from those tired eyes.
Drink as much water as you can during the day.
It’s not rocket science: If plants—which are living things—wilt without water, we will too. Try keeping a large water bottle at your desk throughout the day and refilling it each time you’re done. Water hydrates our organs and our brain, so we’ll not only feel more awake, but look it, too. Plus, all those trips to the water cooler (and the bathroom!) will keep you moving.
Put down the cell phone at night.
According to researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, those of us who spent two hours using a device backlit with LED display—such as an iPhone or iPad—had a corresponding dip in melatonin levels. Melatonin, as you probably know, is the chemical that induces sleep, so decreased levels means you’ll have a harder time zonking out.