Sometimes being awake and feeling awake are two different things. Add looking awake to the mix and you’ve got yourself a triple whammy of challenges to deal with on a daily basis. There’s an awful lot to be said for a strong cup of coffee in the morning, but sometimes even coffee doesn’t cut it and trying to keep those eyes open after a long sleepless night can make you tired just by thinking about it.
As you get a little older, you start to notice things that didn’t happen or weren’t there 10 years ago – burning the midnight oil seems to have more repercussions these days and it’s almost like the only way to get past these niggly little age-inducing ailments is to get 10 hours sleep every night. Only that is rarely possible, if at all. Whether you’re a full-time worker, a parent or student, you have obligations, and this usually means a loss of sleep from time to time which can leave you feeling less than your usual alert self the next day.
If you have noticed a few more dark circles or pesky little lines around your eyes recently and haven’t been able to get your standard night sleep to help your body rest and rejuvenate, then these handy little tips may be just for you.
Get More Sleep
This one goes without saying, and trust me, I’m fully aware that there is no miracle fix to add a few more hours to a 24-hour day. If there was, we could all get a little bit more shut eye every night and looking awake in the morning wouldn’t really be a problem.
But sleep fixes so many things and if you are in a situation where your eyes are looking puffier than usual and you can’t even fake your way through the day by pretending to look awake then you might even want to consider a few power naps to get by in the short term.
There are two types of people in this world – morning people… and the rest of us. And if you fall into my category then sometimes, no matter how much sleep you get you wake up looking and feeling like a zombie and it can take a while to come around to the land of the living and get ready for the day. But always remember that a good night’s sleep will have done so much good for your skin and if you want to keep hold of your youthful complexion then you need to keep at it.
When you go to bed, remove any makeup you have on, use a light moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and not caked which can prevent it from breathing, and turn your phone off. Blue and white lights from phones are not good for us at night anyway, and the distractions on your phone that can put you off sleeping will only halt your bid to stay looking and feeling alert in the morning.
Water and Hydration
In other efforts to get your body into an alert and awake state of mind, you have to keep yourself hydrated above all. Now this isn’t to tell you to work yourself up into a frenzy if you miss a good helping of water, but just to say be mindful of how much of the good stuff you are putting into your body.
Water helps us in thousands of ways, so much so, you probably haven’t even given any though to the fact it helps you feel more awake. It’s about as close to a miracle cure as you can get and yet most of us don’t drink nearly as much as we should on a daily basis. Dehydration is what makes us feel more fatigued and have less energy and when you feel tired, your eyes and your skin will show it.
If you want to feel and look more alert and awake in the mornings, then you need all the energy that you can get so you don’t have to spend hours hiding it with makeup. If your muscles are dehydrated it makes it harder to do anything, so staying awake is a harder chore than it needs to be. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter and tried to last until the day is over and noticed that your skin feels rougher or blotchy? That will be a lack of water in your system, and simply trying to correct it with a quick glug of water before bed won’t do you many favours, you need to try to incorporate more water into your lifestyle to really feel the benefits (and look more awake in the mornings!)
Swap Coffee for Green Tea
I can actually vouch for this one as a tried and tested method for making you feel more awake in the mornings. Green tea doesn’t quite give you the same kick as an espresso, but it has more benefits than just drinking coffee, so grabbing a few green teabags on your next outing to the supermarket is definitely not going to hurt.
Although green tea contains caffeine, it has no where near as much as a standard coffee, so when you need that kick to help you feel more awake in the mornings, this magical potion is the way forward. It is loaded with antioxidants too so helps with impurities and clarifying your body inside and out.
Green tea is also said to help boost metabolism and gives you an energy kick just when you need it, so if you are feeling a little sluggish every now and then, this drink may be what you need to kickstart a healthy detox and even prompt a visit to the gym. And we all know there is nothing better to wake you up in the morning than a long run or some other form of cardio to really get those endorphins flowing.
Take a Break
There could be a million reasons for you feeling a little under the weather or less than your usual alert self, and no matter what the reason, it is usually down to over-exertion or even burnout. No one is saying that you have to stop completely but taking a break from your usual grind will have an amazing effect on your body.
Book that holiday you’ve always been wanting to go on, or a mini break for a spa weekend in the country. Whatever your break of choice you will find that your body responds by saying thank you in wonderful ways. Have you ever worked so much that you haven’t even had the chance to think about yourself? You may find your temperament changes toward those around you and you become even snappier in the morning than with the usual drill. The feeling of already wanting the day to be over before it has even begun makes you feel tired and caffeine dependant and your skin and eyes will show it quite obviously to everyone around you.
If you are serious about looking more awake, you need to feel more awake first, and it could just be that a getaway from everything is just what the doctor ordered for you to get that perfect night’s sleep. Trust me, you’ll wake up feeling so much more refreshed and it will reflect in your appearance.
Get Some Cucumber
Ok, so this one has been around for years and some question cucumber’s abilities to keep you feeling fresh and alert but if it was really an old wives’ tale would it really be so popular still to this day? Cucumber has many redeeming qualities that people don’t really understand and I think once you get to the bottom of it, using cucumber as a source of goodness in your life will change things.
Cucumber, like green tea has antioxidant properties and it is also mostly water so there’s really no reason not to give it a try. In the mornings or even after a hard day at work, popping a couple of slices over your eyes will do wonders for you if you are feeling a little more worn out than usual.
Keep them on for 10-20 minutes, kick back and have a great soundtrack in the background to keep you company and in no time, those naughty eye bags will look far more reduced than they did before as well as any redness or inflammation practically disappearing right before your eyes – pun intended. Oh, and one more thing, make sure the cucumber has had a few hours in the fridge before you put them on your eyes, the coolness is exactly what will help reduce any swelling.
Cucumber is a sure fire way to make sure you look and feel as awake as you can almost instantly, so keep one handy in the fridge so you can have a little pamper session before a big night out and give your face the VIP treatment so you don’t have to rely on makeup alone.
Try an Eye Serum
There are a lot of different eye serums out there that promise to do different things and until you’ve tried one, its impossible to comment on how it works. But instead of looking for a miracle lotion that gets rid of wrinkles and smoothens the skin on a permanent basis, it can be best to look at eye serums as a helpful hand in keeping your eyes and the skin around them looking sharp and awake.
There are serums that may help to smooth out lines around the eyes, but they are usually more heavy moisturisers that actually aren’t the best solution for skin around the eyes. The skin there is really thin, and this is why you see darker circles more and you can pinch the skin easier than anywhere else on your face. Heavy moisturisers should be used on concentrated areas like the forever-dreaded crow’s feet and the thin lines under the eyes.
A good eye serum will have ingredients that are lighter on this part of the face as it is so much more delicate than anywhere else and if it contains cooler ingredients such as cucumber, it can help you out at night or in the morning to get that sleepy feeling to disappear from your eyes. Just be careful when applying it not to get it in your eyes or you will end up looking like you’ve pulled an all-nighter!
Get a Great Concealer
If all else fails in your quest to look and feel more awake in the morning, there is only one thing for it, fake it. If used well, a good concealer can hold back the tiredness from those over-exhausted eyes and you can go about your day like you’ve had the best sleep.
These days, concealers aren’t just your average flesh coloured goop that you have to slather on until your skin no longer resembles your own, and there aren’t just one or two different types out there. If you use concealer as part of your normal makeup routine but suffer with early morning syndrome like me, you probably need a little bit more to make yourself look awake before you head out to work.
Colour correcting concealers do a fantastic job of covering up dark circles and hiding shadows that are tell tale signs of a late night, and getting one to match the skin tone you need to achieve with foundation is the key to making it look natural and like you haven’t even thought twice about how tired you really are.
Get Clever With your Makeup
Once you’ve had your concealer fulfilment for the day, its time to go smart with your makeup so it doesn’t just look like you are covering up a heavy night. Eye shadows that compliment your eye colour and clever use of eye liner can do more than just cover up a wrinkle or two, they can draw attention elsewhere so that even the most tired looking eyes can sparkle in no time.
Foundations to match your skin type are great things to have in your makeup arsenal but sometimes it can translate differently on the face than it does on paper so watch out for these things if you are trying to hide tired eyes. Matte foundation might be the stuff of dreams for the oily or combination skinned persuasion, but by making your face look dry first thing in the morning, the flat surface can highlight the lumps and bumps of a bad night sleep. Creases will sit firmly under your layer of foundation and there will be nothing you can do to hide the fact you had a bit of a late night.
Something a little dewier might be in order to give you that fresh, ‘just woke up’ look but in a good way. Foundation is just one of the tools that can help you look more awake and using a matte primer might be the answer if your skin needs a little help to keep your makeup firmly in place.
White eyeliner across the waterline is another little tip for looking awake in the morning. It opens up your eyes and makes them look wider and if white is a little too much for you in the daytime, a nude shade works just as well and will hide any redness that is lingering.
Other Tips to Make you Feel and Look More Awake
The above hints are all fantastic, but just remember that it doesn’t stop there and you know your own body and how it reacts to certain things, so keep the below in mind when you have had a few less Zs than you planned for the night before.
- Teabags over your eyes – Much like cucumber, popping a couple of these over your eyes is known to reduce inflammation and help to neutralise skin tones.
- A cold shower in the morning – I’m not in favour of plunging into a freezing cold shower first thing but setting the temperature to be a bit cooler will help your skin and reduce puffiness.
- Wash your face at night – Whether you have a full-on beauty routine at night or just basic makeup removal, washing your face is essential to rid your skin of any dirt or grease that can cause breakouts. Sleeping in makeup is a big No if you want to look alert and awake the next morning.
- Use your eyelashes to fake it – If your eyelashes look great, you may just have people fooled into thinking you feel great too. Start with an eyelash serum to keep them nice and healthy, then the next morning they will be ready for curling and a touch of mascara to widen and frame your eyes.
- Add some colour to your cheeks – When foundation isn’t enough and you are not a fan of contouring, a little rosy red blush will be enough for that fully awake and put together look each day.
- Change the focus to your lips – Lips can look dry or tired themselves, but not in the way the eyes do, so sometimes just taking the focus off them can help you look more awake. Go as bold and as bright as you want, or keep the tones simple and classic, but just make sure that your lips are in great shape first by using an intensive care balm regularly.