“You look tired”: It’s a sympathetic comment that’s rarely well received, whether it’s true or not!
If you find yourself offering the same statement to the mirror, there are ways to remedy the situation swiftly. That is, hydration, luminosity and colour in all areas. Seek out formulas that add extra moisture and look lush too: anything too matte or powdery will only accentuate dry, drawn skin.
Start with skincare
Kate Moss once announced she fills a sink with water and ice cubes and starts each day by plunging her face right in, saying “it instantly reduces puffiness and tightens up your skin.”
Not so game? Try a simple cleanse and rinse with the coldest water you can manage.
Facial massage tools like stone facial rollers are wildly popular and a good solution for tired skin, especially if stored in the refrigerator. They help to ease puffiness by encouraging lymphatic drainage, as well as boosting blood circulation to bring back healthy-looking colour to your skin. If you’re too short on time for that, try a firm massage with fingers as you apply a gel moisturiser – preferably filled with hyaluronic acid or glycerin – quick effective moisture-binding ingredients and plump out fine lines and leave a dewy looking glow.
To further eliminate puffiness around the eyes caused by fluid retention, apply an eye cream designed for morning use. Scan the ingredients list for caffeine, an ingredient that’ll boost circulation and constrict blood vessels in the area making it look tighter and brighter.
Feeling stressed, constantly under the pump or not getting enough sleep can quickly drain your desirable glow and radiance, resulting in unwelcome ashy or grey tones just beneath the skin.
Quickly cancel out the deep or sallow shadows under eyes by tapping a colour corrector (similar to a dense tinted concealer, but with specific brightening pigments) into skin, using the warmth of your fingertips to blend it seamlessly.
You can then add dewy radiance quickly by using an illuminating primer and foundation with radiant moisturizing properties.
Don’t be tempted to reach for industrial strength coverage – it’ll only cling to imperfections. Instead use a light hand and blend your base from the centre of the face outwards, or simply opt for a bit of brightening concealer, just where required. It looks more relaxed and healthy than a full face that may only accentuate dryness and lines.
Next, go for a pop of pink or peach on cheeks and lips which will mimic healthy vigour.
“Cream based colours always look fresh, says Lara Srokowski, Director of Artistry for Lancôme Australia. “A lot of people get confused about which blush colour to wear with which lip. A good tip is to get a little bit of lipstick, mix it in a little bit of illuminator on the back of your hand, and use to pat into cheeks. It looks really glowy and it’s quick.”
Running a nude or white liner on the inner rims of your eyes will help counteract redness and make eyes appear larger.
Finally, squeeze lashes with an eyelash curler – lifted lashes will open your eyes up beautifully – and slick on some lengthening mascara. For a lasting curl, give a metal eyelash curler a quick blast with a hairdryer to heat it before using, just make sure it’s not too hot!
Longer term options
When you can get to the salon, talk to a hairstylist about lightning up your colour or adding in some flattering dimension.
Often reapplication of single-tone box dye can mean over time your hair ends up much darker than it originally was, particularly if you’re committed to cancelling out greys. That heavy colour won’t reflect light onto your face – instead it can make you look drawn.
Hair techniques that slowly lighten your colour overall, or blend a few natural-looking highlights around the face can look more flattering and you may find you want to wear less makeup afterwards. Semi-permanent hair dyes with radiant tones can help lift your look without making a long-term change.
Dr. Ellen Selkon, Director of aesthetic medicine specialists Clinic 42 says dark circles and hollowing under the eyes can be improved with modern treatments, but given the delicate area and vein network they require significant expertise and consideration.
“Dark circles can be hereditary or caused by aging and can be one of the most difficult things to treat. In some cases it’s possible to place a thin layer of a specific dermal filler under the muscle in the under-eye area to camouflage this darkness. But this is where a good eye cream containing vitamin A can perform wonders over time, thickening the skin and therefore reducing those circles.”
A good regular nightly skincare routine, including a deep cleanse, serum and moisturiser will also pay dividends in the mornings, but requires time that could be spent sleeping – also essential to waking up looking rested!