Okay, let’s begin by dealing with the elephant in the room. The absolute best way to look well rested is by being well rested. (Thanks Captain Obvious). But I’m dealing with chronic pain that wakes me up and keeps me awake. As I’ve gotten older, sleep has been more elusive. And there’s a baby in the house. Add that all up and we’re looking at a lack of sleep around here. When I’m just hanging out at home, I don’t really mind if I look tired but if I’m going out or going to live-stream, I’d prefer it if people didn’t say, “Wow. You look really tired.” It’s not terribly motivating.
So, here are some practical tips for those days when you need (or just want) to look well rested but aren’t. Some of them will even help you feel more well rested too!
Stretch those muscles.
I get it. You’re tired. You really don’t want to work out. Me neither. But after I’ve had a rough night, my muscles are always tight and sore. I’m pretty sore I carry that pain around on my face too (as much as I try not to). So, relaxing those muscles can really help you feel more rested and that will reflect on your face (and how you carry yourself). You can do some yoga if that’s something you like but even just a few simple stretches will do. Reach over your head. Bend over and try to touch the floor. That kind of thing. If you think you can do even just a bit more, going for a walk will not only stretch your muscles but get your heart rate up too. All that extra blood flow to your skin will help perk it up too!
PRO TIP: Obviously, if you can get in a professional massage that is a great way to relieve some stress and feel re-energized. But if you can’t do that, one of those self-massaging rollers can help work out the kinks.
We wake up every morning in a slight state of dehydration on a good day. If we’re overtired, often one of the first things we do is reach for the caffeine. And caffeine is dehydrating. Add to that the fact that dehydration simply adds to that feeling of fatigue as your body tries to hold onto the energy it has by slowing down circulation. Now you’ve got an even bigger reason to reach for a glass of water instead of a cup of coffee. Water helps keep your brain firing on all cylinders and can make your skin look fresher too.
PRO TIP: Keep reaching for the water throughout the day as a continued energy pick-me-up. I find that the colder the water, the more refreshed and energized I feel.
Hydrate your skin too.
When you’re sleeping, your body is using that time to get rid of toxins and for cell regeneration and renewal. So, it stands to reason that without proper cell regeneration, your skin is going to look dull. How do I refresh the appearance of my skin when I haven’t had enough sleep? I start with some cold compresses. A washcloth dampened with cold water and pressed against my face can not only perk up my complexion, it can help me feel more awake and energized too. Next up is exfoliation. Use a gentle face scrub to slough away those dead skin cells. Not only does it get rid of the dead cells but it also helps stimulate blood circulation which in turn helps to make your skin look fresher and healthier. I follow up with a gentle cleanser and a good moisturizing face cream. A facial mist throughout the day can continue to refresh your skin.
PRO TIP: My favorite face cream is a tinted moisturizer that helps add a hint of rosiness to my skin.
Reduce the puffiness
If there’s one thing that gives away my lack of sleep more than anything else, it’s going to be my eyes. You can see it easily in some photographs – puffy dark circles. In fact, sometimes the puffiness is so bad that when I smile, my eyes pretty much disappear! If you have time for an eye compress, it can really help to bring down the swelling and make you look more wide awake. Keep a cooling eye mask in the refrigerator so it’s ready whenever you need it. I follow up with an anti-puff eye roller. It moisturizes, cools, and massages the eye area all at once helping to reduce the puffiness. Finally, I use a concealer to brighten up the skin under my eyes and reduce the appearance of the dark circles.
PRO TIP: Did you know that most people apply under eye concealer incorrectly? They swipe it from side to side over the dark circles. Really, what works better is to apply it in a triangle shape like this.
Just like exfoliation can help freshen up your skin, a lip scrub is a great way to get rid of dead skin and help plump up your lips again too. Using a lip mask is really helpful too if you have time for it. Follow this up with a rich moisturizing lipstick. I like to use a brighter color and draw attention to my lips. In addition, I avoid drawing attention to my eyes by skipping the eye shadow. I do find that curling my lashes and adding a little swipe of mascara to them can help open them up and make them look a little wider and more alert. Wearing earrings is another way to pull attention away from your eyes.