We’re all too familiar with the lacklustre skin tone, dark circles and general appearance of neglect that follows a period of poor sleep, over-indulgence or a few consecutive late nights and early starts. “Lack of sleep and too much stress leads to inflammation which causes irritation, breakouts, dark circles, pale skin and premature ageing,” says world-renowned aesthetic doctor, Barbara Sturm. “Our skin cells regenerate at night, so less sleep equals less repair time.” So, what can we do to make our skin (and by extension, us) look wide awake and alert when, in fact, we feel anything but?
Make em’ pop
If we’re really tired, nowhere is it more obvious than in our eyes. The whites of the eyes can become red, and the surrounding skin can become dark and puffy. Pick your eyeshadow strategically and you can make your irises appear brighter and your whites whiter. Bronzes make blue eyes look electric, lilac makes green eyes pop, and soft and muted neutrals allow hazel and brown eyes to take centre stage. We love Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours and NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks because they are creamy and blendable and only require finger to apply.
If lack of sleep has left your eyes a little puffy, use a colour that’s a shade or two darker than your skin tone through your socket line to recreate depth and definition. Counteract dark circles with Hourglass Veil Retouching Fluid; it expertly knocks back purple tones and goes big on radiance.
Glow all out
When we’re exhausted, our radiance is usually the first thing to take a hit. To restore your luminosity try Dr Barbara Sturm Glow Drops – they contain root extracts to even out skin tone and wild rose extract to impart a glow and refine the look of pores. Dispense a couple of drops into the palms of your hands, pat into your skin and follow with moisturiser. “Enhancing blood circulation and boosting hydration helps to improve the appearance of skin, and impart a glow,” explains Dr Sturm.
She suggests, “Apply a mask to your skin and while it’s on, use your fingers to really massage your skin, this promotes fibroblast growth, hydrates the skin and provides an instant, healthy glow.” Sisley Radiant Glow Express Mask contains brightening red and white clay to boost radiance, while REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, gently exfoliates dull skin and refortifies it with omegas 3 and 7.
A hint of a little something over cheeks restores lost vitality in an instant. Creamy formulas work best as they make skin appear well hydrated and bouncy – plus, they can be applied with fingertips. Try RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek; it’s wonderfully creamy and requires zero dexterity. It’s available in five shades, ranging from subtle to punchy, to liven up any skin tone and can be applied to lips too. Pat the teeniest amount onto the apples of your cheeks and blend outwards and – controversially – downwards. This placement looks flushed and youthful.