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7 Ways to Look Awake and Bright-Eyed When You Most Definitely Are Not

Plus: How to make your eyeballs look their best.
Metallic eye makeup can brighten up everything. Photo: Imaxtree

Metallic eye makeup can brighten up everything. Photo: Imaxtree

There are about a million reasons why we — and I do mean we, as a society — all look tired. [Insert joke about the looming presidential election keeping an entire nation up at night here.] And though trying to actually get more rest or spend less time staring at screens would certainly be ideal ways to combat that, perhaps a more feasible method is to make these strategic tweaks to your beauty routine. Read on for our tips on how to look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed — even when you most definitely are not.

First, invest in some legit eyedrops.

Ask just about any makeup artist (or take a look inside their kits backstage), and it's likely that they'll mention one eyedrops brand: Rohto. "Rohto drops are my fave," says makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci. "They instantly hit your eye with coolness and reduce redness in about 90 seconds. They can be a little intense, but they work like magic." If you want the whitest eyeballs possible, Rohto is your best bet. (Specifically, I like their Arctic Redness Reliever Drops, and Karina is a fan of the brand's Cool Eye Drops.) Eyedrops: the unsung heroes of the beauty world.

Get some eye masks and a lightweight eye cream, then store them both in the fridge.

"If you have five minutes, apply anything cold to the under-eye area (frozen peas, cold tea bags) to help soothe inflammation," says makeup artist Quinn Murphy. And for that matter, store all of your eye products (masks, gels, creams) in the fridge as well, so they're ready for de-puffing at all times. Ciucci swears by Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream for daytime use. "It's ultra creamy and shimmery and instantly de-puffs and brightens tired eyes," she says.

Don't be afraid to put eyeliner on your inner waterline.

"If you went out drinking the night before or if you're dehydrated, that rim gets really red, so it just kind of pops your eye open," said makeup artist James Kaliardos during an interview backstage at the spring 2017 Rodarte show, where he used Nars Rue Bonaparte liner on the models' inner lash lines. "It really does help a lot." Ciucci cites this trick as one of her go-to steps in her own daily makeup routine, too. "Pinkness around the eye area can make you look tired, and this is an instant pick-me-up. Choose a creamy formula (waterproof won't stick), gently tug just below your lash line and softly sweep the pencil along the waterline. Don't press too hard or you'll get it in your eye." She recommends Benefit's High Brow Highlight & Lift Pencil for anyone with fair skin or Youngblood's Eye-Illuminating Duo Pencils, which come in a range of shades for medium and dark skin tones.

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Conceal dark circles like a pro.

"Don't go light," says Ciucci, pointing to this as a common under-eye concealer mistake. "The instinct is that you want to brighten, so you use a light concealer. This actually can showcase dark circles; the light concealer merely acts as a haze over the cool (blue, purple, green) darkness under the eye, creating a sallow effect. Instead, use a peach/orange concealer to cancel out those cool tones, then follow with a touch of 'your skin-tone' concealer for ultimate blending," she explains. 

Curl your lashes.

"This is the best trick, and it's often overlooked," says Murphy. "It opens the eyes and makes them appear more awake." It's a classic for a reason. He's a fan of both the Shu Uemura and Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curlers, personally. 

Change up the color of your eye makeup.

Swap out your usual black liner for a softer shade. "Using a brown pencil to line the upper lash line, very close to and in-between the top lashes, then flicking out the outer corners gives a lift to the eye," says Murphy.

When in doubt, highlight.

"You'd be surprised to see what a dewy highlight on the cheekbones and down the bridge of the nose will do," says Ciucci. "Choosing a cream highlighter creates the freshest, most natural glow that makes you look like you've just slept for eight hours." You can find a roundup of our favorites here.

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