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How to look more awake

Tiernan McKay is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Alive!, Occupational Health and Safety, Restaurants and Institutions, Tampa Bay and Arizona Woman. Right now, she is either ridi...

Makeup to wakeup

Are you tired of looking tired? Do perky-looking people make you want to scream? Join the club. It seems the more we load on our plates, the more the stress shows on our faces. Puffy eyes, uneven tone and dehydrated skin all contribute to the dreaded sleepy look. Perhaps you feel awake, but your skin tells you otherwise? Or, maybe you can't shake that tired feeling and your skin agrees. Either way, it's time to wake up your complexion!

Woman with fresh skin

Eight hours of sleep -- for most of us, this is a fleeting memory, an unreachable goal, a figment of the imagination. Still, we've heard the recommendation hundreds of times. If it's simply impossible for you to fit in that much shut-eye, you can still appear to have a close relationship with your pillow. Follow these tips to help wake up your skin and fake the well-rested look.

Step 1: Start with an invigorating scrub

You don't need to use a strong exfoliant every day, but starting the morning off with a good gentle scrub will help rev up your circulation, slough off surface dryness and prepare your skin to looks its best. Grab your favorite cleanser, formulated to match your skin type, and use a gentle face brush once or twice a week.

Try: Dermalogica Exfoliating Face Brush ($13). This gentle brush helps stimulate blood flow and remove surface debris.

Step 2: Snap up a serum

Serums are a great tool to drive highly concentrated ingredients deep into your skin, providing more intense moisture than moisturizer alone. Light and quickly absorbed, serums can provide that extra punch of nutrients that tired skin needs to get going. After you wash, apply over your face and neck and watch your skin soak up the yummy goodness.

Try: The Organic Pharmacy's Antioxidant Face Gel ($87.76) minimizes pores and perks up your complexion. It tones and lifts your skin with ginseng, sweet orange, grapefruit and lemon.


Step 3: Give thirsty skin a drink

Dehydrated skin looks lifeless and dull. Once your complexion is prepped with a serum, apply a lightweight moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type. Tinted moisturizers offer a great alternative to heavier foundation, which can exasperate the tired look. Look for a product with that all-important SPF to protect your skin from the sun.

Try: The Balm's BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer ($25) has an SPF of 18. This silky moisturizer glides on to create a glowy, radiant finish.


Step 4: De-puff your eyes

Some call them the window to the soul. Others call them the ultimate age betrayer. The eyes can't keep your sleepless secrets while carrying around puffy bags and dark circles. Cold compresses can really help calm swollen eyes, but when you have 5 minutes to get out the door, grab an eye cream specially-formulated to do the trick. Look for a super-moisturizing cream that works to de-puff, smooth and erase signs of fatigue.

Try: Return your peepers to their "window to the soul" status with Origins' GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream($29.50). Caffeine, ginseng and magnolia extracts help reduce dark circles, bags and puffiness. Plus, it's the perfect prep for concealer.


Step 5: Prime your skin

This often-skipped beauty step is really a beauty must. Primer helps eliminate blotchiness, shrink the appearance of pores and create an overall illuminating look. Whether you are getting ready for date-night or going au natural for the day, primer will ensure your skin looks its best and most vibrant.

Try: Beauty Society's Photo Shoot Facial Primer ($38.50). This velvety formula warms up the skin and hides imperfections, creating a smooth canvas for foundation, or the perfect glow for a bare-skin day.


Step 6: Brighten up your eyes

Even after de-puffing, some dark under-eye circles need a little extra coaxing before they leave the premises. In this case, a light swipe of concealer goes a long way. Look for a creamy formula that won't settle in creases and lasts all day. Don't hesitate to seek professional advice when searching for the right concealer. The perfect shade will depend on your complexion and whether your circles are more purple/blue or more grey/brown.

Try: Bobbi Brown's Tinted Eye Brightener ($38.00) is easy to apply, super blendable and provides excellent coverage without looking chalky. Watch your face light up!


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