My insider secrets to looking awake on (very) little sleep.

Alrighty… so, last Wednesday (I know, this is late, I’m still getting used to this blogging thing) was one of those days… For me, “one of those days” means when I have to wake up at 3am in order to adequately caffeinate prior to being on live TV at the butt crack of dawn (which, in case this post seems to imply otherwise, I LOVE!).

Caffeination aside, looking awake at 5am when I’m expected to be “camera ready” (industry-speak for wearing waaayyy more makeup that would usually be appropriate for any day other than Halloween… or maybe Mardi Gras) is not always an easy feat… Especially when the goal of going to sleep at 8pm goes awry, which it ALWAYS does (and, yeah, daylight savings time’s later sunset is not helping the cause.)

With practice, though, I’ve gotten pretty damn good (if I do say so myself!) at making it look like I’ve slept a full 8 hours on very little sleep – and with a blaring 3am alarm that even makes my dog Zoe look like this…

… (Really, this was taken on Wednesday at 3am) and trust me when I say I hardly look better (minus the fur factor), here are my tried and trusted tricks of the trade!

7 beauty tips for looking awake on (very) little sleep:

Drink loads of water before bed. I’m talking loads of water! Like as much as you can, within reason. Listen, you’re not going to sleep much anyway, so the additional bladder pressure/bathroom runs are far outweighed by the benefits of being fully hydrated come morning. Your skin will look dewier, your eyes will be less puffy and you’ll have considerably more energy. Cutting back on salt the day before is also a pretty good idea in order to reduce water retention.

Turn on coffee machine, brew, chug, repeat. Hey – caffeine may not be enough, but it’s certainly a help.

Apply eye pads. Immediately upon adequate caffeination (by which I merely mean that I am now responsible for my actions and capable of forming coherent thoughts) I apply Elizabeth Grant’s Collagen Firming Eye Pads ($35 for a set of 6) which are f’ing life savers. I’m telling you, they’re like 6 hours of sleep in a gel-like eye pad. 15 minutes later and you look like you could rule the world.

Get moving. This is going to sound silly, I know, but I always do 10 or so pushups and a downward dog or two. Getting your heart rate elevated and increasing circulation not only tells your body that it’s time to get up and moving, but also brings blood flow to your face. A quick jog in place or a handful of jumping jacks would do the trick too (although I try to avoid activities that require me to either A) put on a sports bra or B) resolve myself to a life with saggy boobies, but that’s just me).

Pushups on crack.

Hit up the YSL. When it comes to under eye concealer, it’s time to splurge on Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat ($40), a concealing pen that simultaneously erases under-eye circles and illuminates the skin for a radiant finish that makes you look younger and less tired instantly. While other concealers are considerably less expensive, let’s be honest: looking well-rested is sometimes priceless (err, $40).

Eye liner. Lots of eyeliner! Nothing – and I mean  NOTHING – conceals a tired looking eye wrought with dark circles than something even darker. Smudge out black eyeliner (and apply it to your inner lash line too to help conceal the redness) and suddenly the darkness under your eyes looks minimal at best! Recently, I’ve been loving the black eye liner in the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio ($10.95 for 3), but I also love Maybelline EyeStudio Master Drama Cream Pencil Eyeliner ($5.99) – both of which go on creamy for a dense, liquid-liner-like finish and smudge when you want ’em to, but stay put when set.

Dab luminizer in the inner corners of your eyes. I have been relying on RMS’s Living Luminizer ($38) to perk up my skin for years. It’s a creamy, non-pore-clogging shimmery smudge pot that works on all skin types and skin tones for a bit of added glow whenever and wherever you need it – just a dab on the side of your nose/inner corner of your eye will do wonders for tired eyes! Collar bones, eye brow bones, cheek bones, lips and more are optional (but highly recommended).

And that, my friends, is how I look awake at the butt crack of dawn (or, well, actually before the butt crack of dawn considering it’s still pitch black when I leave my apartment).


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