How to fake looking rested when you’ve been out all night

26th November, 2023
Photo by Anastasiia Rozumna on Unsplash

Whenever I need to look camera-ready I turn to Michael Brown. As my go-to makeup artist he’s been known to get me looking fresh and ready for an event in a flash, even if I was looking absolutely exhausted right before. He’s that good. So, given there are events aplenty right now, and Christmas parties galore, I know there are going to be those who may need to look bright eyed and bushy tailed even if they’re feeling anything but. But what’s the best way to fake eight hours sleep with what’s sitting in your makeup kit? What are the best makeup tricks to hide looking tired?

I asked Michael to talk me through the whole process—from what products to use to how to tackle problem areas such as dark circles and a dull complexion—so I could share it with you to use as your go-to guide over the next few weeks. Here are Michael’s top makeup tricks to hide looking tired—so you can fool everyone into thinking you were in bed nice and early last night. It’s our little secret…

If you’re going to try and fake looking like you’ve had eight hours sleep, what should be in your tool kit and why?

“To fake eight hours sleep, it’s all about a good hydration product for instant plump and glow; a great concealer for any redness on the skin and of course dark circles; eye drops to re-fresh tired eyes and for me it’s a great lip/blush combo, something fresh and on the brighter side to add colour and brighten your overall look.”

What’s the key to brightening up a tired, dull complexion?

“A non-sparkly highlighter, concealer and a great fresh/bright lipstick would be my first choices to brighten a tired complexion!

The highlighter (try a creamy/liquid, non-metallic version) can be used under and/or over foundation on highlight points, especially cheekbones, to capture and reflect light to give the illusion of super fresh, glow skin.

Concealer is a must, and is more for redness around the nose and then lightly applied under the eye area for an instant refresh!

Lastly, a bright, fresh lipstick, like peach, dusty rose or a brick-based pink/red can also be dabbed and applied to the cheeks and eyelids to really awaken the skin, giving colour and freshness back to a tired complexion.”

How can you effectively disguise tired eyes?

“Sometimes overcompensating and applying too much makeup around the eyes when tired is actually worse! Avoid dark and heavy, think fresh and light, while steering clear of pinky/reddish shades, as these can make the eyes look more tired.

Use eye drops to clear redness and re-fresh, concealer under the eye to brighten dark circles and then neutral tones across the eyelid and socket bone with mascara. No eyeliner will do the trick to open and define, but not overdo the area with makeup.”

How can you best cover dark circles?

“Dark circles really need two shades of concealer to really get that celebrity, red carpet style, super fresh under eye snd it works a treat!

Depending on the depth of the dark circle, apply first a peachy/yellow (orange for extreme dark circles) to the actual dark circle area and dab to blend for colour correction.

Then, over the top, use more of your skin tone shade and even slightly lighter, and this will brighten the area.

Once you colour correct the dark circle away, only then will your skin tone shade or lighter tone work over the area, otherwise it may go greyish if you don’t colour correct first.”

What are the key things to do if you want to look fresher?

“It really is also about focusing more on your skin prep!

We are so quick to slap on a bit of makeup when tired, but skin prep does all that for you…. With hydration comes glow and plump skin, it’s important to massage skincare into skin well to reduce puffiness and to look fresher.

Are there any looks to steer clear of if you are trying to look more rested than you actually are?

“For me, it is just heavy eye makeup. It can definitely make you appear more tired than you are as it’s quite heavy for the eyes —especially big lashes and thick eyeliner!”

If you’re dealing with a hangover, what’s the quickest makeup routine to do to help freshen up your look?

“As above. Eye drops, skin prep, concealer, non metallic highlighter, brighter lipstick and blush.”

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