One of the cruel jokes of our complexions is that they can turn on us and look exhausted even when we’re not. Here are seven excellent tips from experts on how to make fatigued-looking skin look as if you slept 10 hours last night—even if you didn’t.
The big reveal:
Makeup artist Fiona Stiles loves perking a complexion up with a gentle facial exfoliant, which will remove dead surface skin cells to reveal fresher ones hidden beneath. Her current favorite? NOTO Resurface Scrub ($31). “It’s made from crushed walnuts—which sounds so abrasive—but they’re milled so finely that it isn’t,” Stiles explains, admitting that she also loves its natural fragrance of peppermint and blood orange so much, she’ll use it twice in a row. “I just don’t want the experience to end!”
Makeup artist Christian McCulloch likes to deliver a fresh glow by mixing self-tanner (he prefers Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning, $40) with facial oil. After blending the two potions in his hands (two-thirds tanner, one-third oil), he quickly rubs it in over the entire face. “The tanner kind of gives that cream feeling so skin won’t feel too oily or slippery,” he explains. “Try to wait at least an hour or two before applying your skin care, though.”
Why? “You want to give the tan at least a little time to absorb and let the tanner settle into the skin before you go diluting its evenness with extra products—remember, you want this tan to look “natural” and convincing! A patchy, uneven one will give people the spooks.”
Blush from within:
Never one to apply his colors in the usual fashion, makeup artist Dick Page is known for thinking outside the box with makeup. That said, he’s also a master at natural looks. Take his ethereal “blush-from-within” technique, which involves applying cream blush to the apples of cheeks before applying foundation.
Says Page: “I like to apply blush first, not only because you'll look better immediately, but you can then see where you need foundation or concealer—if, in fact, you need any at all.”
Sweat it to get it:
Counteract a tired face by raising your heart rate a little. Even a quick run around the block, or five minutes jumping rope, will deliver the rosiest glow to your cheeks.
Esthetician and skin care expert Renee Rouleau spends nearly every day improving the complexions of her clients in Austin, Los Angeles and New York, but one trick she swears by religiously doesn’t involve product or treatment. “Every night, I hang over my bed, head near the floor, for three minutes,” says Rouleau.
She explains why she does it. “Think about it. You’ve been in an upright position all day, which means a lot of blood flow has drained from the face. Doing the bed hang at night helps to bring oxygen and nourishment back to the cells.”
And could one do this in the morning? Say, before applying makeup? Sure, says Rouleau, albeit with one caveat: “If you’re someone who has under-eye puffiness, your goal is to move fluids away from your face, so hanging your head upside down could make cause that puffiness to linger a bit longer than it normally would, so I would do it when I first woke up.” Duly noted. Rouleau recommends her Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel ($34) in the shower after the morning bed hang.
Face the Light:
LA facialist Shani Darden is a big fan of at-home LED masks (and if you follow her on Instagram, you’ll see that she means it…) “LED light is amazing for boosting collagen, smoothing fine lines, and giving you a youthful appearance,” says Darden. For an extra boost of hydration, she recommends using it after a sheet mask infused with hyaluronic acid.
“I like to find sheet masks that have a lot of product on them so that you’re able to massage the remainder into your skin as you take it off,” says Darden. “Spread the leftover product on afterward and then use the LED light.”
Pat the Dew on:
Adding a light, brightening face oil as a final step in your makeup routine is a subtle way to perk up a complexion. You don’t want to over-do it, though, nor do you want to mess up that freshly applied makeup. Rub a few drops into the palms of your hands, then gently press your lower palms on your cheekbone area and forehead, as if you were taking the temperature of your own skin. We love Uma Brightening Face Oil ($150) and True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil ($110).