Step #1: De-puff
First, wash your face with cool water—it’ll tone down any swelling better than your usual warm-water rinse. Pat dry, then use your ring finger to gently tap on a soothing eye gel (the tapping motion helps reduce those under-eye bags) or roll on one of the new eye gels with built-in massagers, also great for zapping puffiness (try Pearl Eyes by Inka TriBall Roll On, $58, Henry Bendel, 800-423-6335).
Step #2: Moisturize
Tired skin can look dehydrated, so smooth on a lotion that contains what pros call light diffusers—teensy particles of glimmer that (ingeniously) deflect attention away from dullness (try Freeze 24-7 Freeze and Go, $65, spacenk.com). For extra wake-up power, store it in the fridge—chilled lotion feels amazing after a rough night.
Step #3: Take cover
Yes, you’re exhausted, but you’re going to need just a little bit of energy to tackle blotchy red patches and dark spots. Start by evening out your skin with a sheer foundation like By Terry Light-Expert Perfecting Foundation ($54, Barneys, 888-822-7639). Then dab concealer on these prime offenders:
Under your eyes
At the inner corners of your eyes, by the bridge of your nose
Around your nostrils
In between your eyebrows
When you’re done, use a clean makeup sponge to blend the edges of your concealer so you don’t end up with obvious lines, and dust on a loose powder with a subtle sheen to fake a glow.
Step #4: Brighten up
A little color makes a big difference when you need to look wide-awake ASAP. Rub a pinky cream blush like Scott Barnes Creme Color in Bloom ($24, scottbarnes.com) on the apples of your cheeks to fake a healthy-looking flush, then dab on a bright-but-sheer pink gloss. Finish by curling your lashes and swiping on a deep blue mascara like Diorshow Mascara in Azure Blue ($23, sephora.com)—it’ll make the whites of your eyes look brighter, so it’s a better bet than your usual black.
Step #5: Get dressed, do your hair
It’s temping to reach for that black turtleneck, but a lighter, brighter hue will cast a warmer glow on your face, making you look much more awake. When it comes to hair, avoid anything that looks too droopy—you want to direct the eye upward, so go with a chic high ponytail or twist rather than a low ponytail or just-hanging-there layers. Still feeling tuckered? Well, there’s always Starbucks…