It happens - the baby cried all night; your husband refused to stop snoring; worrying about a friend kept you awake. But thanks to these expert tips, no one has to know that your snooze-time was seriously compromised. By Ava Feuer, REDBOOK.
Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're dragging, but even six-to-ten minutes of aerobic moves and stretching can increase blood flow and circulation to the face, says celebrity dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban. "You're going to get some warmth up there and get a little bit of blush going." Knee lifts, jumping jacks, and sit-ups followed by a few downward dogs are just what the doctor ordered.
Banish under-eye bags
"Caffeine is amazing to help reduce under-eye puffiness because it's a natural diuretic, meaning that it pulls fluid out of your system," says Dr. Shamban. To give your skin a jolt, store tea bags seeped in water in a Ziploc bag in your fridge, and apply to eyes for approximately 20 minutes. Then, return to the refrigerator to retrieve your moisturizer and eye cream. "Anything cool is going to shrink lymphatic and blood vessels, and if your under-eyes are puffy, it's because you've got lymph collection there," explains Dr. Shamban. Start at the inner corner of your eye, and spread product outwards for best results.
If you were up late, or ate a larger than normal meal, you're apt to rise with a greasy complexion. Restore skin's balance by rubbing an ice cube all over your face after applying your regular moisturizer. Dr. Shamban recommends five passes or one minute with an ice cube to tighten and seal pores.
Use your nose
Fatigue often triggers feelings of doom, gloom, and moodiness - but these negative emotions are easy enough to snap out of with the right scent. "Breathing in pleasant smells triggers positive reactions in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being," says Dr. Shamban. "Your nose is tied to the most ancient part of the brain." Call up happy memories by spraying a perfume you associate with a positive experience. If sandalwood reminds you of your first trip with your husband, a few spritzes on the back of your wrists will help you feel ready to conquer the day.
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Opt for a loose bun
No time to wash and style your hair? No problem, says Myrna Palacios of the Rita Hazan Salon. "A high bun works with dirty hair, with any texture, and it's an automatic facelift." Make a high ponytail, mist with a light hairspray like Oribe Superfine Hairspray, twist into a loose bun, and secure with a few pins.
Slip on a headband
A great hair accessory will make you feel pretty - and if it's sparkly, all the better. "It will keep your hair out of your face, look fashionable, and hide how crazy your hairline might look in the morning," says Palacios. Once you slip on a headband, tease hair for a bit of volume, and finish with texturizing spray.
Give new life to yesterday's blowout
If you went to bed with fabulous hair, but woke up with locks falling flat, Palacios suggests rolling hair into three or four medium-size hot rollers. Place each roller facing back, focusing on the front and top of hair, and spray with light-hold hairspray. "It's key to let the rollers completely cool off, so get dressed and do your makeup while they're cooling," says Palacios. "Before you head out the door, take the rollers out and bam, full hair once again!"
Bring out the whites of your eyes
It's normal to wake up from a poor night's sleep with bleary, red eyes, but there's no need to leave the house that way. For a cooling, refreshing and soothing effect, celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt recommends Rhoto eye drops. Now, don't you look bright and shiny?
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Play up your eyes
Since exhaustion shows most in the eyes, it's counterintuitive to draw attention to them. However, focusing on your peepers can make a difference. Surratt relies on this routine: curl lashes, allowing more light to come into the eye area, sweep on a light coat of mascara on both upper and lower lashes to create contrast with under-eye bags, run a peach eyeliner or concealer pencil in the wet line of the shelf above the lower lashes to conceal redness, and apply a light-reflecting, shimmery shadow to lids.
Wear a bold lip
Not comfortable with drawing attention to your eyes? Opt for a hot-pink or red lip instead. "It brings the focus to your mouth and to the lower half of the face, deemphasizing what might be going on up above," says Surratt.
Eat oatmeal for breakfast
You've no doubt heard that the whole grain is a fiber-filled, healthy way to start off your day. Turns out, oatmeal is also beautifying. "Oats produce nitric oxide, and blow open your arteries to allow more blood flow," says David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat. "That helps with carrying oxygen to cells, and that's what wakes them up."
Sip spa water
A spa day might help melt your stress away, but in a pinch, steal a trick from the wellness gurus, and drink their beverage of choice. Infuse water with fruit, particularly lemon, orange or lime slices, which contain high levels of collagen-boosting vitamin C. "That's what gives skin its tautness and firmness," says Grotto, who also suggests trying watermelon. The liquid-heavy fruit is high in potassium, which helps balance out dehydrating sodium in the skin and body.
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Indulge in chocolate
It may be our favorite dessert, but we've rarely thought of adding cocoa to our mornings. However, a study found that consuming high-flavanol cocoa doubled UV protection of the skin, and made subjects appear more youthful. Add a glass of chocolate milk to your breakfast, or follow Grotto's lead and make chocolate chip pancakes, or mix cocoa into pancake or waffle mix.
Nosh on prunes
The dried fruit may have a wrinkly appearance, but one study found that eating prunes actually helps reduce skin wrinkles. Buy them pre-pitted and toss into a homemade snack mix, or chop them up and add to breakfast granola or muesli.
Add smoked salmon to your diet
"Salmon makes skin look great because it's an excellent source of not only protein, which helps with skin repair, but also omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation," says Grotto. "Low intake of omega-3s has been associated with dry skin." To keep skin soft and supple, mix nova into an omelet or frittata, or spread it over whole-wheat bread and cream cheese.
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