Friday, August 19, 2011

Waking Up with Makeup

So, you stayed up wayyy too late. And now it's morning. And you have somewhere important to be. How will you ever look awake in time?

We all (hopefully) know the classic tricks, like a light shadow on the inner corners of your eyes or an extra coat of mascara. If you're working on a tight time budget, though, you need a concise look that will get the job done, helping you "look like yourself" without making you late.

This isn't poop; it's a face scrub. Get it right.

First, you're going to want to start out by exfoliating. When you're asleep, your body gets rid of dead skin and replaces it with new, fresh cells. These cells are younger, healthier, and are a key to looking awake. If you missed a few hours of sleep, your skin is going to need some help getting red of old, dead cells. Exfoliation will be your skin's lifesaver. Added bonus: not only will exfoliating your skin expose a new, fresh layer of skin, but it will also stimulate your skin, helping you feel more awake. This will also stimulate your skin, causing it to produce a little excess oil. This excess oil will help moisturize your skin, which is also going to help you look bright and energetic.
What should you look for in a face scrub? There are a lot of great exfoliants out there, but you'll want to avoid the ones with extra drying chemicals. Your best bet is to look for a scrub with as many ingredients you can recognize and pronounce as possible. You don't want to use anything that is forced to include a "drug facts" panel because it includes salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or any other drying chemicals. It's going to be nearly impossible to find a completely natural scrub, so don't stress too much about that; just make sure that you aren't using something labeled 
Note: I strongly recommend that you limit yourself to exfoliating less than 4 times a week.
I'm particularly fond of the classic St. Ives Apricot Scrub, but I've also had great experiences with homemade sugar scrubs. Google around to find a recipe that works for you!

If you're in a major rush, tinted moisturizers will get the job done pretty well.

After you've exfoliated, you'll want to moisturize your skin before you apply any makeup. Freshly moisturized skin provides a perfect, smooth base area for your makeup to adhere to. The kind of moisturizer you use will be determined by your skin type, but I'm really loving Mary Kay's Velocity moisturizer right now.
If you don't have time to hydrate and even out your skin, you can combine your moisturizer and foundation into one step with a tinted moisturizer. I don't normally recommend a tinted moisturizer for use as a normal moisturizer, but if you're in a rush it should work fine. I love Neutragena Healthy Skin Enhancer for sheer coverage. It's easy to blend and leaves a gorgeous, refreshed-looking finish. Dry-skinned girls, beware: it's probably not gonna do great things for you in the moisture department.
If you don't have a dedicated tinted moisturizer in your arsenal, you don't need to spring $20+ for a designer brand. If you have a moisturizer and some foundation (liquid or loose powder will work best), you can blend them together on the back of your hand to make your own.

You may or may not need to use concealers to "wake up" your look.

Your eyes will be the first part of your face to show how tired you are. Not everyone needs concealers, but chances are that you'll want to use at least a little bit to brighten up your eye area. A yellow-toned concealer will help counteract blue undereye circles; warmer, peachier concealers will brighten up more purple- or brown-toned darkness in the eye area. Girls with very fair skin can even try a pink-toned concealer.
If the idea of yellow or peach on your skin freaks you out, don't worry - you can top your colored concealer (known as corrector) with a more natural-looking, skin tone-correct concealers to dim the yellow glow.

(Note: dedicated beauty hackers can try using their cream blushes as correctors. Pick up a cream blush in a color that you'd normally use, and apply like you would any other pan concealer. It works, I swear!)

If you don't have time for anything else, please do not forget to groom your eyebrows.

Unless you have naturally flawless eyebrows, you'll want to fill them in. Your eyebrows are an essential part of every look; they frame your eyes and help determine the shape of your face. 
The way you choose to shape and groom your brows is entirely up to you. Depending on the shape you choose, you may or may not need a brow pencil, brow gel, brow wax, or powder. The makeup you use to groom your brows isn't as important as the fact that you do it. If the idea of playing with wax gets you motivated to groom your eyebrows, go for it. If you'd rather just grab a pencil and get it done, go for it.
In case you can't tell, I'm a huge believer in the power of a perfectly groomed brow.
If you choose not to, that's cool and all, but seriously.... just try it. It'll change your whole look, in a good way. :)

There are (almost) a million other quick tricks you could use to look "refreshed;" I obviously can't list them all. I can, however, give you one last quick tip on looking "awake" in a snap.

When moving on to the rest of your face, you should try to tone down your everyday look. If you normally wear a lot of black eyeliner, a little bit of brown liner will help you "look like yourself" faster than your normal routine would. Girls who normally take the time to hollow out their cheekbones will benefit from a dab of the best freaking cheek highlighter in the world. The end goal is to create a custom look that is a mildly subdued, quickly applied version of the look you wear from day-to-day.

If you've finished up your makeup and you still think you look like you were run over by a riding lawnmower, drink a glass of cold water, pay attention to your posture, and remind yourself that there is so much more to your beauty than your physical appearance. I mean that.

Of course, the most surefire way to look refreshed is to actually get a good night's sleep. A healthy girl is a glowing girl; eat a balanced diet, find a form of exercise that you love, drink enough water, and get a good 8 hours of sleep every night.

Disclaimer: I am affiliated with Motives Cosmetics. A sample of Mary Kay's Velocity® Lightweight Moisturizer was given to me for free by a Mary Kay affiliate for consideration for purchase, with the knowledge that I regularly recommend and promote products that I like. No company mentioned here has explicitly asked for a review of their products. I am not being compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

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