You’ve probably learned by now that strategically placed concealer can do wonders when you’re feeling less than 100 percent. But the art of concealing a lack of zzz’s doesn’t stop at that one step. If you truly want to appear well rested — even when you’re not — try one or all of the following targeted makeup tricks.
The Goal: Look More Awake
Simply put: Use a color-correcting primer (try: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer). All-over application allows you to even out a discolored or dull skin tone while setting the stage for smooth, creaseless makeup application. And, when dealing with eyes, this is even more necessary.
“A lot of women have red or brown discoloration in the lid area, and it’s very important to get rid of this before stacking eye shadow on top,” says makeup artist Ricky Wilson. Use a brightening eye primer (try: Benefit Cosmetics Lemon Aid) to pave the way for a more wide-awake appearance.
The Goal: Brighten Dull Skin
Though lackluster skin is a giveaway for fatigue, Wilson warns that layering on the wrong type of makeup can accentuate the problem. His solution: Spot-treat with foundation and luminizing concealer only where needed and skip all-over powder, which can accentuate the problems of aging skin.
Apply the foundation only on trouble areas using a sponge to pat and blend edges. Select a foundation that is “hydrating, light-diffusing, anti-aging … because if you’re over 45, you tend to have drier skin with fine lines and discoloration,” says makeup artist Lusine Galadjian (try: Lancôme Renergie Lift Makeup Foundation). Avoid the temptation of richer, thicker, mattifying foundation that tends to settle into fine lines and wrinkles. Then, choose a brightening concealer with a light liquid texture and blend into areas of the face that have receded or are darker in color.
Additionally, “though it’s true skin does lose color over time and can become dull, don’t reach for a darker foundation; instead, liven up skin using bronzer and blush,” Galadjian says. Choose a soft rose, mauve, or subdued coral — depending on the season or your attire — and start your application at the apples, sweeping the blush up and out toward the temples for a lifted look.
The Goal: Perk Up Droopy, Puffy Eyes
Many women suffer from “hooded” and/or puffy eyes naturally, and sleeplessness only magnifies this. To visually counterbalance the extra “weight” of drooping or inflammation, Wilson suggests a mix of eye makeup with matte or satin finishes (try: Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette).
“The latter gives a bit more snap to the eyes and won’t draw attention to fine lines like shimmers do,” he says.
Galadjian agrees. “Shimmery colors also tend to accentuate puffiness so it’s best to turn to flatter, more matte shadows,” she says.
Keep your color scheme simple with two to three colors max, avoiding darker hues that can cause more recession. “Use a medium color with a matte finish in the crease to help minimize the appearance of excess skin,” Wilson suggests.
Then, use a transparent, soft semi-matte hue that is one to two shades lighter than your natural skin tone and apply it “just at the high point of the arch,” says Galadjian to visually lift the eye without looking artificially overdone.
The Goal: Banish Dark Circles
“Trying to cover dark circles can be difficult for anyone, but it’s especially difficult when you have fine lines or wrinkles,” Wilson says. Your plan of action: First, color-correct the area, then brighten it.
Galadjian recommends selecting a color-corrector with hydrating benefits that addresses your needs. “Blue, dark under-eye circles benefit from a peachy or apricot color corrector, while purple dark circles need a yellow-based corrector,” she says (try: Giorgio Armani Beauty Master Corrector).
Then, Wilson says to skip the traditional stick cream concealer and instead brighten the area using a crease-resistant luminizing pen (try: YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch).
With both color corrector and concealer, Galadjian suggests thoughtful layering. “Dab lightly as opposed to using sweeping motions; this helps keep the products from shifting around. It’s also important to keep the layers sheer to avoid caking. Finally, set the concealer with a translucent powder” (try: Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, $25, lauramercier.com).