5 Steps To Looking More Awake in the Morning — Even When You Haven’t Slept a Wink

5 Steps To Looking More Awake in the Morning — Even When You Haven’t Slept a Wink

Sheryll Donerson
Sheryll D.

May 13, 2019

Whether it’s an all-nighter, a new baby, too much work, or plain ol’ insomnia, not being able to sleep at night is one of the most stressful things in life. So until you figure out how to get some serious zzz’s in, here are 5 ways you can fake it till you make it and at least look more awake and well-rested.


In recent months I’ve had a hard time sleeping. I lay down for bed and all of a sudden my brain decides to turn on, downloading every single thing that I did wrong for the last 30 years. I toss and I turn, eventually getting up to read for a few hours before I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. And then, in what seems like the blink of an eye, my alarm goes off, I wake up, and set off to start my day of work.


Except I look a mess. My lack of sleep has completely changed my appearance. My eyes are puffy and bloodshot. My under-eyes show signs of lack of sleep in the form of dark circles. My face is swollen. My hair partially resembles a bird’s nest. But when’s there’s money to be made, you gotta fake it till you make it! So here are some tips I use to look like awake … even when I’ve barely slept.


look more awake


1. Drink your H2O


The first thing that I do in the AM to help get my life together and look well rested is to drink one 16-ounce glass of water. Something about drinking water first thing in the AM shocks my body into being alert and also helps take some of the puffiness out of my face, which I contribute to water retention.


look more awake


If you’re feeling fancy, you can infuse your water with lemons, lime, berries, watermelon, mint, or cucumber at night and have a delicious, refreshing drink ready for you in the AM, with the added benefits of some vitamins and minerals.


2. Massage your life away


While I am washing my face in the morning, I actually do double duty and lightly massage my face in light, upward strokes. And as I’m applying my vitamin C serum and moisturizer, I again massage my skin (this time slightly more aggressively) to help relieve some of that face puffiness. After I’m all moisturized, my face looks a little slimmer and tighter, like someone who’s had a good night’s rest. What a time!


cleansing balms moisturizers double cleansing look more awake


3. Eye treatments for the win


After I’ve applied my moisturizer, I put on some eye patches (my faves are from JayJun) and go and make my coffee and do my hair. Don’t worry, they will stay in place! After I remove them, I lightly tap on a caffeine-laden eye serum. Caffeine can temporarily (keyword, temporarily) restrict the blood flow to the area, meaning you get some decreased puffy eye action. For some people, caffeine can also brighten the under-eye area and help with wrinkles. My favorite eye serum is from The Ordinary.


look more awake


4. Glow up


I don’t know about you, but whenever I see someone who is all dewy and glowy, I automatically think they have their life together. But remember, we haven’t slept, so we gotta fake it by using a dab of oil at the end of our routine, or better yet, mist a little on with the SanDaWha Camellia Oil Mist, one of my all-time favorite, look-like-you’ve-slept beauty hacks. Either way you choose to apply your oil, it’ll lend you that lit-from-within glow that you only seem to get with eight hours of sleep and a bucket of green smoothies.


look more awake


5. The finishing touches


Let me tell you — a bit of mascara and some lip gloss can get you very far in this life. I am not about a full face of makeup after I’ve slept five hours, but some eye-opening mascara and a touch of lip gloss can really make it look like you’ve made a whole lot of effort, when in reality it took maybe 90 seconds tops. If you want to go that extra mile, use a lash curler to curl those lashes and make yourself look even more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.


look more awake


What are your go-to steps to look more awake in the morning? Let me know in the comments!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.

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