Wouldn't it be nice (so very, very nice) to have the luxury of treating ourselves to a 10-step spa routine every morning? But, alas—for most, the reality is far less glamorous. Too often, there are mere minutes to spare between the sound of your alarm and the start of your day.
But according to makeup artist Sandy Linter (whose client roster includes legends like Diana Ross, Iman, and Christie Brinkley), you don't need extra hours in your a.m. routine to look your most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed: You just need the right makeup.
Read on for her makeup tricks to look more awake in five minutes flat, no matter how much actual sleep you're operating on.
- Sandy Linter, celebrity makeup artist
1. Brighten with concealer
When it comes to choosing a product to help you look more awake, concealer is the obvious first pick. But in addition to using it to cover up under-eye circles, Linter suggests another hack for faking sufficient sleep. “Use concealer as a highlighter on the inner corner of the eyes, next to the top of the nose,” she says. This will help brighten up the area and make it appear more vibrant.
Ideally, you’ll have a concealer that’s slightly lighter than your skin tone to add a highlighting effect, but if not, your usual highlighter or a subtle dusting of white eyeshadow will work, too.
2. Make your eyes pop with eyeliner
The key to making your eyes look more alive drawing the attention up, which is easy to do with a proper eyeliner application. “Do a thicker liner than usual on your upper lid, and do almost no liner at all on your lower lid,” suggests Linter. “This lifts up the [gaze of] anyone who is looking at you.” This trick will work with any shade, but for an added oomph, try some white on your lash line.
3. Focus on your upper lashes
Curling your lashes will help them point up instead of out, which we know from Linter’s previous tip is key for looking more awake. Then “apply a healthy coat of mascara,” says Linter. “And don’t apply anything that will transfer to your under eye area.” Fallen product will smudge under your eyes, causing the appearance of under-eye circles.
Linter is a fan of M.A.C.’s mascara thanks to its lash-separating brush and the fact that it never, ever clumps.
4. Embrace light eyeshadow shades
Linter’s cardinal rule for using eyeshadow to perk up your eyes is to stick with lighter, neutral shades. “If you are wearing eyeshadows, keep them on the softer side—don’t go for the deep browns or black,” she says. “Lighter shadows will not emphasize and darkness in the eye hollows below the eyes, which will help you avoid looking tired.” You can mix and match matte and shimmery shades (which will add some highlight) to create dimension on your lids.
5. Lift your brows
Linter recommends coloring in your brows and brushing them up (that magic word again), then applying a brow gel to keep them in place all day. We love Joey Healy Brow Structure ($25), which will stay on all day without flaking. Then, apply some highlighter—like YSL’s Touché Éclat—which will brighten and lift your brows.
6. Sculpt with blush
When you’re applying blush, consider a “less is more” approach. “Don’t overdo anything,” says Linter. Opt for a cream blush instead of powder, which tends to be the best choice for dry skin because it won’t cake or flake. For an easy sculpting technique (sans contour) apply in a “C” shape from the apples of your cheeks to your temples.
7. Add some oomph with lipstick
Swiping on a bright lipstick is the easiest way to look more polished in 10 seconds flat. Linter is a fan of more vibrant shades that will draw attention to your lips, and we’d recommend a classic red (like Bobbi Brown’s take on the tone) or a striking orange-pink a la Revlon Coralberry.
8. Go easy on the powder
A dewy finish will help to brighten your complexion, so you’ll want to go easy with the matte powder. “Apply powder only where you need it [to combat shine]: Across the forehead, on the sides of your nose, and your chin,” says Linter. Use a fluffy brush and a light touch for best results.
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