Here's How To Look Like You Got 8 Hours Of Sleep Last Night When You Really Got 5

by Julia Guerra

What time did you wake up this morning? Better yet, what time did you fall asleep last night? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you should always be striving to clock in around six to eight hours of shut eye per night, but if you really can’t meet this quota despite your best efforts, there are tons of clever ways to look well rested in the morning. Trust me, I get it. Once upon a time, it didn’t matter how late you stayed up gossiping with your roommates, or scrolling through memes on Tumblr; you could snooze until noon to make up for it. Then adult life happened, a dark cloud rolled over your circadian rhythm, and “sleeping in” meant waking up at 8 a.m.; crawling into bed before midnight was a victory. It's a sad reality, but what doesn't kill you only makes you more resourceful.

There are going to be mornings when you roll out of bed, stumble over to the bathroom sink, only to find that, when you look into the mirror, the image reflecting back at you is rough. Beautiful, of course, but rough. That’s life sometimes, and rest assured we've all been there: bags under your eyes that are far from designer (more like a busted knock-off), red finger-shaped imprints on your left cheek, hair pieces flying every which way to complete the look. I wish I could tell you your soul won't feel as black as your morning coffee on days like these, but I'd be lying. The good news is, you can fake yourself awake by looking the part.

Whether you're super pressed for time (damn snooze button tempting you to push it five times in a row), or have a solid hour to spare before you have to get dressed for the day, don't sweat the exhaustion aesthetic. Over the years, women have mastered the art of looking wide awake when, really, they feel anything but, and here are a few fool-proof tricks to help you look your best even if you're not feeling it.

Reduce Red Eye With Moisturizing Drops

Your eyes are supposedly the windows to your soul. So if you can muster a good poker face, everyone will be left guessing what's going on inside your mind. Unfortunately even the most aloof glare isn't powerful enough to conceal the oh-so-visible bloodshot eyes you're sporting. Obviously inflamed pupils could be caused by a number of things, but rosy eyes are one of the most visible signs you didn't clock in the recommended six to eight hours of snooze time.

According to Health, your eyes might turn red after a night of restlessness for two reasons: First, when eyes are wide open for long periods of time, the surface of your eye starts to dry up, causing irritation and redness. It could also be a direct result of your eye not getting enough oxygen, causing blood vessels to dilate and appear red on the surface.

Luckily, there's a quick fix. Chris Brantner, certified sleep science coach and founder of SleepZoo, suggests heading over to your local drugstore and picking up a bottle of moisturizing eyedrops to lubricate the eye and reduce irritation. "Eyedrops are life savers," he tells Elite Daily. "Use them throughout the day and not only will your eyes look more clear, but you'll feel better too."

Deflate Under Eye Puffiness With A Cold Spoon

A long time ago I was told that in order to shrink a hickey, freezing a spoon and pressing it against the mark would eventually erase the colors altogether. This, my friends, does not work. What does work is using cold, metal spoons as a compress over puffy eyes to reduce the the swelling.

Per Cosmopolitan UK's instruction, if there isn't enough time to get your utensils nice and frosty, running the cupped end under cold water should suffice. Either way, the chill will constrict blood vessels and, as a result, reduce what I like to call eye bloat.

Take A Cold Shower

I realize how absolutely miserable this might sound at 5:30 a.m., but taking a cold shower kills two birds with one stone: Not only will you feel more awake (jarred, but awake nonetheless), you'll look it, too. According to The/Thirty, warm showers actually do little for you in the early morning because when you're trying to rise and shine, steamy water temps cause your body temp to rise and dip the second you step out of the bathroom.

That sudden spike and fall actually makes you feel even more tired, which is why Brantner tells Elite Daily taking a cold shower before the day starts is going to be more beneficial, especially when you're exhausted. "It's not fun, but it can jar you awake," he says, adding cold showers can potentially "brighten your skin and tighten your pores."

Add A Little Moisture To Your Morning Routine

Before gulping down a gallon of coffee to wake up your mind, your skin could benefit from a little caffeine, too. According to Julie Fredrickson, makeup artist and founder of Stowaway Cosmetics, your first order of business post-shower should be to moisturize your skin, and if you look as exhausted as you feel, then brightening formulas are going to be your best friend.

"If you have a Vitamin C moisturizer or serum use it now, but anything formulated with caffeine works great as well," she tells Elite Daily. "Just make sure anything you apply fully dries before applying eye makeup" to ensure your skin can correctly, and efficiently absorb the nutrients it needs to look it's best.

Wash Your Face With A Green Tea Towel

Fair warning if you haven't experienced this kind of night already: There are going to be times where, not only will you struggle to fall asleep until 4 a.m., you'll sleep through your alarm, too. In that case, times is of the essence, and a full shower before work or class might not be an viable option. Instead of panicking, prepare beforehand.

Fredrickson tells Elite Daily to combat complexion puff after a night of tossing and turning, she always has frozen green tea ice cubes at the ready to go. "The first thing I do [is] grab an ice cube, wet down a wash cloth and rub it all over my face. The combination of the soothing antioxidants and caffeine [of the green tea] really makes a difference."

Go Easy On The Makeup

You certainly don't have to put on makeup to look ah-mazing despite exhaustion taking its toll on your complexion, but if you don't feel comfortable heading out the door sans even the tiniest bit of mascara, Fredrickson would like to remind you that less is always more.

"If your eyes are really tired, less is more when it comes to mascara and eyeshadow," she tells Elite Daily. "Go with mattes that are close to your natural eyelid color with a hit of a brighter color on the middle lid and under your brows." With this speedy routine you'll feel a little better, look amazing, and be on time for work. I'd consider that a win.

Use A Brightening Concealer For A Bit Of Pop

Personally, I was never a huge fan of brightening concealers up until recently. The idea confused me; why would I want to dab a bunch of brightening cream over the shadowy areas I'd like to draw the focus away from?

Here's how it works: Brightening concealer dulls down the darkness, and gives your under eye area, T-zone, and even your Cupid's bow a really pretty glow that illuminates your entire look for the better. My personal favorite, should you need a recommendation, is the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer that yields 24-hour coverage, is available in 18 shades, combats the darkest of discolorations, and gives your skin a beautiful pop.