One of the unofficial graduation requirements of college is pulling an all-nighter (right up there with “doing anatomy research” in the library stacks and streaking in the quad). Whether your reason for staying up is as honest as cramming for an exam or as wild as making it to the championship round of a beer pong tournament, you’re going to need our advice if you want to shut down the dreaded “you look soooo tired” comments in class the next day. Here’s how to avoid looking like the walking dead the morning after an all-nighter.
Practice Prevention the Night Before
With a busy college schedule, obviously more sleep is not in the cards. But some of the choices you make at 3 in the morning will show up on your face the next day more than others. If you’re hitting the books all night, don’t snack on sodium-laden foods like potato chips or Chinese takeout while you do it. All that salt will cause you to retain fluids and will make your face even puffier than it already will be from lack of sleep. If you’re up partying, make sure you’re downing just as many cups of water as you are of that mystery punch. Chasing your drinks with water will not only reduce your chance of suffering from a hangover, it will keep your skin healthy-looking the following day. Keep that hydration going in the morning too. Though you’ll probably want to make a beeline for coffee, at least kick-start your recovery with a tall glass of water while you wait for the coffee to brew, and then follow it up with many more throughout the day.
Hit the Ground Running
Though waking up early to work out on the morning after an all-nighter might seem like bootcamp-style torture, we promise that a few minutes of activity before you start your day will do you more good than hitting the snooze button…again. You don’t have to do a full-blown circuit in the gym, but do give your system a jump-start with a light jog or some sun salutations. This will get your heart pumping, clear your head and bring a much-needed flush to your sallow cheeks. Studies show that early morning exercise fights fatigue better than stimulants like caffeine.
Wake Up Your Skin
Sleep deprivation shows up first in the skin. Use an exfoliating scrub to wake up dull, tired-looking skin. Splash cold water on your face to constrict the blood vessels and reduce redness. An energizing face wash or cooling face mask containing ingredients like ginger, peppermint or citrus will leave you with a tingly feeling and make your face feel more awake. Then, even out blotchiness and put some moisture back into your skin with a sheer BB cream before finishing the illusion of restfulness with a touch of pink blush. If you really want to go the extra mile, a swipe of (daytime-appropriate) lipstick will fool everyone into thinking you didn’t just roll out of bed.
Don’t Hide Your Eyes Behind a Pair of Sunglasses
Shades at 8:00 a.m. are a dead giveaway that you didn’t get any sleep. Luckily, there are a few home remedies that really work to deflate sleepy eyes, like the age-old spoon trick. Pop a spoon into the freezer for 10 minutes, then press the back of it under your eyes to reduce puffiness. Some swear by cucumber slices fresh from the fridge, or the slight astringency of used mint tea bags over the eyes. Of course, if you plan ahead and keep your beauty cabinet stocked, an eye mask or eye patches will work wonders. Next, apply your favorite of the myriad of rejuvenating eye creams, gels and serums currently on the market. You might try an eye product containing caffeine, which, since it’s a diuretic, reduces puffiness — whatever your go-to, just make sure it’s moisturizing. Finally, wake yourself up with a few drops of redness-reducing eye drops, and pop the bottle into your purse to take along with you.
Use Makeup to Look Bright-Eyed (If Not Bushy-Tailed)
Brighten that shady spot at the inner corner of your eyes with a highlighting pencil or shimmery eyeshadow. Cover dark circles under the eyes with a creamy concealer. If you’re fighting redness, line the waterline with an eyeliner pencil in a balancing yellow-green shade. Switch your normal black eyeliner for navy — the blue tones will also help neutralize red-eye. Big-eyed beauty Amanda Seyfried told Lucky that she swears by white eyeliner to make her eyes look brighter. Curl your lashes and put a few coats of lengthening mascara on the top, but skip the bottom lashes because they’ll cast a shadow or smudge, further enhancing the bags under your eyes. The final step to faking a full night’s sleep is filling in and defining your brows, which will open up the eye area.
Resist the urge to retreat into a cozy pair of leggings and a hoodie. A put-together outfit will make you look (and feel) that much more awake. Plan ahead and pick something out the night before (if you trust your judgement at dawn) or keep a few easy pieces at the front of your closet. Bring some zing to your overall appearance by wearing a vividly-colored scarf, headband or statement earrings to give your face some sparkle. Style your hair in a perky top knot or high pony — there’s a reason they call it the ponytail facelift. Finally, tired people aren’t happy people, so do your best to fake it with a smile…until you can get back to your dorm and crash.