No matter the cause, these solutions can help you look livelier.
Use Eye-Friendly Products
The skin around the eye area is almost always dry, and when you're tired, it becomes visibly parched. Even if you have oily eyelids, you're missing moisture that plumps up dry layers of skin and gives your under-eye area a smoother look. Hyaluronic acid is ideal for use around the eyes because it's intensely hygroscopic, a fancy word for "thirsty" molecules that hold plenty of water. It's an outstanding moisturizer for the eye area because it brings hydration, not just oil, to the party.
Another good choice for under-eye brightening and toning are creams and serums enriched with vitamin C. Its antioxidant properties help brighten discoloration as it moisturizes.
Use the Right Concealer
One of the biggest makeup mistakes people make is using the same concealer to dot on blemishes and hide under-eye circles. Although they both go by the same name, these concealers perform vastly different roles. For a blemish concealer, you want something close to your skin's hue and slightly cool-toned to reduce redness. Under-eye circles already have cool undertones of purple or green, and they benefit from color correction to lift those cooler colors.
Look for a relatively light-textured product that has a tinge of orange to it. If you want to go the extra mile, you can go with separate color correcting and concealing products, but be careful about heavy product application. Your goal here is to have a stain of color correction covered by a lightweight product that matches your skin tone closely.
Apply Concealer the Right Way
Coverage alone is not enough; you also need to consider placement and application. A thick smear of cream is instantly aging, but a light touch leaves you looking refreshed. Save the heavy contouring and illuminating for times when you're already looking well rested. That amount of product is going to call attention to every bag and fold.
If your concealer is creamy enough to need setting, follow with a touch of powder, but not too much. Like highlighting, baking is for when your eyes are feeling perky. The idea here is not to hide everything under a blank canvas but to bring bright harmony to the face by calling attention to other features.
Curl Your Lashes
When you're sleepy, your eyelids droop. Curled lashes and a coat or two of mascara makes lids look lifted. Lash curlers come in different shapes and styles, but no matter which style you use, take your time with this step and curl before applying mascara. You don't want your lashes to stick to the curler when you pull it away, or you could lose some lashes.
As for your mascara, consider a switch to brown-black shades if you have fair lashes naturally. Jet black is the right color if you have a deeper skin tone or darker hair, but lighter colors are kinder on eyes for people who have fair, muted coloration.
Create Illusions with Shadow and Liner
After you've concealed what you can, it's time to add dimension and highlights with your shadow. For smaller and medium-sized eyes, adding nude pencil to the waterline has an instant brightening effect. If you're lucky enough to have large eyes, you can go the opposite direction and go with a dark color on the waterline as part of a smoky eye, a particularly forgiving and easy-to-wear look for sleepy eyes.
The overall shape of your shadow should lift upward and outward toward the outer corners of your eyes. Focus the intensity of your shadow on the outermost "V" shape created by the edge of your top lid and the crease above it. If you have hooded eyes or monolids, ignore the traditional "V" application and try a pure gradient fade from dark liner to paler shadows near your brow bone.
In general, softer tones work best for reshaping tired eyes to make them appear bright and well-rested. Avoid colors that echo the natural shade of your dark circles in favor of hues that add dimension without piling on too much bright color. Save those vivid tones for your well-rested days and stick to cozy matte shades with a hint of sparkle just where you want to add emphasis. A blended dot of shimmer on each center lid for a halo eye effect is particularly flattering to tired eyes. Wanna learn more? We have tons of great stuff on our blog.