Look Awake in No Time

Today is my first day back to my day job since the day before Christmas Eve; an unpredecented holiday break (my employer has a use-them-or-lose-them vacation day policy) for me. So, as I’m sure anyone in a similar situation can imagine, this first Monday of the year is a molehill that feels like a mountain as I make my way through the motions of my workday. But hey – at least I look awake!

Professionals, students, and Moms, you can relate: Sleep is a beautiful, precious thing. Even though I find significant joy in makeup, one cannot get through the days as a functional human being on joy and/or a perfectly executed winged liner alone.

On a daily basis, I prefer more sleep over more time to primp. I am a Snooze Button fiend. In spite of my extra sleep, I often still look pretty tired and sleepy until my second cup of coffee (and even then, coffee doesn’t cure dark circles). I’m not always a fan of looking like death-warmed-over, though.

Fortunately because I find myself in this situation more often than I care to admit, I’ve become pretty good at handling it. Regardless of the reason we’re time-deprived, most of us have three minutes. Yes, three. That’s it. This isn’t a, “no makeup-makeup look,” that requires you spend more time than you’d ever expect. This isn’t a full blown morning routine complete with sun salutations and lemon water, though – this is JUST making your face look less exhausted without doing a full face. Give me three minutes and I can look like my cats didn’t wake me up three times last night or like I did more harm than good by thrice-striking snooze.

First, concealer, post haste. I still really love Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer, even though the packaging could be better. I’m cracking open my fourth tube, soon – and let’s face it, how often do we makeup fanciers repurchase something 4+ times? Yeah, I dig it. We understand each other.

Look Awake In No Time
Look Awake In No Time…with my highly sought-after diagrams /s

I swipe this around my eyes – under, obviously, to take care of masking bags. I also have some outer corner darkness, so I bring it out there, and drag the ridiculous flocked applicator over my lids, applying more heavily close to my lashes and lighter fading up towards my brows. My artisanal diagram shows you (roughly) the shape I make. Tap it and blend it out with your ring finger. No brush needed!

You don’t need to do the whole triangle-highlight thing, but you can if you want. Just don’t make yourself look like a reverse panda – that makes you look silly, not awake. You DO NOT need to apply heavily – but you’ll find your sweet spot of product with practice.

Look Awake in No Time - L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black

Next, lashes. If you feel comfortable with a curler, curl them – it takes seconds. Swipe on mascara that you like (wiggling the wand a little at the roots), but choose something that only requires 1-2 coats. I am a tough customer when it comes to mascara; I don’t like having to layer it. I use L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black (which I’ve talked about before, and just bought tube number 6). It isn’t going to give you the look of falsies, it isn’t going to give you crazy volume…but it will define, give the appearance of length, and open your eye.

Finally? You have not one, but THREE options depending on your taste.

  1. Brows. This is the route I choose because I feel it has the biggest impact on my face. My brows are on the light side, and a wee bit sparse – so I’ll fill them in with my Etude House Brow Pencil. I love the chiseled tip, it is definitely nice in a rush.
  2. Cheeks. Add a little flush to your cheeks with a neutral-ish rosy blush; subtle, but brings a little life to your face. Don’t go with something crazy shimmery, but a little glow is fine. Ideally, this should be something that mimics your natural flush. I’m still surprised by how much I like e.l.f Cosmetics Tickled Pink for its subtlety on this front.
  3. Lips. A balm or gloss that is your MLBB is best if you suffer from pale lips. Something forgiving, something that doesn’t need a mirror so you can literally slap on on your way out the door. I’m on the lookout for one, currently.

I’ve gotten this down to two minutes, personally, including brows and lash curling. What’s your quick fix when you want to look awake or a little more fresh-faced but can’t spare more than a couple minutes to do so?