Look Alive!

Beauty/Skincare, Featured Article
on February 11, 2011

Of course, the best way to look less tired is to be less tired. But sometimes, we can’t do much about that. Thankfully, many of the signs of a sleepless night can be erased—if you know how to work that concealer and foundation like a pro. We spoke with Petra Strand, makeup artist and creator of the cosmetics brand Pixi, who has touched up tired actors and models for years, about her top tips for hiding undereye circles and bags as well as brightening lackluster skin.

Lighten-up Dark Circles

Don’t go too light. A common mistake women make is choosing a concealer that is too light. According to Strand, a shade that’s too pale will “look pasty and draw attention to the darkness” instead of concealing it.
Match your changing skin tone. Strand suggests buying one for your lighter winter tone and another for your somewhat darker summer shade. To make sure the color is a perfect match no matter the season, apply it and then take a look in natural light; if it blends in under natural light, it’s just right. 

Go creamy. Creamy concealers won’t settle into the fine lines most of us have around the eyes. To apply, dab onto the discolored area with your ring finger or a concealer brush, then blend.

Brighten Sallow Skin

Use primer. Get rid of that lifeless, I-only-slept-for-2-hours complexion by priming your skin with a peach or apricot-based product that will neutralize grayness and add the warmth your tone is lacking. Pixi’s Fresh Face Healthy Skintone Booster ($28, www.target.com) is a great option.

Add a lavender undertone. If your skin has a yellow tint, brush on a lavender-based mineral powder corrector under your foundation (and after the primer); lavender lies opposite of yellow on the color wheel so it helps balance out a sallow complexion.

Banish Sags and Bags

Prevent puffiness. Staying away from salt and caffeine, especially close to bedtime, can help you avoid morning puff. So can sleeping in a semi-upright position. Once bags appear, though, try chilling two metal teaspoons in the fridge, and then placing them over eyes for a few minutes when you wake up.

Go neutral. Draw attention away from baggy eyes with neutral shades of eyeshadow on the lids and brown liner on the upper lash line.

Double up. Finish with two coats of mascara to open the eyes (even when they feel like they’re ready to close on their own). Avoid lining your lower lash line or applying mascara to lower lashes as this will only bring the focus back toward the puffiness.