Fake a Good Night’s Sleep to Combat a Tired Complexion

It’s true what they said about beauty sleep; it’s the secret to a healthy complexion.

While we all know that you need a good eight hours of shut-eye every night, sometimes life can get in the way.

Whether you had a long night partying, working or just a long night of tossing and turning, sleep deprivation can really take a toll on your face.


Lady fast asleep in bed with pink sleeping mask on

While three shots of espresso may give you a caffeine boost to feel more awake inside, it doesn’t quite work the same for your complexion.

The look of fatigue and exhaustion is inevitable.

So, when sleep isn’t your first priority, put your morning beauty regime first.

While you can’t unwind the long night, you can make yourself look like you had a good night’s rest with a little help from makeup.

We’ve created the ultimate cheat sheet to faking that radiant, refreshed look, so you can say goodnight to tired skin.

We’ll show you how to de-puff your eyes and wake up your skin with skincare tips and mask signs of exhaustion with makeup.

So, get ready to wake up your skin look bright-eyed and well-rested for the day ahead.

What Does Lack of Sleep Do to The Skin?

Lady awake from sleep with sheet covering her face and eyes visible

Lack of sleep can make you look less than your best the next day.

Not only does exhaustion leave you feeling worn-out, but it can also take a big toll on your skin for all-round dullness.

Here’s how lack of sleep can affect your outward appearance.

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No sleep, dry skin

During the night when you sleep, your body works hard to remove dead blood cells and replace old ones. It also affects the moisture levels of your skin, making your skin appear dry and dull.

This can trigger breakouts and cause redness on your skin to make it appear uneven.

No sleep, dark circles

It’s a well-known fact that sacrificed sleep causes dark circles.

The darkening under the eyes happens when the blood vessels dilate.

This is a direct result of lack of sleep.

No sleep, red eyes

Eyes can become bloodshot when you don’t get a good night’s rest. Just like dark circles, this also occurs when the blood vessels expand.

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Skincare Hacks to Conceal the Effects of Sleep Deprivation


The first thing you need to do to reverse the signs of exhaustion is to wake up your skin.

Start off by giving your skin a good, morning exfoliation. Skin dullness can be a big giveaway that you didn’t get a good night’s sleep. The lack of sleep can disrupt the skin’s ability to rejuvenate itself. The exfoliation from a good scrub can remove dead skin cells to instantly make you appear fresher.

woman exfoliating her leg with an exfoliating brush

Cool Down your Eyes

Puffy eyes are one of the biggest signs of deep deprivation. To take the puffiness down a notch, put cold cucumber slices on your eyes to reduce inflammation and shrink capillaries.

Coldness combats puffiness by constricting blood vessels to make you look more awake. However, if you don’t have cucumbers at home, hit the cutlery drawer and grab two spoons. Put these in the freezer for a few minutes for it to cool, then gently press the curved sides into your eye sockets.

Take them off after 30 seconds to reveal refreshed and de-puffed eyes.

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Apply Eye Cream

Our eyes play the biggest role in revealing how tired or awake we feel.

Not getting enough shut-eye at night can cause the skin around your eyes to appear darker. However, this part of the face is the most sensitive and delicate, therefore needs a little extra TLC. 

If late nights are regular for you, it is best to invest in a brightening and de-puffing eye cream on stand-by for those early mornings. This will calm your tired eyes and perk them up with frequent use.  

Hydrate the Skin

Lack of sleep can make it harder for your skin barrier to retain water.

This dehydration can emphasize the fine lines on your face to make you look even more tired. To restore this balance, make sure you moisturize your skin well to keep it nourished.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too to plump your skin cells and hydrate the skin from within. Water will hydrate the body so not only will you look more awake, you will feel it too.

bottled water pouring into a tall clean glass whilst sat at plane passenger window
Be sure to hydrate by drinking plenty of water.

Makeup Hacks to Make You Look More Awake

Colour Correct

Make friends with a colour corrector if you already haven’t!

If you are dealing with heavy-duty, stubborn dark circles, you may need the help of a trust colour collector. A corrector can conceal any discolouration on your face without having to use layers of concealer.

A salmon coloured corrector can be used to neutralize the blueness of your eye bags to make you look fresh-faced.

a range of expensive designer makeup products including an eyeshadow palette, lip gloss and foundation.

Use Concealer

Concealer is your best weapon for dark circles caused by lack of sleep.

A good concealer will instantly cover up eye bags and add brightness to hide any exhaustion and make you look more awake.

Choose a formula that is slightly lighter than your natural skin tone with light-reflecting properties to add a natural glow to your face.

To apply it effectively, draw an upside-down triangle under your eyes and then blend it in well. Resist the urge to go overboard, as this can make you look more tired.

Skip Foundation

Your skin isn’t the freshest when you are tired, so foundation doesn’t sit too well usually.

Foundation can look cakey and emphasize fine lines when applied to tired skin. So, don’t be tempted to load your face with a lot of products in an effort to look put together.

Less is more.

So, if you need to even out your complexion a little, try using a tinted moisturizer instead.

Fill in Eyebrows

Whether you are tired or not, groomed brows can instantly make you look instantly put together. So, if you decide to do anything for your face on a tired morning, it should be your eyebrows.

Eyebrows can really frame your face, so it is best to fill them in to define them. A few strokes of an eyebrow pencil can do the job to emphasize the natural brow arch for an instant eyelift.

Apply White Eyeliner

It’s your eyes that are the most likely to give away that you stayed up at night. If you want to wear a bit of eyeliner when you are tired, you may want to rethink the cat-eye. To perk up those exhausted eyes, swap the sleep derived look for a radiant, bright-eyed look with white eyeliner.

Line your waterline with a white eyeliner pencil to create the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes. However, if white is a little too harsh on your skin, use a nude eyeliner instead which looks a lot subtler.

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Brush on a Little Blusher

Tiredness can really drain the colour from your cheeks.

Your skin can really look dull without a proper night’s sleep as a rosy tint is a sign of healthy glowing skin.  Put some colour back into your cheeks with a soft blush to give your skin a healthy glow.

Be sure to select a shade that brightens the skin with a creamy formula to make your skin appear dewier. Also, be careful not to apply too much.

Use a light hand to apply to dust the product onto the apples of your cheeks for a rosy flush.

hide your lack of sleep with blush, pictured in clear container on a wooden window ledge

Apply Highlighter

A good highlighter is your secret weapon for bringing the glow back to your face. Give your face a shot of radiance to counteract dull, tired skin for a healthy-looking glow. 

Adding a little shimmer to your face can give your face a pop of vibrancy to light up your face and make you look more refreshed. Use a cream formula to mimic the natural radiance of healthy skin to brighten your complexion instantly.

In addition to this, applying a little highlighter to the inner corner of your eyes can reflect light to make you look more refreshed and awake.

Curl Lashes

Curling your lashes can work wonders to make you look more awake, even if your brain isn’t. When you lack sleep, your eyes can appear a lot smaller than normal.

Curling your lashes can list them off its roots to widen and brighten the eyes. So, if you can barely keep your eyes open, lengthen those lashes in less than a minute to transform your tired eyes.

lack of sleep can effect your eyes, pictured is close up of woman's eye area showing her curled eyelashes.

Don’t Forget Mascara

After curling your lashes, maximize them with mascara to add extra volume and definition. Mascara can visibly make your eyes look bigger by really opening them up.

So, amplify those lashes to instantly look more awake. Make sure that the product is evenly spread out when applying to avoid any clumps.

Finish off With a Bold Lipstick

Even if the rest of your makeup is kept simple, a pop of colour on your lips is the easiest way to add colour to your face to make you look more awake. Draw the attention away from your puffy eyes by livening up your lips.

A fun, brighter lip will make you look fresher that everyone will think you took your time getting ready in the morning. However, if you aren’t a fan of vibrant lips, a nice tinted lip balm will do the trick too.

woman with black hair, hiding her lack of sleep, through using bold red lip colour.

How to Get Better Beauty Sleep

If you have trouble sleeping at night, try these tips.

Cut out Caffeine

Try and cut out your caffeine intake in the evenings.

Caffeine keeps you more alert and wake, therefore could be a big part of why you can’t fall asleep easily at night.

Get into a Sleep Routine

Try and getting into the routine of sleeping and waking up at the same time every day.

This will help you to get into a more regular sleep cycle, helping your body to fall into sleep quicker gradually.

Woman in, no sleep, bed covering her face with a sheet.


Try and do at least thirty minutes of intense cardiovascular exercise five times a week. Not only is this great for your overall health, but it can also expand your energy and regulate your sleep cycle.

To learn more about sleep and skincare, click here to read our article on 11 Sleeping Habits That Can Reduce Breakouts While You Sleep.

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