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Back To…. Work! Looking Cheery On Minimal Sleep

Posted Mar 03 2010 11:58pm

Hi everyone!

I’m sorry I’ve been missing out on updating my site, I was relocating and also had a new addition to the family (yes, say hi to a little baby!)

I’ll be looking forward to updating my blog again with all useful information, do come back soon for updates!

In the meantime, here’s some fodder for you… I’ve been thinking of this since my little one came and left me with a new round of sleepless nights!

Nothing takes the spring out of your step quite like being told, “You look tired” — especially when you’re actually feeling well rested. “Dark circles, puffy eyes, and sallow skin can all telegraph fatigue,” says Francesca Fusco, M.D., a New York City dermatologist. So we asked the beauty experts how best to address these tiredness hot spots. Read on for their wake-up tips for eyes, skin, and hair. Your friends will think you’ve just taken a 10-hour nap — or a 10-day vacation.

The easiest way to refresh your complexion turns out to be fast — and free. “Simply splash cold water on your face,” says Dr. Fusco. Coolness constricts blood vessels, giving your skin a smoother, more toned look. Try this while on the go: Tote an atomizer in your purse, such as Avène Thermal Spring Water ($7,

Slather on a thick, occlusive moisturizer to lock the water into your skin. “With a face balm, any dryness and flakiness will disappear, and wrinkles will be less obvious,” says Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a Boston dermatologist. Try Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mineral Balm ($32, drugstores).

If skin still looks lifeless, dip a washcloth in a mix of milk and ice cubes, wring out the cloth, and place it on your face for five minutes, then rinse. “The combination of the pH of the milk, plus the cold, makes this brightening,” says Dr. Fusco. To reduce blotchiness, suck on an ice cube, she says. The top of the mouth contains nerves connected to the blood vessels in your face. By touching the nerves with ice, you are sending them a message to constrict (again, helping to even skin tone).

To counteract puffiness, choose an eye treatment containing a mix of peptides — some of the least irritating anti-aging ingredients — and caffeine, which has a diuretic effect. Try First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller ($24, Sephora). Stash it in the fridge before applying under eyes. “Coldness counters puffiness,” says Elise Brisco, O.D., an optometrist in Los Angeles. Or, rest refrigerated 2nd Skin Moist Burn Pads ($8 for six, on lids for five minutes. They’re filled with a soothing gel that’s 97 percent water.

Skip heavy foundation or powder; it makes dull, sallow skin look even more mask-like. Instead, slather on a tinted moisturizer with SPF, suggests Sarah Lucero, global education director for Stila Cosmetics. It will even out any blotchiness while still letting skin show through. Try Wet n Wild Beauty Benefits Fresh Effects Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($10, Walmart). Apply a second layer or a touch of concealer over any still-apparent dark circles around the eyes.

“I always travel with an eyelash curler,” says Emily Kate Warren, a New York City makeup artist. “It’s the only thing that perks up my face when I’m sleep-deprived.” Aim the curler as close to the lashline as possible and give a good 10-second squeeze. Then go over the outer lashes again. “I’ve had patients who think they need Latisse [the prescription eyelash growth product],” says Dr. Hirsch. “I show them how to curl their lashes, and they decide to skip it.”

To further enhance curl, apply two coats of lengthening mascara, adding a little more in the center above each eyeball for even longer-looking fringe. Try CoverGirl LashBlast Length Mascara ($7.49, drugstores).

Peach cream blush beats pink for a quick pick-me-up. “Peach tones brighten skin and take the focus away from dark undereye rings,” says Lucero. “Cream formulas leave a slight dew on cheeks, like a ‘flush of youth.’ ” Dab color on the apples of your cheeks, and blend well. You can also apply some to lips over balm for a soft hint of color. Try Sonia Kashuk Crème Blush in Petal ($10, Target).

Adding some deeper contour just below your blush can give definition to a puffy face. Sweep a powder bronzer or foundation one shade darker than your skin directly beneath your cheekbones. “You’ll get an even more sculpted look by dabbing the same formula along the jawline and temples,” Warren says. Then blend, blend, blend with a brush or sponge. The color should almost disappear.

Revive slept-on strands without washing them by misting roots with a dry shampoo. Try KMS California Hairplay Makeover Spray ($17, for salons). This rice powder–based aerosol absorbs oil and freshens hair. Briefly blast roots with a blow-dryer on high heat to loosen up the powder, says Kaycee Clark, international artistic director for KMS California. Then you can apply your favorite finishing styler to hair.

Try these before bed and wake up to more beautiful mornings.

• The single best thing you can do for your skin at night is keep a h

umidifier in your room, especially in winter, says Dr. Hirsch; you’ll hydrate your face (and body) continuously while you sleep.

• Go to bed with a clean face, says Dr. Fusco, and be especially meticulous about taking off eye makeup. In the absence of gentle eye-makeup remover, squirt a drop of baby shampoo into a wet washcloth and swipe it over lids, then rinse. “So many people sleep with their makeup on and wonder why they wake up with funky eye gunk in the morning,” says Warren. “That’s why.”

• Apply a really good moisturizer after splashing water on your face. Try one containing hyaluronic acid, says Dr. Fusco. This ingredient is a potent natural humectant that helps your skin hold water so it looks smoother in the morning. Try Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel ($65,; J).

• Avoid eye creams with irritating anti-aging ingredients or heavy fragrances to reduce morning eye redness and irritation. Instead, opt for a hydrating, fragrance-free formula like Weleda Wild Rose Intensive Eye Cream ($27, Target).

• Cut back on salt and alcohol; you’ll see less puffiness in the morning. “When you consume a lot of alcohol, your body becomes dehydrated,” says Dr. Fusco. “To compensate, it starts collecting natural fluids around the eyes, among other places.” If you do have a couple of Cosmopolitans or glasses of Chardonnay, sleep on two pillows to help drain any puffiness overnight.

• Read the fine print Not all dark-circle treatments are created equal. For discoloration that lies beneath the surface — caused by blue veins showing through — slather on an eye cream containing vitamin K, which pushes unoxygenated blood out of the area and fresh blood in, says Dr. Fusco. Try Vita-K Solution for Dark Circles ($15, drugstores). When the darkness seems more superficial, it’s likely to be the result of excess pigment. Look for lightening ingredients such as kojic acid in your eye cream to fade the spots. Just make sure the product is intended for use around the eyes. One to try: Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue ($100, Ulta).

• Sleep on a satin pillowcase It smooths more than just frazzled strands; the slicker surface also softens the look of lines and wrinkles by reducing friction between your face and the case. Try Beautyzzz Natural Silk Pillowcase ($47,, which is made from hypoallergenic silk, free of chemicals, pesticides, and dyes.

Originally published on January 22, 2010 in Good Housekeeping

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