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Sleepless in the city: Makeup hacks for sleep-deprived, tired skin

Life in the city can be pretty rough, especially on our REM cycles. Between stress, anxiety, insomnia, and long work hours, you might find yourself desperately trying to not doze off at your keyboard in the middle of the day. But just because you feel like hell, doesn’t mean you need to look it. Until counting sheep starts to help with your sleep, we’ve put together the perfect makeup hack routine for the sleepless.


Make it rain

You might not want to tell anyone you’re tired, but your skin definitely will – because while you were depriving yourself of shut-eye, you were also depriving your skin of the essential hydration. So, first things first – hydration! We personally prefer gel-based moisturisers when we’re layering makeup, and lately, we’re loving the ultra-light but uber-hydrating Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. Antioxidants like olives will help repair damage, while hyaluronic acid and glycerine will replenish and retain all the moisture (and hours of sleep) you lost. If you want an extra boost, you can also use the Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer that will energise your skin with green tea.

Glow up

When your skin’s looking less like the Sahara, get ready for a glow up. To put a pin in that sleep-deprived dullness, dial up your routine with a strobe cream that gives your base the boost it requires. The good thing about M.A.C’s Strobe Cream is that it doubles up as primer, with pearlescent, green-tea-infused pigments that will bring that dull, flat skin right back to life.

Erase & rewind

Now: How to hide your baggage 101. If you’re packing dark circles, eye bags and puffiness that would get you charged an excess fee at the airport, you’re going to need a corrector palette. If you have a light to medium skin tone, use the peach tone in the M.A.C Studio Conceal & Correct Palette under your eyes; if you’re duskier, use the red. When you’re done cancelling out the darkness, use a brightening liquid concealer like Flower Beauty’s Lighten Up! Brightening Concealer. Here’s the catch though: If your eyes are puffed, brightening the puffiness will only attract attention to it. In this case, don’t pile concealer on to the puffy bit – conceal the darkness in the crease under it instead.

Fresh face forward

Skip. The. Foundation. Why? Because putting foundation on a parched face is like slapping paint on a cracked wall – it’s not going to do anything. If you have blemishes or pigmentation on the rest of your face, just go in again with M.A.C Studio Conceal & Correct Palette and let the rest of your skin breathe.

Solution for sore eyes

Can barely keep your eyes open? There are simple tricks that’ll give your unassuming colleagues the illusion of absolute attention at that early-morning meeting. Instead of black kajal on your lower lash line (which will make them appear even smaller), use a flesh-toned liner like Yves Rocher’s Botanical Color Eye Pencil in Bale Nude – this will give your peepers a doe-eyed appearance even if you’re dying on the inside. Next, brighten and bring them alive with a touch of Makeup Revolution’s Liquid Highlighter on the inner corners.

Colour me awake

We don’t have to tell you that insufficient REM sucks the life out of your skin, leaving it sallow and lifeless. Until the blood starts pumping properly again, quit that crypt-keeper look with a touch of Ruby’s Organics’ Crème Blush in Poppy Pink. This one’s a favourite because it helps fake the natural, rosy flush you would’ve had, had you clocked in some more hours on the pillow.

Trojan pout

Trojan pout

If all your ‘look alive’ efforts so far have failed your eyes, your best strategy is subterfuge. Distract and conquer with a statement pout that’ll make it tough for anyone to look anywhere else. If your lips are dry, go in with a balm before you layer on some lipstick in bright red or pink. Not only will no one notice that you’re rocking slits for eyes, the colour will also work to lift your complexion. If we were you, we’d pick a juicy, hydrating crème lipstick like NYX Professional Makeup Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick – Kitten Heels over a matte.

The “extra” products

Last but not the least, don’t forget to carry a little pick-me-up to keep you refreshed during the day. Kama Ayurveda’s Pure Rose Water fits neatly in your bag and will give your skin a quick a double dose of hydration whenever you require it.

For more beauty advice, log on to Nykaa Beauty Book.

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