1. Get moving first thing in the a.m.
As dreadful as it can be to wake up an hour or two early to hit the gym, it actually works. Think of it this way: Morning exercise wakes your organs, your bones, and your muscles after a long slumber, which sends a “we’re up!” message to your brain. It also gets your blood pumping, giving you a rosy, healthy, awake-looking glow.
2. Grab earrings.
The right pair of statement earrings generally those with soft-colored stones or gems like mint, emerald, turquoise, or amethyst can reflect beautifully onto your skin and eyes, giving you a more awake visage. Plus, they’ll take away unwanted attention from those tired eyes.
3. Put down the cell phone at night.
According to researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, those of us who spent two hours using a device backlit with LED display such as an iPhone or iPad had a corresponding dip in melatonin levels. Melatonin, as you probably know, is the chemical that induces sleep, so decreased levels means you’ll have a harder time zonking out.
4. Wear color but it has to be the right color.
Super-drowsy mornings are not the time to reach for neutrals. Black won’t do you any fresh-faced favors, as it can cast dark shadows on your face, while the wrong shade of white will make you look washed out. Instead, it’s key to choose a color that will flatter your skin tone and give you a healthy flush. Choosing the wrong color, though, can actually make you look more tired. Here’s a quick breakdown, and click here for a handy chart.
5. Use ice-cold water. Or spoons.
Splashing your face with ice-cold water as you get up shocks your brain, and opens up your eyes. If you’re brave enough, you can also try turning your shower knob to the coldest setting for 10 seconds before getting out (which will also give your hair some extra shine—bonus!) If you’re really dedicated, place two spoons on the fridge or freezer the night before and lay them over your eyes in the morning for a cooling, de-puffing fix.
6. Drink as much water as you can during the day.
It’s not rocket science: If plants which are living things wilt without water, we will too. Try keeping a large water bottle at your desk throughout the day and refilling it each time you’re done. Water hydrates our organs and our brain, so we’ll not only feel more awake, but look it, too. Plus, all those trips to the water cooler (and the bathroom!) will keep you moving.
7. Wear dark sunglasses.
If you wake up feeling and looking groggier than usual, be sure to grab a pair of dark-lensed shades. This isn’t only to hide puffy, bloodshot eyes, but it also prevents your eyes from squinting, tearing, and swelling as a result of the bright light outside. (Note: Oftentimes UV rays are stronger on overcast days, so keep that in mind.)
8. Use eye drops, but sparingly.
Unless they’re prescribed by a doctor, over-the-counter eye drops shouldn’t be used as a daily method (they can irritate the eyes more, if used long-term), but on those days that you’re seriously zonked and your eyes show it, a few drops in each can help remove redness and puffiness.