Faking Sleep: Tips for Looking More Awake

Faking Sleep: Tips for Looking More AwakeA lack of sleep seems to come with the territory of parenthood. Unfortunately, that also means tired eyes and dark circles.

I’m not sure about you, but “you look tired!” has never come across well. After years of chugging coffee and attempting to follow makeup tutorials that aid in looking more awake at morning meetings, I have finally found a few things that work for me.

Try adding a couple of these quick steps to your morning routine on days you want to appear a little more awake!

Cold Compress

A cold compress reduces swelling making my eyes feel less puffy, and the cooling sensation helps wake me up. There are gel pads you can purchase, or it can be as simple as a damp washcloth cooled in the refrigerator for a few minutes. I tend to use the latter often while traveling as it’s a quick boost in the morning and doesn’t require packing anything extra to travel with. This is a great example of one you can purchase!

Eye Gel

I started using a brightening eye gel in the morning. Find one with ingredients like Vitamin C, Ginseng Root Extract, and caffeine. It helps reduce puffiness and dark circles while providing some much-needed hydration. For convenience, I’ve also kept some eye masks on hand for when I’m traveling. I tend to like lighter-feeling gels, such as this one or this one, over heavier creams.

Facial Roller

If I have a couple extra minutes, I use a facial roller to apply moisturizer or eye gel. I personally have a jade roller, and I find the cool stone helps reduce inflammation, evenly distribute product, and helps it to absorb better. Some claim that rollers help stimulate collagen production, tighten pores, and evens skin tone. I haven’t noticed a huge difference, but I think it feels calming and I’ll use any help I can get! This is similar to my roller.


This may be my number one tip for reducing swelling and dark circles, although I’ll be the first to say– it’s not always my first thought when it comes to appearing more awake. By keeping yourself hydrated well, you’re working from within. I find I have less puffiness when I continue to drink water and remember to drink a little extra in dry climates or while traveling. Planes, meeting rooms, and hotels tend to be very drying. So, keep your water intake up! I have started carrying one of these to have a cup on hand without always having to lug a water bottle. It also works great as a reusable coffee cup! Just make sure to keep your water intake up, too!

Secondly, again with hydration, I find keeping my face well moisturized helps me appear refreshed. Dry, dull skin doesn’t help me look awake by any means! I make sure to apply a moisturizer in the morning, sometimes use a product such as rose water for a mid-day refresh, and try to apply a longer-lasting, hydrating oil or mask before bed. This overnight hydrating mask lasts forever and I find myself returning to it.


I couldn’t make a “Tips for Appearing More Awake” type post without the number one quick fix many refer to. There are plenty of tutorials you can look up for tips and tricks on looking more awake by using makeup, but what I find best is to keep it simple. A little concealer, mascara, and some brow gel are all I use on extra-tired days.

What do you do to combat the dark circles on days you want to appear a little more awake after a restless night?

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