12 Ways to Fake a Good Night’s Sleep with Makeup

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

makeup tips how to fake a good nights sleep

‘Tis the season for late nights, ladies — holiday parties, cramming for finals and waiting up for Santa. 🙂


If you’re not getting enough shuteye over the holidays, why not fake a good night’s sleep with a little help from makeup?

Last week in the comments you left some of your favorite tips to disguise dark circles, restore sallow skin and brighten tired eyes — tips like…

1. Line your waterline with white eyeliner

It brightens in a flash of white!

“I find that lighter, more natural eyeshadows with a nice sheen for the lid, white eyeliner for my waterline and MAC’s Select Moisturecover for my undereye circles are really awesome for hiding the fact that I may be running on only a couple hours of sleep.”

“I wear white eyeliner on my waterline (I love Rimmel’s white eyeliner) and add a light colored shadow like MAC Phloof! to the inner corners of my eyes. I also use Rohto eye drops if my eyes are red!”

2. Whip out that lash curler

Two minutes to a wide-awake look! shu-curler-final

“I use a light shimmery champagne color on the lids, and I curl my eyelashes! I can’t tell you how much that helps; it just makes me look so much more awake.”

3. Concealer is your BFF

A must for girls burning the midnight oil! A few faves:bobbi-brown-concealer

“I don’t usually get a lot of sleep, and even when I do I have genetically dark and puffy undereyes, so I always need concealer. I use MAC’s Studio Sculpt.”

“Can’t live without Fresh Concealer! Works to get those circles to disappear.”

“I use Bobbi Brown Concealer under my eyes and the built-in powder underneath to make my eyes seem more open.”

“Aww man, I NEVER get enough sleep. [I use] TimeBalm concealer topped with Boots No. 7 illuminating concealer then crimped lashes and mascara (if I have time.) I know I should do a lot more to wake up my face, but I figure the extra ten minutes of sleep are worth it!”

4. Try a color-correcting concealer

To deal with heavy duty dark circles, start with a layer of a color correcting concealer beneath your regular concealer.

“I use a salmon-colored concealer to first neutralize the blue. Then, I use a concealer a shade or two lighter than my normal skin color to really brighten my eyes.”
Diana Kim

5. The art of distraction

Use your other features to draw attention away from tired eyes. bright-gloss

“When I’m short on sleep, I play up my top lashes… I’ll also find a fun, bright lip gloss to draw people’s gaze away from my puffy eyes.

“I just use a little mascara and make sure my eyebrows and lips look great. Anything to take away attention from my eyes, period.”

“When I don’t get enough sleep (more often than not lately!) I stick to brighter golden shadows, highlighter on my cheek bones to distract from my dark shadows and lip gloss.”

I only use mascara on the top lashes. This brings attention to the top of my eye…not the gross black holes under them! ”
Michelle Mattingly

6. To the kitchen!

Turn to your cupboards and fridge for secret de-puffing tricks. camomile-tea

“I soak two cotton balls in iced camomile tea and leave it on for 5 minutes. Then, [I apply] YSL Touche Eclat on darkest part of dark circles and inner corners, Mac Studio Sculpt Concealer, Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara, a little bit of white eyeshadow in the inner corners/brow bone and finally MAC Russian Red Lipstick to draw attention off my eyes to my lips”

“The ol’ spoons in the freezer trick for my honkin’ no-sleep eye puffiness, a bit of Clean & Clear Eye Brightening Cream (that stuff is da bomb), as well as white eyeliner.”

7. Wear a thin line of eyeliner on your upper lash line

Quick and easy!

“I skip the eyeliner on the bottom lids and instead just use a thin line of black liquid liner on the top. And lighter colors for sure.”

8. Highlight the inner corners of your eyes with white eyeshadow

Let lightening white be your friend. white-eyeshadow

“I’ll use a white shimmery eyeshadow on the inner corners to make my eyes pop. This does not only make my eyes look bigger, but brighter and more awake as well.”

9. Reach for those glasses

One of my all-time favorite tricks, ha! pink-cats-eye-glasses

“When I look like I didn’t get enough sleep the previous night, I wear my glasses (instead of my contacts). I find that my glasses mask my eyes/face more, so I tend to wear them on my lazy-makeup days. I also put a pink, rosy color on the apples of my cheeks!”

10. Pop on a pink blush

Try a pink blush for a healthy flush. bright-pink-blush

“The key for me to looking alive and awake is a swirl of dolly-pink blush, like Dior Rose Dragee, and some black gel liner on top lids, and I’m ready to go.”

11. Go for the gold!

White can appear too stark on certain skin tones, but golds and off-whites may work.

I usually apply a wash of MAC Woodwinked (on me this looks like a pale gold) all over my lids, curl my lashes, apply mascara to my upper lashes, and apply Touche Eclat under my eyes and around my nose. My whole eye area looks brighter and more awake after this.

I use MAC’s fast response eye cream, then swipe their eyeliner in Buttery along the bottom waterline. Since I’m a woman of color, the off-white, creamy color of buttery works better than a stark white liner.

12. Bumpin’ Stila Topaz

This apricot nude liner gets a LOT of love. stila-topaz

I go with light eyeshadow colors and use Stila’s Kajal Eyeliner in Topaz on my waterline.”


“Just a Stila Liner in Topaz, with loads of mascara and just a very thin eyeliner on lids.”

“I use a good undereye concealer and also use Stila Eye Kajal Liner in Topaz to line the waterline and inner corners.”

Here’s to always looking wide awake, refreshed and fully rested over the holidays *raises cup of egg nog*! 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 46 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. What a great post! I like that you incorporated your reader’s comments while sharing some great techniques for the eyes!
    .-= Kajal Couture’s last blog post… Smooth Legs for Santa…..Giveaway Time! =-.

  2. Sonja says:

    I had to rush here and read this the second I saw it on Twitter. It’s almost 2 am here and I’m still studying AND I have to be in court at 8 tomorrow, so this post is VERY useful! I think I’m going to use all tips!! Thanx!

  3. Ashley says:

    All great tips especially when combined together = uber flawless! Just try not to yawn or your cover is blown LOL. If I don’t have the time or patience, I just curl my lashes & use concealer. It’s basic but it works. Somehow, I’m getting to0 lazy to even apply mascara. What is wrong with me? 🙁
    .-= Ashley’s last blog post… Almost December! =-.

  4. Marce says:

    Great post! I liked reading different opinions! I find concealer, bright shadow on the inner corners and loads of mascara help when I haven’t slept too much 😀
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Lip Swatches – Korres Cherry Full Colour Gloss =-.

  5. Tiffany says:

    What a GREAT post! I will def try some of these tips. I have a $20 code for sephora so I think I’ll add that stila liner to my cart!

    Also, unrelated to this post, but I know you love this liner and this kit seems like a steal! I just ordered it!


    • Karen says:

      OHHHH! That set looks awesome. I have a few of those eyeshadows… Jade is an amazing color — it looks really good paired with a pale pink.

      • Tiffany says:

        Ohh, good to know about jade! I have never tried their single eyeshadows, only the ones in palettes. I hope I like them! Now I gotta start practicing my liquid liner skills…

        • Karen says:

          You can also use Jade for a green/black, green/brown, green/gold smokey eye too! It’s very versatile.

          I hope you love this pen! I swear it’s the only thing that works for my clumsy ass, LOL!

  6. Gracie says:

    Yay you used my comment 😀

  7. Sarah says:

    This has nothing to do with your post (which was very helpful) But you have got to buy OPI’s Merry Midnight. It is from the Holiday 2009 collection. It has like flecks of gold sparkle in it. By far my new obsession.

  8. Rose says:

    Great tips! I used to be so confused by the idea of Stila’s Kajal Eyeliner in Topaz. I didn’t understand why someone would use a fleshy colour like that- until now. It sounds great! I usually do the pop of colour on the cheeks trick myself. Bare Escentuals Blush in Cheerful or Stila’s Convertible Colour in Petunia do the trick 🙂

  9. Christina says:

    So on board with everyone who said to line and swipe mascara only on the top… learned that one the hard way! Thank you for the compilation of tips — need it always, but especially during this time of the year!

  10. Babybubblz says:

    Eggnog! The mention of it is making me crave it sooo much! Gotta run out to buy some tomrw =)

    The Stila eyeliner is an interesting color, thanks!

  11. Sheila says:

    But doing so many of these things can take so much time… for me if I had time to put on layers of makeup, I’d rather just sleep in later. LOL.
    .-= Sheila’s last blog post… Spring 2010 Guerlain Cherry Blossom collection swatches & Spring Wishlist! =-.

  12. Tavia says:

    These ladies have really some great advices. The only thing I didn’t tried and I think I’m not going to try it for a while is the correctors because I’m very happy with the eye cream that I’m using and I look ok even with 4-5 hours of sleep. 🙂
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… YSL Paris Passion Collection for Spring 2010 =-.

  13. CC says:

    These are great tips. Thanks! Instead of a white eyeliner, one makeup artist on TV said you should use a nude eyeliner slightly lighter than the color of your skin/waterline. It’ll still make your eyes pop, but in a more natural appearance.

  14. Samantha says:

    This post is amazing! I have very irregular sleep patterns, so dark circles are inevitable. I use something similar to YSL Touche Eclat and/or Benefit High Beam under my foundation. Love the idea of distraction. I’m definitely going to try it.

  15. Jenna says:

    Oooh I like Benefit’s Mr. Frosty (it’s a sparkly ivory eyeliner as opposed to a stark and harsh pure white eyeliner) to make my eyes appear a bit brighter.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenna,

      I have a friend who loves that! For some reason it’s MIA from the Benefit website! I hope they’re not phasing it out.

      • Jenna says:

        Oh, and Make Up Forever 23L champagne is also a good alternative to the Stila Topaz. It’s a bit lighter and sparkly-er (subtle sparkles, mind you). I think I’m exhibiting cat like behavior with my recent fascination of all thinks sparkly.

  16. amy says:

    Some great tips in this post. My favourite concealers are MAC Studio Sculpt and Time Balm by the Balm as well.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… EOTD Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow Liner: Honey Bunny and Recess Product Pictures Swatches and Review =-.

  17. Marisol says:

    I may have to add this Stila Kajal liner to my wish list.
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… Gals Guide meet up =-.

  18. Susan says:

    Could someone please tell me what makeup lines have color correctors? I use Clinique, due to allergy issues, and I don’t recall ever seeing such a thing in their line… I have terrible dark circles (again, due to allergies–gotta love ’em), and can’t find anything to really cover them well without looking like a raccoon!

  19. Alice says:

    Thankssss for the tips, they’re very useful!!! I really feel this post today, I slept just a few hours and I’m dizzy with sleep!

    I’ll add my two cents: can I suggest to go for brown or gray liner instead of black? Black is too harsh in my opinion, especially on tired eyes! i absolutely love mac’s fluidline in dipdown, it really makes eyes sparkle!!!

  20. iliana says:

    I fake a good night’s sleep a bit differently… I find that a really pale pearly pink peach (paler pink than Paradisco by MAC) eyeliner instead of a flat/matte/creamy white works better for my NC35 skin. 🙂 I find that stark white looks fake on my darker skin. Then I put pale champagne (almost white but with a gold tinge, like Ricepaper) on the inner corners, curl my lashes and put on mascara.

  21. Leah Barber says:

    What is the Nars blush that is pictured above?
    I love it!

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