When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, your eyes usually give it away. Dark circles and dull skin can make you look as tired as you probably feel. But while you can’t get back those lost hours of sleep, you can fake bright, wide-awake eyes with makeup. The trick is using the right products in the right places, so you look as if you got a solid eight hours of shut-eye and are ready to tackle the day.


Use the Right Concealer

Dark circles are a major culprit in making you look tired, so you should cover up any discoloration beneath your eyes when you want to look wide awake. However, to really banish shadows under your eyes, you must choose the right concealer. Because orange is opposite from blue on the color wheel, a peach- or orange-toned concealer is ideal for counteracting any blue or purple discolorations beneath your eyes. For the best results, apply a thin layer of peach or orange-toned concealer that matches your skin tone on the discolored areas beneath your eyes. Use your ring finger to gently pat it in; the heat from your skin will help the concealer blend in so it doesn’t crease or cake on the delicate skin.

Illuminate Under Eyes

Even if your dark circles are totally concealed, your eyes can still use help to look as bright as possible. Blending a pink-toned cream or liquid illuminating product over your concealer can help perk up your eyes. For the most flattering look, apply the illuminator in a trianglular shape beneath your eye, along the side of your nose and up to the outer corner of your eye. Not only will the illuminator’s pink tone brighten the skin in these areas, it’ll help catch the light so your eyes look brighter and more awake.

Highlight the Inner Corner

When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, you can fake a bright, wide-eyed look by using some well-placed shimmery eye shadow. Highlighting the inner corner of your eyes near the tear ducts instantly makes your eyes look wider and adds some much-needed brightness to a spot that’s often dark. You can use an ivory or cream-colored shadow that has a shimmer or satin finish that catches the light. If your skin is darker, you may find that a shimmery gold shadow looks more natural.

Grab a White Eyeliner

It may seem strange, but a white liner can be an ally when you want to look bright-eyed and wide awake. Use a soft white kohl pencil to line the inner rims of your lower lids; it’ll reflect the light to make your eyes look bigger and brighter. If you find that the white liner looks too stark against your skin, opt for a beige- or nude-colored liner instead.

Curl Your Lashes

Don’t forget your lashes when you’re trying to make your eyes look brighter and more awake. But while a good mascara can add length and volume to your lashes, it’s usually not enough to really open up your eyes. Instead, start your lash routine by curling your lashes with an eyelash curler; the slight curve to your lashes really opens up your eyes and makes them look larger and brighter. Place the curler at the base of your lashes and pump two to three times for ultimate lift. You can repeat the process if you don’t get enough curl. Follow with your favorite mascara; to really make the whites of your eyes look bright, try a navy or royal blue mascara instead of the standard black.

References and Resources

Marie Claire: Bright Eyes