How to look wide awake for your 8 a.m. (after partying hard all weekend…)

By: Kerry Ingram, Arts & Life Editor
Featured image courtesy of Asdrubal Luna

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, AKA the time when every weekend has something to celebrate for, midterms and final projects are hogging up your free-time and the holiday season has you stressed to the max.

Yep. It surely is wonderful.

With so many obligations calling your name, it’s easy to feel like a total zombie. Even more so, it’s extremely easy to look like a total zombie. Unfortunately, Halloween has already passed, so the post-apocalyptic look is no longer a cute one.

If you’re struggling to survive the semester, but at least want to look as if you’re slaying it flawlessly, here are the tips you need to know. Follow them and you’re sure to look like you #WokeUpLike you were more than ready for the days ahead.

HAIR: Let me start this by saying: I am not a hair snob. We’ve all had bad hair days; however, I would like to distinguish the difference between bad hair days and ratchet hair days. Bad hair days are when you’ve done all you can to get your hair to cooperate and have settled on a braid or bun as a result. Ratchet hair days are when you don’t even attempt to brush your hair in the morning and hope that no one notices when in fact, everyone can notice the rats nest sitting on top of your head.

Let’s avoid ratchet hair days, shall we?

For an easy way to look as if you’ve done a lot when you haven’t, you have one of two options. Option one: “messy” bun. For this, take a lightweight hair gel or styling product and focus it on the top sections of your hair, making sure to only use as much as you need. Smooth back your hair with a brush, forming a low bun near the nape of your neck. Secure your hair into an elastic, and then pull out a few tendrils to softly frame your face. The sleek yet “messy” style will make you look practically prepared.

If you have short hair or feel like making even less of an effort, option two is for you: rock a baseball cap. Just make sure you at least brush through your hair beforehand, and pick a hat that has some type of style (camouflage hats, begone).  

SKINCARE: If you’re in college and don’t take care of your skin, what are you truly doing with your life? Skincare is extremely important, especially if you have the tendency to go out and have a lot of late nights.

Taking care of your skin doesn’t mean you have to have a 20+ step skincare routine. Sometimes the more simple routines yield the best results.

For the basics to help you look more wide awake, stick to the four skincare commandments:

-Thou shall cleanse thy skin without being hella lazy

-Thou shall tone thy heck out of the skin

-Thou shall hydrate thy skin so as to not look as dry as the Sahara

-Thou better protect thy skin or the sun is going to come for your edges

Let me further explain:

  1. You need to clean your skin, the right way, and that doesn’t mean that a wet makeup wipe suffices. If you wear makeup, remove it properly with a oil-based makeup remover or micellar water at night before then going in with a cleanser that’s right for your skin type (dry skin needs more cream based cleansers, oily skin can use foaming cleansers, combination skin can use gel cleansers and all skin types can benefit from cleansing oils). Don’t know your skin type? Wash your face with water and leave it to dry on its own for 30 minutes without putting on any moisturizer. If it feels tight or uncomfortable at all, it’s dry; if it feels fine, but is shiny, you’re oily; if it’s shiny near your nose and forehead, but fine everywhere else, it’s combination; if it’s absolutely perfect, you have normal skin. Cleanse your skin at night. If you can apply your cleanser with a washcloth or facial brush, you’ll have a better cleanse, but if all else fails, your hands can do the job on their own (just make sure they’re clean)! By cleansing at night, you can just rinse over your face with water in the morning, saving you time and helping your skin succeed (since over-cleansing can actually make your skin look dry and dull).
  2. Toner is the skincare step most people are completely unaware of. On a basic level, toners are meant to be applied after you cleanse the skin, but before you moisturize, as a way to balance out the PH levels of the skin and make the products you use more effective. They also just help to strip away any excess dirt and oil that still may be left on the skin after cleansing. The most popular toner waters I would recommend, especially for a quick easy fix, are the Mario Badescu Facial Mists. These sprays act as a fast refresher in the morning and will wake you up in an instant.
  3. This step is simple: put on some moisturizer. Even if your skin is oily, you still need to hydrate it. Find a cream that is lightweight yet gives your skin the amount of hydration it needs. A glowy, hydrated complexion will definitely help you to look more awake.
  4. Put on sunscreen. Don’t argue with me on this. Your complexion doesn’t matter – everyone needs to wear sunscreen. The future, older you will thank you for it later.

MAKEUP: Makeup is the key to catfishing a well-rested complexion. Usually the under-eye area is the place on the face that gives away how much sleep you got, or didn’t get. Your eyes may be slightly puffy, and bluish/purplish temporary pigmentation can result from lack of beauty zzz’s. Color correcting can fix those issues.

Apply a peach color corrector (my favorite is NYX’s Dark Circle Concealer in medium) to the darkest areas underneath the eye. You’ll look a little crazy at first, but the peach color will help to neutralize the discoloration since it’s on the opposite end of the color wheel as cool colors. Apply a concealer that’s one to two shades lighter than your complexion on the under-eye area, overtop of the color corrector. Blend the two together, using patting motions underneath the eye with your ring finger. Set with some powder, and you’ll look like you got a solid eight hours of phenomenal sleep.

CLOTHING: Keep it simple and comfortable without being lazy. Skip the pajamas and go for athleisure – a cozy hoodie paired with leggings and nice sneakers will make you look somewhat put together yet like you didn’t try too hard. Pretty much any outfit that consists of a cute top or outerwear paired with leggings or jeans and comfortable-yet-stylish shoes will work.

DEMEANOR: Smile! Just having a happy and positive vibe will do wonders on your mood, making you feel more ready for the day and convincing others you were ready from the start. So follow Lil Duval’s latest hit, smile, and live your best life no matter how much sleep it consists of.



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