Tired eyes & skin? Simple solutions for looking less tired

Siski Green / 01 May 2015 ( 12 December 2019 )

A large part of looking tired is your perception of yourself because you feel tired. So find out how to trick yourself into feeling and looking more awake with these techniques.

If your behaviour makes you seem tired, others will see you as having more wrinkles, puffy eyes and droopy skin, according to a study published in medical journal Sleep. So try these tips to look more awake.


Drinking plenty of water will help plump up your skin from the inside and slathering your skin with moisturiser will help plump up your skin from the outside. When you’re tired, opt for green tea too. Not only will it help perk you up, a study in the Journal of Nutrition found it increased oxygen and bloodflow, which also help give you energy and more of a glow to your skin.  

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To create the effect of wide-open bright eyes, you can thicken and lengthen your lashes. Use a lash curler and mascara to do this. Add a line  of eyeliner close to the lash line above the eye and that will add to the illusion of wakefulness. 

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Nothing gives away tiredness more than red-looking sore eyes. This is usually caused by lack of moisture, which you can restore with a specialised product such as Optrex Actimist (£14.29 for 10ml from Boots); spray it on closed eyes, and the liquid then works its way naturally into your eye via the edges of your eyelids. It helps replenish moisture and reduce irritation. But you can also use banana skin, tea bags or sliced cucumbers – put any of these in the fridge before you use them to increase their effect. 

You’ll also want something to reduce redness. Eye drops such as Optrex Brightening Drops (£4.29 for 10ml) can work wonders, but you can also use cool coloured eye shadow such as  green or blue to reduce the appearance of redness. 

Try our eye make-up masterclass


Photographers often use a reflective white or silver surface under a model’s face to reduce shadows and give skin more of a glow, so you can use the technique yourself. A white or off-white T-shirt or blouse will do the trick. If white isn’t an option, try warm colours such as  yellow, orange or red. You might think that adding warm colours to your outfit would only serve to highlight your grey lack-lustre appearance but the  reverse is actually true. The colour will also reflect a little onto your skin, making it seem less dull.

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No one looks tired when they’re standing tall and proud, so tilt your chin up and straighten those shoulders. It’s also a good idea to spend ten minutes stretching before you go out. Not only will this make you feel better and therefore look better, it’ll also help lengthen your spine, making you seem taller and more alert. 

Try this: position yourself on all fours on the floor then curve your spine to make a rainbow-shape, with your head down. Now slowly move out of that position and curve your back the opposite way, pushing your belly down towards the floor and raising your head. Do these moves gently  and slowly and if you feel any pain at all, stop immediately. 

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.