How to Look Well-Rested with Brighter and Wider Eyes!

Do you have dark circles, puffy eyes or just a sleepy looking appearance after repeatedly hitting snooze on your seven alarms? Because same. I developed a routine to de-puff and give a highlighted, lifted appearance to my under eye area, while also brightening and widening my eyes! Keep reading to see the list of products I use and the ways I apply them to look more awake!

I always wake up with puffy eyes and the Clinique “Pep-Start” Eye Cream is my go-to for hydrating and brightening! I love it for so many reasons. I’ve struggled with finding the perfect formula to lightly moisturize my under eyes before I apply concealer. Whenever eye creams are too heavy, it will cause whatever you put on top of it to look heavy and crease. This one is so lightweight, while also being hydrating, so it’s the perfect formula for A.M. application! It is cooling to the touch, which helps with de-puffing as well! I’ve also noticed that this doesn’t give me those small white bumps, which sometimes can happen with different eye creams that I’ve tried. I use a small, pea sized amount and tap it on with my ring finger since it applies the lightest amount of pressure! I wait about a minute for it to sink in and then I go onto the next step!

I’ve been using the Becca “Under Eye Brightening Corrector” for a couple years now and I can’t imagine this product not being in my daily routine! If you have stubborn dark circles that show through with even the most full coverage concealers, then you need to invest in a good corrector! This one is a peach color with light reflecting illuminators, which will counteract the blue tones in your dark circles. A little goes a long way with this product, plus it lasts all day long! I apply this with my damp beautyblender underneath my eye and in the inner corners.

After I’ve moisturized and corrected, I apply a full coverage concealer! I always purchase one that’s 1-2 shades lighter than my foundation to give a highlighted effect! My holy grail formula is the Tarte “Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer” (that’s a mouthful!) and it comes in 14 shades so you’re bound to find your perfect match! It is by far the most lightweight, full coverage formula that I’ve ever tried! It truly conceals acne, dark circles and redness so flawlessly! I always use this product with a damp beautyblender to help sheer it out slightly! If you’ve struggled with your concealer wearing off, then you NEED to try this one because it doesn’t fade during the day or look drying!

By this point, I’ve used so many creamy, liquid products underneath my eyes, that I have to set it with a powder to lock it all in and prevent any creasing! I always choose a yellow-toned, matte highlight powder to enhance the brightening effect I’m going for! Even if you have a different skin tone than me, I would still highly suggest checking out the NYX “Highlight Pro Singles” on! These aren’t sold in store, but I always stock up online! At only $5 a pan, they’re extremely affordable and there are 12 different shades to choose from. I was constantly buying the Anastasia highlight refills and then I discovered these, which are just as pigmented! The powder will also help smooth out any fine lines you may have, which is an added bonus!

Now that my under eyes are concealed and bright, I move onto making my eyes look big and awake! On a daily basis, I typically just apply my bronzer in my crease and take a shimmery shade all over the lid. Even when I’m rushing, I will never forget to highlight my inner corners with a shimmery, champagne eyeshadow! This makes the biggest difference in opening up your eyes and reflecting much needed light in an otherwise shadowy area! I love using this L’Oreal “Infallible Eyeshadow” in “Iced Latte” to brighten everything up! I take my pinky finger and dab the shadow on my inner corners, blending it outwards to seamlessly fade into my lid color.

I have round eyes, with a lot of lid space, so I always use eyeliner on the top lash line to help define and thicken the look of my eyelashes! Whenever I don’t put eyeliner in this area, I feel like my eyes look super tiny and tired. My favorite liners to use are the Kat Von D “Tattoo Liner” in “Trooper” for an ultra black, winged liner and I love the Marc Jacobs “Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner” in “(Earth)quake 41” for a smudged out, brown liner look! I also use the Marc Jacobs liner on my top waterline to further define that area, as well as smudged out on the outer corners of my lower lash line!

I’m pretty sure the best makeup secret to opening up your eyes and making you look awake is using a nude eyeliner in your lower waterline! The Tarte “Fake Awake Eye Highlight” is the most pigmented and long wearing one I’ve tried so far! I’ve repurchased it so many times because nothing compares! The nude color will neutralize any redness you have from having your eyes closed all night long. Using a light color in the lower waterline will help widen and brighten your eye. Back in the day, I would use a white eyeliner, but I’ve started to enjoy the more natural effect of a nude eyeliner now! If you haven’t tried this beauty hack yet, you really need to! It makes the biggest difference and I really can’t do my makeup without it!

Do you have any tips or tricks to getting a fresh and well-rested appearance when you’re really just a sleepy gal?! Let me know by leaving me a comment! I love learning new techniques from you guys! Thank you so much for reading, I hope you found this type of product review/routine helpful!

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Cream Contour and Highlight Routine 

I wanted to share how I contour and highlight my face for special occasions! I am often asked how I achieve a full coverage, evenly blended, contoured look. On a day-to-day basis, I definitely do not use a cream contour because in my opinion, it’s not necessary. I opt for this routine whenever I have a special occasion, when I need my makeup to last and stand out in photos. 

With contouring, you really want to make sure you adapt the placement of lines to your face shape. My face shape is a mix between square and round (so annoying) so I draw lines based on where areas of my face need to appear more sculpted. The darker colors should be placed in the hollows of your cheeks, where you want to create a shadow. If you want to sculpt your chin, draw lines at your jawline and blend underneath. If you want to minimize your forehead, darken your temples and hairline. This is the basic rule of E and 3. Think of drawing an E shape on the right side of your face (temples, under the cheeks and jawline) and a 3 on the left side of your face. This will serve as a guideline on where to place the darker colors you use for contouring. I also like to contour the tip of my nose so it appears more slim. As far as highlighting, you can use a concealer or a light colored highlighting stick to place in the areas you want to bring out in your face. For me, this is underneath my eyes to brighten my dark circles. To even things out, I’ll place some concealer in between my eyebrows and into the center of my forehead and on the tip of my chin. If you want to get a super sculpted appearance, you can place the concealer underneath the contour on your cheekbones to chisel this area out more.

I like using the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio for my cream contour because you can be very precise with your application. Since they’re in a stick form, you can place the product directly on your face without the need for a brush. The formula is dry enough to stick to your skin, but also creamy enough to blend out seamlessly.

My cream contour and highlight routine begins with the application of primer all over my face and a light layer of foundation. You want to choose a foundation that is light-medium coverage so that you can add the extra layers of cream products and not look cakey. Next I take my “Contour” colored stick and draw lines around my forehead, temples, underneath my cheekbones and jawline. I then place the “Bronzer” shade directly above the “Contour” lines to add warmth to my look. I find that when I blend these colors out together, they create my perfect contour shade. Next I add a concealer that’s 1-2 shades lighter than my foundation in the areas I want to highlight. For extra brightness I apply the “Highlight” shade on top of the concealer. 

Once I have the lines placed on my face, it’s time to begin blending! This process can be tricky if you rush through it. The worst mistake you can make is to use the same brush to blend out the dark areas as well as the highlighted places. You’ll end up with a muddy and non-sculpted look. So make sure you take your time and blend out the contour first with a brush and then the highlight with a different brush. I use a Real Techniques buffing brush for my contour and my beauty blender for my highlight. 

Before: With only a light layer of foundation. After: Blended out cream highlight and contour. Set with Kat Von D powder contour kit.

Now that everything is blended out, I set my entire face with a loose translucent powder. My favorite is by Laura Mercier because it’s lightweight and never looks overly powdery on my skin. Since I’m extra, I set the places I cream contoured with a powder contour and do the same with the highlighted sections. I use my Kat Von D contour palette to do so. I think this extends the longevity of my cream products and is especially useful in situations where my skin gets oily. If you haven’t tried using a brightening powder underneath your eyes, I highly recommend it even on a day-to-day basis!

Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio, $45. Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette, $46. These products can both be found at Sephora!

To finish the entire look, I spray a setting mist to lay all of my powder products flat and make sure my makeup lasts all day long. I really hope you enjoyed this post and have a good idea of contouring and highlighting after reading! It can be pretty tricky, but with a lot of practice, you’ll learn the best look for your personal facial structure! Again, I only do this full routine whenever I have a special occasion or an event where photos will be taken, but feel free to do this on a daily basis if you really enjoy the way it looks! Thanks for reading! 

Yay for the finished product!