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12 ways to look more awake in photos

12 ways to look more awake in photos

How to look brighter and more awake in photos

Looking tired in photographs is a common gripe. Ever look in the mirror and think you're looking good then snap a selfie and wonder where all those bags and shadows came from? The camera can emphasize and exaggerate "flaws" like dull skin, undereye circles and puffiness that aren't as noticeable in person. Fortunately there are easy steps you can take to look fresh, bright, and well-rested, starting with your morning routine...

1. Splash cold water on your face. After cleansing, rinse your face in cool water to close pores and tighten skin. If you're feeling tired as well this will also give you a little jolt!

2. Put a gel eye mask (or spoon if you don't own a mask) in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and wear over your eyes for a few minutes. This feels so relaxing and de-puffs tired eyes.

3. Apply your moisturizer or face primer with a makeup brush instead of your fingers. Brushing it on in soft, sweeping strokes not only feels luxurious but makes the product melt into your skin for more even coverage. This will help get rid of any dry patches or dullness that can show up on camera.

4. Diffuse dark circles with a good concealer meant for dark undereye circles and imperfections, such as bareMinerals Bareskin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer. If you're using a thick concealer, blend it out with a very damp BeautyBlender or sponge to sheer out the product so it doesn't get cakey. If you're fair, use a pink-based shade; if you're darker or have severe circles you can use orange or red. Then take a brightening concealer like Touche Eclat or Stroke of Light and dot it in a upside-down triangle shape. Concentrate the product at the inner part of your eye; this is where people tend to have the most discoloration and dark shadows.

5. Grab a cobalt or navy blue kohl pencil and line your waterline. The blue makes the whites of your eyes appear whiter.

6. If you want to wear eyeshadow, try a light, satiny or shimmery shade on your lid. Something like MAC Dazzlelight. You can pop a little blush, bronzer or a soft brown/taupe shade in your crease, focusing on the outer portion of your lid. Don't use a dark color as it can look too harsh and drag the eye down.

7. Line your eyes as close to the lashline as you can and flick upwards at the outer corner. With your liner and shadow make sure you focus the product up and out in a cat-eye shape to lift eyes up. This is particularly helpful if you have hooded or downturned eyes.

8. Curl your lashes with a metal curler, being careful not to clamp too hard to damage your lashes. Fake a full fringe by coating the TOP side of your lashes and underneath as you normally would apply mascara. You can hold the wand horizontally to your eye and sweep in up and down motions like a fan to get both sides of your top lashes. This makes them fuller and thicker than usual, which will translate well on camera and bring more contrast and definition to your eyes.

9. Allow your mascara to dry and lift lashes at the outer corners with a heated curler to lift the lashes at the outer corner. The heat in combination with the mascara locks in the curl for a lasting effect. (Never use a metal curler after applying mascara as it will break your lashes off!)

10. Pop a creamy, opaque white eyeshadow in your inner corners to highlight. You can bring the color up in a sideways v for a strong highlight that opens up your eyes.

11. Opt for a lip color in a warm shade like pink, rose or coral with a glossy finish to make lips look fuller. Avoid nude, plum and pale lilac shades - anything with a cool tone and frosty finish can make you look dead.

12. Highlight the high points of the face where light naturally hits (tops of cheekbones, bridge of nose, center of forehead). Use a matte highlighter to avoid looking sparkly. I like using a foundation that's a shade or two lighter than my skin so it looks seamless and natural. Brighten your brow bone by picking up concealer, a light eyeshadow or highlighter on a skinny angled brush and draw from one end of the brow to the other. Build it up underneath the arch for a subtle eye lift.

For more eye-popping tricks, check out this guide to the best mascaras.

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