Getting Away With Pulling an All-Nighter!

I possibly should have written this during exam season and not after…oh well! Last night I got very little sleep and I had to be up pretty early for a meeting, and as I was desperately doing damage control on my face, it occurred to me to write about it! Everyone misses out on sleep now and again, no matter how virtuous you usually are – and I am pretty nocturnal, so it can be hard for me to get enough.


The first thing I do in the morning, regardless of how much sleep I’ve had, is to use my Botanics Rosewater toner to gently clean my face. My skin is super duper prone to going bright red if I wash it with a flannel; unless I’m in the shower, I try to avoid it in the morning as it takes ages to calm down again. My toner makes my skin feel fresh and clean while also reducing redness – winner!

Next I’ll reach for the most effective eye cream I own – Origins GinZing. Clearly, the name is a play on ‘ginseng, and according to the website, “Origins proprietary complex of Caffeine from Coffee bean, Panax Ginseng, Magnolia Extract and natural optic brighteners rapidly wakes up, refreshes and restores radiance to tired eyes”. Not too specific, but it sounds clever!
It really does do a good job of brightening up my eyes. I don’t actually own a full size version of this; I have a little tester, which I carefully guard and save for the most shocking of morning dark circles. This morning I looked like a panda that had been in a bar fight; I think I was dehydrated, which really does not help matters!

Once that’s been patted in, I’ll go in with my moisturiser. I only have pore-refining serums at the moment, and those tend to make my skin look more dull – definitely not what I’m after in my sleep-deprived state, so I’ll skip it. I used my Botanics Sweet Gale Oil-Free Moisturiser first, with about 1 and a half pumps less than usual (I’d normally use 3 to 4!) as I was planning on double-teaming my products. This is a very light gel, which feels lovely and liquidy on the skin but disappears quickly. It smells like absolute hell though, just a warning.

My star product was my Origins Brighter By Nature moisturiser, which really does brighten remarkably well and totally saved my face this morning. However, if you value your eyes, keep it well away! And I mean don’t go near them! You might think you’ve kept it away from the eye area, then about 1 minute later…the burning starts, and doesn’t stop until your eyes are red and watery and seriously unattractive. Really, no matter how much I love this cream (and I do) this has always been a major downside to it for me.
However, I knew that already, so I did keep it well away. The result was skin that upon close examination may not have been 100% perfect, but looked one heck of a lot better than the awful apparition that was staring at me from the mirror 5 minutes before, and definitely looked like I’d managed to hit the pillow for more than 2 hours.


I had to keep my makeup fairly low key as I was going to work, and that was fine by me as I was a) yawning hugely and b) aware that more makeup would not necessarily make me look more awake. So I concentrated on brightening. As the Origins moisturiser and eye cream left my face looking quite dewy, I wanted to go with that but not look quite so…moisturised. So I used some MAC Studio Finish concealer liberally all around my eye area; this completely obliterated the dark circles and brightened up the area. Its creamy formula also blends really easily, and doesn’t diminish the fresh look I was after. I stuck a little bit on other areas too, but it was mainly the eyes which made the difference.

I did that first because I was planning to use a powder foundation. I know that sounds a bit odd, if I was after fresh skin, but I apply MAC Studio Fix Powder + with a light hand and a soft brush – this mattifies and perfects my skin without ever looking cakey. Forget the sponge it comes with though, unless seriously in an emergency situation. That way cakefacedness lies.
My technique for applying this foundation quickly but lightly has been perfected over several years of waking up 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave for lectures. I use the e.l.f. Studio Complexion Brush (NOT the deadly Powder Brush – see my comment about the sponge) and whack it on all over. This brush breaks up the application enough that it looks natural and pretty rather than powdery.
One reason I really like this powder is that it seems to come up fairly light. On me this translates as brightening and nice rather than too pale (seriously, I swear I could use the white Face and Body) and so it’s brilliant for looking awake in a flash.

One of my new favourite products ever is my Pixi blush/highlighter duo which I bought from All Cosmetics Wholesale. I have the palest one, and the blush seems like it’s going to look really unnatural and pastel-y, but it doesn’t at all. The texture is beautiful and the highlighter, though sparkly in the pan, is ever so subtle. This is my new favourite thing to wake up my face! I apply it with a small MAC dual-fibre brush – can’t remember the number but it’s the baby cousin of the 187 – which makes sure it’s sheer, but gorgeous.

For my eyes, I didn’t want to look overdone for work so I just put some brown eyeliner pencil on the outer half of my upper and lower lashlines and waterlines. Brown is obviously more forgiving than black, especially at that time of the morning! A hasty swipe of shimmery peach eyeshadow on the inner corner of my eye, a coat of Maxfactor False Lash Effect and some Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait and I was out the door. I did then get rained on for a good 20 minutes but I’m sure I still looked a lot less miserable than I would have done otherwise!

It’s not that hard, or that time-consuming, to fake sleep! (But don’t do it too much, you can only push yourself so far!)


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