As I typed out my response on how to avoid common morning-time pitfalls (puffiness, redness, etc...) it occurred to me that my lovely (and, I apologize profusely, much neglected) readers may appreciate some tips too- after all, wedding or not, no one wants to leave the house looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!
Here are my best tips and tricks for looking fabulous, no matter what your call time is:
- First and foremost, if you're gearing up for photos or a special occasion, don't expect most of these tips to take effect overnight. Though some will give more instant-gratification than others, in general, the further in advance you start, the better.
- Take care of your skin! Remove all of your makeup before bed and moisturize well. Be especially careful to get all traces of eye makeup off, lest it migrate around and into your eyes at night. This can cause redness, puffiness and watery eyes, and though you may not even be able to see the traces left behind in the morning, they're there- and can cause subtle shadows that will make eyes appear smaller and darker (and for some reason, mascara left on overnight seems SO much harder to remove!)
- Reduction of alcohol and salt, and of course, lots of water, can help to minimize puffiness.
- Sleep on a satin pillow case- it reduces tug on the skin & hair and you'll wake less creased and ruffled.
- Sleeping with your head propped up with several pillows will keep fluids from settling in your face overnight (which causes puffiness).
- There is some evidence that caffeine applied to the skin can relieve puffiness and redness. Soak a tea towel in strong, chilled coffee and apply it as a cold compress mask for 10-15 minutes before you apply your makeup. (Black and green tea will work too, though possibly to a lesser extent because of a lower caffeine content). Bonus: coffee and tea are full of skin-protecting antioxidants!
- If you can, pinpoint the cause of your issues. Redness, puffiness and under eye darkness can all be brought on by allergies. If you notice such things seasonally or just on occasion, an over-the-counter antihistamine like Claritin or Benadryl, or anti-inflammatories like Advil, may help. Of course, I am not a doctor, so please speak to yours before beginning any medical treatment!
- A cool shower, rather than warm, is more beneficial to your skin and hair. It strips less of your skin's natural barrier, so you're likely to see less dryness, flakiness, redness and irritation. Cold water also helps smooth the hair's cuticle (outer layer), which will make hair look smoother and shinier.
- When applying makeup, highlight skin under the brow bone, in the inner corners of the eyes around the tear ducts, and on the orbital bone under the eye (right on the top of the cheek bones- imagine a line coming down from the arch of your brow and start there, extending the highlighter almost to temples). Choose a champagne shade (white if you're fair) with a pearly finish. Your objective is to mimic the way light hits healthy skin- visible glitter not only gives away the trick, it can appear as white or black dots in photos!
- Line the lower, inner rim (waterline) with a white or nude eye pencil to make eyes appear brighter and more opened. And don't forget the mascara!
- Last, smile!!! This lifts the entire face, and you'd be surprised how visible a good mood is in photos!