Sleep deprivation can leave your skin looking dull and dry because blood hasn't had enough of a chance to bring oxygen and nutrients to the skin -- which it does most effectively when you're sleeping. To brighten up, slough dead cells with either an exfoliating scrub or a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, such as Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser ($7), or glycolic acid, like MD Formulations Facial Cleanser ($32). If you have sensitive skin, gently rubbing with a warm, wet washcloth will also work.
Have five extra minutes? Try beComing Fully Restored ($18). Drop a tablet into the mineral solution and it expands into a full-size cloth (laden with antioxidants and collagen boosters) that you drape over your face.
Follow with a rich moisturizer, like Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream ($38), designed for use under makeup. Then apply a light-diffusing foundation; try Revlon Skinlights Diffusing Tint ($14) -- reflective ingredients mask blotchiness and lend radiance to skin.
Give Locks a Lift
Don't be tempted to skip a shower for a few extra winks. Limp, dirty hair can make you look bedraggled -- and the water is a fast pick-me-up, says hairstylist Harry Balderstone of New York City's Angela Cosmai Salon. Clarifying shampoo, like Essence of Beauty Hydroboost ($5), adds body. Blow-dry with volumizing mousse, such as Herbal Essences Natural Volume Bodifying Foam ($4) and that's it: Too many products leave you flat. Long-hair tip: Wear it down, says Balderstone. "Ponytails and buns only highlight how tired your face looks."
Brighten Your Eyes
Camouflage circles "Many women make the mistake of using a concealer that's too light for their skin tone," says Mario Pando, a New York City makeup artist. Instead of lightening dark circles with a paler concealer, he suggests applying a shade just slightly lighter than your natural color -- but with an orange or a yellow tinge to counteract the purple shadows. Use your ring finger (it's your weakest, so you're more likely to have a light touch and not tug skin) or a concealer brush (it's small, round, and very soft) and dab concealer in the shape of a sideways "U," going from under your eyes up alongside your nose and onto the lids. One we like: Almay Wake-Up Call Energizing Concealer ($7). Dust on a mere hint of powder to keep your concealer in place -- if you use too much, it will look dry and cakey.
Do the White Thing Early-morning newscasters swear by this trick: Go over the inside of your lower lashline with white eye pencil; it makes the whites of your eyes look whiter. Try Maybelline Expert Eyes in Pearl ($4). Then use an eyelash curler and stroke on just a single coat of smudgeproof mascara, such as Cover Girl Professional ($5).
Lose the bags To minimize puffiness and circles, lay on cotton pads soaked with milk, or a compress like Bath & Body Works Puff, the Magic Eye Gels ($8). Lie down for five minutes, with pads on eyes and head on pillow; this helps your body let go of excess fluids, says New York City dermatologist Laurie Polis, M.D. A fast alternative: Nivea Visage Soothing Eye Gel ($9).
Refresh with a spritz. Keep a water-filled spray bottle on hand to mist your face: It feels good and brings moisture to the skin's surface; a fancier version is Prescriptives Flight Mist ($20), with moisturizing aloe and soothing green tea. A fragrance spray with citrus, spice, or floral notes can give an extra lift; Origins Sprinkler System ($15) has coriander (said to fight fatigue).
Smile! It gives you a mental boost and brings a little blood to your cheeks.
Power up your wardrobe. Wearing bright colors, such as red or blue, can help rev you up. Or try the crisp contrast of black and white.
Stand tall. When you're overtired, your shoulders and back tend to slump. With good posture, you'll feel alert and appear more poised.
When a Late Night Looms...
Drink plenty of water. If you'll be crawling into bed a few hours later than normal, have one or two glasses of water before nodding off. Your skin will look refreshed and less puffy in the a.m.
Apply vitamin C. The ascorbic acid penetrates skin and neutralizes skin-damaging free radicals, which can build up when you're tired, says Bruce Katz, M.D., director of the Juva Skin and Laser Center, in New York City. In a pinch, apply orange juice to your face -- or try Anew Clearly C Serum ($20) or id='"text8"'>Revlon Vitamin C Absolutes Oil Free Radiance Lotion ($15), which has lactic acid for an added moisture boost.
Pay off your sleep debt ahead of time. If you know you'll be having a late night, try to get enough sleep the night (or two) before. Or take a nap during the day. "Beauty sleep is not a myth," says Dr. Polis. "While we're asleep, the body goes through many different processes needed for us to look and feel our best."