Tips For Looking Not-Tired

Smashbox Santigolden Age Double-Ended Limitless Liner
Eve Lom Concealer
RMS Un Coverup
MAC CC cream
Nars Blush in Sex Fantasy
Crest 3D White Whitening Strips

As someone who regularly stumbles yawning and bleary-eyed into the office at 9AM, I've become adept at concealing my tiredness. It's not like I don't still want to pass out on my coworkers' shoulders—although the fact that they allow me anywhere near their clavicles suggests they have no idea how much I want to nap on them. It's more that I give the impression I'm not secretly eyeing them and thinking, "Ahhh, potential human mattress." Because really, what separates the professionally exhausted from what's commonly known as a 'hot mess' is nothing more than preparedness and a little sleight of hand (plus coffee; did you know a coffee with two shots of espresso is called a "black eye"? Now you do.). So if you'd like to assemble your own Pillow Fort of Lies, here are a few tricks:

Don't let your eyes betray you
Your stupid eyelids and under-eyes are just waiting to be all weak and let people know you watched eight episodes of Friday Night Lights instead of getting eight hours of Friday Night Sleeps. Eff that noise. Here's how you fix the situation: Visine, cream concealer, and yellow-green eyeliner.

First, the drops. I like to use twice the recommended dose. Is that medically sound advice? Probably not! But this is literally tiny dribbles of eye water we're talking about. If there were going to be a drug in which you could over-indulge safely, it would be Visine.

Now get your eyeliner. "But Lacey," you may be saying, "why are we using makeup the color of Gak?" Well darlings, it's out of necessity—and an awareness of the color wheel. You see, what you want to do is try and offset whatever bruise-like discoloration you currently have rimming your eyes. And guess what's directly opposite the lovely shade of red-purple making your bloodshot gaze look so intense? That's right: green-yellow. Just line wherever you see redness and blend it out until you don't think you're capable of blending any longer. Or embrace the Gak liner look and tell everyone at work it's a trend you saw on Into The Gloss—I'll vouch for you!

Waterlines look suspiciously vibrant and healthy now? Good; time for concealer. Normally, you might prefer a powder or liquid concealer, but when you're tired the texture of the skin under your eyes gets all crepe-y, so you're going to want something hydrating and opaque—hence the cream. I use a combination of Eve Lom Concealer and RMS Un Coverup, but that is because I am a semi-vampire (a Daywalker, if you will) whose skin is the color of actual paper and who requires Un Coverup's intensely hydrating oil base just to continue looking Un Dead. If you have some liquid or cream luminizer, go ahead and slap that on top, too—can't hurt.

Feign good health
If your eyes don't give you away, your skin definitely will. Your circulation's probably sluggish, so you're sallow, maybe broken out, and at least a little dry. This is why blush and a good CC cream are your best friends. I like MAC's CC cream because it has nice orange-y tones that make me look more like I've been on a jog than just dragged myself onto two different subways and eaten three doughnuts. You're going to want a hydrating formula no matter which brand you choose, though, because again—tired, dehydrated skin needs all the help it can get in the moisture department.

Once you put that on, it's time to layer blush on top. If, like myself and approximately three other people on Earth, you have cool undertones (very pale and very deep skin tones are often cool), baby pink blush will do the trick. I love Nars Sex Fantasy because it's magic; put as much on top of your cheekbones as you possibly can without looking like a clown. If you have warm undertones, which I can say with 95% certainty you do, try peach blush for the same effect.

Make your mouth appealing
If you've been downing espresso (and you should be, because god knows how else you're awake right now), you're going to want some whitening strips and a few mints to cut down on the gross-ification of your teeth. I love coffee, but its results are immediate and unpleasant when it comes to the dentifrices. After that, lip gloss or lipstick in a shade with a hint of pink so you're not all chapped, and voila! You're a passable human. Now get out there and make some sleep-deprived decisions.

—Lacey Gattis

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

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  • Alice

    I never comment, but as a Visine addict I have to point out that it's not "eye water". That would be artificial tears, which is a real product, and which Visine is not. Visine is actually extremely diluted hydrochloride, used to constrict blood vessels (thus reducing redness). Like any drug, you shouldn't OD.

    • Shay Lianna

      Agreed, I actually read somewhere recently (can't remember where) that using redness-reducing eye drops too frequently can actually make your eyes redder. Which

  • Victoria

    wooo for pale people with cool skintones!

    • Ellen Findley

      Long live the pink blush!

  • conni boykins

    Love this! My go-to routine for that "functional human free of a Netflix addiction and effed sleep pattern" look: Makeup Forever full cover concealer (heart eyes forever on this bitch), white/silver liner on and water line, an illegal amount of mascara, coffee IV.

  • Teckie

    These are all really good. Benefit's "Fake Up" concealer is great for under the eyes too. It has a vitamin E and is super moisturizing so it doesn't crease.

  • Androbel

    visine is my savior!



  • Allison

    I feel like so many people think they are cool toned when they are warm! I was told for years that my "apricot" undertones make me cool toned, so annoying.

  • Dru

    also, when getting the concealer on, it's important to get them in that space between the inner corner of your eye and your nose - that place turns purple on a lot of people (including me) the minute our sleep gets shot.

  • ThoughtsofGlam

    I found concealer is my best friend. It is my #1 before everything else.

  • Behind the Mirror

    I feel strongly that the tell-tale sign of tired is your eyes. I just put up a post on under eye damage and 3 amazing products to keep your eyes from looking tired. Check it out if you have time :)

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    Good tips! I have never seen that liner but I might need it in my life!

  • Kelly G

    I love your sense of humor!! Very well written & some really good advice! xo Kelly

  • Caroline Jackson

    Ha ha! Gak is slang for cocaine in the UK...which I will not be lining my eyes with...

  • Janine

    For me, I swear by MAC's Fast Response Eye Cream (I'm a broken record with this cream), drink a lot of cold water, minimal amount of coffee. Coffee dehydrates more and make me feel worse. Hydration is key. Otherwise, my makeup will not go on properly.

  • ymari

    yes, as a pharmacy student i can tell you that this is the "rebound" effect of using visine, or any eye drop carrying an "anti-redness" claim. they really do work, by temporarily constricting your blood vessels, followed by a rebound effect, which causes them to dilate even more, contributing to increasing redness.

  • Jaime

    the same thing happened to me.... i was using Visine for dry eyes and my eyes got addicted to it to the point where they were red if I didn't use it. Then when I tried to go off I got these headaches and the doc said it was from the vasoconstrictors in the eye-drops now I just use refresh tears for dry eyes and Visine only to get the red out.

  • Krystalee

    Which green and yellow eyeliner do you recommend?

    • ITGLacey

      Right now I like Smashbox Santigolden Age in Green Martian/Yellow Dwarf because it's double-ended & that way you can come up with a shade that's exaaaaactly right for you. BUT my traditional go-tos have been either Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Bronze Green (it's here if you're interested: or Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Mildew (

  • katelyna

    Thank you for the Sex Fantasy recommendation! I bought it, I love it!

    • ITGLacey

      Hurray! It's probably the best cheek color I've ever had; only wish it came in a cream shade, too...


Visine Advanced Relief Eye Drops
Smashbox Santigolden Age Double-Ended Limitless Liner Green Martian/ Yellow Dwarf
Eve Lom
Eve Lom Brilliant Cover Concealer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 15
RMS Beauty
RMS Un Coverup
MAC ‘Prep + Prime CC’ Colour Correcting Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
NARS Blush
Crest 3D Professional Effects Whitening Strips