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Sophie Elkus

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Looking Rested During the Holidays

Nightcap Clothing top, Madewell jeans, Schutz shoes, Gucci bag, Frasier Sterling choker

All the wonderful things that come with the holidays (rich food, sugary desserts, frequent parties) also come with some less attractive side effects (puffy eyes, late nights, little sleep).

That’s not to say it’s that it’s not worth partaking in all the holiday goodness.  I love this time of year and the sense of togetherness and celebration that becomes with it. I love that drinks on a Tuesday and always ordering dessert is normal in December. There’s just some key things to do to combat this lifestyle change… before the January health kick begins. While I have plenty of friends that seem to be able to eat, drink and forego sleep without looking like it the next morning. I am NOT one of them. All these things show up on my face and there’s nothing worse than looking (and feeling) drained.

Over the years I’ve found a routine that works well to combat tiredness. First things first, post-party, I try to prevent what I can by washing my face before bed (no matter how late – I never ever skip this). I like to use a Retinol cream (my incredible facialist Shani makes this one) or my favorite serum to promote softer and brighter skin in the morning and take away dullness. I’ve heard great things about this face oil too. I also drink water before bed; even though I hate having to get up in the middle of the night; it’s worth it when I don’t feel shriveled up in the morning.

My secret weapon that works while I sleep are Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads. These are amazing self-tanning wipes, but I hesitate to even call it a “tan.” It’s more of a light “glow.” They add a very subtle, just noticeable, healthy glow and a hint of color that easily puts two hours of sleep on your face. I find that looking pale makes me look more tired; so these combat that. They’re foolproof: just gently rub one pad all over your face several times and wash your hands after. I wait a few minutes for it to sink in and then add a thin layer of moisturizer on top. Thank me later!

In the morning, I wash my face with water as cold as I can handle, and use a light moisturizer. This next step is crucial: I am obsessed with “eye gels. ” A makeup artist turned me onto these at a shoot and now I buy them off Amazon in bulk (they’re pretty cheap). I carry these around in my purse, my car, my toiletry bag, and I panic when I run out and Amazon prime still isn’t fast enough. My boyfriend makes fun of me for wearing them in public under my sunglasses (this is actually a great trick while driving). I stick them in the refrigerator for 5 minutes and put them under my eyes for 10 minutes. They completely flatten out all the puffiness under my eyes. I have my eye on the SK II eye pads, which are supposedly amazing, and will definitely get around to trying them.. but it’s hard to give up my cheap trick when it works so well.

If my actual eyelids are puffy (salty foods and alcohol can contribute to this) sometimes I’ll wet a black tea or green tea bag under the sink, refrigerate it, and leave them on my eyelids for ten minutes, which supposedly drains the blood vessels that create puffiness. I think it’s worth a shot; I usually never leave them on for long enough to make a huge difference (because you can’t do much when you’re lying with your eyes closed) but I bet 20 minutes would do the trick. If I’m shooting photos that day, I’ll use an SK II sheet mask, which is an expensive habit but really makes a difference on tired skin. This pearl mask from Sephora is next on my list to try.

After a lot of trial and error I’ve definitely learned that using LESS makeup on a tired face looks better than trying to cover it up with a heavy layer. I stick to a light BB cream, a good dose of creamy concealer under my eyes, and this bronzer that doubles as a blush. I use a nude eyeliner on my bottom water line to open up my eyes (dark eyeliner on tired eyes makes them appear so much smaller). I always curl my lashes and two coats of mascara for wide eyes. That’s about it – if I have an extra moment I’ll pat some illuminator on my cheekbones and brow bones.

Do you have any tried-and-true tips for looking rested during the holiday season? I would love to hear in the comments! Shop the products I mentioned and the outfit worn here below.

Nightcap Clothing topMadewell jeansSchutz shoesGucci bagFrasier Sterling choker
Photography by Felicia Lasala

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