LEIGH CAMPBELL: Exhausted? Same. Here’s 7 ways I fake looking fresh.

Anyone else feel like they're dragging their arse over the finish line of 2020? 

What a year.  

Floods and fires at the start in Australia, then a global pandemic and political uproar.

Add onto that whatever you have going on personally (which for me is grief and an energetic toddler) and you’re probably looking about as fresh as a string of salami in the sun. 

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Video via Mamamia

Thankfully I’ve picked up a few skincare and makeup tricks over the years to make you at least appear pulled together. Even if inside you’re that ‘everything’s fine while the house is on fire’ meme.

Yeah, this one:

Image: adult swim. 


1. Give yourself a facial massage with oil.

This tip works best on hungover (read: dry and thirsty) skin, but it’s also ace if you’re just feeling meh.

Warm up a few drops of facial oil between your fingers and then slowly (but with decent pressure), massage it into your face in upward circular motions. 

Do this for five minutes. 10, if you can spare the time. The oil will give you some glow (and much needed hydration) back and the massage will get blood flowing. 

The result is a complexion that looks more alive than it did when you first started reading this post.

2. Ice is your friend.

To be clear, I’m talking about the stuff in your freezer. If you can't spare the time for a facial massage, grab some ice and rub it over your face. For real. Or if you’re a big baby, splash some very cold water onto it instead. 

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The ice causes your pores (and capillaries) to restrict, which gives you a tighter-looking complexion. It also helps with inflammation from breakouts. 

It’s actually pretty nifty, and you only need to do it for 20 or 30 seconds, then follow with your skincare.  

3. Go easy on the dark eye makeup.

Dark liner and shadow is only going to make your eyes look more tired. 

Ditch the kohl and instead reach for a creamy beige shadow to swipe across your lids - that type of colour will neutralise any redness or dark eyelids. 

Use a flesh coloured eyeliner to trace along the inner rim to make your eyes look more awake, then curl lashes before applying copious amounts of black mascara. Et voila - you look like you got a solid eight hours.


4. Cream textures are the answer.

A tired face is often dry, blotchy, spotty, or a combination of all of those.

So when it comes to makeup, powdered formulas aren't going to do you any favours - they're just going to drag, sit in dry bits and highlight the imperfections. 

Put the setting powder, blush and bronzer down and instead go for creamy formulas either in a liquid or a pot.

Creams mimic the finish of youthful skin and offer a radiance you won’t get from powders. Radiance equals looking more alive - this is the goal.

If I’m extra exhausted I use a cream blush on the apple of my cheeks over my liquid foundation, then a liquid highlighter on my cheekbones. I instantly look five years younger, even if I feel 85.

5. Put your hair in a pony

Scraping your (oily, dirty) hair back into a tight ponytail instantly lifts the face physically. 

It takes about 20 seconds to do and not only do you get a free facelift for the day, you bought yourself an extra 10 minutes snoozing in bed because you didn't have to wash your hair. Double win.  

6. Fake tan fixes everything.

Seeing as we can't go to Hawaii and lay horizontally for seven to 10 days, can I suggest some fake tan? 

Of course we don’t sunbake anyway, so a faux glow is always a good idea for those of us with fair skin tones. 

The aim is never to look drastically different - it’s to just add a bit of warmth to limbs.


I do this with cream formulas (mousse is too drying if I haven't had time to really prep my skin) that glide on clear so I don't have to worry about staining sheets or clothes. Nobody has time for that.  

7. When in doubt, go bold.

If the only energy you can muster or time you can spare is 30 seconds, reach for a bright lipstick. 

I am not a lippie girl and even I resort to this trick when I feel like a dead woman walking. A bright coral, fuchsia or orange-based red instantly brightens the rest of your face. 

I pair it with BB cream and filled-in brows and off I go to face the day (just add double shot flat white).

What are your tips for looking like you just got back from a yoga retreat? Let me know in the comments below!

This story originally appeared in the "You Beauty" newsletter. Sign up for our weekly "You Beauty" newsletter, where our beauty gurus impart all their wisdom and share their go-to products.

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