Despite leading a generally healthy lifestyle, you may still have those mornings where you feel a little worse for wear. I know I do. Whether it’s due to fitful sleep, or over-indulging in pasta or pinot grigio, the results often aren’t pretty. (I remember Oprah on her show talking about being tired after a trip, saying something to the effect that she woke up in Chicago but her face was still in Cleveland…) And, alas, as decades accumulate, the toll of a rough night gets etched deeper on our faces and well-being. Luckily, there are easy remedies that can help you get through the day after the night before. Here are four morning musts I turn to when I should have turned in a little earlier:
Morning must #1: Drink warm water and lemon
When you wake up tired, the first thing you may want to reach for is a cup of joe. Which you can do. But first try a glass of room-temperature water with half a fresh lemon squeezed into it. Why? Besides being soothing, this citrus cocktail is full of other benefits. It hydrates, offers a dose of vitamin C, and helps detox your liver and stimulate digestion. In other words, it’s a great tonic against that morning-after feeling.
Morning must #2: Soothe bleary eyes with lubricating drops
Eyes may be the windows to the soul, but my peepers usually betray how well (or not) I’ve been treating myself. So, on the morning after a bad sleep, I can count on red, irritated eyes. The fact that I have dry eyes and allergies (two main causes of redness) doesn’t help.
But I’ve been warned by both optometrists and ophthalmologists against using redness-relieving eye drops. While these products work by temporarily constricting blood vessels, after several hours the eyes dilate again. This results in rebound redness when drops are used too frequently. These products can also damage blood vessels in the eye.
The alternative? I’ve been using Blink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops for several years, after an optometrist recommended them. While it doesn’t whiten eyes, Blink works by replenishing tear film when you blink and has been clinically proven to improve tear-film stability. Also, by lubricating dry eyes, Blink helps them feel and look better. In addition, I find them great at refreshing my eyes after hours on the computer.
While Blink is available over-the-counter, first check with your eye doctor to see if it’s suitable for you.
Morning must #3: Apply an illuminating product or highlighter under eyes
Eye cream and concealer are essential beauty tools every day. But on rough mornings, they are elevated to miracle workers.
To give the area under your eye even more help when you look less than refreshed, try an illuminating product. Illuminators and highlighters help add a fresh glow to the skin. Some cosmetics experts define illuminators as products that add a subtle shine, while highlighters, which contain more mica particles to reflect light, are for brightening and sculpting features you want to stand out. But I’ve found both can brighten the under-eye area.
In addition to that shared trait, both can come in liquid, cream and powder form. For the delicate under-eye area, I recommend a liquid or cream. After you’ve applied concealer, dab on a small amount of illuminator or highlighter in an upside triangle shape under the eyes. Make sure to blend well to avoid looking too shiny.
As for product reco’s, I loved Jemma Kid Makeup School Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Creme, but the line has, alas, gone bankrupt. I’ve also tried, and liked, Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter and Clinique Up-lighting Liquid Illuminator. Before purchasing, do the beauty-counter rounds or visit Sephora to get the right product and shade for you.
Morning must #4: Lift your mood with a calming app
Perhaps the worst part of a rough morning is the dreary mood it can set for the rest of the day. To nip it in the bud, you have to be proactive about adjusting your mindset. How? While meditation is ideal, who has time to sit for 15 to 20 minutes in the a.m.?
Luckily, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are many, offering relaxation techniques from meditation to breathing exercises to acupressure and more.
Calm, an app available on iPhone and Android, with a free introductory program, offers guided meditations as short as two minutes. Take a Break!, another free app, features a seven-minute meditation with a choice of music or nature sounds.
I hope these four morning musts will help you the next time you get out of the wrong side of the bed. Do you have a reliable remedy for rough mornings? If so, please share below.