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How to Not Look Tired, From the Busy Women Who Always Are

A late-night DJ duo, an early-morning spin instructor—these pros are skilled in what it's like to be mind-numbingly tired but never look it.

It doesn't take all those Starbucks cups littering your desk to prove you're burning the midnight oil. Between work, keeping up with The Mindy Project, and fitting in drinks with friends, life is tiring! (But seriously.) While Sleep Cycle has made you a mini-expert on getting enough Z's, we've rounded up a handful of women who bring new meaning to sleep deprivation.

From a late-night DJ duo to an early-morning spin instructor, these pros are skilled in what it's like to be sunrise-to-sunset, mind-numbingly, can-I-have-another-coffee-please tired. They're experts who know how to look bright, awake, and ready to take on a crazy day, even if they've been up for more than one, and we're ready to reap the benefits. Check out the tips, tricks, and beauty picks their overachieving expertise has brought us (and our dark circles).

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Jamie Stelter, Traffic Anchor for NY1

I wake up at 3:08 every morning. Nothing helps with under-eye circles and general red, puffy, dullness around the eyes like sleep, water, and yoga, so I try to get as much of those three things as possible. Makeup can only do so much; it needs a smooth, well-moisturized surface. I use the best there is on my eyes, morning and night: SK-II eye cream. I don't endorse a lot of expensive beauty products, but this one is worth every penny. (Trust: I've tried every eye cream on the market.)

Once I'm in the office at 4am, it's time for hair and makeup. I use Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey all over my face, then the same but in Vanilla (which is a few shades lighter) on just the inner and outer corners of my eyes to brighten things up a bit. But this is the key: a wet beauty blender. It's the only tool that blends everything together seamlessly. If I'm feeling extra tired (or sassy), I'll swipe some RMS Living Luminizer around my eyes, too. My friend Britt turned me onto it, and I don't care what she or any makeup artist says about less is more—with luminizer and highlighters, more is more. I like to think it helps me look like the Jewish J. Lo, and deep down, isn't that what we all really want?

Photo: Getty Images

Britt Asch, Florist and Founder of BRRCH Floral

I clock 12 hour days on the regular, and when I have events going on, they can go up to 21 hours. So, the whole point is to not look like I have been working that many hours, and also to have a minimal beauty routine as I'm usually putting on makeup at red lights between appointments.

I get up in the dark anywhere between 5 and 6am. I wash my face with Cetaphil (and cold water to wake up!) and then quickly massage in some extra virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil in a circular motion. My friend who lives in Paris taught me a trick of using an ice cube under the eye to get rid of bags, so in times of desperation, that's my go-to. For covering up under-eye circles, I've been using Benefit's Boi-ing for probably about eight years now. I've tried other things, but I always return. I lightly dab it under my eyes with my middle finger to prevent stretching the skin. Only recently did I learn that if you put a barely-there layer of powder on prior, it will set better.

MArgaret Retsch, Business Analyst at JetBlue

Although I work standard business hours, I'm often away on weekends. The flight schedules work out so that the best way to both enjoy my weekend and get back for work on time involves a red-eye flight. I think the most important way to look (and feel!) your best is to remember to stay hydrated the day before, during the flight, and after you land. I also try to have fresh-squeezed orange juice or something else high in vitamin C with breakfast to boost my immunity. As for makeup tips, I like to start with an orange or peach-colored concealer under my eyes in the darkest areas. I apply using my ring-finger by dabbing or pressing delicately into my skin, instead of smearing. I like Lush Color Essential, a cover-up that matches my skin tone; I apply it in triangle shapes underneath my eyes.

Sydney Reising, Publicist and Founder of Sydney Reising Creative

My hours are pretty much 24/7 since my clients live in an array of time zones. I start by attacking the looking-tired issue from the most obvious angle: the dark under-eye circles. I keep products in my refrigerator to maximize their effects on my constant, on-the-grind lifestyle. Right now I'm using the Supreme Eye Serum by Dr. Sebagh—and trust me, it is 100% worth the price tag. Also in my fridge, and on my face when I jump out of bed, is the Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System by Amore Pacific.

I'm really into masks, especially since I'm often chained to my computer for extended periods of time and I might as well be multitasking. If I'm in the middle of Fashion Week, for instance, you'll likely find me half-awake at 3am mulling over a seating chart while wearing one of those Amore Pacific Luminous Effect Brightening Masques. They are sheets that you just stick on your face with eye and mouth holes. If I'm in a super rushed situation, then I call upon the genius three-minute miracle that is the Express Flower Gel Mask from Sisley Paris. Three minutes. Enough said.

When talking concealers, I could not function without these two: Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Concealer—it lasts literally all day—and YSL Touche Éclat Luminizing Pen. Highlighting powder is also crucial. I use Chanel because it makes me feel fancier than I am—I like the Jardin de Camélias Illuminating Powder. I put all this stuff on with my that weird?

Photo: Getty Images

Jen Mozenter and Claire Schlissel, DJ/Production Duo The Jane Doze

We don't ever have any "normal" 9 to 5 sort of days, which is what we love most about our job. Sometimes we're in writing sessions in the studio all day, or we're playing a late night set at a club. Either way, there are lots of early mornings spent on planes, trains, and automobiles, so we've learned a few beauty tips and tricks along the way.

Jen: Lotus Eye Gel by Fresh is great in the morning to help with redness and puffiness, and it smells amazing. I usually apply it before anything else. I swear by Stila's Perfecting Concealer—it's perfect for dark circles, but also redness. I just use my fingertip to dab and smooth it under my eye. I use Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in two ways: by putting a small amount on my fingertips and dabbing it on my cheekbones, brow bones, and bridge of nose, and by spotlighting a small amount on the cheek and brow bones after I finish applying everything else.

Claire: I've tried so many concealers and nothing compares to MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer. They tried to talk me out of it at the MAC store since it's a thick formula intended for the stage, but I couldn't be dissuaded. It matches my skin perfectly, doesn't crease, and lasts all day. I dab it under my eyes and on my eyelids. I use Benefit Watts Up as both an eyeshadow and a highlighter. As the latter, I apply it on the top of my cheekbone just below my eye, and under the arch of my eyebrow.

Katzie Guy-Hamilton, Director of Food and Beverage for Max Brenner

To start, it's important to hydrate with a lot of water, eat a lot of avocados, and use great creams. When I'm home in New York, I rise early to go to Equinox, down a kale smoothie, and get to the office or test kitchen at about 8:30. I use Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, Cellufirm Moisturizer, and eye cream. I use a highlighter that I got in Japan that I swear by—the brand is called RMK and it comes in a lipstick tube. My cover-up of choice is Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in the winter, and in the summer, I love Age Rewind from Maybelline. It lives in my fridge and has a sponge applicator attached. I encircle my eyes, my nose, and my mouth. In the winter, I use an application brush for the Bobbi Brown which is heavier, but I'm very pale so I need flawless application. Besides makeup, cucumbers also work well to help you look less tired, and in times of need, I create a matcha paste with matcha powder and paint it on my under-eye when I have a face mask on.

Geri-Nikole Love, Morning Instructor at SoulCycle

I genetically have puffy eyes and have found that most under-eye creams create too much hydration, leading to even more puffiness. My best trick is staying hydrated form within. I shoot for three liters of water a day, six to eight hours of sleep a night, and plenty of iron to keep dark circles away. (Low iron can cause dark circles under the eyes, along with fatigue and irritability!) If I wake up with puffiness, I take a couple of green tea bags out of my freezer, wet them, and lay them under my eyes. I find the combination of cold and caffeine helps shrink any extra swelling.

I actually don't use any concealers or brighteners! I only wear makeup for auditions, since I'm also an actress, or for a night out with the girls once or twice a month. In those cases, I just use 10HR Wear Perfection Foundation from Sephora and a little bit of Esteé Lauder bronzer or blush as my base.


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