4 Ways to Look More Awake in the Morning (Even When You’re Exhausted)

The best thing about going backstage at Stella McCartney isn’t the occasional Paul McCartney sighting or standing inside the Palais Garnier. It’s all the amazing hair and makeup tips flying around. This season was no different: “Stella really wanted no makeup at all because she wanted to celebrate a powerful woman who looks beautiful as she is,” said makeup artist Pat McGrath of the minimal look. “But it’s very early in the morning—we’re doing a bit of nondetectable beauty.” Here, a few of the pointers I was reminded of this morning.

Beige liner is your best friend before 9 a.m. By fashion standards, the Stella show is early. It starts at 10 a.m., but the models and makeup team are there around 6 in the morning. Because of that, McGrath always likes to tightline the lashes with beige pencil. “If someone is tired and their eyes are a little too pink, they look even more fatigued,” said McGrath. “The beige pencil disguises that redness and makes your eyes look brighter and more awake.” I like a liner that sharpens—I feel it’s more hygienic—so I keep M.A.C. Chromographic Pencil in NW25/NC30 in my makeup bag at all times. Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte is great, too.

…and so is blush. McGrath always adds an almost undetectable amount of blush on the cheeks. “It just adds a bit of color to the face and makes you look more awake. We recommend Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cream Blush, which just won an Allure Best of Beauty Award this month.

Don’t forget your skin care in the morning. McCartney always has aestheticians from Sunday Riley Skincare backstage to give the models mini-facials before the show. They do a good cleansing with their Ceramic Slip Cleanser (a personal favorite), followed by a massage with one of their face oils. And this season, all the models all got a spritz of a new hydrating gel-mist from the brand’s yet-to-be-released Pro Line, which they’re testing out backstage. For those of us who don’t have facialists on call, however, the takeaway here is to be really diligent about your skin care in the morning; the more hydrated your skin is, the less makeup you will need.

A sheer pink manicure pulls it all together. Manicurist Madeline Poole has used every sheer pink and nude polish in the book at Stella McCartney. This season, she chose Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Arm Candy, a sheer blush tone with a hint of peach that matched a fabric in the collection. “Also, Stella always has at least one outrageous pattern each season, so you want a nail color that won’t clash with that,” said Poole. Noted!

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