10 Ways to Look Better in the Morning
Prep Hair Before Bed
If your fine strands tend to look greasy the minute you open your eyes, "use a dry shampoo preventively," says N.Y.C. hairstylist Ryan Trygstad. Spray roots until hair feels chalky. "The powder will suck up oils as they're produced," he says. "Come morning, you won't have to degrease or worry about seeing powdery residues." Then you can style and go!
Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo, $4; drugstore.com.
Put Down the Popcorn
If you want to wake up with a flat tummy, close the kitchen two hours before hitting the sack. Absolutely craving a late-night snack? Avoid anything salty. "Cut up a grapefruit and grate some fresh ginger over it," recommends registered dietitian Lauren Slayton. Grapefruit is hydrating, and ginger is an anti-inflammatory that has the added benefit of calming skin.
Pour Some Fennel Tea
"The seeds fight gas, meaning you'll awaken less bloated," says Slayton. The licorice-y flavor might take some getting used to; Slayton suggests adding a splash of lemon juice to brighten the taste.
Give Your Eyes Some Caffeine
The stimulant constricts blood vessels so dark circles appear lighter. Applying a caffeine-infused cream at bedtime "can reduce water accumulation overnight, leaving eyes less puffy in the A.M.," says Baltimore dermatologist Noëlle Sherber.
Neocutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream, $80; available from physicians.
Fake a Sunrise
There's nothing pretty about being rudely awakened by a shrieking alarm clock in the morning. "A simulated sunrise clock wakes you more naturally," says Nicolas Ronco, CEO of N.Y.C.'s Yelo Spa, which offers napping sessions. "The light increases gradually, signaling your brain to slowly bring you out of sleep, so you wake up more fresh-faced and alert."
Philips Wake-Up Light, $170; philips-store.com.
Make Your Own Steam Room
After washing your face, turn the shower on hot, close the door, and let your skin soak up the mist. Once it feels dewy, apply a product with hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that pulls moisture from the air into your skin. "It works better in humidity," says Dr. Noëlle Sherber. Then, sleep with a small humidifier by your bed to keep air at the optimum 30 percent humidity level.
SPT Travel Size Personal Humidifier, $49; amazon.com.
Cleanse, Rinse, Repeat
To prevent smudgy raccoon eyes, wash twice in the evening. "First, use a milky cleanser to remove makeup," says Miami Beach dermatologist Leslie Baumann. "To make sure there's nothing left behind, follow with a gel cleanser," which eliminates oily residue.
Darphin Intral Cleansing Milk, $40; darphin.com.
La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel,$20; laroche-posay.us.
Stick a Bandage On It
You may not want to smother a zit with makeup, but hydrocortisone? "Go for it!" says Dr. Sherber. Before bed, slather on the anti-inflammatory cream, then seal it in with a waterproof bandage. "This intensifies the potency, so the next morning the pimple will be smaller and less red. It's nearly as effective as getting a steroid injection."
Nexcare Waterproof Bandages, $4/20; at drugstores.
Pamper Your Ringlets
If you wash your curly hair at the end of the day, coat wet spirals with gel. "Make them crunchy," says Lorraine Massey, co-owner of Devachan salon in N.Y.C. "They will soften overnight and be the perfect consistency when you wake up." If you go to bed with dry hair, remember that friction creates frizz. The fix? Gather your curls into a high ponytail and fasten with a strip of pantyhose, which won't leave any telltale marks.
DevaCare Arc Angel, $19/12 oz.; devachansalon.com.
Skip the Booze, Bubbles, and Juice
We all know alcohol is dehydrating, but it can also cause blood vessels to dilate, which leads to flushing and puffiness. If you indulge, avoid mixing liquor with carbonated beverages (hello, bloat!) or sugary juices that can worsen fluid retention, says Lauren Slayton. And the adage is correct, for every cocktail you down, chug a glass of water to help you rehydrate.