Editors handpick every product that we feature. We may earn money from the links on this page.
And it has nothing to do with concealer.
It's almost instinctive to reach for concealer after a rough night to erase evidence of one too many glasses of wine or a Netflix binge session (damn you, Bloodline, and your addictive family drama!). And while we can all agree that strategic spackling undoubtedly helps camouflage dark circles, the most overlooked spot you shouldn't skip during the morning rush is actually located above your eyes. "When you want to look awake, the word 'lifted' comes to mind," says makeup artist Nigel Stanislaus, who believes brows provide an instant boost. Even if you hit snooze one too many times, the steps below should take "four minutes max," notes the pro. Here, learn how to articulate your arches—and fake those ever-elusive eight hours—far faster than a power nap.
While your coffee is brewing, break out an all-in-one product that houses a wax, pigment, and highlighter, such as Maybelline New York Eye Studio Brow Drama Pro Palette.
Begin by sweeping brows up toward your hairline with a spooly (i.e. a clean mascara wand, included in the Brow Drama Palette). "You brush your brows up for the same reason you curl your lashes: It opens your eyes and makes them look bigger," says Stanislaus.
To hold brows in place and provide pigment with something to grip onto, apply wax in short, upward strokes with an angled brush (included in the kit from Maybelline New York).
Using the same brush from step two, set the wax with a tinted powder and fill in any holes with feathery strokes. The key, explained the pro, is to make the pigment look like a "shadow" instead of visible lines.
Another tip: Angle the tail back and up toward your temple for a more lifted look. "The end of your brow should never point down because it makes you look sad," says Stanislaus. (And let's be real, leaving behind the sheer bliss that is your bed on a Monday morning is already depressing enough.)
Illuminating is similar to caffeinating in that it makes your eyes go "bing like a light bulb!" laughs Stanislaus. With a fluffy brush or your index finger, apply a highlighter with a hint of pearlescent shimmer (not sequin-like shine) from the tail end of your brow to the inner corner and blend it upwards to fill in the space below the arch.
"Today, we leave the sparkly, silver shadows behind and opt for a creamier, flatter finish," says Stanislaus. "The goal is to make the area brighter, not metallic." For extra radiance, apply a yellow- or pink-based primer all over to even your complexion and neutralize any blue or purple tones. Then, dab the same highlighter on the inner corners of eyes and the tops of cheekbones. Complete the wide-eyed effect with a few coats of mascara.
Last step: Coffee.