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114Let’s be honest, shall we? We tend to let ourselves go during stressful periods in our life like finals week.

Trust me, the temptation is as strong with the professors as it is with the students. It’s tough to care about how one looks when you’re sleep-deprived and bleary-eyed from staring at a computer screen late into the night.

I do believe there is a measure of truth in looking good and feeling good about ourselves. We know dressing up can build confidence, but no one really has the time to apply full makeup on the morning of finals.

If I look sluggish and tired when I look in the mirror, I will feel even more sluggish and tired. I do minimize my routine during hectic periods in my life. I have a rather streamlined routine in the morning as it is.

You may have stayed up all night cramming for an exam or writing a paper, but you don’t have to look like it. Here are a few tips to making finals week less painful. Pick and choose any combo that works for you.

Beauty on the Inside

Swapping out water or a green smoothie for a soda or energy drink does wonders for your skin. Avoiding junk food is another rule of thumb. You skin needs an adequate amount of sleep as well.

Easier said then done, I know.

If you have acne-prone skin, stress hormones and junk food are not a winning combination. You shouldn’t have to wear the results of your hectic lifestyle on your face for the next 7-10 days.

Healthy living is not only good for your skin; it’s good for your ability to retain information and perform well on exams.

Healthy skin requires maintenance. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as they say. Healthier skin requires less makeup coverage. When our skin looks sickly, we pile on more layers of cosmetics to hide the damage.

But even if you skimped on water and sleep this week, there are solutions.

The Quick Healthy Skin Illusion

Concealer is your friend. I’ve recently discovered yellow concealer, and it works wonders for dark circles.

This NYX palette is $12.

This NYX palette is $12.

You may have seen the concealer craze on Pinterest or YouTube. The opposite color corrects or neutralizes the problem skin coloring issue.

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Yellow (purple). Green (redness). Purple (yellow). I’m a little uncertain about the other colors.

For dull skin, use a facial mask to draw the color to your cheeks by increasing blood flow to the surface. Some facial masks soothe inflamed skin. Other masks increase luminosity. Wear the mask while you’re studying or making coffee. Ten minutes later, rinse and viola! Your skin looks much brighter.

I mix a little Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in with my foundation. It has witch hazel and avocado oil in the ingredients. It adds a healthy glow without looking super shiny. It’s a tad pricey; however it’s a skin perfector and highlighter in one. A little goes a long way! I swear this bottle will last at least a year.

To brighten your eyes and cheeks, use an all-in-one color stick. I use one from e.l.f. It’s only $1.

If you want your eyes to look less tired, use a light shimmery gel-based eyeshadow. It’s easy to apply with fingers. No one has time for brushes and creasing mineral powder shadows. To make your eyes look bigger and more awake, apply a peach or flesh-colored eyeliner on the waterline and add a layer of volumizing mascara. Don’t bother with lash curlers. Add a dab of highlighter at the inner corner. Highlighter pens are your friends. The type for your face. Not the ones you use for your notes, although it’s helpful in other ways.

You don’t have to incorporate all of these steps. I do, and my makeup is complete in five minutes. The mistake many people make is following an all-or-nothing makeup routine. There is a happy medium.

Tousle Your Hair Like A Parisian

For long hair, don’t underestimate the sexiness of a messy top knot, braid, or ponytail. It doesn’t have to look polished. Clean is another matter. Clean hair is a must.

For the short-haired girls like myself, it’s amazing what fingers and a little product can do. Wear a stylish hat if all else fails.

Find Alternatives to Sweatpants and Flip-Flops

Fashionable doesn’t equate uncomfortable. Jersey is your friend. Throw on a jersey dress. If you don’t have the time or the energy to shave your legs, wear leggings.

Stick to cotton, linen, spandex, and flannel. Wear moveable and breathable fabrics.

(c) Rodrick 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: Emily Rodrick Photography ©Rodrick 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

I’m wearing a drawstring wide-legged linen pant with a white cotton tee. I added a scarf for interest. Most of my outfits involve an added scarf these days.

The idea is to not overthink your outfit. Choose comfortable pieces with a chic cut and change out of the pajamas.

It’s also a great idea to invest in cushioned ballet flats in a neutral print or color.

IMG_6197The point of this post is to promote health and confidence. Ladies, when our lives are disheveled, we broadcast to the world that we are losing control over our lives through our appearance. We wear our stress on our sleeves, so to speak.

Don’t misinterpret my intention. Finals are way more important than fashion. I’m not calling women to embrace superficiality. I’m promoting a message that says let’s care for ourselves in all areas of our lives, because we’re worth it.

To students, good luck on your finals.

To educators, happy grading.

The end is in sight.