Quick Wins for the Knackered


by Anniki Sommerville

I am not the competitive type but have you noticed that there’s an awful lot of complaining about tiredness these days? It seems most conversations seem to go like this...

‘How are you?’

‘Knackered thanks.’

‘Good day?’

‘Didn’t sleep.’

‘Me neither.’

‘I’m so tired. I can barely stand up.’

‘Well I’m definitely a zombie.’

Why are we all SO tired?

Is it because we overload our brains with bad news and reality TV shows? Or are we just afraid to admit we feel okay? Or are we a bunch of spoilt, moaning bastards? (can I just clarify that I AM FAR MORE TIRED THAN YOU BECAUSE I HAVE A BABY AND A FIVE-YEAR-OLD AND AM MORE THAN FORTY-FIVE).

Okay breathe.

The good thing is there’s stuff we can do to make us feel less tired, look less tired and more like a little, new-born piglet – fresh, dewy, smooth, grunting- all that lovely stuff. First off let’s start with THE FACE. The face is the thing that sits on top of the body and provides a benchmark of good health.

There’s a couple of things that work for a tired face (even if we’re just pretending to be tired because we want to appear more interesting than we really are).

PRIMER = Nice Awake Face


I have worn primer for many years. I was probably the first customer to even utter the word primer in my old beauty haunt Selfridges (now I’m more of a Superdrug gal). On bad days, I wear it underneath foundation. On good days, on its own. Currently the primer that makes me look like a human with human skin rather than a decomposing elephant is by Stila. I also like the fact it has pretty colours inside that cheer me up when I wake up and realise that I will be in my fifties by the time my youngest daughter goes to secondary school (so will effectively be going through menopause with a teenager). I have also mentioned the Charlotte Tilbury one before. It’s called Wonderglow and it basically the dogs bollocks.

Stila One Step Correct Primer, £26


Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Primer, £38.50


BLUSHER = not dead yet thanks


I have always been a fan of blusher but it was only recently that I discovered you don’t need to put loads on to look good. Now, when I forget to put my blusher on, people wrinkle their noses and ask if I’m ‘coming down with that awful gastric bug that’s been going around.’

My favourite is by Laura Mercier and India Knight recommended it so it must be good. I wear the Rose one.

Laura Mercier Blush Colour Infusion, £24


COLD WATER = ready for anything


Throwing cold water on my face is is something I have to do a lot these days. I am currently locked into night time feeds (not me, my baby) and this means I have to go from DEEP SLEEP to WIDE AWAKE in approximately 5 seconds. I keep a glass of water by my bed, dip my fingers in and then flick cold water into my eyes. It works, but it’s unpleasant. An alternative is to splash cold water on your face in the morning when you’re feeling sluggish.

GLASSES = a talking point that is not about how tired you feel


Not a beauty product per se but a good pair of specs can really help with the old face architecture. They detract from sagging, pale/tired skin and provide a good talking point. Whenever I wear glasses I find people don’t notice anything else about me. I’m not going to recommend specific glasses as you’ll need to go to Specsavers and try different styles for yourself. I recently bought some from Kylie’s range and am quite pleased with them. I look nothing like Kylie but they look more expensive than they were and young men do tend to give me the glad-eye when I’ve got them on (so some of that Kylie magic is obviously happening).

If you’re over forty then be mindful of ‘jolly glasses’ with funny patterns, pointy lenses etc. (unless you want to look like Sue Pollard or an eccentric art teacher).

Kylie Minogue Eyewear at Specsavers, from £99


NICE SMELLS = Less dire


I'm a big fan of smells - nice ones that is and there's obviously a link between nice ones and feeling better and more alive. When I worked in a corporate office with the smell of synthetic carpet and sadness underfoot,  I bought Aveda's Chakra spray. Each morning I'd spritz it about my person and feel transported to a more pleasant universe. I use it now for mornings when I've had no sleep and feel utterly depleted. It still works. 

 I've got Chakra number 2 but there are 5 so take your pick...

Aveda Chakra Balancing Body Mist, £30


KEEPING SCHTUM= Stop telling everyone (including yourself) that you’re tired


This is definitely a biggie. The thing is if you wake up and the first thing that you say to yourself is ‘…..god i’m tired’. Then you’ll feel tired. If someone asks you how you’re feeling and you say ‘I’m bushed’ then you’re emphasising that feeling again.

Instead when you wake up give yourself a different narrative for the day. Tell yourself you are Josh Homme from Queen of The Stone Ages’ girlfriend and he’s going to pick you up on his motorcycle and take you on a picnic in Laurel Canyon. Tell yourself that you’re wide awake and can’t wait to see what fresh hell the day brings. If someone asks how you’re feeling say – ON TOP OF THE WORLD MATE!

We are the stories that we tell ourselves so tell yourself you’re a fresh piglet, a Queen, and the most awake you’ve ever been.


Rebecca Humphries