5 Ways to Look Less Tired, Less Broke, or Less Burnt-Out

“Miss Pradhan, are you sick?”

A student looked me in the eye and asked this last year, on a day when I really thought I looked halfway decent and was not even remotely ill.

But no, no, he wasn’t fooled, and no one else was either.

Post-grad life is many wonderful things, but it’s also EXHAUSTING.

I don’t have the money laying around to always be buying the latest stuff, and since I’m a teacher, I usually stop caring about how I look by about mid-April because I’m that burnt-out.

But then I learned that it only takes a few key moves to keep from looking as yucky as I feel in the tough seasons. And if you’re anything like me, looking better really does help you feel better.

So after four years of post-grade life and two years as a full-time+ teacher and blogger, here’s my best tips for looking less tired, less broke, or less burnt-out.

Or, like, all three.

1. Take care of your eyebrows.

Keep on those eyebrows, honey. If you have well-shaped brows then you will look more awake and more put-together, no matter how much makeup you managed to throw on. I’m a big fan of threading, and if you haven’t tried that yet then you should! The Benefit Brow Bar is another favorite of mine, but if you’re willing to be more disciplined with your tweezers then you don’t need either of these things long-term. Your sweet face will thank you!

2. Learn the art of the messy bun, braid, or whatever messy style suits you best.

I’ve said this before, but I think Kate from The Small Things Blog has some of the best tutorials. I use this messy bun tutorial on rough days all the time. Take a Saturday and try some different things with your hair. It will make you feel so much more put-together on the not-so-put-together days.

3. On that note, keep the right hair products in your arsenal.

Dry Shampoo is a life saver and the only reason I ever make it to work on time. I’ve been using this one for over a year but I grabbed this cheaper one from Target in a pinch this weekend and I REALLY like it. Other lifesavers are texture powder, texture spray, and a good bottle of hair spray.

4. Embrace eyewear.

A pair of glasses (even if they’re just reading glasses) in a shape that’s flattering for your face is a look of all it’s own! I love wearing my glasses on days when I don’t wear much eye makeup on or when I know my eyes look sleepy. This is my favorite trick!

5. Wear bright lipstick.

I’m serious about this one! I wrote this post about my love affair with LipSense, which I highly recommend. But even if you’re not a LipSense girl, find a bright color that looks great with your skin tone. If you can throw on a pretty lipstick color and a pair of glasses, no one’s gonna know you were up until 3am. Promise!


  1. Bright lipstick is always my go-to as well! If I’m feeling super lazy I’ll just wear lipstick and mascara and I’m good to go.
    I tend to not wear too much foundation so I’ve been using coconut oil to make my skin look a bit more dewy and fresh in the morning. And it acts as an amazing moisturizer as well!

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