5 Ways To Look Alive During Finals Season

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It's officially finals season at UCLA and that means a majority of us will become recluse and isolated shells of ourselves. It's a time when students willingly lock themselves away in their respective dorms—and the only fresh air they'll have is when they have to go outside for food. While finals season may be the roughest part of everyone's quarter, we don't need to let it show! Here are some simple ways to make sure you look and feel as if you've got everything under control. Because half the battle is faking it 'til you make it!

1. Mask Your Problems Away

                                                                                                       Me trying not to think about my pile of responsibilities.

It's been said and done time and time again, but face masks have officially become an non-essential essential part of waking self care, especially when it comes to taking care of your face. Not only do you feel like a well-pampered human when you layer one on, but putting on face masks also gives you an opportunity to have some alone time to relax. My favorite ritual at the end of a hard day of cramming is to fully cleanse my face, slather on a refreshing mask and binge watch cringey yet hilarious vine compilations. For an extra refreshing sensation, I leave the masks in the fridge until I'm ready to use them.

2. Catch Some Z's

                                                                                                       Sleeping should be everyone's favorite activity

Getting enough sleep has always been the easiest solution to ensuring you don't look like a member of The Walking Dead cast the next day. Aside from the negative physical and mental side effects I get from sleep deprivation, I also notice that my skin gets extremely dry and splotchy when I wake up. Every enlarged pore looks like it's screaming for moisture, and there are parts of my face that are so dry they flake slightly!

The reason why our skin feels drained when we don't get enough sleep is because we aren't getting the benefits of growth hormones that are released only during deep sleep cycles. Without that growth hormone, our skin cells don't repair themselves properly. When we are sleep deprived, we release more cortisol, the stress hormone, and that in turn leads to an increased break down of collagen, promoting dry and inflamed skin. All of this leads to wrinkles and more acne. Yikes! So do yourselves a favor and try not to pull too many all nighters by planning out your studying for the day so you can sleep and wake up at a reasonable hour. 

3. Enough With The Puff

If you didn't heed my last tip about getting enough sleep, then you're more than likely dealing with the side effect of puffy eyes. Personally my eyes get slightly puffy, and my undereyes get a little darker.  Eyes are one of the first things people notice about your appearance and they're a dead giveaway of how exhausted you may be feeling. One way I combat tired looking eyes is by rubbing ice cubes underneath each eye for about two minutes after washing my face. The coldness helps wake me up and feel more refreshed, while also making my skin a little more taut.

Another easy fix I have in my arsenal is the Alba Botanica Fast Fix for Puffy Eyes. I leave the product in my mini-fridge, so that when I'm ready to apply it, it feels cold and extra-refreshing. It's the perfect pick me up to any morning gone wrong. Alba Botanica also doesn't test on animals and their products do not contain artificial colors, synthetic fragrances or other harmful chemicals, so overall you can trust their products on your skin. But be sure to do the skin patch test just in case.

4. A Little Steam Goes A Long Way

                                                                                                       Does she looked worried about finals?

If the cold doesn't suit your skin, then perhaps steam will. Now I rarely go to the gym, but every once in a while I'll take a trip to the John Wooden Center at UCLA. Inside this classy gym is a sauna that does wonders for the skin. Allowing your skin to be exposed to the humidity of a sauna helps with hydration, leaving it invigorated and supple. Being in a steam room or sauna allows your skin to have increased blood circulation for a healthy, glowing look. If you don't have a steam room nearby, by then use a hot towel on your face for similar elasticity. Just get a wet washcloth and microwave it for that hot steam towel effect. Be careful when placing it on your face, as it may be hotter than you think. This practice not only recharges your skin, but it's also a relaxing process as well.

5. You Don't Have To Live In Sweats

                                                                                                        A little self care goes a long way!

It's commonplace to wear the same pair of sweats for three days in a row during finals season. You don't want to bother yourself with trying to choose an outfit, so you just settle for comfort and focus on your studies. But just because it's finals week doesn't mean you have to let everything go if you don't want to. That type of mindset could lead to a lack of responsibility toward one's physical and mental health.

Now I'm not saying you have to dress to the nines for a study session, but you might feel better in clothes that make you feel and look good. Wear that cute athleisure outfit or dab a little shiny gloss on so you at least feel snazzy while studying for that stressful math exam. When I'm feeling bummed out and stressed, I like to take a minute to myself and add a little life to my face with a simple lip gloss or Tarte mascara. The effects are natural-looking, longer, spaced out lashes with emphasized volume. I definitely catch myself looking in the mirror a little more than usual when I have it on. Bottom line—if I look good, I feel good and that should boost anyone's mood during finals season!

Don't let exams get you down this quarter. Remember you're more than just a grade, and it's important to take care of your mental and physical health before anything else. 

Photos courtesy of Pexel and Lindsay Weinberg