Faking Awake: Beating Jet Lag


I do not like traveling. But, as life would have it, I have spent a huge part of the last 7 years going place to place. Airplanes. Cars. Boats. First I became a regular on Virgin America’s Los Angeles to Virginia route (how I miss those amazing Virgin America days). And then it was Rome to Virginia. Either way, I became a jet lag pro.

No one wants to spend the first days of their vacation dragging. And that’s usually what it feels like – fuzzy brain, waking up at the wrong times, just a general lousy feeling. Add in a foreign language and it can all just become too much. So after much trial, and a whole lot more error, here are 5 tips to beat jet lag.


This one’s hard, and admittedly easier when you travel America to Europe. Most flights from America arrive in Italy sometime in the morning. Guys, please splurge on the early check-in. Go to your hotel, take a shower and take a nap! I promise Rome will wait. Wake up for a late lunch, take a glass of wine overlooking the Coliseum and hit the Roman sanpietrini (little cobblestones) running.


You’ve just spent 10-15 hours on a plane being sucked of every last drop of water. Your skin looks parched and as a result you feel like you are dragging. Drink water, herbal tea, or juice. (If you are in Italy go to the grocery store – it’s like a field trip and you can get a 1.5 liter of water for about .50).

Fake It.

Sometimes there is nothing left to do but fake being awake and fresh. Two products that I have found to be especially awesome at giving you that fresh, had 10 hours of sleep look are Sonia Kashuk’s Chic Luminosity Highlighting Stick in Sparkling Sand (~$11 USD) and NYX Cosmetics Wonder Pencil in light (~$3.99 USD).

The perfectly named Sparkling Sand highlighter goes on with a sheen that is golden enough to bring luminosity but without any hint of glitter (thank God, I don’t need to look like a disco ball!). Sparkling Sand is a winner because it builds up and blends it out extremely easily. This is not one of those products you have to work with to achieve the right look – which is good because when you’re tired who can do anything but order coffee? Swipe around your cupid’s bow, under your eyebrow arch, and around your eye bones. Lightly blend with two fingers. This Target find is extremely natural looking and will give you that “I just hung out on the Rivera for a week” look. (This is a GREAT gift for new moms!)

NYX’s Wonder Pencil is my number two in travel must have’s. I love a multi-tasker: this pencil covers blemishes, can be used on your waterline for an awake look, and acts as a reverse lip liner (I use a small dash just under the fullest part of my bottom lip, and my cupids bow). The idea of putting this on a blemish and then using it on my eyes and lips freaks me out – so I would probably only use it on a blemish in a pinch.

It’s texture is smooth, it doesn’t tug and it really does make the whites of my eyes bright and awake. This is one of those I can’t believe I lived life without it finds.


Ok, I’m probably going to get a lot of comments on this one. But go sans sunscreen for 15 minutes (hear that? 15 minutes – not all day) and get some good old fashion direct sunlight. The sunlight resets your clock and the direct sunlight gives you a boost of Vitamin D. If this sounds absolutely crazy to you, wear your screen (the Italian sun is pretty unforgivable) and try to be as active as possible in the sun.


Does this seem like an odd “tip” to beat jet lag? Maybe. But, the truth is your poor body has been on a different rhythm for a long long time. If you are in Europe and can’t wake up until 10am, so be in. The Italians are known for sleeping in. Plus, I’ve notice most tourist are out and about early and then disappear around 4. You will just do the opposite. Between 4-6 are my favorite hours in Italy. The light is golden and there is no one around. No one.

I hope these tips help just a bit! Remember, don’t stress it! There’s always sunglasses and coffee. Or cappuccino. Or crema di caffé (do not miss this one if you are in Italy). Or… I think you get the picture.


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It