Brighten & Tighten: Eyes Talking To You

I asked my Facebook network if there was a topic they’d like me to write about and the top answer was addressing dark under-eye circles.  I’ll take it a step further to give ReadHead readers some tips to go from oh gosh to posh in no time.

Under-eye Circles & Puffiness

Under-eye circles and puffiness are caused by many culprits – genetics, fatigue, diet, allergies, age, sun and free radical damage, and trauma to the eye area.  For some, genetics will prove that under eye circles are inevitable, but there are some things you can do to stave off those shadows as long as you can.

Getting more sleep, staying out of the sun + using SPF are no brainers.  Making sure not to tug on your lower eyes when applying eyeliner or over-exfoliating the delicate skin around your eyes which can cause skin to look crepey and bring blood vessels closer to the surface of the skin and more visible are causes not usually top of mind.

The body has a lymphatic system that helps filter toxins and pollutants.  Your face retains water and lymphatic juice (ew, but I can’t think of a better word to describe it) which creates puffiness and can build up, putting pressure on blood vessels in one of the most thinly-skinned areas on the body.  Irritants like allergies or the common cold also cause the lymphatic system to work overtime while trying to flush out the toxins.

Facial massage designed to drain the lymphatic build-up will decrease overall puffiness, increase circulation and help to remove the pollution from your skin.  You may see increased skin elasticity, better skin contour, brighter under-eye area, less acne and an overall anti-aging effect of lesser wrinkles due to muscle relaxation – and increased happiness!  Who doesn’t love a good massage.

This video is long, but when I commit the time to do this routine I find that my skin looks great.  I mean, look at this woman.  Who WOULDN’T want her glowing, amazing skin??

Makeup & Other Tricks of the Trade

When you can’t get rid of those pesky circles, makeup and proper skin care is your best bet.

Quick tips to hide those circles:

  • Invest in a skin or eye cream rich in peptides and antioxidants like vitamin E which is proven to decrease the look of dark circles, and vitamin K, a lesser known vitamin that aids in wound healing including bruising.  Ferulic acid and vitamin c also help to clear malasma or skin discolorations caused by the sun.  My milia-prone under eyes love Dr. Dennis Gross’ Ferulic and Retinol Triple Eye Correction serum.  It’s lightweight, doesn’t clog my skin, and keeps them bright and refined.  Those with dry skin may need a heavier moisturizer.  If you’re on a budget, no need to splurge for an eye cream.  A well-formulated face moisturizer will do the trick!
  • A little Visine and a light tight line to your eyes (this is the skin inside your bottom eyelashes) with white or beige liner with brighten the whites of your eyes and give them an instant pop.  Curling your lashes and some lifting mascara (try a navy for a brighter take on the traditional black) makes them appear bright and wide.
  • Eyeshadow a shade or two lighter than your skin tone swept on your upper lid and in the corners of your eyes (and slightly under your lower lashes right by the tear duct) will reflect light and cut down on dullness.
  • A well-formulated highlighting concealer dotted under your eyes and on your lids can create brightness. My favorite happens to be Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer which doesn’t crease, look cakey or break down however covers exceptionally well.  Look for products that contain mica or silica.  These ingredients help reflect light which can hide and brighten.  Mixing some highlighter with moisturizer can also have a great effect while being economical.

A common misconception is that covering dark eye circles requires a foundation or concealer much lighter than your skin color.  This looks unnatural and can give you raccoon eyes in reverse.  Try finding one that matches your skin tone but is formulated to cover well, while boasting highlighting properties.

Lastly, break out the ole cucumbers, tea bags or spoons in the freezer.  Give yourself a good massage and stick these babies on your peepers for a detoxed and refreshed look.  Make some cucumber water and sit back and relax while you’re at it!

Have a go-to that helps with your under eye circles or puffiness?  Drop us a line in the comments.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s