'Tis the season ... for no sleep.
Which sometimes leads to under-eye circles and dark, puffy eyes. A one-way ticket to looking older than you are!
One of the reasons you notice puffiness under your eyes so quickly after a sleepless night, crying, or overindulging in salty foods or cocktails, is because the skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than anywhere else on your body. Most likely the cause of puffiness is fluid retention, but sometimes genetics are to blame. If you see a bluish tint under your eyes, it is caused by the blood vessels underneath which become more noticeable as we age and the skin here becomes more translucent.
In place of sleeping pills, here is my Beauty Fix ToolKit for under eye bags:
1. Depuff. Ideally you should sleep with your head elevated - totally impractical, and luckily gravity usually takes over by noon and naturally reduces some of the puffiness you saw under your eyes when you first woke up, but thankfully there is more you can do: Place anything cold under your eyes, like cold cucumbers or spoons soaked in ice to speed things up. Try Patricia Wexler's Instant De-Puff Eye Gel $19.50 or some of the new cool gels with caffeine to tighten that are sold in a rollerball applicator like Clinique's All About Eye Serum De-Puffing Massage $26. You may have heard beauty pageant girls talking about using Preparation H to constrict blood vessels under their eyes, but the ingredient that worked for this effect is no longer contained in the US version, so save your money unless your ordering it from Canada.
2. Stay Hydrated. Drink water to remove toxins and extra sodium from your body, and keep your skin properly hydrated with an eye cream rather than a regular lotion because they tend to have higher concentrations of emollients to help them remain in the ever-mobile eye area. Daily use of any cream will temporarily plump up the skin so that the blue-ness of the blood vessels are less visible. I personally love using Clarisonic's Opal Sonic Infusion System, it vibrates at amazing speeds, delivering more than 7,500 micro-massages a minute to help the eye serum penetrate into the skin better.
3. Brighten. A luminizing pen is one of the best kept secrets that models use for erasing those missed hours of sleep. It is seriously like a magic wand for under eye circles. The best is YSL's Touche Eclat $40. Just dot it under your eyes and blend! The light reflectors in this product will help make the area appear less depressed.
4. Conceal. Do this last after you apply foundation and use concealer with moderation, especially for puffiness or you may just draw attention to what it is you are trying to conceal. Be sure you choose a creamy formula and apply it using a concealer brush to get to the areas your fingers cannot saturate. This should be just a shade lighter or warmer than your regular foundation.
Be careful to avoid scented products and those that contain ingredients like salicylic, glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids and retinoids , which can irritate delicate eye tissue making redness and swelling worse. Also, skip mascara on your lower lashes alltogether so you won't look like a raccoon by adding darkness to your lower eye.
Shelley GoodStein is a 47 year old FORD model who speaks to women through television, national articles and public forums about a model's secrets to looking good from the inside out and the beauty of aging! She is the author of Face This: Real Advice From Real Models, Photographers and Make Up Artists on How to Become Picture Perfect!