The problem: PUFFY EYES
The culprit: WATER RETENTION. Multiply that by two if you are a salty eater and if you are PMS-ing. Multiply by two again if you are stressed and sleep-deprived.
The instant solution: CLAMSHELLS. Submerge five polished or smooth clamshells in ice for 15 minutes. Remove clamshells from icy water and slip the tip of your finger snugly into the opening of each shell. Trace the outline of the eye gently to reduce any puffiness. Retains temperature better than any cucumber! Less messy than a cold tea bag!
The long-term solution: Piling up concealer and foundation will only draw more attention to the undesirable. Practice doing your make up with a light hand and under 5 minutes, tops. The more you touch your skin (with fingers, a brush or a sponge) the more tired it will be. Curl your lashes, do 3-4 coats of mascara and up the rosy blush on the apples of the cheeks. It’s not the amount of make up you put, it’s where you put it to trick the eye of the beholder.
The problem: DARK UNDEREYE CIRLCES
The Culprit: LACK OF SLEEP. If it runs in your family, multiply by two if you sleep 6 hours or less every night.
The Instant Solution: COLOR CORRECTING CONCEALER. You want to start with a cream concealer that has an orange hue to it. Orange cancels out any tinge of blue which gives under eye circles that dark color. Apply a concealer or foundation that matches your skin tone. If you have chosen a cream, don’t forget to set with a translucent powder to set everything in place. The key here is to be light-handed as I have discussed under ‘puffy eyes.’
The long term solution: KNOLWLEDGE IS POWER. Know what is causing the dark circles. If you are prone to allergies, such as sinusitis or allergic rhinitis, make sure to always have a non-drowsy antihistamine to nip it at the onset. Furthermore, know what is causing your allergies. Most of the time it’s dust or food or both. Since you cannot control dust, know which food causes the problem. For me, it’s wheat and gluten. Allergies and the common cold make dark under eye circles worse. Is it hereditary? Ask your dermatologist to prescribe you some retinol with your eye cream. And don’t forget the SPF. Under-the-eye discoloration is also caused by history of sun damage.
The Problem: DULL SKIN
The Culprit: LACK OF SLEEP. Your skin builds new cells between the hours of 10pm and 4am. If you miss this window, then that explains why sleeping in until lunch time does not do a thing.
The instant solution: GET YOUR BLOOD PUMPING! A 5-8 minute brisk walk on the treadmill or jumping jacks in place will boost circulation. A two-minute facial might help too. Massage while cleansing and plump up the skin with moisturizer. Blot any excess moisturizer with one ply of facial tissue prior to make up.
The long term solution: RESET YOUR BODY CLOCK. Sleeping between 10am-4am is vital. If your job keeps you up at night, invest in weekly oxygen facials and diamond peels. What you want is for blood to circulate. You also don’t want dead skin to pile up. You can also do daily facial massages with facial oil and using quick upward strokes mixed in with light pinches to bring color back to the face. You can do this 2-3 minutes prior to bedtime or upon waking. Instead of the usual moisturizer, use a serum for more intensive overnight treatment while you get some z’s.