The proper name for these two conditions is periorbital puffiness/dark circles. The causes of puffy eyes and dark circles is debated, but it is thought that inappropriate diet, lack of sleep, allergies, medications and genetics all play a part. If it is very extreme, it can indicate more serious problems with various organs in the body such as the liver. I want to say here that what I am looking to treat is very mild symptoms that are merely cosmetic and do not link to disease. If you think your puffy eyes/dark circles could be linked to a medical problem, go see your GP.
I adopted a two-pronged approach - treatment and optical illusion.
Firstly I needed to find a product that would a) reduce bags and b) firm the skin of the eye area. A bit of anti-aging action would be good too. And it couldn't cost more than £15-20. I do not believe that there is such a thing as an eye cream that removes dark circles; the darkness is due to the skin being very thin and translucent here so the blood vessels are showing through and the skin gets thinner as you age. Sorry. But the darkness can easily be illuminated by makeup!
Step forth L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Cream! It is within the price range and available in your local drugstore. It promises to replump wrinkles with hyaluronic acid, reduce eye bags with caffeine and firm skin with Pro-XylaneTM. What more do you need? :)
2 weeks later I still have a bit of of a bag but it's a lot less puffy and could only get better with longer use.
For the optical illusion part I decided I would scour the internet for tips on how to disappear bags / circles with makeup. I found several good YouTube videos that seemed like they could be replicated so I went for it. My Wayne Goss attempt wasn't so successful but I think this was due to the product I was using reflected too my flashback (SPF + cameras is never a good thing). My second attempt with Bobbi Browns corrector + concealer kit was a success but the coverage is very heavy and the products tend to melt and crease into my fine lines after a few hours. My own tried and tested method worked well using a long wear concealer and highlighting pen.
The below videos from the Pretty Perfect Beauty YouTube channel showcases the different methods and products used in my Beauty Lab.
- Don't use a highlighting pen all over you undereye area - this will actually make the bags look bigger (so go easy with the YSL Touche Eclat)!
- A salmon-beige colour corrector will conceal dark circles but only use over the actual dark, shadowy areas or you may look jaundiced!
- Apply concealer in a tick box shape from the brow bone inside the top of your nose down to your cheek and then up towards the outer corner of your eye. This is as to not blend too much product in the outer corner of your eye, If you have crow's feet, it may end up creasing in the lines! A lot of darkness also extends further onto your cheek than you think and this technique will make a huge difference.
- Don't drag/overwork the skin around your eyes whether removing makeup, applying creams or putting on makeup. This will ruin the elasticity of the skin over time leading to more pronounced wrinkles.
- If you have allergies, get some allergy eye drops from the pharmacy - you will not believe the difference after 7 days! Brightening eye drops (or drops specifically for contact lens wearers) does wonders too!
- Don't be afraid to try different products/techniques until you find what works for you! :)
Products used in this Beauty Lab (no affiliate links!):
L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Cream
bareMinerals READY SPF20 Foundation "R170"
Makeup Revolution Pro E104 Eyebrow Brush
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer "Cool Medium"
L'Oreal Paris Lumi Magique highlighting pen "Light"
Bobbi Brown Corrector "Bisque"
Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit "Beige"
Synthetic lip brush
Synthetic precision/mini flat top kabuki brush (search 'flat top eye kabuki brush' on eBay)