Dark circles can be stubbornsruilk/Shutterstock
I recently read in a fashion magazine that dark undereye circles are the new status symbol. If that’s true, then I must be royalty. No matter what I do, my dark bluish-black circles remain. I blame genes, I blame allergies (they aren’t called “allergic shiners” for nothing), and I blame my lack of beauty prowess. When I try to conceal my dark circles, they look even worse!
Circles and bags under the eyes are tricky, confirms Laurel Geraghty, MD, a dermatologist in Medford, Oregon. “Concealer can make them look more pronounced,” she notes, “especially if it doesn’t sit flawlessly on the skin, it isn’t moisturizing enough, or if it dries you out.”
Even kids can look like they’ve pulled an all-nighter. You get the effect when “tiny veins, as well as the muscle that encircles the eye (orbicularis oculi), show through the ultra-thin undereye skin,” Dr. Geraghty explains. Also at play: how skin normally ages. As years pass, we lose volume and collagen, which can create dark shadows that exaggerate the issue. Lack of sleep, unchecked allergies, and too much sodium contribute to that lovely zombie look. (Here are natural ways to minimize dark circles.)
So what do you do when a typical swipe of concealer isn’t cutting it? I asked Dr. Geraghty and New York-based makeup artist Ashley Riley how to erase this beauty bummer without looking like you’re wearing a mound of makeup.
Attack the puffpuhhha/Shutterstock
Wake up with bags under your eyes? Apply a cream containing caffeine, which will help constrict the blood vessels and reduce swelling. Or go old-school, as Dr. Geraghty does: “I slap on a cool compress for 3 to 5 minutes—grandma’s bag-of-frozen-peas trick, or I steal my husband’s gel eye mask that we store in the freezer.” To prevent puffiness, Dr. Geraghty sleeps on more than one pillow to help drain excess fluids that can make eyes puffy (“gravity works in my favor!”). Here are more ways to calm puffy eyes.