“Under-eye bags are characterized by a puffy, saggy appearance,” says Yves Rocher international makeup adviser Max Herlant, who adds that they’re often associated with lack of sleep. But there are other factors, like age, stress, allergies, weather, diet and genetics that can cause bags to form and fluid retention in the eye area. And unfortunately, because it’s the thinnest, most delicate skin on your face, it’s easy to see when this excess fluid builds up. The result? A tired, rundown look.
Here's what you can do to bid adieu to those tired eyes!
A version of this article appeared in our February 2013 issue with the headline "Easy on your eyes," p. 28.
It’s important to catch enough zzzs in the first place, but another solution may be switching up your sleep position. Try snoozing on your side instead of your back, and propping up your head with an extra pillow to avoid the pooling of fluids beneath your eyes. Another trick? Drink water and eliminate salt before bed. Dehydration combined with too much sodium can cause bloating — even in your face.
In order to protect that fragile skin around your eyes from future irritation, “it’s key to use a good eye-specific cream in the morning and at night,” says Herlant. And because sun damage largely contributes to accelerated aging and fragile skin, a moisturizer with SPF is always a great place to start. Next, learn to love refreshing formulations like gels that have a calming, cooling effect. You can use your fingertips to gently pat product on the swollen area below your eyes. Or, go for a product with a metal applicator, which, when rolled across the puffy area, helps stimulate microcirculation and has a similarly cooling effect. Decongesting ingredients, like coffee and vitamin C, can also help minimize swelling
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It’s important to be subtle when covering under-eye bags. “A basic rule in makeup is that darker colours help make something disappear while lighter colours work to highlight a feature,” says Herlant. “So when it comes to puffing or sagging, avoid using products that have iridescence.” Apply a matte powder directly on the bags to flatten their appearance. You can also eliminate the dark shadows beneath your eyes by dabbing a small amount of concealer on the area. “If you feel as though your eyes still look heavy, throw on a coat of mascara and a touch of white shadow in the inner corners of your eyes to open them up and make you look more rested,” says Herlant. Be sure to remove all your makeup at the end of the day to avoid further irritation.
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