By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor and mama of 3
I am 1001 times over the dark circles that have taken up permanent residence under my eyes. Once only a problem for Hungover Andi, they have become a daily struggle and the realization that this is caused by *gulp* the thinning of my skin due to aging sent me spiraling into the five stages of grief.
Denial: Dang, the lighting in my bathroom is awful…I’ll look better once I’m outside.
Anger: This is ridiculous! I’ve never had dark circles before and I WILL NOT have them now. Period.
Bargaining: Okay, if I start going to bed an hour early instead of searching Pinterest and I drink 8, no 10 glasses of water a day they’ll go away. Yeah, that will work.
Depression: If I’m going to look like a raccoon I might as well just sleep all day and create a burrow on the couch. Loafin’ Joes delivers; I’m just a fat raccoon now. Call me Rocky. *sigh*
Acceptance: Siri, how do I cover these freaking under eye circles?
So, here I am admitting that I need to add a couple of extra steps to my beauty routine which I can accept, because to be honest, I wasn’t really getting that extra hour of sleep anyway.
If your dark circles are accompanied by puffiness there are a few ways to minimize those bags. Preventatively, cut down the amount of salt and alcohol in your diet. Both lead to water retention and increased swelling. You can also sleep on an extra pillow to help drain the fluid that is accumulating around your eyes and apply a cold compress or chilled spoon under your eyes for a few minutes in the morning.
To help hide the discoloration, follow these 3 steps:
1. Prep your skin with an eye cream: Dab a drop of eye cream along the under eye area starting on the inside corner and working your way out. There are a jillion under eye creams on the market because we all know our “wisdom” shows first in our eyes, so don’t be afraid to ask for samples and test it out. A couple of top-rated options are Mario Badescu Skin Care Ceramide Eye Gel , particularly effective for puffiness if you keep it in the fridge, and Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream, which lives up to it’s name.
2. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them show: I bet Elsa depuffs her eyes every morning with her icy touch but not all of us are that lucky. Gently dot concealer along the under eye area using a thin concealer brush and starting at the inner corner of the eye were circles are darkest. Choose a concealer that brightens and has a yellow undertone to neutralize the purple color of the dark circles. (FYI: Here’s a great guide to what makeup brushes are for what)
3. Seal the deal with powder: Prevent the concealer from settling into creases and wrinkles throughout the day by applying a light translucent powder on top. Or you can use a matte eye shadow two shades lighter than your skin.
If you too are suffering with the loss of your 30-second makeup routine and having trouble coping, there is a support group. We meet at the Chick-fil-A playground in our active wear.
P.S. If your dark circles happen to be brought on by a new baby, a stomach bug raging through your house, an elementary school yearbook deadline that required several all nighters (true story), or having to wait up late for a tardy teenager, you wear those bags with pride, Mama!