Under-eye bags are the worst at keeping secrets. Even if you’re dry-shampooed and deodorized, nothing can cover the damage that a localvorism diet (i.e. consuming anything available within arm's reach), dehydration, sleepless nights, or other forms of bodily disrespect you’ve undergone due to too much fun or no fun at all, has done to the dark, inflamed pouches of skin hanging out around your lower eyelid. Our philosophy is that if you can keep it together, they should too. We're softly smothering those little jerks away with:
Just like any other swollen injury, ice-y temps are going to decrease achiness and increase vasoconstriction (i.e. reduce lymphatic swelling). If your private plane packed with those P. Diddy cucumber pads got delayed in Milan, try Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches. The extra-gentle treatments contain anti-inflammatory and soothing cornflower that coddles and whispers, “ shhhh' to your problem zone, especially if you cool them off in the fridge before use. And wearing them forces you to take 20 minutes to pack an anti-inflammatory lunch, scroll through some Instagram-speration, and caffeinate—through your mouth, or your pores.
To get a little more x-treme on your visible baggage, Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask calls itself an “energy drink for your eyes.” It releases three types of oxygen—yes, apparently there is more than one kind of oxygen—to brighten, de-puff, and hydrate your lower eye zone. It's difficult to attest to the brightening claims, but after 15 minutes under the tingling vitamin-C serum-soaked patches, it'll feel like you’ve had a localized face lift.
Or, for a grand total of zero dollars, you can put frozen spoons on your eyes! Just pop the utensils in your freezer for about 10 minutes, and place them convex side down over your lids. Then lie around until the spoons no longer feel cold. They'll shrink your enlarged blood vessels, reducing puffiness and discoloration. And, don’t worry, you'll get used to the cold shock the same way you’ll warm up to Rohto’s Cool Eye Drops.
There’s plenty of beauty talk on ingredients and formulas, which we get—but you know what else is important? A really good applicator. When an eye mask proves too consuming, you can get a similar cooling effect with eye roller pens. Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage has made quite a name for itself as a go-to deflator. So good, we’ve written about it before. And so easy to use, you’ll never stick your finger into a jar ever again. But rather than rolling it from the inner corner to outer corner under each eye as suggested, try an around-the-eye roll starting at the arch of the brow and going to the outer eye, down and across to the inner eye, and back up, which British facialist, Alexandra Soveral, says is the ideal motion to drain puffiness—think of it as an undereye massage, because hell, you’ve earned it. Best stocked in the fridge for maximum cooling effect.
You can do the same with Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Roller, which contains caffeine as an anti-inflammatory in addition to a liquid concealer that, once blended, will immediately brighten up your sockets. Which brings us to coverage in general...
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer is truly, madly, deeply the most trusted under-eye concealer in the Gloffice because it is un-moveable, un-crease-able, and entirely build-able second skin that no one will ever be able to detect. And, to be sure you look well-rested in every light (even flash), borrow the advice of Tom Ford, who once told Plum Sykes, “Powder the under eyes...The only thing making you have eye bags is the light hitting the high points of the skin,” before setting his under-eye makeup with Translucent Finishing Powder to even out the sheen on his face.
For those of us balling on a budget, Almay Wake Up Concealer is the best alternative $9 can buy. The sponge pen applicator is gentler than a stick if a little bit messier to apply…a light hand will do you good here. But the brightening power is very real. Sheer enough to be layered over something fuller-coverage (like the aforementioned Cle de Peau—high-low, anyone?), it also gives a great natural “nine hours of sleep” wash on its own.
If creasing and sliding makeup is the real issue, Amy Kothari has done the footwork for you. She uses RoC Deep Wrinkle Filler as a primer to insure that she never has appearance of early-onset crow's feet. The retinol-packed formula treats and prevents signs of aging for the long haul, and immediately smooths your skin's surface for an indefectible makeup canvas.
Serums are also great to apply here. Makeup artist Tom Pecheux is all about Biologique Recherche Serum Yall O2, which, when applied just south of the eye, “softens lines completely” and works to overcome puffiness. Biologique aside, it’s something to try with your MVP serum. The goal here is something light, something soothing, and something with an anti-aging beat. You should apply it over...
It was the stunning Derek Zoolander that once said, “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.” Consider eye cream to be the Derek Zoolander of the modern beauty industry—glamorous and decidedly simple. Try La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Eye Cream. It soaks immediately into skin and combats the “I need a nap' message your hyperpigmentation has been communicating since birth, along with everyday life issues like wrinkles, lack of firmness, and puffiness. L'Occitane's Immortelle collection Eye Balm has a soothing, more gel-like consistency, and can be used as an ultra-hydrating eye mask when left on in a thick layer for 10 minutes.
Important notes when it comes to eye cream (or anything under your eyes, really): give the product a moment to sink in before you add another layer of anything, and apply by tapping or softly massaging the skin instead of thrashing and tugging. Wouldn’t want to undo all of that good work, would you?
Photos by Mathea Millman.