Testing: The DIY Undereye Brightening Mask

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Half a million years ago, regular commenter and username pun I just understood @bookofjennasis asked if we might have a recipe for a DIY undereye mask. Jen, hello. Great username. Very funny biblical pun with a medium-level intelligence barrier for understanding. Just as God delivered Abraham to save his people, so shall I deliver an undereye mask unto you.

The best undereye mask is one that moisturizes while treating all the things we hate about our faces—stuff like fine lines and dark circles. In my professional research, I've yet to encounter a magic gel or crescent-shaped patch that ticks all the boxes, all while hydrating sallow skin. But this is where the DIY beauty category excels! Instead of being confined to aisles upon aisles of products that fail to deliver on their marketing claims, we can take our skincare concerns into our own hands. Then we can put those hands back on our faces, laden with simple, thoughtful, grocery-store-bought ingredients.

After 15 minutes of exhaustive, back-breaking internet recipe searches, I've come across The One: Pineapple juice and turmeric powder, a basic paste with promises to treat dark circles and imbue undereyes with antioxidants. It was judged fairly by the most relentless arbiters of all—me and the Into The Gloss DIY Product Rubric. How did it fare?

Does it work?

There's good news and bad news. I'll give you the bad news first: Nothing topical can take away undereye darkness totally. Dark circles are nothing more than thin skin—the color comes from the blood vessels that lie underneath. Injectible fillers are one of the only minimally invasive ways to correct dark circles, but the procedure is off-label and potentially dangerous.

The good news is that they can be mitigated, and this mask does just that. Not only does the turmeric payoff provide a kind of slight color correction (a wash of jaundice, if you will), but both ingredients are antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory, which can take down some of the excess discoloration. I tested under one eye across a couple of days, and even after one go, the treated side looks noticeably brighter. I was surprised how well it worked!

Is it difficult to make?

Not at all—in fact, it is the easiest mask I've ever made, because it doesn't require a microwave and it isn't time-sensitive. All you need is 2 teaspoons of pineapple juice and 1 teaspoon of turmeric. You might think you're not making enough, but you're a fool, listen to me: It is exactly enough for two thin patches. You don't need more than this, or else you're just wasting valuable pineapple juice. Are you some kind of millionaire?

A note: Plleeaase be careful with the turmeric. The web recommends this mask stay on for 20 minutes, but 10-15 would do just fine—be careful not to leave it on for too long (as I did) or half of your face will stain yellow (as mine did). It's slightly runny, so try to remain horizontal as long as you can. It smells weird and fresh but pleasant, like a semi-pungeant summer gazpacho.

Is it cheap?

I only use the finest ingredients in my DIY masks—Whole Foods-quality is just the level of glamour to which I am accustomed—but this will certainly cost less than $20. Some eye gels might run cheaper, but they won't impart a little color correction after application, and you also cannot use them to make curry at a later date. Plus it smells good and is fun. Wouldn't it be cute to get a group of friends together to do it?

...

I'm asking you. That was a question.

Oh! Yes, that sounds like fun.

Well, there you go.

Can we see an After photo?

Thank you for asking—of course you may.

Would you DIY again?

Absolutely—in fact, the results of the mask (allegedly) get better with time. I imagine myself doing this for five days in a row every month or so as routine undereye maintenance, and eschewing eye gels forever.

Explain the username pun from earlier?

It's a homonym for the Book of Genesis. It is not, as I have been reading quietly to myself during my comment section tenure, pronounced Book of Jen-A-sis, with an emphasized round A in the middle. I don't know how I missed it in the first place. I'm very sorry.

That's OK. Do you have any miscellaneous advice to give?

Thank you, your forgiveness means the world. And yes: Don't forget to sunscreen the tops of your ears. Take it from me. Have a wonderful summer!

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by Tom Newton.

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