Art historians have theorized that the enigma surrounding Mona Lisa’s smile stems from the fact that shadows around her eyes are painted as if she is smiling (see: smizing) while her mouth is not. Personally, I find this sort of commentary horrifying. Imagine! Five centuries gone and your eye bags are front and center on an art history syllabus at NYU. The good news is that you have options. Follow along with me for a grand tour of the best products that de-puff.
For instant results: Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask
Great googly moogly, these things are juicy. I wouldn’t recommend using these in an upright position because these do not skimp on serum—they’d maybe slide down to your breasts or something. So, get horizontal because the brightening effect is visible after one use. Seeing yourself in the mirror after using these is an uncanny, unrecognizable experience worthy of skipping concealer.
For serious baggage: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Start off by assessing the cause of your undereye darkness. Is it hollowness under the eye, casting a shadow? That’s genetic, and your parents are to blame! However, if the darkness stems from thin, transparent skin that reveals the cool network of blood at work under the surface, these patches will be of interest to you. They contain arnica, an herbal anti-inflammatory treatment that I’ve found works great for my shitty back and the compendium of bruises on my body after moving into my new apartment. (For clarity: the bruises are from lugging heavy boxes around, not from a poltergeist or anything.)
For living and hydrating above your means: Biologique Recherche Patchs Defatigants
These masks offer two superlatives—largest surface area and richest formula. The lobster claw shape covers above and under your eye, and if you use these at night, you’ll still feel the spoils of a deeply moisturized eye skin by morning and well into the next day. Caffeine, a vasoconstrictor, de-puffs, and hyaluronic acid keeps the formula potent but lightweight. Worth noting—these are pricey but exceptional. I suggest splitting a three pack with two friends or, as a social experiment, two other people in the comment section.
For allergies: Bausch and Lomb Eye Wash
When the pollen count is high, and I wake up looking like Will Smith in that scene in Hitch, I’ll start my mornings with an eye rinse. It’s like a neti pot for my twin peepers. I fill the ergonomic cup with sterile saline, press my socket into the vessel, and—with eyes open!—throw my head back like my baby blues are an investment banker’s trap and the saline is a shot of Fireball. I blink around into the water, vulnerably. Fewer pollutants and allergens mean less puffiness and improved general comfort, so 500 years from now when one of Tom's Top Shelf portraits of me is hanging in The Louvre, visitors will discuss how they thought it'd be bigger in person—not my eye bags.
Photo via ITG.