Whether you stayed out too late for one last martini with your girlfriends or pulled an all-nighter getting that report ready for your boss, there are some days when the telltale signs of a late night are all over your face. Specifically,
under your eyes. Consecutive late nights can take their toll and before you know it, you’re sporting
puffy eyes, rimmed with dark circles. Not the look you’re going for? We didn’t think so. So it’s time to fight back. Here’s how:
Identify the source of the problem
First things first: Find out why you have puffy, tired eyes in the first place. Some people are genetically disposed to a general puffiness around the eyes (too bad you can’t switch your genetic makeup, huh?) and in some cases, it happens merely as a course of aging. It’s hard to combat these things, though you can still try to minimize the look of tired eyes. In other cases, puffy eyes can be caused by allergic reactions, lack of sleep or too much sodium in the body. If any of these are the reasons you’re battling puffiness around the eyes, you can take control by avoiding allergic triggers, getting more sleep and decreasing your sodium intake.
Finding the right eye cream or serum
Eye creams and serums abound at cosmetics counters but how do you know what you’re looking for? Colette Cormier, a professional Toronto-based freelance makeup artist says to look for creams that are “formulated with great antioxidants that fight off the damaging attack of free radicals our skin faces in the environment every day; those would be vitamins A, C, E.” She goes on to explain that the best creams for the eye area are ones with caffeine, which help constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation and swelling in the under-eye area. “They work as long as the puffiness is from swelling and not aging,” she says. “If the skin in the eye area is too dehydrated, the existing puffiness will be more obvious alongside the drier, crinkled lines, so be sure that you are using a cream regularly that has hyaluronic acid. This substance occurs naturally in the body and it holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It’s one of the best ingredients to plump fine lines from aging.”
Eye creams to try
Looking for the right product to soothe your tired eyes? Cormier recommends these four eye creams:
Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Eye Contour Cream
Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum
Dr. Denese New York FirmaTone RX Eye Puff and Circle Minimizer
MAC Fast Response Eye Cream
The best at-home remedies for tired eyes on the next page …
At-home remedies for puffy eyes
If you already fork over so much money on skincare products that you need to re-evaluate your spending, consider combatting your puffy eyes with easy at-home remedies that will cost significantly less. Cormier offers up these 6 suggestions:
1. Tea bags
Place a steeped tea bag (cooled) over eyes and cover with a cloth and relax for 10 minutes.
2. Soft gel ice packs
You can put a tissue under them if you find them too cold on the skin when you first lay them down.
3. Refrigerated spoons
Curved side down, rested on the puffy spot, the spoon will press the skin back down into the shape that is natural for that under eye area.
4. Cold cucumber slices
It’s been questioned why these work. Some people say it’s their astringent properties that tighten up that skin but Dr. Oz will tell you it’s simply because it’s another cold tool.
5. Liquid egg whites
Brushed onto the under eye area, the skin will tighten and flatten (short term only). Let them dry and then wipe off with a damp cloth.
If your eyes are puffy from allergies, milk is an amazing calming solution. Soak cotton balls in milk and set it on the area for five to 10 minutes, then whisk off the residue.
Makeup tricks to reduce the look of puffy eyes
Some mornings, as you’re racing out the door, you’re not going to have time to sit down with tea bags or cucumbers on your eyes. On those days, take advantage of easy makeup tricks that’ll help you disguise the problem you’re trying to cover up.
1. If you have bags or dark circles under your eyes, Cormier says to forgo mascara on your lower lashes. “It will create shadows and draw the attention down toward the area you want to hide,” she says.
2. “Always use a moisturizer as a base under the eye, followed by a great creamy concealer such as Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Cream,” says Cormier. “If you are really puffy, use two concealers; one that is lighter than the skin and one that is a little darker. The lightest one goes on the most indented area, the base of the puff. On the outer puffiest area, use the dark shade to make the puff sink back down. If that area is too bright, it will appear even puffier.”
3. According to Cormier, many people have redness along the lower inner rim of the eye, especially if they have allergies, short-term puffiness or really thin skin. “Rim that area with a flesh toned pencil to mask the red. I use Anastasia’s Eye Lights Matte pencil,” she says.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.