Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Ever-Annoying Eye Area

For many women, their eyes are one of their favorite features. They are expressive, and the windows to your soul. So it annoys the crap out of you when you get the bags, the spots, the redness, and the myriad other imperfections that plague the ocular surroundings. Fortunately, cosmetic companies have picked up on our issues and have made some products that will really help us out. The ones I talk about will all be available at Sephora, unless otherwise noted. Below are some of the more common complaints.

1. Puffiness. The puffiness can occur under the eye, over the eye, in spots around the eye, but regardless of where it is, it's generally unattractive and requires the same tactics to get rid of it. I'll say again, and we've mentioned it numerous times, drinking water is an ally here. It freshens your skin, including the skin around your eyes, so get your eight a day so you don't retain water. It sounds counterintuitive, but it's true. Now, to make the puff go away, cooling produts are often a good way to go. A soothing eye mask, such as the one at left by Bliss spas, are a good weekly treatment, and include a popular ingredient for banishing circles - cucumber. One tip for making the treatment even more effective - stick it in the fridge for a few minutes.

2. Darkness. Those circles are hideous, and my first suggestion is to always get your beauty sleep, but once you have them, there is no amount of sleep that will get rid of them. You'll have to turn to the miracles of nature and science to rid yourself of them. Seaweed is a popular product to get rid of the darkness around the eyes, but really it's Vitamin K that's doing the dirty work. Any product that has Vitamin K (and I don't mean the drug) will assist in brightening the dark spots, such as the one at left, by Peter Thomas Roth. That one is horribly expensive, though, so the one below it, by L'Occitane, is a much cheaper version. Additionally, your makeup is a great way to hide the darkness, but your regular concealer probably won't suffice. Think back to art class and use a concealer that is the opposite color of your bags - and for most of us, that's yellow. A yellow-based concealer is a good bet, and remember that it's meant to sit on top of the skin, not get absorbed into it. As for keeping it fresh all day, an eye primer like this one might be helpful in that situation. Put it on under your foundation and you will probably have better results.

3. Redness. This is often a result of stress, or not getting enough sleep. Again, get your forty winks, but in this situation you might actually get rid of the redness with some good sleep. Partying too hard is another culprit of eye woes. All that staying out late, smoky bars and alcohol is terrible for your skin. Make it a once-a-week thing and not more, except in special occasions. In the interim, you'll need a product that will hide the redness, and again we'll think back to art class. The opposite color of red is green, so a green-based concealer is the way to go here. Smashbox is the company that puts out the product at left, and they don't just have green. You can get a rainbow of colors at Sephora based on what you're trying to hide, so give the Sephora website a look if you have other discolorations.

4. Wrinkles. There are a ton of anti-wrinkle products out there, so I won't go into the details too much other than to just experiment and find one that works with you. The one at left, by Korres, is not only a wrinkle-reducer and concelear, but also has an SPF of 6, to add a little extra protection. However there is much that women do before the wrinkles occur to help bring them about. One thing girls do is pull on their eyelids to apply eyeliner evenly. Don't do it! The more you pull your skin, the more wrinkly it will get. Also, when you apply eye makeup, try to always do so from the inside out. Pushing on that skin will crease it, as well - that includes aggressive eye-makeup removing tactics. Be gentle! The skin around the eyes is among the most sensitive and fragile, so it's important to take extra good care of it from the start, and it will look good for a long time to come.