How to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

Updated on November 27, 2016

We've all been there

You know the feeling well. You wake up and look in the mirror and there they are. Those dark circles all around your eyes that looks as though you've been punched in the face in your sleep somehow.

Should you choose to do nothing about these bad boys, all through the day you'll hear a chorus of: "Are you feeling OK?", "You look tired!" or "Are you coming down with something?" And even though you want to shout "No, damn it, this is my face, and when did it become okay to comment on my physical appearance at work?", you know in your heart that the time has come to do something about it.

First things first

Sure, you could just whack on any concealer you want but that's not going to help you in the long run. With dark circles, it's all about the long game. Get yourself to a beauty counter and get a great eye cream post haste. This is your prep step on the way to eliminating those dark marks forever.

In fact, you might want to get two, because they actually have two different functions.

Richer eye creams are great for night time use, to allow them to really soak into the skin, but when it comes to prepping for concealer, you need to go with something lighter. (And in case you're wondering, yes, you should always prep your eyes with a cream before concealer so it doesn't cake up.)

For a prep cream, it may even be best sometimes to pick a gel that will glide on effortlessly, and do double-duty as an eye bag de-puffer too.

It's all about colour

No, not talking about matching the colour of your concealer to your skin tone, I'm talking about proper colour correcting theory. Colour correctors are all the rage at the moment and that's because they work.

You may think it's weird to be putting a colour on your face that isn't skin tone coloured, but there's a good reason. Certain colours on the colour spectrum are thought to cancel out others. So by using that theory, peach and pink tones can cancel out or lessen the grey, blue or brown tones of our dark circles.

Just dab a little of the colour correcting formula under your eyes and blend, then presto! Your dark areas will be much easier to cover with foundation and concealer now.

A colour correcting palette, such as this Tarte Cosmetics one, can help correct dark circles and many other imperfections.
A colour correcting palette, such as this Tarte Cosmetics one, can help correct dark circles and many other imperfections. | Source

Have a light touch

How you apply concealer will often determine how it sets (and whether it shifts or creases). So having a light touch when applying is very important.

If you want medium coverage, gently tap the concealer in the inner and outer corners of your eyes, then smooth and buff it out with a fluffy eye shadow brush.

If you're looking for more full coverage, then use a concealer brush or your finger to tap on a bit of the colour correcter we discussed earlier on to the darkest spots. Then, choose a concealer one shade lighter than your skintone over the whole eye area to create a blank canvas.

Make sure you only dab, or use a brush to buff it out. Using your fingers to swipe it on instead of dab will just mean you swipe the product right off your face, leaving that dark circle in the open.

After hours

When you get home, it's a good idea to take off your makeup to give skin time to breathe. This also ensures that the delicate skin under your eyes isn't weighed down with makeup for longer than it needs to be.

Then, address those bags under your eyes. Bags under your eyes can make you look tired, and cast shadows that add to the dreaded darkness, so you'll want to take steps to eliminate them.

Long term, try sleeping on an extra pillow to drain the fluid that can accumulate around the eyes. If your eyes still look puffy in the morning, try a cold compress. There are two easy, at-home ways you can do this: 1) the good old cucumber slices. No they don't just do this for looks when giving you a facial; the cucumber, chilled, is high in water content that transfers coolness to the eye area and can de-puff the eye. Or 2) the chilled teaspoon. Dip a teaspoon in to chilled water, and gently use the spoon to massage the fluid under the eyes until it has gone down.

Hey presto, no more puffy eyes casting nasty shadows!

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