Wake up tired eyes by scoping out products packed with vitamin C, which decreases melanin production, and vitamin K, which breaks down pigment particles in the blood. Also keep an eye out for creams loaded with caffeine, which acts as a diuretic by flushing unwanted fluid from the eye contour, and a vasoconstrictor, meaning it makes capillaries look smaller and less noticeable.
Your eyes aren't only windows to your soul, they're also merciless tattletales. "Eye-area skin is especially thin," says Tina Alster, a dermatologist in Washington, DC. "It also has fewer elastic fibers so it shows signs of aging and dryness more readily than other parts of the body." Help shoo away crow's-feet with an ultra-rich cream like La Mer The Eye Balm Intense, $145, which is brewed with hydrating algae and sea kelp. Dryness can exacerbate the appearance of eye wrinkles, so use it morning and night. To help prevent the formation of fine lines, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen and invest in oversize shades to minimize squinting when heading outdoors.
To lighten up persistent circles, dot on a concealer that matches your foundation instead of one that's a shade lighter. Look for a light-reflective formula that drenches the skin with hyaluronic acid, which attracts moisture to keep eyes looking plumped, not parched. If your undereye area is particularly prone to creasing, paint on a moisturizing eye primer before concealing. Most formulas contain skin-smoothing silicones, which keep pigments from settling into fine lines.
There's a reason more and more mascaras are letting you see the brush before you buy -- it's an integral part of the experience. Jessica Liebeskind, a New York City makeup artist, says, "Mascara and its applicator work as a system, so it's nearly impossible to analyze the formula without also analyzing the brush." For fuller fringe, focus on finding tapered or football-shaped brushes, which create a feathery topcoat for dramatic definition. They're designed to give lashes body rather than coat each individual hair. Also, scout out a mascara that contains micro-fibers, which cling to lashes for a falsie effect. Try CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion, $9.
Since liquid eyeliner formulas tend to be budge-proof, Carmindy, a celebrity makeup artist in New York City, recommends applying pencil liner first as a stencil, then tracing over it with liquid liner to ensure your stroke is smooth and continuous. If your hands wiggle and jiggle, play connect-the-dots by swiping on the liner in short dashes. Then go back to fill in the gaps.
To get high-drama eyes with low-maintenance effort, draw on a chocolate-colored kohl liner using the side of the pencil not the tip -- this creates a soft, smudgy effect. Next, dip a natural-bristle brush into an eye shadow in a similar shade as your eyeliner and feather it right above the lash line, gently sweeping upwards at the outer corner. Use a small pointed brush to line the outer edge of lower lashes with the same shadow. Finish by applying a soft copper or gold shadow into inner corners to add dimension.
Bloodshot eyes aren't only indices of exhaustion, irritation and allergies; less-than-white whites are also viewed as sadder, unhealthier and less appealing. Thomas Sameulson, of the American Academy of Ophthalmolog, suggests using artificial tears, "which help recondition the surface of the eye in the same way window washer fluid reconditions the windshield on the car. They also help rinse the eye of irritants." Sameulson warns that products with vasoconstrictors contain ingredients that can cause rebound redness when called upon too frequently, so use sparingly. If redness persists or is accompanied by pain, light sensitivity, or blurred vision, make an appointment with your ophthalmologist ASAP to screen for a more serious condition.
In the a.m., pencil eyeliner on in a crisp, clean line, which will keep your appearance polished and professional. Come quitting-time, use an angled eye shadow brush to gently smudge your liner upwards for a smokier look. To perk up tired eyes, try this quick highlighting tip: use a small brush to wiggle a subtly iridescent shadow that's a little lighter than your natural skin tone right into the inner corners of your eyes, where the upper lid and bottom lid connect. To seal the deal, apply one coat of jet-black mascara over your morning makeup using a comb-like brush to help lift and separate lashes. Try Clinique High Lengths Mascara, $14.
Call attention to the amber tones in your eyes with an olive-gold shadow. Troy Surratt, a makeup artist in New York City, says, "Green tones intensify the amber flecks in the iris." For the most flattering effect, dip a cotton swab in eye shadow and trace along your upper and lower lash line. Bronze, metallic cocoa and copper shades also amp up emerald eyes -- just stick with a formula that's slightly shimmery instead of disco ball glittery to stop your shadow from calling attention to fine lines and creases.
Home in on rich plums and soft lavenders to bolster baby browns. Grab a purplish eye shadow trio and apply all three hues starting with the lightest shade at the inner corner, working to the darkest tone at the outer corner. For a more monochromatic effect, use only the darkest shade across the length of your lids.
A well-groomed browline does wonders for your eyes, so it shouldn't be an after-thought -- consider it the final touch! Start by trimming brows before plucking so you'll get a better feel for how much needs to go. Brush the first half of the brow upwards and the second half downwards following the natural growth pattern, then use a pair of small scissors to cut any ends that stick too far above or below the browline. To sculpt your arches, use the anatomy of your eyes as a guide. The inner corner of your eye corresponds to the beginning of the brow. The end of the iris should align with the high arch, and the outer edge of the brow should end at the brow bone (feel for a hard nub).
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