In all my years working in the fashion industry, popular opinion of undereye circles has changed a lot.
As a makeup artist, I remember the days when models wanted me to put dark circles under their eyes—yes, on purpose!–because of how smokey and sexy it made them look!
But many fans have asked me how best to conceal them, so if you’re concerned about dark circles, here’s my advice for you:
1. See your doctor!
Often, undereye circles—especially if they’re new, or have changed in appearance—can be a sign of something going on inside your body.
At BOOM!, we believe that the inside is as important as the outside and that the best way to cultivate outer beauty is to make sure your whole body is thriving.
Your doc will want to check your hemoglobin, iron, and vitamin K levels, as well as test you for food allergies that can cause dark circles and irritation.
2. Check your stress levels.
Once you’ve ruled out medical causes, check in with how you’ve been treating your body.
Sleepiness causing dark circles isn’t just an old wives’ tale—it’s scientifically proven! When your body is tired, it produces a lot more of the “stress hormone” cortisol—an adrenalizing hormone that jacks up your system and helps you stay awake.
Cortisol increases the volume of the blood in your body, causing your blood vessels (including the ones below your eyes) to expand.
Dark circles are primarily caused by blood vessels showing through the delicate skin beneath your eyes—so when those blood vessels expand, those circles look darker. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep for your body to feel relaxed and rested.
(And for those crunch times when that’s totally impossible, try and squeeze in a ten-minute meditation each day! That can do as much to reduce stress hormones as an extra hour of sleep).
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
The skin under your eyes is some of the thinnest on your body—and when you don’t drink enough water, it becomes even thinner.
Most of us walk around mildly dehydrated and don’t even know it—especially if we drink coffee every morning. Make sure you drink ten to twelve glasses of water minimum per day—and more if you ingest caffeine or alcohol!
Speaking of alcohol—drinking it is the quickest way to dry out your skin. Try to reduce consumption to a couple glasses a week—and if you do drink, add at least 48 ounces of water (that’s six extra glasses!) before you go to bed.
4. Try natural home remedies.
Nature is full of stuff that’s incredibly soothing to the delicate skin beneath your eyes.
Raw honey has amazing anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties; dab a bit under your eyes before bed and let it soak in overnight. Cucumber slices are a great, cooling poultice for tired eyes, and they have anti-inflammatory effects as well.
Black teabags can reduce puffiness—cool them off in the fridge once you’ve used them, and recycle them at the end of the day to soothe your eyes!
And avocado—a miracle food full of vitamin E and omega-3s—makes an amazing eye mask, especially mixed with a couple drops of almond oil.
5. Cover delicately!
The skin under your eyes is incredibly thin and delicate. Heavy concealers and foundations will overwhelm this delicate skin, and while they might lighten the appearance of dark circles, they’ll also emphasize whatever texture is there, whether that’s fine lines, deeper wrinkles, or dry skin.
When you use heavy concealers, instead of seeing your naturally gorgeous skin, the world will just see makeup. The “hide and conceal” approach really doesn’t work on the undereye area.
So if you do use concealer here, make sure it’s a light, hydrating formula that allows your skin’s natural radiance to shine through instead of “masking” what’s there. You might find that a natural, slightly tinted moisturizer a shade lighter than usual is more than enough.
A lot of us have dark circles and are concerned by the way they look. But here at BOOM, we believe that skin is at its most gorgeous and radiant when it’s healthy, not when it’s hidden.
I’ve learned to love the variations in my skin tone—because when you stop trying to hide your skin, what people really notice is your glow.
Before you use concealer to try to cover up your circles, I recommend you watch the short video that led to this post: