At BOOM!, we’re often asked how to deal with dark circles and puffiness under the eyes.
This was a question Cindy Joseph, Boom’s founder, discussed often.It’s one that keeps coming up, especially as beauty trends change and more women become convinced that they need to “cover up” dark circles.
In this guide, we share Cindy’s advice for understanding where dark circles and puffy eyes come from and how to manage them.
Your genes play a part.
Dark circles can be hereditary or they may have other causes. So first, we suggest you figure out why you’re seeing dark or puffy eyes.
Puffy eyes are more common after 50 as the muscles around our eyes become weaker, and fat and fluids collect under our eyes.
If you have dark circles or puffy eyes, first take a look at your relatives if you can. If your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or siblings have these traits, you likely inherited a tendency for them through your familial line.
If dark circles are hereditary for you, we suggest embracing the natural variations in your skin tone.
As a makeup artist in the 80s, Cindy often created dark circles on models for a sexy and sultry look. So, while some women go to great lengths to create a smokey eye with makeup, yours are a natural feature.
"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."—Cindy Joseph
Cindy encouraged us to find beauty in our natural look. She said, “The old adage, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’—that still holds true. But the beholder is you. It’s up to you to look in the mirror and find your beauty.”
If you’re currently covering up under-eye circles, try embracing them. Take a week, a day or even just an afternoon off from concealing them. Give yourself a chance to get used to seeing and accepting them as a part of you.
The role of self-care
On the other hand, if your dark circles or puffy eyes only appear when you’re feeling run down or tired, it may be a good idea to take a deeper look at your self-care routine or visit your doctor.
The beauty industry conditions us to simply cover up what we don’t like about our skin without considering why our skin looks the way it does. Cindy encouraged us to dig a little deeper.
Pilar was burning the candle at both ends, which caused dark circles under her eyes. She tried to use foundation and concealer to cover up the circles.
Pilar says, “I could cover up the dark circles, but the truth was, the products, the way I was using them, all just drew more attention to the fact that I had, as Cindy said it, ‘a bunch of goop under my eyes,’ and that that was really not producing the effect I was after.”
In Pilar’s case, her dark circles were caused by a lack of sleep. But there are many other potential causes.
For example, it may be stress. When we’re stressed, we release cortisol. This narrows our arteries and causes blood pressure to rise. That makes the blood vessels under our eyes, where the skin is thinner, become more prominent.
Sun exposure could also be the cause. Years in the sun can cause hyperpigmentation in our skin. Then, simply rubbing your eyes can cause the delicate skin to redden or bruise.
Dehydration doesn’t help either. When our bodies are dehydrated, moisture is sapped from our skin. This makes the thin skin under our eyes sink and darken. Too much salt or alcohol can also make the skin under our eyes puff up, especially upon waking.
Before reaching for a concealer, we suggest getting to the bottom of why your eyes are dark or puffy.
If you can’t be sure that your dark circles or puffy eyes are hereditary, check in on your self-care routines.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and taking care of your physical and mental health through exercise, a good diet and meditation or other stress-reducing activities.
Still want to conceal your dark circles? It does become more difficult after 50.
While concealer and thick foundation can cover dark pigmentation, they also accentuate your skin’s texture, calling more attention to the area.
To minimize the appearance of texture, we suggest beginning with a lightweight liquid moisturizer, like Boom Gold. This organic facial oil hydrates the skin under your eyes and absorbs quickly.
Next, add a second layer of moisturizer containing a thick occlusive, like beeswax, to hold in moisture and further soften the skin. We suggest Boomsilk, our all-natural moisturizer made with beeswax, honey and olive oil.
Finally, make sure your foundation or concealer is the same shade as your skin. Then use your finger to dab it under your eyes.
Lightweight, water-based foundations can brighten dark areas and add moisture under your eyes. That helps prevent your skin from looking too dry or flakey as your makeup settles.
To reduce the appearance of puffiness, try facial massage. It can help move fluid away from the area under your eyes. Or chill wet, antioxidant-rich green tea bags in the fridge, then press them firmly to your eyes. The cold will reduce swelling while the gentle pressure helps move fluid away from your eyes.
Whether or not you’re ready to embrace your dark circles or puffy eyes fully, Cindy taught us that confidence and joy are our most important “beauty tools.”
Cindy said, “If you look in the mirror and you think, ‘You go, girl. You look awesome,’ you’re going to walk out the door and you are going to look attractive. Because you’re happy and you’re celebrating yourself.”
Confidence in your inner and outer beauty helps others focus on you, not your perceived “flaws”—or your makeup.
What do you think about this? Have you embraced dark circles or puffy eyes? Tell us about it below.
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