Q. How can I conceal dark circles under my eyes? I find that concealer gives limited coverage - any tips that work?
A. Under eye circles are the bane of the beauty world, and sometimes it feels like no matter what we try, every morning that dark half moon persists. To get to the bottom of why they can be so stubborn, we enlisted the help of Cosmetic Physician Dr Joseph Hkeik of All Saints Cosmedical Clinic. “Under eye halos are caused by thinning of the skin in the area, thus letting blood vessels show through [and give the area a purple/blue appearance]”, explains Dr Hkeik. Of course, lacking sleep is a repeat offender, but they can also be caused by factors such as poor diet, smoking, excess salt or sugar, drinking, anaemia and genetic reasons according to Dr Hkeik.
An obvious first step is to cut back on sugar, salt and alcohol. Stick to a balanced diet and try to get 7-8 hours sleep a night. If you’re experiencing any other symptoms such as fatigue, it could be worth seeing your GP for some blood work to test iron levels. Dr Hkeik also preaches the benefits of sunscreen and sunglasses, sleeping on two pillows to prevent fluid collecting and breaking out the cucumbers as a cold compress. If all this in order, the next plan of action is to treat and conceal with a few hardworking beauty heroes.
Dr Hkeik recommends retinol to re-densify the eye area - we already know it as an anti-ageing Holy Grail, and Dr Hkeik says that it is extremely effective in treating dark circles, too. Results RX Eye Doctor is a liquid eye serum containing a high concentration of retinol that works to reduce fine lines, puffiness and darkness. Ultraceuticals Ultra A Perfecting Eye Cream is another of Dr Hkeik’s picks. Also containing retinol, this eye cream is a potent anti-ager that works on fine lines, puffiness and thickens the skin around the eye to prevent visible darkness. It’s important to remember retinol is an active ingredient and needs to be used with caution. If it’s your first time, try every second day to build up a little tolerance. And remember sun protection is vital as retinol increases skin sensitivity.
The last step in our attack is to cover. An effective under eye concealer can make a world of difference. One of Beauticate’s makeup artists Filomena Natoli has had a wealth of experience with persistent under eye circles, and reveals that her concealer picks are Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (the perfect yellow based concealer), professional makeup brand Ben Nye Banana Powder and Dermablend Cover Crème. Apply a small amount of concealer to the area with a synthetic brush and then pat or blend in until it disappears. Congratulations, you’ve just faked eight hours sleep.