How to achieve brighter, wide-awake eyes

Feeling awake but not looking it? Liven up your eyes with these skincare tips

It’s safe to say that when it comes to our eyes, most of us have experienced waking up to puffiness or dark circles under eyes – no matter how refreshed you feel. It’s most definitely annoying, but the good news is that whatever your under-eye concern may be, there’s likely a solution.

Take a gentle approach to under-eye skincare

From left: Wild Ferns Bee venom eye crème, $41.13, from Wild Ferns, Ole Henriksen Banana bright+ eye crème, $73, from Sephora, ManukaRx Pro-aging eye cream, $47.95, from ManukaRx

The under-eye area is incredibly delicate. In fact, it’s the thinnest skin on the body, measuring approximately 0.2mm in thickness. This makes the area more susceptible to irritation and sensitivity, as well as more prone to ageing before its time. With all of this in mind, go easy on your eyes!

From an ingredient perspective, this means avoiding high percentages of already-strong ingredients such as retinol and prioritising non-irritating formulations. Luckily, most eye products already take this into consideration.

In terms of application methods, less is more. Use a pea-sized amount of product (for both eyes), applying with a gentle tapping motion and taking extra care to avoid tugging and pulling on the skin. Some skin specialists recommend applying eye products with your ring finger, which has a naturally light touch.

Apply sunscreen daily

As is the case with almost all skincare concerns, a good-quality SPF is non-negotiable. Sun exposure causes photoageing, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as sun spots, hyperpigmentation and other skin issues. Additionally, the eyes (upper and lower eyelids) are often neglected when we apply sunscreen to the rest of our face and body. For a targeted SPF eye cream, try the Elizabeth Arden Prevage Eye Cream with SPF 15. And to achieve a glowy look all over, apply a tinted sunscreen to your face.

Remembering to go easy, apply a little extra SPF around the eye area in the morning, pop on your sunglasses if it’s a sunny day – and you’re good to go.

When choosing an eye cream, keep it light

La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 eye serum, $53.99, from Chemist Warehouse, BOOST Lab Bio-active eye reset serum, $34.95, from Adore Beauty, L’Oréal Paris Revitalift filler eye serum, $39.99, from Chemist Warehouse

Make-up artists suggest avoiding rich, silicone-heavy eye creams (unless you’re dealing with excessively dry skin) when preparing the under-eye area for make-up. Using ultra-rich products can work against concealing and brightening efforts, while silicone-heavy formulas create too much slip on the skin and can lead to creasing issues. Instead, reach for a more hydrating, gel-like formula. You can’t go wrong with a brightening eye cream to make your peepers pop! Try the Emma Lewisham Skin Reset Eye Crème which helps to reveal a smoother, more luminous under-eye area and combat tired-looking eyes.

Play it cool to reduce puffy under eyes

Under-eye puffiness is fairly common and is often caused by ageing as the tissue around the eyes weakens as we get older. In other cases, certain conditions such as allergies can lead to increased puffiness, as well as a high-salt diet and lack of sleep. And, unfortunately, some people are just genetically susceptible to puffy eyes or under eye bags.

Regardless of the cause, experts agree that physically cooling the area may help reduce puffy eyes. Ice globes (like these ones from Aceology) and facial rollers are great to have on hand, or just chill a spoon in the fridge for 15 minutes or so for the same result.

For your under-eye concealer, experiment with colour theory

Too Faced Born This Way Ethereal Light Concealer, $51, from Mecca, Maybelline Superstay 30H Longwear Concealer, $25.99, from Chemist Warehouse, Clinique Even better all-over concealer + eraser, $61, from Adore Beauty

Make-up artists often say the best way to address under-eye concerns is by utilising the rules of colour theory to camouflage problem areas.

To reduce redness, try a concealer shade with a more neutral or golden tone, as hints of yellow help neutralise redness. Meanwhile, warm-hued colour correctors are great at addressing under-eye darkness and creating a more even complexion. For an uplifting concealer available in a variety of warm and neutral shades, try the Huda Beauty Fauxfilter Luminous Matte Liquid Concealer.

When it comes to puffiness, it’s important to choose a concealer that is not too light or bright. The goal is to conceal unwanted volume, so choose a concealer shade that matches your skin exactly or is slightly deeper and apply it only to the puffy areas.

Related stories