The discolouration under our eyes that almost everybody has, all the time to at least some of the time, can occur for many reasons. In most cases, the dark circles under the eyes are blood vessels that can be seen through the skin. The skin around the eyelids is the thinnest skin in the body (around 0.5 mm thick compared with 2mm in other areas)and dark circles under the eyes are usually an inherited trait. When blood passes through the large veins close to the surface of the skin, it can produce a bluish tint. The more transparent the skin—also an inherited trait—the darker the circles appear. In people with a deep-set bone structure, shadowing can also contribute to the dark colour under the eyes.
Allergies, asthma, and eczema
Any condition that causes the eyes to itch can contribute to darker circles due to rubbing or scratching the skin around them. Hay fever sufferers in particular will notice under-eye “smudges” during the height of the allergy season. Some food allergies can also cause the area under the eyes to appear darker.
Any medications that cause blood vessels to dilate can cause circles under the eyes to darken. Because the skin under the eyes is very delicate, any increased blood flow shows through the skin.
The lack of nutrients in the diet, or the lack of a balanced diet, can contribute to the discoloration of the area under the eyes. It is believed that iron deficiency can cause dark circles as well. Iron deficiency is the most common type of anemia and this condition is a sign that not enough oxygen is getting to the body tissue. The skin can also become more pale during pregnancy and menstruation (due to lack of iron), allowing the underlying veins under the eyes to become more visible.
A lack of sleep can cause paleness of the skin, allowing the blood underneath the skin to become more visible and appear bluer or darker.
Dark circles are likely to become more noticeable and permanent with age. This is because as people get older, their skin loses collagen, becoming thinner and more translucent. That’s marvellous news, isn’t it?
Personally, my excess baggage is much worse during allergy season, but whatever the reason for yours, here’s an easy how-to for getting your undereye concealer perfect. Banish dark circles forever!
Apply your eye cream and / or moisturizer to a clean face. Then a sheer layer of your foundation (if you choose to wear it), blending it up to the eye. This in itself will give you some coverage under the eye, and you can use less concealer as a result.
Get into good light and use a mirror big enough to see your whole face. Pinpoint the discolouration you want to hide. You’ll be able to see the difference in tones.
Dab a tiny amount of your chosen concealer on your ring finger. Start with a little. You can always add a little more if you miss anywhere.
Press the concealer gently onto the skin, only on the area you want to conceal, not under the whole eye. In this case, less is more! Especially for those of use of “a certain age”!
You can use a brush to blend if you want, but it’s not entirely necessary. If you do, use one that has length to the hairs and is flexible, so it moves easily around the eye area. The skin here is delicate, so go gently.
Separate a tissue/Kleenex into two sheets, and use one of them to gently blot any excess concealer. If, after this step, you feel you need more, repeat from Step One.
You should be looking fresh and even toned by now! With the right placement of the right concealer, your eyes will become the focus of your face.
Do not apply powder. Unless you’re under 21! Voila! Now you’re ready to apply the eye makeup du jour!
P.S Winter top tip – if you’re hanging out in one of the chillier climates (like I am), let your hands get cold once in a while and use those cold fingertips to press lightly all around your eye to de-puff and bring to life. Olaf told me that xo
P.P.S If you have severe eye baggage, train to yourself to sleep on your back and learn hoe to give yourself a lymph-draining eye massage. Seriously.