It’s hard not to sound cliché when discussing our eyes—if we hear “the eyes are the window to the soul” one more time, we might be tempted to claw our own out (kidding, but still). And yet, there’s some semblance of truth in every cliché—and our so-called “windows” are no exception. They are, in fact, a dead giveaway of our emotions, health, and general well-being. Puffy and swollen? We’re going to assume that maybe there was imbibing involved last night (or perhaps just another late-night viewing of The Graduate). Dark circles? A looming deadline seems likely. Along with life choices, our eyes are also a dead giveaway of another uncontrollable aspect: our age. We may slather on our retinol-infused eye creams and load up on eye masks in hopes of returning to the bright-eyed days of our youth (RIP), but wrinkles, bags, and dark circles are inevitable. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to turn back time for younger-looking eyes—or at least make it appear so.
So you woke up with swollen eyes once again—the contents of your kitchen want to help. Soaking a cotton ball in cold whole milk and resting them on your eyes will help soothe and de-puff; the cold temperature constricts blood vessels, and the lactic acid and fat soothe dry skin. Or, you can try the green tea ice cube trick. Brew some green tea, and pour it into an ice cube tray. Allow it to freeze overnight, then gently wrap the ice cube in a paper towel and rub it over your eye area for an instant pick-me-up.
We rely on our trusty eye shadow primer like none other; it keeps our eye shadow and liner from smudging and can even plump fine lines. That’s why you should be applying a dab right underneath your eyes, too. Not only will it keep your bottom mascara from smudging, but it’ll even out any crepe-iness, too. Urban Decay’s even contains anti-aging ingredients that improve wrinkles and dullness over time for younger-looking eyes.
Coconut oil, beauty’s favorite do-it-all, also works as an eye cream on nights when your wrinkles and dryness are especially pronounced. Or better yet, use it to remove leftover makeup after cleansing your face, then leave the residue on and allow it to sink in—two birds, one (tropically scented) stone.
Anyone with dark circles can attest to the fact that it’s a struggle to cover them. Yes, we all know that peach-toned concealer works best for covering discoloration under the eyes, but even then it seems some panda tendencies come through. The solution? Layer your concealers. Use a peach or reddish-tinged concealer first, then pat a yellow-toned concealer on top to ensure your dark circles stay out of sight.
You might know by now that adding a lighter eye shadow shade right below your brow bone can give your eyes a subtle lift. But beware—white, shimmery, or glittery shades will only accentuate fine lines and look dated. Instead, try highlighting the arch of your brow bone with concealer. The matte finish will look completely natural, and the shade is already perfectly suited to your skin tone.
Contrary to popular belief, lining your waterline with a white eye pencil will not make your eyes look wider—but it will perhaps make you look like you’re going to a ’60s-themed party. Instead, always, always opt for a nude or beige when it comes to selecting a color palette for your eye makeup. A nude pencil in your waterline will open your eyes up, while layering a soft, nude eye shadow below whatever colored eye shadow you want to use will give subtle depth and accentuate the shade.
Black eyeliner has been with us through a lot—our awkward eighth-grade school photo, our first ugly cry after watching The Notebook, last week’s failed cat eye… The list goes on. But it may be time to trade it in for a softer alternative, especially if you’re trying to take years off your face. Word to the wise: Black might be slimming in clothing form, but it can look harsh when your eyes are no longer in their wrinkle-less state. Instead, try swapping in brown liner with a subtle glint, or go the even subtler route by wetting an eyeliner brush and using a brown eye shadow to line your eyes instead. Wiggle the brush into the base of your lashes, give your lashes a curl, and flutter away.