Puffy Eyes? No Problem! How One Beauty Editor Deals With Eye Bags in the AM
Run out of options for addressing puffy-looking under-eye bags in the morning? We’re here to help you—and your eye contour—with 10 simple ways to manage the appearance of eye bags in the AM. From a spa-inspired trick to a makeup hack, see one beauty editor’s list of useful tips and tricks for reducing the appearance of her puffy-looking under-eye bags, ahead.
As someone with hereditary under-eye bags, I have spent countless mornings trying to de-puff the look of my swollen eyes while trying to rush out the door for work. Puffy-looking eyes can be tied to a number of culprits—lack of sleep, poor diet, a good cry sesh, and so on—and living in the city that never sleeps doesn’t exactly help my situation. From happy hour cocktails to late nights out to indulging in New York’s finest pizza, my busy lifestyle can really take a toll on the appearance of my eye contour, resulting in lots of time and energy spent testing out new tricks, products, and anything else that can help improve the appearance of my all-too-often puffy peepers. I’m sharing my tried-and-true tips for keeping under-eye bags under wraps temporarily, here:
1. ON THE ROCKS
When I wake up to noticeable under-eye bags or puffy-looking eyes, the first thing I do is run straight to my freezer, grab a couple of ice cubes and apply them to the affected areas. This can also be a great way to wake yourself up, as the cooling sensation from the ice cubes can feel a bit shocking at first. Icing your puffy, tired-looking eyes can help reduce the look of some of the puffiness in a pinch.
2. COLD SPOONS
Under-eye bags can be hereditary and unfortunately for me, they run in my family. Luckily, my mother and grandmothers have taught me a few tips and tricks for managing the appearance of this pesky trait throughout the years. Their go-to trick for addressing unwanted puffiness around the eyes? Chilled spoons. It seems a bit weird at first, but the look of de-puffed eyes makes up for it. Simply stick two medium-size spoons in your fridge for about ten minutes and apply the backs of the spoons to the under-eye area. If you are like me and experience under-eye bags on the regular, you might want to designate a couple of spoons to live in the fridge at all times—that way you won’t have to wait to de-puff.
3. FROZEN EYE MASKS
An oldie but a goody, frozen eye masks have been used for ages to target and reduce the appearance of puffy eyes temporarily. A cross between an ice pack and a sleeping mask, frozen eye masks—like The Body Shop’s Aqua Eye Mask—are made out of a gel-like formula that can be kept in the freezer for quick relief of fatigued eyes. I like to use my frozen eye mask a couple times a week before bed and on days when my eyes feel sore, fatigued, and swollen.
4. COOL AS A CUCUMBER
The next time you’re making a refreshing salad or fruit-infused water, save some cucumber slices for your eyes! Perhaps one of the oldest spa tricks in the book, placing a few chilled cucumber slices on your eyes helps vasoconstrict the area and de-puff the look of puffy eyes—and is great when you want a little R&R, too! It like to keep a plastic bag of cucumber slices in my fridge for snacking on (they go great with hummus!), adding to salads and other delicious recipes, and, of course, keeping my puffy-looking eye contours under control.
5. SHEET MASKS… FOR YOUR EYES
Another one of my favorite ways to help de-puff the look of puffy under-eye bags is with sheet masks. The best part about these Korean beauty facial masks is that they come in more targeted forms—also known as, patches—for your lips and eyes, too. One of my current go-to’s is Lancôme’s Absolue L’Extrait Ultimate Eye Patch. Formulated to help smooth, hydrate, and promote radiance around the eye contour, this luxe eye mask helps to leave my under-eye looking less noticeable.
Lancôme Absolue L’Extrait Ultimate Eye Patch Immediate Smoothing, Replumping, and Radiance Eye Mask, $50 MSRP
5. SAY NO TO SALT
It’s no secret that consuming excess salt can cause your skin to appear bloated and puffy, and unfortunately for the salty food lovers of the world (hi!), salt doesn’t discriminate against certain areas of the body. I have noticed that when I decrease my intake of salty foods, my chronic under-eye bags become much easier to conceal. Now, this might not be the case for everyone, but if you are like me and you notice that your under-eye bags become more pronounced after eating salty foods, you may want to try staying away from foods that are high in sodium—especially before a big event when you want to keep the appearance of your under-eye bags at bay.
6. ROLL-ON THE HYDRATION
Eye creams and serums are your best friends. They may not be what you are looking for when in a pinch, but incorporating an eye cream or serum into your daily skin care routine can help target the look of your under-eye bags over time and may also provide the delicate skin around your eyes with plumping hydration. As a beauty editor for Skincare.com, I am lucky enough to get to try complimentary eye care products from the L’Oréal portfolio of brands, testing and reviewing creams, serums, and balms on my own under-eye bags. And while there are quite a few that I love and have seen results with, my go-to eye care product is The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Concentrate Eye Cream. Packaged with a roller-ball applicator, it helps to diminish the appearance of under-eye bags over time with continued use. Store it in the fridge for an extra cool treat for your puffy eyes.
7. CHILL OUT
Speaking of storing products in the fridge, I have an entire section of my fridge—okay, it’s just the butter drawer—dedicated to my eye cream collection. I love the cooling—read: soothing—effect chilled eye cream has on my skin (especially when my eyes are looking exhausted) and I have noticed that similar to using a cold spoon, cucumber, or ice, the coolness of the refrigerated eye cream can help to temporarily reduce the appearance of puffy-looking skin. Here are some of the hydrating eye creams and serums that I keep on rotation:
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado: This formula with avocado oil gently moisturizes the eye contour, this ultra creamy eye cream from Kiehl’s is a fan-favorite. In addition to its hydration properties, this avocado eye cream does not migrate into the eyes and is suitable to use on all skin types.
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado, $29-48 MSRP
Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes: I love a good multipurpose beauty product, and Vichy’s LiftActiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes is no exception to that. Formulated with hyaluronic acid—a natural humectant us beauty editors swear by—ceramides, and rhamnose, the drugstore eyes and lashes serum can help to soften, smooth, and illuminate the eye contour upon application.
Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes, $35 MSRP
Lancôme Visionnaire Yeux Advanced Multi-Correcting Eye Balm: Another favorite eye care product of mine is Lancôme’s Visionnaire Yeux Advanced Multi-Correcting Eye Balm. The eye cream can help reduce the look of eye imperfections—such as, puffy under-eye bags—soften the skin around the eye contour and leave under-eyes hydrated.
8. COLOR CORRECTING
Looking for a short-term way to hide the appearance of your dark, puffy-looking under-eye bags? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. When it comes to hiding my noticeable puffy eyes, I always reach for a color correcting concealer to help mask their appearance and help fake looking more awake (which is hard to do when you’re running on zero sleep). To use a color correcting concealer for eyes, simply apply the concealer the same way you would your usual concealer—in an inverted triangle shape—and blend with a beauty blending sponge, or concealer brush. Then top it off with a coat of your skin-colored concealer, blend that out, and you’re good to go. Here are some of my favorite color correcting concealers to use when masking the appearance of puffy under-eye bags:
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid: As far as liquid color correctors go, the Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid from Urban Decay is one of my absolute must-haves. I love how easy it is to apply with the wand applicator and how it blends into the skin evenly with the help of a damp beauty blending sponge. To use the liquid color correcting concealer in your beauty routine, simply use the applicator wand to draw an inverted triangle shape and blend with a damp beauty blending sponge. Then, follow up with your skin-colored concealer, blend, and you’re good to go!
For more on Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid ($28 MSRP)—see our full product review, here.
NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Palette: One of my favorite beauty products in my makeup kit is NYX Professional Makeup’s Color Correcting Palette. With six shades to choose from, you can use this color correcting concealer palette to correct all of your skin imperfections—not just your under eye-bags. Using a concealer brush or beauty blending sponge, dab the correcting shade onto the skin in an inverted triangle shape and blend. Then, follow up with your skin-colored concealer, blend, and voilá!
For more on color correcting concealers, see our step-by-step guide to color correction, here.
Another beauty product I—and my puffy-looking under-eye bags—can’t live without? Highlighter. That’s right, folks… highlighter is not just for visibly accentuating your cheekbones and helping to create a more luminous look, it can be used to help mask the look of visible dark circles and under-eye bags, too. Regardless of whether I have makeup on or not, I never leave home without dabbing a little highlighter into the corners of my eyes. And when I am feeling extra fancy, I like to apply liquid highlighter, liquid concealer, and eye cream on the area and blend it all in for a more illuminated effect. For more on this under-eye bag makeup hack, see this step-by-step guide.
Another easy trick for helping conceal puffy-looking eyes in a pinch? Eyeliner! I don’t usually wear eyeliner on account of laziness… but, when I do, it’s almost always to help hide visibly puffy, swollen-looking eyes. Before I share how to help conceal puffy-looking eyes with eyeliner, I want to specify that this trick works best if your eyelids also appear swollen, as the eyeliner can distract from this. To help hide the look of puffy-looking eyes with eyeliner, you can either create a full-blown winged look—we share a tutorial for how to get perfect winged liner, here—or, you can draw a small line on your eyes’ outer lash line and smudge it with an eyeshadow brush (or, your finger if you are extra lazy, like me). Don’t have an eyeliner? No problem! Use a thin makeup brush to apply brown or coal-colored eyeshadow to the area and blend.