Eyes communicate a lot without saying a word. When you’re feeling healthy and well-rested, your eyes show it with a sparkle. But hours spent in front of a computer screen, a bout of insomnia, or an extra glass of wine at happy hour can have your eyes communicating something else entirely.
You just might hear those dreaded three words: “You look tired.”
The good news? A few eye care tweaks and easy-to-learn makeup tricks will go a long way in achieving gorgeous, bright eyes. Here are 5 ways to brighten eyes:
1. De-puff Your Eyes
You didn’t sleep well last night. You ate a basket of french fries at dinner. You’re stressed. Any number of things can cause your skin to retain water. And since the skin around your eyes is particularly thin, water retention often shows up there first. And boom! You’ve got puffy eyes. Use one of these easy remedies to bring down swelling:
Chilled Green Tea:
Soak two tea bags in hot water for a couple minutes, then chill them in the refrigerator or, if you’re pressed for time, dunk them in ice water. Squeeze out the excess liquid and apply to closed eyes for 15 minutes. The caffeine helps shrink blood vessels, stimulate circulation, and draw excess water out. Green tea is also an excellent source of antioxidant polyphenols, which may help fight off irritation.1
What’s the science behind this tried and true trick? Antioxidants. The antioxidant properties of cucumbers can help soothe red, irritated skin and help reduce swelling. And vitamin C? It’s a known skin brightener!2 Put a slice of cucumber (chilled for extra relief) on each eye for 15 to 30 minutes.
No cucumbers or tea on hand? Stick a spoon in the freezer, and when it’s ice cold, apply under each eye for 30 seconds at a time. Repeat 3 to 4 times daily. Easy, right?
2. Use a Good Eye Cream
Dry skin around the eyes can create redness, roughness, and sensitivity. It all leads to the appearance of eyes that look “overworked”. A moisturizing eye cream with antioxidants will help keep skin looking supple, smooth, and well-rested. Eye creams with retinol will help stimulate production of collagen and elastin, which help keep skin firm.3 Retinoids will also help your skin reflect more light!
3. Illuminate With Concealer
The skin around the eyes gets thinner as you age, making it more likely that blood vessels will start to show through. And a restless night’s sleep will only make it worse. How to counteract the raccoon look?
An illuminating concealer!
Here are a couple of concealer tips:
- Choose a yellow-based concealer two shades lighter than your skin tone.
- With a small concealer brush, dab along your lower lashes. Then, create a triangle – dabbing concealer from the inner eye down to the outside of your nostril, and diagonally up to the outer corner of your eye.
- Fill in the triangle with a few more light dabs of concealer, and blend.
- The triangle shape will help counteract any obvious half-moon look that can happen when you apply concealer only to the spots where you have dark circles.
4. Lift Your Lids
When it comes to eyeshadow and eyeliner, the key is to keep things light. Dark colors and heavy application can draw attention to eyes that are tired. But a few tweaks to your eye makeup application can make you look wide-awake.
- Choose an eyeshadow just a few shades darker than your skin tone to give your eye some depth. Stay away from gray and black, which make the eyes look smaller.
- Highlight the inner corners of your lids with a shimmery shade to widen your eyes, and pop that same shimmer on your brow bone for some definition.
- Embed your eyeliner into your lashes – in other words, keep your liner as close as possible to your lash line, then smudge with a Q-tip to make it nearly undetectable. This will make your lashes stand out. You can even experiment with a navy blue eyeliner, which may have a brightening effect on the whites of the eyes.
- Line your bottom lashes with nude eyeliner to maintain a wide-open look.
5. Frame Your Eyes
An eyelash curler is your secret weapon to brighter eyes. Curled lashes diminish shadow and make your eyes look bigger and more open.
To get a good curl, start by positioning your curler at the base of your lashes, and give it three firm, but gentle pumps. Release and repeat one or two more times, depending on the length of your lashes. For a curl that really holds – heat your curler with a blow-dryer for 15 seconds before curling.
Finish with mascara on the top lashes. And if you insist on mascara on your bottom lashes – experiment with a brown shade that will give your eyes a softer, more relaxed look.
6. Protect Your Pupils
Want your eyes to twinkle? Do what you can to avoid environmental irritants. Stay away from cigarette smoke, which dries out the eyes. And limit the number of alcohol beverages you drink. (1 glass per day for women and 2 for men.) Alcohol dilates blood vessels, giving you that bloodshot look the morning after too many margaritas.
And when you’re in the sun? Slip on a pair of shades. Sunglasses can help protect your eyes from UV rays that can make your eyes look red and irritated for up to 48 hours after sun exposure.4
7. Eat for Eye Health
Do you ever wake up with puffy eyes the morning after ordering in pizza or Chinese food? A delicious evening of eating often means foods that are high in sugar, fat, and sodium – all of which can lead to water retention. In other words, you just might wake up with swollen, puffy eyes the morning after downing a pepperoni and sausage pie.
To avoid swollen eyes, limit foods that are high in sugar, fat, and sodium. And boost your eye care regimen by incorporating antioxidants into your diet to help maintain the health of your eyes. Antioxidant-rich foods like carrots, blueberries, peppers, spinach, and broccoli will help your eyes fight off irritants, UV damage, and discoloration.5
Brighter Days Ahead
With these foolproof tips, you can banish puffy, dull, and irritated eyes. So say goodbye to hearing, “You look tired,” and say hello to, “You look great!”
For more beauty tips, keep reading:
Why You Should Massage Your Face
9 Vital Beauty Rituals To Do (That You Probably Aren’t)