There are three little words, that I dread more than most… You look tired. I’m beginning to hear them a little too often, especially this time of year. Cue: shorter deadlines, longer work hours, more travel, after work events and a busier social life.
Although I’m not exactly complaining about the latter, I could do without the visual evidence – specifically puffiness, dark circles and fine lines. In a bid to discover how to look less tired (and feel fresher around my eyes) I went to the experts, and here’s what I found:
Those quartz facial rollers you’ve seen all over Instagram? They really do deserve a place in your bathroom cabinet. When used correctly they can work wonders: eradicating puffiness and dark circles. They work in two ways; firstly, the cooling sensation helps tighten swollen skin (and this is even better if you place the roller in the freezer for a minute before use); and secondly, the gentle massage around the eyes (from the inner to outer corner) helps jumpstart lymphatic drainage, since fluid can pool under your eyes while you sleep.
On that note: Try to make sure your pillow props your head up enough that you’re not lying completely flat; that’s when fluid doesn’t circulate properly, leading to the gathering of under eye bags in the first place.
Choose an effective eye-cream
When your diary’s jam packed, enjoy a mini moment by making a ritual out of applying your skincare. The extra seconds, massage and time to breathe can often set you up for the day and help you unwind at night. “Aqua Restore Eye Essence should be the final step in your skincare morning and night,” explains Syrene’s marketing manager Nadia Els, who says that becausethe skin around our eyes is thinner and more delicate than the rest of the face, it loses moisture more quickly, and therefore shows signs of aging sooner. Aqua Restore Eye Essence includes active marine ingredients (such as Maricol S – a marine collagen – and Ephemer and Aldavine 5X – seaweed extracts) to help boost moisture levels and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Apply eye-cream correctly
Tempting as it may be to lather eye cream all over your eye area at the first hint of wrinkles, a little goes a long way. Syrene’s Aqua Restore Eye Essence contains aloe vera, and the cooling gel-based formula helps soothe the under-eye area which in turns calms and reduces puffiness, says Els.
To apply, put a pea sized amount on to your ring finger and then gently dot it up to your brow bone (not the socket) and underneath your eyes (avoiding your lower lash line) and out towards your temple to help keep crow’s feet plump and hydrated. Your ring finger is best as the muscles in this finger are generally weaker so they’re unlikely to pull or rub on this delicate area (and make fine lines worse). Give it about a minute (or longer) to absorb before you apply make-up on top.
When the festive starts to get extra silly, try storing a pot of Aqua Restore Essence in the fridge (this will feel particularly incredible when summer sets in).
Cover up the shadows
Under-eye concealers are the best way to hide dark circles and disguise signs of late nights (or very early mornings). Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage is an industry favourite because it completely camouflages dark circles and blemishes. It’s made up of two shades – the first neutralises violet shadows under your eyes, and the second matches your skin colour, to completely hide any signs of tiredness.
If in doubt, deflect
For those mornings when you can hardly prise open your eyes, it may be time to pull out your trusty eyelash curler (we recommend Shu Uemura). A bigger curl helps open your eyes, making them appear more awake. For maximum impact, hold your curler at a 45-degree angle and lift your lashes at the root before applying 2-3 coats of mascara.
And because sometimes the best form of defence is a strong offence, consider a bright lipstick. Red, fuchsia or bright burnt oranges (Try Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani Lipstick in Fire Red) are sure to take the focus off weary eyes.
This story was produced in partnership with Syrene, a new skincare brand from New Zealand that contains active ingredients from the sea to nourish, hydrate and repair.