I thought it would be fun to address a reader question today! In this post I'll be talking about strategies and application, and you'll find my product recommendations over in my Hiding the Bags Collection on eBay! Be sure to follow me, I'll be adding great eye creams, concealers and correctors as I find them!
I am really struggling with under eye puffiness and how to disguise it (inexpensively). Do you have any suggestions?
There are quite a few reasons to have puffiness under your eyes, and I love Dr. Bailey's post on what causes undereye circles, bags and puffiness for more details. The undereye area has very thin skin. This means that the fat pad under the skin can more easily affect the outward appearance, when it accumulates extra fluid this will create that bag we all hate.
There are a few big culprits behind the undereye bags and puffiness. The swelling can be associated with allergies, too much salt intake, or just have some circulatory issues in the area.
For allergies, try talking to your doctor about an anti-histamine. Track your food intake with a food dairy, watching for patterns with salty foods. I have undereye swelling the next day if I eat a lot of french fries or potato chips, so I've cut back and eat the "lightly salted" chips in my home. If neither of these seem to help, you can try sleeping slightly elevated to discourage the swelling from forming.
When your undereye area is swollen you'll want to target treatments that mobilize the fluid and get it out of the region while promoting circulation (again, to help move that extra fluid out of there).
There are a lot of good old fashioned treatments that will help with this. Tea bags on your eyes will introduce caffeine, which is an anti-inflammatory, constricts blood vessels to shrink the area and is dehydrating to help get rid of excess fluid. Caffeine can also be found in most eye creams. Cold items like spoons or a cold eye mask will also help to constrict the blood vessels. Massaging the undereye area will help to mobilize the excess fluid from the fat pad as well.
Have you ever heard the one about using Preparation H for undereye bags? Dr. Benabio has a great post about why you shouldn't use Preparation H under your eyes, but this is one to avoid. The main ingredient in Preparation H is Phenylephrine, which is also the main ingredient in Afrin. Phenylephrine acts through the alpha-1 adrenergic receptor to constrict the blood vessels (this is the main reason I usually use phenylephrine in the ICU, it helps raise blood pressure as a 3rd or 4th line vasoconstricting agent). Long term this isn't a great idea, the body can actually ramp up the opposing beta receptors and make the swelling worse! I won't even mention the moisturizing agents in the Preparation H, which aren't formulated for use on the face.
Instead, you are better off checking out what to look for in an eye cream. When treating bags I absolutely must have caffeine in my eye cream! I also like nice hydration to help my concealer blend easily and if the cream fights aging as well, that's an added bonus! I've pulled together a lot of eye creams that meet my criteria over in my Hiding the Bags Collection.
Hiding your undereye bags, or at least camouflaging them, isn't hard once you know the tricks. Hiding a bag is the opposite of concealing an undereye circle. You want the bag to recede, so you'll use darker colors and avoid highlighters. There are a lot of product options for the makeup steps, you can see my picks (with information about each product) in my Hiding the Bags Collection.
Once you are happy with how everything looks, set the products with a fine translucent powder.
There are a lot of great products to help treat, color correct and conceal undereye bags and puffiness! I've collected products over in my Hiding the Bags Collection. Be sure to check out my collections on eBay and follow me! I'll be adding new things as I find them, expect many more eye creams!
My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay #followitfindit and Style Coalition.