I’ve had such a tough time sleeping lately. I wish I could blame it on something cool, like dating someone new or helping a friend communicate with The Beyond, but I’m pretty sure it’s because my bed is too small.
My partner and I sleep on a full bed, which is probably the smallest size the two of us could share without having to sleep on top of each other. Not necessarily a bad outcome, but it does get difficult to breathe after a while. I would know — I once slept in a single bunk with two other girls on an overnight field trip when I was 13. And yes, we did have our own individual beds but we thought it’d be Fun to share slivers of mattress space instead. The joys of being a preteen gay!!
Anyway, I brought said full bed with me into our shared apartment, and it’s a bed that probably should not follow us to our next home. And yes, we’ve been living together and sleeping on this bed for three years, but I recently slept on the couch for a few nights (my partner was sick and I didn’t want to catch what they had), and it was the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.
My sleep hygiene has never been great, but up until recently, I was able to get away with a sleepless night or two without it showing on my face. Now, though, if I don’t get my requisite seven and a half hours MINIMUM, I look (and feel) exhausted.
I know that my quest to banish dark circles isn’t unique; there’s a whole industry around it! And yes, there is an argument to be made that we should just embrace dark circles as part of living! They’re visible proof that we’ve had A Night — but sometimes, I succumb to wanting to look more “awake”, especially before big events. If you’re still with me, I’m assuming you’ve felt the effects of a late night at least once.
Here are some things I turn to when I have a big day ahead of me and I want to look Extremely Awake and/or Definitely Well Rested.
Random Pantry Things
I’m willing to bet you have at least one metal spoon and if you don’t, maybe this is your excuse to try the tiny cute CB2 ones I linked above!
Metal spoons are great for both hickeys AND dark circles. A dermatologist quoted in this article says that the cold temperature constricts blood vessels and that the pressure of the spoon helps with lymphatic drainage, which almost sounds too good to be true but it is not!! It does work!
While I have not tried previously steeped tea bags as an undereye remedy, I have heard that green or black tea bags under the eyes can work (something about the caffeine, I think?). I’m a morning coffee + midday tea gal, unfortunately, so by the time I get to my afternoon tea I’ve forgotten all about my undereyes. But if you HAVE tried this, please let me know!
I really like eye patches but they’re SO expensive and often single-use. There are definitely exceptions to the rule (Dieux Skin makes reusable patches that aren’t single-use but they are still a whopping $25 not including the actual serum you’d have to load them up with!) but I don’t typically turn to them unless I’ve got a big event or I impulse bought a pair in a checkout line.
If you have $75 to spare, the Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Eye Patches are supposed to be incredible. The brand also makes eye patches without gold, but they are still pricey ($55-65). If you’ve got a big event coming up or just want to try eye patches without having to commit to a big tub of them, try buying a single pair! Stick ’em in the fridge for an extra spa-like time. I will admit that eye patches are particularly convenient for when you don’t want to hold two spoons or two tea bags under your eyes.
Eye creams are complicated! Jury’s out on whether they’re actually different from moisturizer, but anecdotally, I’ve had luck with them. Ones that I have tried and liked: the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Eye Cream ($40), La Mer’s Eye Balm Intense ($260 lol but I promise I’ve never paid money for it, I just got a sample of it using my Sephora points and unfortunately I loved it), and the Hydraphase Intense Eyes from La Roche-Posay ($37).
If you’re after brightening, try finding a vitamin C or niacinamide-containing product. If you’d rather boost collagen production, peptides. And if you just want to look more awake, caffeine. It’s why the tea bag trick works!
I’m relatively new to the world of color correcting, and it’s all because of the Live Tinted founder who used lipstick to color correct her dark circles. Her brand’s multisticks now work extremely well for color correcting (not a surprise).
The general idea here is basically using the color wheel to cancel unwanted shades out. If you think about the colors that are under your eyes after a sleepless night, you might have blues and purples. Using something on the opposite side of the color wheel (orange, for example) cancels those colors out.
Heads up that color correcting happens before concealer, and it’s better to use a light touch! You can always add more on later.
I could write a whole Put This on Your Face about concealer so I will just keep this brief!! Stick to a shade that’s a bit lighter than the rest of your face, and if you’re not color correcting with a dedicated color corrector, maybe veer a bit warmer (peach or orange undertones). You don’t have to set your concealer, but it can help it stay in place! Use a powder puff or something equally puffy (beauty blender, maybe?) to press powder into your skin before the concealer has fully dried.