By Jolene Edgar, REDBOOK
No plastic surgery required: just the latest brightening and lifting tricks for your eyes.
Step 1: Understand Undereye Circles
"Undereye puffiness is the result of fluid retention," says Dr. David Bank, a Mt. Kisco, NY, dermatologist. And you can thank the sun for that bluish hue. "Over time," Bank explains, "the sun depletes our collagen supply, making skin less plump and taut, and causes tiny blood vessels beneath the skin's surface to dilate and burst." (You don't feel it happening, but the vessels show through thin skin.) A chilled gel-filled eye compress will constrict them (making them less noticeable) and reduce puffiness.
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Step 2: Give Crow's-Feet the Boot
"Since wrinkles result from a loss of collagen in the skin," says Bank, "to truly get rid of them, you need an eye cream with retinol or some vitamin A derivative, such as retinyl linoleate or retinyl palmitate." These products plump up the skin and soften fine lines by boosting collagen production and stimulating cell turnover.
Step 3: Boost Your Brows
"A good arch can offer amazing lid-lifting effects," says Bruce Wayne, makeup artist and groomer of Kelly Ripa's brows. He suggests using eyebrow stencils to create your perfect shape. "By using stencils you can try on different brow sizes and shapes before committing to one," says Wayne. Here's how: Place the stencil over your brow and color over brow hairs with a highlighter. A white eyeliner will work, too. If you like the shape, tweeze all the hairs that are not highlighted, then rinse away the pencil marks. For the softest, prettiest look, fill brows with powder, not pencil.
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Step 4: Don't Skip the Concealer
"Never mind five years younger; a great undereye concealer can make you look 10 years younger," says Sue Devitt, celebrity makeup artist. Opt for one with peach or yellow undertones to cancel out that bluish cast under your eyes. Texture is also important: "A nontacky texture will smooth over fine lines instead of settling into -- and enhancing -- them," says Devitt. Try some on your hand: "It should feel light and smooth," says Devitt, "and shouldn't flake off or crack when your skin stretches." Devitt's own formula (Sue Devitt Studio Automatic Camouflage Concealer) contains elastic-y Nylon 12, actual nylon that expands and contracts when you smile or furrow your brow. And avoid concealers that are lighter than your skin. "They'll add 10 years to your face!"
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Step 5: Brighten Up -- Choose One of These Quick Tricks from Our Experts
Bright eyes light up your whole face -- like afterglow without the sex (sorry, but that would make six steps). Some of these tricks may seem like old news, but they're touted over and over again because they really work. Here, three bright moves:
Remove the redness with Visine: "You can't look your youngest if your eyes are bloodshot or bleary," says Bank.
The blues: "Navy eyeliner accentuates the whites of your eyes, regardless of your eye color," says Devitt. More of a makeup minimalist? Try a light-blue liner.
Makeup magic: Smooth a creamy skin-similar shade of shadow across your brow bone. "The hint of tint will draw attention upward and lift your entire eye," says Wayne.
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Permissions: Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.