Tiredness, allergies or even a salty meal can contribute to puffy eyes but as it's New Year's Eve I thought now would be a good time to share my personal routine for avoiding the under-eye luggage effect.
First up, something to cool and soothe the area. My little bottle of Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion lives in the fridge and is reserved solely for puffy-eyed emergencies. I just soak a couple of cotton pads and hold them onto my eyes while the kettle is boiling. It helps to begin reducing redness and swelling, and it's also suitable for contact lens wearers. If you know you're going to need some extra help in the morning it's worth putting your eye cream in the fridge too. I like Alpha H Absolute Eye Complex for these occasions as the gel texture is cooling even at room temperature, but after a few hours chilling next to the orange juice it feels incredibly soothing. It also packs hyaluronic acid to tackle dehydration and help banish fine lines. If you're reading this on New Year's Day, with T-minus 20 minutes until your in-laws arrive, put two teaspoons in the freezer instead. Leave them to chill for a few minutes while you attempt to tidy up, and then gently hold them on your under-eye area before applying eye cream as usual.
Advice for tired-looking eyes usually involves the word 'radiance', but any kind of sparkle will only highlight puffiness. Instead I opt for a concealer that offers decent coverage without settling into lines or feeling drying. Origins Planscription Anti-Aging concealer* fits the bill perfectly. My shade, Light/Medium 02, has a peachy lean to correct any darkness and the finish is dewy and skin-like without drawing attention to any swollen areas. If you do want a little radiance, try a cream highlighter in the inner corner of the eye, but above the tear duct area where puffiness tends to start. Finally, I add a touch more brightness by lining the waterline with a flesh toned pencil to counteract any remaining redness. Lately I've been using Rimmel's Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl in 005 Nude* which lasts for hours, but UNE's Skin Glow and MAC's Chromographic pencils are also safe bets. Et voila, nobody need ever know about that wild party / all-night essay writing session / bag of chips (delete as appropriate).
I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, whatever you're doing, and a fantastic 2013.
Thank you for all your support in 2012. x