Victor Hugo once said: “When a woman is talking to you, listen to what she says with her eyes.”
But if you have dark circles, sparse lashes or threadbare brows, maybe your eyes aren’t telling the story you want them to. “The eye area is a big concern for my patients,” says the clinician Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh. “The issues range from permanent lower-eye bags to crow’s feet and puffiness.” What’s the best solution? According to the experts, it’s a targeted approach, so tackle your concerns with these new products and treatments.
“Eye bags are pockets of fat under the skin,” says the London-based plastic surgeon Marko Lens. “They can occur with ageing but can be seen earlier, as they’re often hereditary.” The usual lifestyle culprits — including burning the candle at both ends — contribute to their size, but they can also be an indicator of food intolerance.
Try Darphin Hydraskin All-Day Eye Refresh Gel-Cream (£30). It comes with a cooling metal-tipped massage tool that works with the lotion to reduce puffiness — keep it in the fridge for a refreshing blast. For permanent results, you may need to call in the experts. Lens has a treatment called trans-conjunctival blepharo-plasty (price on consultation), which uses a laser to remove the fat beneath the lower lid. “It’s minimally invasive, requires no stitching, and any bruising or swelling lasts seven to 10 days,” says Lens.
Brighten dark circles
“Like bags, dark circles can be hereditary, but they are also more prominent in people with dark skin,” says Lens. “Unhealthy habits such as poor sleep, alcohol, dehydration, stress and even pollution are also to blame.” Unlike bags and wrinkles, there’s plenty of make-up trickery at your disposal to conceal these circles. Look for creamy colour correctors in pale pinks and peaches to counteract the purplish tinge. Bobbi Brown Creamy Corrector (£20) and Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer (£38) are firm favourites.
Try Estée Lauder Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask (£10), designed for weekly use. The patches are saturated with the famous Advanced Night Repair serum to boost circulation, thus eliminating dullness and ramping up radiance. For particularly dark rings, try 111Skin Meso Infusion Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C Micro Mask (£100 for 4). These press-on pads allow hyaluronic acid and brightening vitamin C to penetrate to a depth where they can aid circulation and improve discoloration.
Just like our hair, our eyelashes can lose thickness and pigment as we age. Densely packed lashes look youthful, while long, curled hairs will make eyes appear more open.
Try Lash extensions. They can last up to five weeks (try Shavata Brow Studio for a full set, from £110). For a more permanent solution, you could consider the Mylash “fertiliser” (£105; mylash.org). The active ingredient, bimatoprost, has been shown to lengthen lashes. Not only does it condition existing hairs, but it actively keeps them in their growth phase for longer. Apply the watery solution (much like eye drops in consistency) every day along the lash line and see results in just a few weeks.
Perk up lids
Hooded eyes become more exaggerated with age as your skin loses its firmness — and they can end up looking saggy. Facial massage will go some way to helping you hold back the ravages of time, if it’s performed every day. To see any significant improvement, you need to work on the muscle beneath the skin.
Try The Foreo Iris (£119). Your at-home helper, this delivers alternating sonic pulses that target crow’s feet and dark circles, and hoick up lazy muscles around the eyes. The latest in-clinic option is Ultralift (price on consultation at Dr Sebagh), a noninvasive procedure that uses high-frequency ultrasound waves to tighten muscles around the eye and stimulate collagen production. Some improvement is noticeable immediately, but results gradually improve over two to three months, and top-ups are required.