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How to Reduce the Look of Puffy Eyes With Under Eye Makeup

Under-eye bags don’t stand a chance against these makeup and skin care tips.
November 29, 2023

If you’re struggling with puffiness in your under-eye area, the last thing you want to hear is that you can’t permanently get rid of under-eye bags. While it’s true that maintaining a good skin care routine can help, there’s some under-eye puffiness that even the most flawless skin care routine can’t banish.


While it’s annoying, we have some good news — you can always rely on makeup to help blur the appearance of puffiness and dark circles in the under-eye area. Along with that, there are lifestyle practices you can adopt, like getting a full night’s sleep and using face tools that can also help ease puffiness. Below, learn more about bags under the eyes, including what causes eye bags, how to conceal under-eye bags with dedicated under eye makeup and a few science-backed ways to help reduce the appearance of under-eye bags. 


What Causes Under-Eye Bags?

According to the Mayo Clinic, under-eye bags occur when the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. Fluid can also collect in the hollows of your under-eyes, which manifests as puffiness. These things are caused and worsened by aging, lack of sleep, genetics, fluid retention and allergies. This is why late nights and salty food can lead to a puffy face the next morning.


How to Conceal Under-Eye Bags With Makeup

Unfortunately, you can’t permanently conceal under-eye bags and dark circles, but makeup can be used to temporarily reduce their appearance. Below, discover how to use under eye makeup (like concealer) to hide puffiness under your eyes. 


1. De-Puff With a Face Tool

Before reaching for your makeup bag, try to de-puff your under-eyes with your favorite face tool. A gua sha tool or jade roller will suffice; all you have to do is work the tool gently across your under-eyes to boost circulation and promote lymphatic drainage, per ScienceDirect, both of which will help to soothe any puffiness. If you don’t have a face tool, stick a clean spoon in the freezer for three to four hours (or until it’s cold to the touch) and lightly draw it across your eye area, moving towards your hairline. Make sure you rest your spoon or de-puffing tool on a clean surface in your freezer to avoid bacteria spreading. 


2. Apply Eye Cream

You might be thinking that eye cream isn’t makeup and you’re right. But the first step to concealing the under-eye area is to ensure the skin is smooth and hydrated so the concealer applies seamlessly. If you’re concerned about signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dryness under your eyes, try L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Eye Treatment. It works to address visible signs of aging and keep the area hydrated with the firming pro-retinol and vitamin C, along with the hydrating hyaluronic acid.


To hydrate the area and reduce puffiness, let L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives with 1.5%Hyaluronic Acid + 1% Caffeine Eye Serum be your go-to. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the delicate area while caffeine increases blood flow to the area (causing depuffing) and the triple roller applicator massages the product onto the skin for additional under-eye depuffing.


3. Color Correct

Under-eye bags are often accompanied by dark circles or hyperpigmentation due to blood pooling in the area, which can appear purple or blue in color. To counteract this darkness, start by applying a color-correcting concealer, like L’Oréal Paris True Match Color Correcting Crayon in the shades Peach, Bisque or Orange


If you have light to medium skin, peach sits opposite of blue and purple on the color wheel, meaning it works to neutralize darkness. If you have a deep skin tone, a deeper orange shade will work best for you as it sits across from deep blue on the color wheel. Apply a light dot of  color-correcting concealer onto the darkest area under your eyes and gently tap with your ring finger, blending it into your skin. 


4. Conceal

When trying to conceal puffiness, it’s important to find the balance between a concealer with significant coverage and one with hydrating benefits. A concealer that’s too dry will emphasize texture under your eyes. If you’re dealing with a lot of darkness, try L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage. It provides waterproof, transfer -proof and crease -proof coverage without drying out the thin under-eye skin. 


If you’re in need of less coverage and prefer a more creamy, hydrating formula, L’Oréal Paris True Match Eye Cream in a Concealer, 0.5% hyaluronic acid is for you. It’s an eye cream and concealer hybrid that keeps the area smooth and hydrated (with the help of hyaluronic acid) while providing buildable coverage. For a natural brightening effect, select a concealer that’s one or two shades lighter than your actual shade to highlight your under-eyes. 


5. Lightly Set With Powder 

Because under-eye bags are often textured (think dryness and fine lines), part of the goal in concealing them is to minimize texture to fake a smoother appearance. Texture can be enhanced by dryness, but it can also be enhanced by an overly dewy finish or creasing concealer. To prevent this without causing excess dryness, dust a bit of a translucent powder onto the area with a fluffy brush to set the concealer and slightly mattify the finish. 


If you need more coverage, set your under-eyes with L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder, a weightless powder foundation with buildable coverage. Select a color that closely matches your concealer and skin tone for the most natural looking coverage.  


How to Reduce the Appearance Of Under-Eye Bags 

Makeup is a great tool for concealing under-eye bags, but combining it with ways to help reduce their appearance can bring even better results. Read on for tips on how to minimize puffiness. 


1. Add Eye Creams or Eye Serums to Your Routine

As previously mentioned, the use of skin care products — like an eye serum or eye cream — can add extra moisture to your skin for a more hydrated surface. As part of your daily and nightly routine, use a product to target your under-eye bags like L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Anti-Aging Eye Cream Treatment. This eye cream is formulated with antioxidants and vitamin E to target dark circles, under-eye bags, puffiness, fine lines and crepey lids for a smoother, more youthful appearance. 


2. Change Your Sleep Habits

Getting more sleep is easier said than done but If under-eye bags are a consistent issue for you, you might need to get some more sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, seven to nine hours every night can help to reduce or eliminate bags under the eyes. They also suggest sleeping with your head slightly raised which can help to prevent fluid from building up in the hollows of your under-eyes. 


3. Address Allergy Symptoms

Allergens can contribute to facial swelling and puffiness. If you have allergies that you’re not addressing, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor. You might also be having an allergic reaction to the cosmetics you’re using, so if you think this is a possibility, try switching things up or stop using the products that you think could be causing puffiness and see how you fare. 


4. Limit the Salt In Your Diet 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, consuming too much salt increases your body’s fluid retention. As we mentioned, under-eye puffiness is often caused by fluid building up underneath the eyes so eating less salt (especially at night) may be beneficial when it comes to reducing the appearance of bags under the eyes.


5. Use a Cold Compress

A cold compress can help reduce the swelling that exacerbates your under-eye bags, per the Mayo Clinic. Wet a clean washcloth with cold water and lightly press it under your eyes for 30 seconds. Repeat on both sides a couple of times until the swelling subsides. If under-eye bags are a serious problem in your routine, talk to your doctor. There are more permanent ways of getting rid of them, like cosmetic eyelid surgery, laser resurfacing and fillers. 


Next: 8 Reasons to Use Hyaluronic Acid Under Eyes


Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Paul Yem, Photo Assistant: Matt Licari, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Model: Shann Hitch

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