Health and Beauty Articles
I don’t know about you, but eyes are the first thing I notice about a person. They might have a Mohegan or a mental tattoo curled around their neck, but it’s still all in the eyes for me! It’s one area that does tend to be high maintenance, one that requires a bit of TLC. But, undoubtedly many of us neglect this area of our body, like we do with our poor feet! I tend to find that the areas of our appearance that people concentrate on the most are hair and clothes: hair is dead and clothes are... clothes!
It’s not just anti-ageing that I’m talking about in regards to looking after your eyes. Many young people don’t enhance their eyes with clever make up to make them look as dazzling as they should or can neglect to use an appropriate eye makeup remover and eye cream.
Take me for example, when I’ve had one too many wines the night before and have made a hash job of taking my eye makeup off - I look like I’ve literally jumped out of a horror film! Hubby, I know you mean well but saying ‘you look great when you’re hungover’ is hilarious! Or when I’ve just not bothered with any eye makeup clients will always do a double take at my appearance, and yes, I look a bit strange without my signature eyeliner and mascara.
But alas, I’m not saying that everyone needs to run to super drug to stock up on bold eyeliner; every set of eyes are different and methods to bring out an individual’s eyes will be just that, individual. Small eyes, big eyes, close together eyes, oval eyes, round eyes, dry eyes, oily eyes.. Catch my drift? Here’s some simple advice on your skin care routine, make up and general lifestyle factors that will help accentuate your best asset!
Looking after your eyes
Do you have dark circles under your eyes? This might not be deriving from where you may think. Dirt and grime from old make up could be lying in the lines around your eyes. Removing eye makeup is number one on the list of things you can do to help keep your eyes healthy. I’ll sometimes use 4 cotton pads removing someone’s eye makeup – sometimes more if it’s the dreaded waterproof mascara!
As the skin around our eyes is significantly thinner than around the rest of our skin special care must be taken when removing eye makeup – pulling and tugging at this area will sensitise the skin and possibly damage it in the long run.
For those who wear minimal make up a gentle water soluble cleanser is sufficient. For those ladies like myself – well - not so straight forward, but once you’re in the routine of it it’ll be like second nature. At all costs avoid using face wipes as these sensitise the eyes and don’t remove all make up (or even scratch the surface!) Use a good facial cleanser all over the face and around the eyes if the product allows it. I will testify to my heart’s desire that oil based cleansers are far superior to any other for removing make up and for keeping the skin soft and supple. I use Babor’s Hy-Ol oil cleanser for both my face and eyes, another nice oil cleanser is Bobbi brown’s cleansing oil.
If some eye makeup is left on then apply a gentle eye makeup remover (Matis do a great remover) to a damp cotton pad and go over the eyes in circular motions – make sure you don’t pull and tug at the eyes. I’ll never forget having an eyelash tint done at college – the trainee therapist was so rough that half the product got in my eyes and I was partially blind for several hours!
Once you have successfully taken your eye makeup off then treat your eyes to an appropriate eye cream. The best eye creams are formulated to provide moisture and protection to the skin cells surrounding the eye area. Vitamin A, D and E are often included in these products to ensure the skin is thoroughly nourished. Ingredients Argireline and Haloxyl are the biggies to look out for but are expensive so it’s not going to be a cheap option to find an eye cream with both of these ingredients being used.
I recommend beginning to use an eye cream when you start wearing makeup, as the removal of makeup can damage the skin. I love the body shop eye creams, the vitamin E eye cream is great for younger skins and the wise woman eye cream for older skins. In my High Skin Refiner facial I use a highly active eye cream (Babor’s HSR eye cream) which is only recommended for 40+ skins.
Make up to enhance your eyes
The first step to enhancing your eyes with makeup is finding the right eye shadow colours that will suit you. I don’t think it’s as black and white as ‘you have green eyes so you should wear brown.’ Not all eyes have an obvious colour. Skin tone and hair colour are more appropriate if your eyes are a vaguer colour (I still don’t rightly know what colour my own are, some days they look green, other days not so much!)
One of the more obvious hair and skin tone colours to advise is red hair and fair skin. Earthy colours such as greens, browns and gold colours are perfect for this profile. Avoid dark shades and heavy eye liner – it creates a contrast that can spoil your natural look. Nice brown kohl eyeliner used under the eyes will help complete the look, with some black/brown mascara to accentuate the lashes.
Blonde hair with either fair or darker skin can benefit from using greys, oyster and taupe colours. The problem with blondes is that harsh, dark make up can wash out the complexion, but you still want to look as if you have make up on! If you do want to add a bit more definition to your eyes with darker colours then limit this to the outer corners of your eyes, with more light tones towards the centre. A thin, sleek line of gel eye liner is perfect for creating a more evening look. A light highlighter (or a white/beige eye shadow) used under the eyes will add definition and make the eyes look brighter, as will a stroke underneath the eyebrow.
Brunettes are lucky in the make up stakes as a wide range of colours and techniques can be used to define the eyes. Smokey eyes are an obvious choice for brunettes. Do not fear – Smokey eyes are SO easy to do if the correct tools are used! First, choose either two or three eye shadows; a light coloured base combined with rich dark colours is what you’re going to need for this effect (i.e. shimmery or matt beige contrasted with gold and deep brown.) An eye primer is essential for the start of eye makeup as it stops the eyes from creasing - Urban Decay provides a good product for this (Primer Potion.) Using a thick, slightly angled make up brush (Ruby & Millie and Jane Iredale have good quality brushes) apply your base colour around the whole lower lid and angle it towards the brow bone. Using a darker (not too dark!) colour you blend this colour slightly above the crease line of the brow, taking it slightly out towards your hair line if you want a more dramatic look. If you’re struggling to control where the shadow ends firmly hold a tissue in place at the line you want the shadow stopped. Then blend in your darkest colour, starting from the outer corner of your eye, working up towards just under the crease line of your eye socket. This colour should be halted when you get to the middle of the lid as you want contrast against the initial base colour. A good eye liner line will complete this look – again if you want a more intense look you can make the line thick or draw out the eye liner towards the hair line. A grey kohl eye liner under the eyes will assist the Smokey effect, and the inevitable black mascara will finish the look off!
And here was me about to finish up without mentioning an eye socket’s best friend – concealer! (Sorry to get side-tracked but I’m about to have an argument with Microsoft Word, how can they not recognise the word concealer? Well seeing a man invented it!) Anyways, every one of us naturally has a faint colour that sits in the inner corner of our eye socket – blue, green or purple. This can make the eyes look tired and can spoil a good make up finish. Surround the corner of the eye and underneath the eye with a good thick concealer – a thin one will slide off this busy area. I love concealer products from brands Benefit, Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier.
Cleansing your eyes, treating them with nice creams and jazzing them up with makeup will all combine together to make your eyes dazzle – you will be amazed at the difference these changes will make to your number 1 feature. As well as of this, a good nights kip wouldn’t go a miss!