Skincare Saviors: Looking Radiant When You Feel Like Sh*t Part 2: Eyes and My All-Nighter Routine

Thursday, December 13, 2012

[It is the middle of the night and I have just now finished writing this up. Please do not expect to be awestruck by any stunning prose or breathtaking usage of the English language. If for any reason you are expecting that, you probably should not be on this URL.]

The timing of this post couldn't possibly be better, as in case you can't tell, I am in the very midst of an all-nighter myself. If you missed the first installment, I entirely skipped the eye section to reserve for this post, which seems ridiculous, but there's a lot to be said on the subject.

Some may think that fatigued eyes can easily be perked up with makeup, which is certainly true, but these little tubes and satchets perform small miracles that all the concealer and flesh-colored liner in the world couldn't.

First of all, it's important to diagnose what kind of tired eye problems you typically have. Some people get puffy and swollen, others get sort of sunken-in, and still others get red and dry. I usually get a parched under-eye area (no matter how thick the eye cream) and a bit sunken-in with a touch of puffiness as well. (Quite well-rounded, aren't I?)

Let's fix that, shall we?

[I'd love to organize these by problem (puffiness, receding eyes...etc) but these products really overlap in terms of what they help fight--it would be like one big venn diagram!]

Rollerball: As I don't have severe puffiness, I've never tried any of the usual remedies (cold spoons, bags of green tea placed over the eyes), but this little tube consistently gets rid of my mild swelling.  Rollerballs have gotten a bit of a bad name for being too gimmicky or simply useless to those who have severe puffiness. I wouldn't expect a metal ball to rid you of a chronic and likely genetic problem, but for cooling, relaxing and mild de-puffing they're great. I tend to use them in the early morning or through the night if I'm trying to stay awake (like right now). Just about every brand does one these days, with all sorts of anti-aging ingredients, but I don't think that matters. All you really need here is something metal with a bit of liquidy slip so it doesn't tug on your skin--I don't see the point in getting anything expensive. 

Masks and Patches: You know I love sheet masks (bonus points if they're Asian!), but I adore eye masks almost as much for the ultimate combination of soothing, depuffing and hydration. I reviewed these Klorane ones a while back and they're the best mix of all three qualities. Foamy and spongey, they stick on right underneath the eyes (so you can still see and go about your business) and feel deliciously cool on. Leave them for a bit, and then gently peel off to reveal refreshed under-eye circles. These are genius for someone like me who gets sunken-in and dry-looking under-eyes, as they really plump that area up and seem to flood all the cells with moisture. I've also thrown in a mask here, and it's an especially quick one so you're not inconvenienced for too long. The gel masks you keep in the fridge can be great as well, but I prefer under eye patches for a quicker and more efficient (visibility is crucial!) treatment. 

Eye Creams: I really don't believe that any eye cream can significantly de-puff or brighten dark circles, and definitely not in one night. Instead, for this category, we turn to long-lasting deeply penetrating moisture to keep that refreshed look going. 

Avene Ystheal Eye Cream: In case you missed this post, meet my new favorite eye cream! It specializes in light anti-aging, but most noticeable of all is just how hydrating this stuff is. It has a fairly light consistency but really sinks in and delivers ultimate moisture to the under-eyes that is still there in the morning. I've never felt like my eye cream really lasted the night the way this stuff does. 

Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone Melon Carotenoids Eye Cream: I like this one for the morning, as the Avene can be a little rich under makeup. This has a great amount of moisture for a daytime eye cream--light enough to wear well under concealer, but hydrating enough to keep the area moisturized. It's another one that claims to be brightening, but apart from a sheen (which slightly detracts from the darkness?) it doesn't do much in that department.

The Eye Drops to End All Other Eye Drops: I showed these Rohto Ex. drops in my November Favorites post, and they are still the most beloved member of my on-the-go beauty bag. These little Japanese drops are cooling, tingling and reviving like you would not believe. Literally every time someone at work or school complains how tired or sore their eyes are, I whip this bottle out and basically force them to take a few drops. Some put up a fight, but once they give in, they're hooked (one of my friends tried to swipe this from me!). Unfortunately, you can't get this particular kind in North America, but any Rohto eye drops should give you a similar result. 

As far as next day makeup goes, you can read about a million articles online and in magazines that will basically tell you the same things: concealer, curl your eyelashes, keep any shading light, and run a peachy liner along the waterline to make your peepers look bigger and brighter. 

I'm in my up-all-night zone at the moment, so I'll take you through my personal all-nighter skincare routine and timeline. (This includes all the facial products--not just the eye ones).

Midnight: Wash face, brush teeth--pretend like you're getting ready for bed when you actually have to study for a deathly 9 a.m exam. 

12:00 a.m.--2:30 a.m. Mist face with Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Spray, and throw in a few eye drops every time you feel sleepy.

2:30 a.m. Ahhhh, face mask time. You've been waiting for this! Peel off one of those babies and try not to groan as you slide it onto your face. 

3:15 a.m. Remove facial mask and rub in the excess magical crack fluid. Do not disturb--revel in how fabulous your skin feels!

4:00 a.m Halfway point. Don't give up! Take a quick study break to rub in a serum and admire that glow you're rocking. Don't forget the eye cream! Make some coffee if you must, or keep going with the face mist (it tingles) and eye drops combo.

5:00 a.m. We're almost out of the woods! Slap on a (probably unnecessary) moisturizer. Calculate how many hours of sleep you could get if you went to bed right now, but look at how much studying you have left to do and hold out.

6:30 a.m. Congratulations! You've made it through the worst! It's just odds and ends to wrap up now--your under-eyes might be looking miserable at this point, so pull out that rollerball. Run it all over (even over the lid) your eyes every time your they burn. 

7:30 a.m. Finished! Could potentially get half an hour of sleep, but are so afraid of not being able to wake up and miss your exam that you don't. Review the notes again, and brush your teeth to pretend like you've just woken up.

8:00 a.m. Coffee. Wash your face, while admiring how normal and not-deathly your face looks. Slap on the purple neutralizer to get rid of any potential ashiness, and follow it up with eye cream. No skimping on moisturizer. Keep the makeup light and make sure the eye drops are in your bag.

8:30 a.m. Hussle to your exam, where you will see all sorts of tired and groggy looking people who have no doubt been awake as long as you have.

Only you don't look it!

[12:00 Noon that day. Crash in your bed and swear (for the tenth time) that you'll never stay up all night again].

Time for my face mask!

Hope you're well!

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