Insider Secrets for Ditching Dark Under-eye Shadows

Insider Secrets for Ditching Dark Under-eye Shadows

We’ve all been there: You’ve got two hours until you meet the hottest date you’ve had in months, and you could carry bowling balls in the bags under your eyes. Who ya gonna call? Celebrity makeup artist Kimberly Bosso reveals how, even after their roughest nights riding the red carpets, her clients turn up on the set looking fresh-faced and ready for their close-ups. So cheer up, Charlie Sheen! Bosso is offering us her quick-fix list:

Skip the Salt
According to Bosso, puffiness under the eyes can be hereditary, but it is more often caused by dehydration, lack of sleep and too much salt in your diet. (Who knew Keith Richards was so into seasoning?) So in the long run, if your rendezvous turns into a relationship, you’ll need to think about getting plenty of bed rest, guzzling more water and passing on the street pretzels.

Check the Kitchen
If you’re from jolly old England, you probably already have tea bags and cucumbers within arm’s reach. On this side of the pond, it’s more like Ring Dings and hot dogs, so it may be a good idea to stock up. “Anything cool will help reduce swollen skin under the eyes,” says Bosso. She recommends placing slices of chilled cucumber on the eyes while resting, or using two similarly chilled cool tea bags and letting the moisture soak in. Tea contains tannin, which is a natural astringent that helps shrink body tissue.

Be Innovative
You may look like Abe Vigoda, but you still have Errol Flynn’s libido -- so go for the H-balm, Don Juan. “Preparation H is one of makeup artists’ best-kept secrets,” says Bosso. She says she uses it on her clients all the time, especially on soap-opera actors, who have to be in the makeup chair at 5 a.m. “I find a small dab under the eyes tightens and tones the skin,” she adds. “It’s a temporary fix, but it works.”

Bosso also uses several over-the-counter eye creams that help treat puffy eyes and dark circles. She suggests trying Kiehl’s Eye Alert, available from for $21.50, or MAC’s Fast Response Eye Cream, available at for $30.00.

The Last Resort: Makeup
Just keep telling yourself, “Rambo wears makeup, dammit!” If nothing else has worked, pancake and powder may be your aces in the hole … even if it does sound more like the queens. “A lot of men are afraid to use makeup,” says Bosso. “But there are some great concealers on the market today that won’t cake and are virtually undetectable.” She recommends taking a look at Moisture Concealer for Professional, sold by Koh Gen Do and available at for $48.00. And if you’re not sure how to use it, there are plenty of girls at your local makeup counter that will be happy to show you. Cheer up, Caligula, your other methods of meeting chicks haven’t exactly been foolproof, have they?

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Tim Jarvis is a freelance health, technology and entertainment writer who contributes to O, The Oprah Magazine and the men’s grooming and lifestyle site Men’s Life Today. He is also currently working on a book about the mysteries of quantum mechanics. Tim's articles have previously appeared on Style and Tech for Men.

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