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Reduce dark under-eye circles

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Say goodbye to tired eyes

Dark circles are one of the biggest (and most common) beauty frustrations around. And, surprise: Lack of sleep isn't their only cause. Here's a guide to dark under-eye circles -- what causes them and what you can to to get rid of them.

Woman with under eye circles

What causes dark circles?

1Lack of sleep: We all know that sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your complexion, but not getting enough rest also can cause the blood vessels under your eyes to dilate, causing dark circles to appear.

2Genetics: If you inherit fair or thin skin under your eyes, dark circles look much more prominent because the dark veins underneath have nowhere to hide. Thanks, Mom.

3Age: Over time, skin loses collagen and thins, so dark veins under your eyes show through more prominently.

4Seasonal allergies: Allergies trigger the release of histamines in the body, which inflame blood vessels and cause swelling.

To determine why your dark circles happen, gently stretch the skin under your eyes. If the area gets darker, the circles are probably due to genetics or aging. If the color doesn't change, allergies are probably the cause, in which case an over-the-counter allergy medication could help.

How to conceal dark circles

1Prepare the skin.

Dab eye cream lightly and gently under your eyes, starting with the inner corner and working out. Eye cream helps plump the skin, which minimizes the look of the veins underneath.

Product tip: Choose an eye cream with light-reflecting pigments to brighten the under-eye area, further fading the look of dark circles.

2Apply concealer.

Choose a concealer that has yellow undertones, which neutralize the bluish color of the dark circles. We like Bobbi Brown Corrector ($22).

Gently dot the concealer along the under-eye area with a thin makeup brush. Start at the inner corner of the eye, where circles are darkest, and work outward.

Quick tip: Don't substitute foundation for concealer. Foundation can dry out the delicate skin under the eyes and make fine lines look more prominent.

3Blend.

Allow the concealer to sit on your skin for a few seconds to make it easier to work with. Gently tap the concealer into your skin to blend with your finger. Remember that the skin under your eyes is very delicate, so avoid pulling and tugging.

4Apply powder.

Dust a small amount of translucent powder over the concealer with a puff or large, soft brush to help hold the look, prevent shine and ensure that concealer doesn't slide into wrinkles and creases.

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