All skin is not created equal. You only need to compare the skin on the soles of your feet with that on your thighs to see the difference.
The skin on your face is equally variable. While your nose and cheeks tend to have particularly active sebaceous glands, the skin around your eyes has virtually no sebaceous glands, which makes it prone to dryness. This delicate part of the face is also 10 times thinner than other facial zones, making it one of the first places to show signs of ageing. Facial expressions, which put strain on the eye area, as well as external factors such as exposure to UV rays, pollution and smoking, result in fine lines and wrinkles.
The solution to signs of ageing around the eyes? Take extra care by applying eye creams day and night, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding sun exposure, managing stress, eating well and exercising. Prevention is easier than cure, but it’s never too late to make a difference.
EYE CARE TIPS
By Rosanna Marks , Estée Lauder education manager
• Eye creams are essential for the delicate skin around the eyes. They are hydrating, highly effective and extremely gentle formulas that target specific concerns of the eye area.
• Choose an eye cream that addresses your particular needs; for example, dryness, puffiness, dark circles, fine lines or wrinkles.
• Don’t apply too much eye cream as it can accumulate under the skin, resulting in precisely the effect you are trying to avoid, such as puffiness, bags and sagging. Use a tiny dot of product for both eyes.
• Use an eye cream that is ophthalmologist and/or dermatologist tested.
• Look for eye creams that contain SPF for sun protection during the day, though if you have sensitive eyes this could cause irritation. Always protect your eyes with sunglasses when you are outdoors.
• Never use your regular moisturiser around the eye area; it isn’t designed for that purpose.
EYE CREAM APPLICATION
By Karen Barlow, Lancôme training manager
• Apply eye cream each day after cleansing, both morning and night.
• Gently pat the eye cream evenly around the orbital bone (eye socket) starting below the eye at the inner corner and moving outwards. This technique helps to drain excess toxins and fluids from the eye area rather than push them back into the skin.
• Don’t apply eye cream to your eyelids as they have their own natural oils. You can, however, apply a small amount along the top of the orbital bone, just below the brow, as this area can suffer from dryness.
• Use your ring finger or middle finger to apply eye cream as these fingers will apply less pressure than the others.
• Take extra time each night for your eye skincare. Very gently massage eye cream around the eye area to stimulate blood flow, which will help to minimise dark circles and puffiness.
Eye concealer is a magic tool that can rapidly reduce the signs of sleepless nights and early mornings. Use it to diminish shadows, dark circles, pigmentation, fine lines and imperfections. “When choosing concealers, most people select products that are too light,” says Anna Hardman, national training and promotions consultant for Revlon New Zealand.
“This only exacerbates the problem, as the lighter something is, the more accentuated and pronounced it becomes.” Choose a concealer that perfectly matches your skin tone and use it only where you need it rather than cover the entire eye area.
To apply, use an applicator brush or gently press and pat the concealer on your skin with your fingertips until it is well blended. Cream or liquid concealers are the easiest formulas to blend. Some concealers are designed to cover and fill in fine lines, such as Revlon’s Age Defying Wrinkle Eraser (RRP $32), but beware powder concealers as they can settle into the wrinkles around the eyes, which accentuates rather than hides them.
While there is much debate about whether to apply concealer before or after foundation around the eyes, Hardman suggests using specially formulated eye concealer, as most foundations are not designed for the eye’s delicate skin.
There’s a golden rule when it comes to eye make-up: it should never compete with the colour of your eyes or lipstick. You need to choose eye shadows and eyeliners that suit your eye colour, skin tone and hair colour. If you want a dramatic look, decide which feature you want to emphasise – either your eyes or your lips – but never both.
Eye shadow can be applied in many ways depending on the desired look. As a basic rule, it needs a dry surface so it doesn’t melt or crease during the day.
Apply a primer such as bareMinerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer (RRP $45) or a base layer of powder eye shadow. Don’t use foundation on the eyelids as it will create too much oiliness, causing a landslide of eye shadow.
Choosing shades of eye shadow that suit you depends on the warmth or coolness of your skin, whether your eyes are deep-set (light-hued shades will make your eyes appear bigger) and your hair, eye and eyebrow colour. Eye shadow colour should never be chosen to match the colour of your clothes.
EYE SHADOW MATCHES
Eye shadow can help enhance your natural eye colour. Try these shades:
Blue eyes – grey, violet, taupe, purple, deep blue, brown and bronze.
Green eyes – brown, violet, purple, plum, deep khaki and forest green.
Brown eyes – copper, bronze, gold, rich chocolate and charcoal.
BOBBI BROWN EYES
“The classic Bobbi Brown eye shadow application relies on complementary colours in three intensities of light, medium and dark,” says Kate Smith, freelance senior make-up artist for Bobbi Brown. “The colours worn on the lid should blend well rather than appear as three visible stripes.”
Choose a colour that blends into your skin tone, such as bone, sand, toast or ivory. To avoid looking tired, stay clear of red tones such as pink or rose. Using a shadow brush, apply the highlighter shadow all over the eyelid from the lash line up to the brow bone.
Using the same brush, apply a medium-toned shadow to the eyelid, beginning at the lash line and blending upwards as far as the crease. This colour should blend well with the base colour – if it doesn’t it’s too dark.
Apply a dark-hued eye shadow along the top lash line with a narrow eyeliner brush. Apply it dry or dampen the brush for a darker, more dramatic effect. Be sure to tap off any excess powder before application so it doesn’t flake onto your face.
Used after applying eye shadow and before mascara, eyeliner gives your eyes definition. Apply liner to the upper and lower lash lines. Avoid applying it only to the lower lash line as this will make you look tired. While eyeliner needs to be applied as close to the lash line as possible, it should never be applied to the inside rim of your eye, as this increases the risk of infection.
With all types of eyeliner, start by lifting your chin and tilt your head back slightly as you look in the mirror. Keep your eyelid pulled down and held taut as you apply a line just above the lashes from the inner to the outer corner. Always apply the eyeliner across the whole lash line, as half a line will look unfinished. Repeat on the lower lash line.
Eyelashes serve the practical purpose of keeping debris out of your eyes, but coating them with mascara gives them another purpose – to look fabulous. Petra Rijnbeek, Lancôme national make-up artist, says that when you’re shopping for mascara you first need to decide what look you like, whether it be natural, thick or ultra-dark. She also says you must consider what your lashes need. Do they require definition, length, fullness or curl? Ask your beauty consultant to help you find the product that matches your wish list.
You can use a lash primer, such as Elizabeth Arden Lash Optimizer Primer (RRP $35), to condition the lashes and provide an undercoat for the mascara. “The best way to apply mascara is with your eyes half-closed, stroking downwards from the base of the lashes and then opening your eyes and stroking upwards from underneath the lashes,” says Rijnbeek. “Move nice and slow, letting the wand do all the work for you. Repeat this three or four times to get the desired effect.”
Dick Page, Shiseido’s make-up director, suggests that if you have thin eyelashes use black or brown mascara and apply a dot of kohl pencil between your eyelashes. “This ‘trompe l’oeil’ effect really fills them out,” he says.
Waterproof mascara is good for heavy-duty activities but is a poor choice for everyday wear as it can be difficult to remove and the formula is often drying.
Black mascara is best for definition, but women with fair skin or light lashes look most natural in brown mascara.
“The general rule is to throw out your mascara after three months from the first use,” says Rijnbeek. “A good indictor of when it’s time for it to go is when the suction seal stops making a noise or the mascara is leaving flakes on your skin.”
EYE MAKE-UP REMOVER
“Many of us take little care when removing mascara and eyeliner, which can have a damaging and ageing effect on the eyes,” says Karen Barlow of Lancôme. She suggests putting a generous amount of product, such as Lancôme Effacil Eye Make-up Remover (RRP $62), on a cotton pad (try Shiseido’s Facial Cotton, RRP $18 for 100) over your lashes, counting to 30, and wiping down and out.