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Bright Eyes

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Bright Eyes
Give puffy 'mum' eyes and dark circles the brush-off - says beauty editor Kim Jones.....

It's not often that I feel I have much in common with Victoria Beckham (though I do aspire to her chic dress-sense, minus those impossibly high-heels she wears of course).

But when I saw her snapped looking exhausted during New York Fashion Week last month, I couldn't help but feel a connection. The dark circles under her eyes and accompanying heavy lids said it all - she'd been having a few sleepless nights courtesy of baby Harper.
Body Shop Eyey Reviver Duo

Victoria told the newspapers: 'I'm not going to lie about it, I'm tired'. I'm basically just like any woman who's working and has lots of children - it's tough! I'm up with the baby as all mums are and I wouldn't have it any other way. There's not a team of people doing it for me.'

Luckily, though, there's a lot you can do to pep up puffy eyes and banish dark circles - the telltale signs of exhausted new mum syndrome. Look for eye creams that contain Vitamin C, which helps to brighten skin tone.

The Body Shop's Vitamin C Eye Reviver Duo, £11.00 (www.thebodyshop.co.uk) comprises a 'Radiance Cream' for under-eyes and a 'Roll Revive Gel' with cooling aloe vera, for around the eye area. It also contains Amazonian camu camu berry, one of the richest sources of vitamin C there is.
This Works - Perfect Eyes


I also really like This Works new 'perfect eyes recovery cream', a de-puffing rescue formula for tired eyes with natural cucumber (a good source of Vitamin C) and soothing arnica, which stimulates microcirculation and helps alleviate puffiness and dark circles. It's £28, available from 22nd March at thisworks.com and from 16th April from selected Boots and department stores.

Lorena Oberg, Skin Repair Expert, suggests trying Almond Oil.
'It's my secret weapon for dark circles,' she says. 'It has small molecules so it doesn't feel greasy to the touch and it has fantastic skin healing properties for the delicate under eye area. For maximum effect dab a small amount of Almond Oil around the eye area every morning and evening.'
Origins Gin Zing Eye Cream

For puffy eyes, search out creams and gels containing caffeine, which can help to reduce fluid build-up (a major cause of morning eye-puff!).

I like Origins GinZing, £21 from Origins Counters nationwide. This light, zingy cream contains Panax Ginseng, Caffeine from Coffee Bean, Magnolia Extract, and natural optic brighteners to help wake up and refresh the eye area (some people call this cream a 'shot of espresso' for tired eyes!). In a consumer study 86% of participants that used the cream said the skin around the eye area looked brighter and more radiant.

Look after your health, too. Dark circles can be a sign of dehydration or an iron deficiency, so drink plenty of fluids and get your iron levels checked.

Alternatively, try lightening up with a spud! 'Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase, which is used in some cosmetics as a skin lightener,' says Charlotte Vohtz, author of 'Naturally Gorgeous', £9.99 (Ebury Press) available from www.greenpeople.co.uk. Cut a round slice from a potato then cut in half to form two half moons - and place under each eye for 20 minutes.

Cover-Ups

When all else fails, covering up your dark eye circles is the only option.

This clever concealer palette - the Camouflage Kit from W7
W7 Camouflage Kit
- contains five different shades so you can mix and match to get the perfect tone for your skin, and also means you find the right colour for your skin tone through the seasons, if you tan. It's £4.95 from www.faithcosmetics.co.uk and New Look.

I also love Estée Lauder's Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator. It's a light concealer that with regular use can lessen the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
Estee Lauder Idealist Cooli
It has a cooling ceramic tip applicator which instantly calms a tired under-eye and dispenses colour-correcting optics to help neutralise the look of discolouration for more natural-looking, even skintone around the eye. The formula also contains Pinoxide™ and Magnolia Extract that help improve under-eye micro-circulation and reduce the appearance of under-eye puffiness. It's pricey at £40.00 from Estée Lauder counters nationwide and online at www.esteelauder.co.uk, but in consumer testing, 90% of women saw a reduction in the look of dark circles and puffiness after two weeks of use.

So, who says you've had no sleep for a week, mummy?!

By - Our Beauty Editor

March 2012

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