Skin & Fragrance Blog by Thom Watson

Makeup & Tanning, Eye Bags & Dark Circles

Under Eye Brightening with Smashbox + Before & After

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Under-eye dark circles are one of us guy’s biggest complaints. Sometimes, no matter what you do, how healthy you are or how much sleep you get; they’re still there. Sometimes this is hereditary, sometimes it isn’t, but what I can tell you is that they’re super-easy to fix.

Firstly make sure you’re using a good eye cream. Regular, twice-daily, gentle massage will help increase the flow of lymph fluid around the eye area as stagnant lymphatic fluid is what causes the colour and puffiness. #

Be sure to treat the skin there with kindness – don’t go bat crazy rubbing them and using lots of heavy products with excess fragrance – this will only irritate and make things worse. My weapon of choice has always been the La Mer Eye Concentrate!

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Crème de la Mer The Eye Concentrate. £140. John Lewis.

Bobbi Brown’s Extra Eye Repair Cream is also a brilliant alternative if £140 is a bit too much of a push. Gorgeous ingredients; very hydrating and has a slight priming effect too.

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Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream. £39.60. John Lewis.

Smashbox might be a new brand to you (as they are to me) and although they’ve been around for years, they were taken into the Estee Lauder family of companies a couple of years back and since then have been growing and growing. I found these 2 products at my local Boots store (one of the big retail-park ones) and after playing around with the testers, immediately fell in love – definitely a have to have moment.

Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener

Not so much a primer, but would sit happily over one to immediately lift and brighten the eye area. You apply it with a brush inside the tube.

Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener. £18. Boots

Whilst I’m not enthralled with the brush applicator, as it’s really not hygienic if used directly onto the skin, I apply by brushing onto my clean finger-end and then patting on and around the whole eye. Light pats until there are no traces of product left.

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This is not a concealing product and although it looks coloured, it immediately sinks into the skin without much of a trace. The effects are quite something!

Smashbox High Definition Concealer

I bought this in ‘Fair’ as I’m pretty pale at the best of times but I’d say this is the most ‘generic’ colour – very similar in tone/shade to the original Touche Eclat. Now this has one of the best levels of coverage I’ve come across so far in an under-eye concealer without being noticeable or drying (although will always work better on top of an eye cream/primer).

Smashbox High Definition Liquid Concealer. £18. Boots
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This sits on top of the Photo Op Under Eye Brightener and is applied easily using either a brush, or, which I prefer, applying a small amount to your ring-finger and patting on gently – this is because your ring-finger doesn’t have a dedicated muscle and when bent forward on its own, goes all limp and delicate (try it!).

Me Smashbox Line 2 2 1

As you can see below on one eye (guess which eye – answer is below the pic), the effects of using both products together is quite dramatic! But neither make it look like I’m wearing makeup and if used with warm fingers, blend in perfectly. Both take about 20 seconds to apply. 

Yep, the left eye is the one with both products! Clear even under such a bright light.

This has been light-levelled and a line drawn on, but there’s no Photoshop trickery here just in case you were wondering! Both products take away that puffiness under my lower lid and smooth out the whole area. I felt it completely lifted my face and made me look far more awake and energetic than we all know I really am.

Whilst the products do last a good while, all day in fact, if you’re a little oily or have a tendency to rub your eyes (you might see a touch under my left eye where I’ve stupidly been rubbing due to hay fever), you might want to top up around midday but don’t be concerned about them running or becoming obvious at any point!

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