Pumpkin Fresh Peepers for the Win

Now that it’s October and pumpkin season is officially upon us, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about these seasonally appropriate hydrogel eye masks. Yes, they are a fun shade of orange, but BLAQ Pumpkin Fresh Peepers also contain pumpkin extract fruit enzymes, red algae and konjac, which all work together to create an extremely soothing, pleasant and effective hydrogel patch.

I recently put these bad boys to the ultimate test after a particularly rough day. Let’s just say I did a fair amount of crying, my dark circles had dark circles, and I had to attend an event where I’d rather not look like the dictionary definition of haggard. I slapped these on, used some eye drops (shout out to Lumify), and 15 minutes later looked like a normal human again. It was incredible. My sister witnessed the whole thing – she’ll back me up, I’m sure.

Is there anything I love more than a whimsical beauty product that actually works? I doubt it. I never want to be without a supply of these eye masks again, but especially not during PSL season.

3 Steps to Brighter Eyes

Say goodbye to dark circles and puffy lids with these three simple steps:

1. Flush it out. When you wake up with unusually puffy eyes, the consumption of too much sodium and too little water is often the culprit. Make a point of drinking plenty of extra water to rehydrate and flush out the toxins that are puffing you up; it’ll improve your current appearance and help prevent waking up with the same problem tomorrow.

2. Walk it off. Whether you occasionally suffer from puffy, tired-looking eyes or your brighter-eye battle is a lifelong one, you’ve probably wondered what you can do to de-puff your eyes, fast. Here’s the secret: go for a walk. Even a ten-minute walk will get blood pumping and excess fluid moving away from your face. I recently started going for early morning walks and was thrilled to discover this side effect. Want proof? Check out these before and after photos:

3. Fake it. If you don’t have time to take a stroll or your dark circles make you look like you’ve been punched in the face, it’s time to call in some reinforcements. Enter Benefit Fakeup.

The combination of silky moisturizer and long-last concealer make Fakeup your eyes' best friend.

The combination of silky moisturizer and long-last concealer make Fakeup your eyes’ best friend.

This undereye miracle worker features a core of concealer enveloped in a silky moisturizer. The result is a smooth application, long-lasting coverage and an undereye concealer that will not crease. It will be your best friend on mornings when you wake up feeling less than bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Eye Spy

It’s no secret that one of my greatest beauty woes is my endlessly tired-looking eyes. Dark purple smudges are a permanent fixture below them, and some unfriendly crinkles are showing themselves around their corners.

I decided it was time to do something about it.

Over the past month or so, I’ve been testing a variety of eye creams that promise to brighten, tighten, de-puff and generally perk-up my peepers. Here, the lowdown on which eye creams really work – and which ones don’t.

Benefit B.Right It’s Potent! Eye Cream: I applied this luxurious cream in the morning with my pinkie finger, dabbing on from the inner corners outward. The result? My eyes looked significantly brighter immediately, and stayed that way for hours. It didn’t irritate my sensitive eyes, nor did it make my makeup run. This one gets top marks from me.

Caudalie The Eye Cream: I applied this lotion with my ring finger (as instructed) from the inner corners out. While the cream felt smooth and did not bother my eyes, I saw absolutely no difference in their appearance.

Ole Henrikson Visual Truth Eye Serum: I applied this serum before bed using my ring finger, from the outer corners working in. While I did notice an increase in brightness, the serum started burning my eyes within three minutes. In my opinion, the pain was not worth the slight improvement in appearance.

Murad Eye Lift Illuminator: I patted this lotion around my eyes in the morning. It felt incredibly silky and softened the lines around my eyes, but I didn’t notice an increase in brightness. Additionally, the cream never absorbed into my skin, causing my makeup to cake up in little pills. Not a good look.

Clinique All About Eyes Rich: This cream is a must-have. I applied it morning and/or night, dabbing in either direction. It made my dark circles brighter, my eye crinkles softer, and had a great, non-irritating feeling. I’ve used the All About Eyes Serum in the past, and it works well to soothe puffy eyes, but this cream is hands down the best bet.