Make-up for sad, puffy eyes!

My spring/summer of minor health problems continues, only this time end of June hit me with eye allergies.  After trying out a new skin oil on my face, I developed an allergic reaction.  My eyes went from normal to bright red over night, and had me running to the doctor hoping it was not an infection.  Finding out it was just an allergic reaction, I treated it with eye drops and allergy medication.  Soon the red started to disappear…but to my frustration, the symptom of puffiness lagged on.  I would wake up with swollen eyes daily. I was using everything from ice, chilled tea bags, to cucumber slices to reduce the swelling….but nothing seemed to fully get rid of the puffiness on the top lid and puff bags underneath.

Not that puffy, swollen eyes are the most horrendous looking thing for a girl to have, it was still better than the acne I suffered from earlier this spring.  But I did have comments from people saying I looked “sad” or “stressed”; questions about if I was going to cry!?  I am an emotional gal, and am sensitive about it, so it was definitely not pleasant to have my facial mood judged and commented on.  All those perceptions from others were made based on my face appearance when in reality, I was just recovering from eye allergies! So this was a problem. I was also meeting people around this time, and knew for a better first impression, I needed a stronger fix than cold tea bags and ice on my eyes.

In comes the smokey eye make-up!  I have never been a fan of the smokey eye. Too dramatic for everyday, and bordering on a goth art student aesthetics…it was just not practical, semi-dated.  I usually opt for a more minimal approach to my make-up; sticking with youthful light coloured shimmer shadows. But there is nothing that covers puffiness better than matte black, greys, and neutral shadows.  Something about black matte shadows suggest a receding in effect, perfect to combat my eye’s puffing out effect.  So I set out to rediscover the “smokey eye”.  I figured out a way to do a subtle smokey eye that could be worn daily by me to hide puffiness as my eyes continued to heal…or for days where they puffed up again. yikes.

How I took out excessive “glam” in the smokey eye make-up:

(Apply foundation/bb and setting powder first and prep face)

  1. Start with a nude eye shadow as base over the whole lid from lashline to brow.  This helps with blending a smooth gradation between different shades of shadow that will be applied on top of eyelid.
  2. Use a really dark, matte black shadow as a liner, and line a thick line above your lashline accentuating your eyes shape.  Thicker in the outer corners, and flicking up slightly as if doing a cat eye shape.  Thinly line the bottom lid corners with black shadow too.
  3. Fill in and soften the black shadow line with a grey matte shadow.  This gradation should be subtle, and also following the angled shape of the black shadow.  Stop about mid eye lid so that it is not overly dramatic.
  4. Use a tiny bit of liquid liner to clean up the outer edge of the cat eye made by the black eye shadow.  Do this by out lining the shape lightly, and filling in more intensely in the outer eyes corners, and thinning away at mid point of the eye.
  5. Very important: Use a clean, fluffy shadow blending brush all over the top and bottom lid to smudge and make extra “smokey”.  Without this step, you will not get a nice blurred gradation, and that is what makes a dark smokey eye not harsh.
This is a really cool shadow palette I got from NYX. The reason I like them is that their shadows are really pigmented...this helps to cover up puff...
This is a really cool shadow palette I got from NYX. The reason I like them is that their shadows are really pigmented…this helps to cover up puff…


not sad, or puff, just shadowy cover when you need it.
not sad, or puff, just shadowy cover when you need it.

I find this look is not overly dramatic, and can be worn daily, even on simple errands.  And as a make-up for a first meeting or date, it knocks it out of the ball park, because I says you’re “fashion”, but not “high-maintenance”.  And it helped me hide those “sad” puffy eyes of mine, and kept random, public judgements at bay.  😛

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