How Is It That I Have Dark Circles And My Twin Doesn't?

If dark circles can be traced back to genetics and a lack of sleep, why does my sleep-deprived twin sister have significantly brighter under-eyes than I do?
Publish date:
April 9, 2013
dark circles, genetics, twins

Pia could wake up groggy and hung-over after face-planting in a smoky eye the night before, and after a quick rinse, her eyes look all fresh and bright because she’s a freak who requires two hours of sleep to run around like a candy-fueled toddler.

I, however, can hibernate for the better part of a day, sleep the whole night through, and wake up feeling well-rested only to look in the mirror and see stubborn--and, I feel, totally undeserved--darkness under my eyes.

Concealer, powder, cold spoons, frozen peas--I just can’t seem to get rid of my dark circles. Pia insists they aren’t that bad and that she kind of likes them. I insist she’s crazy.

On multiple occasions, when I’ve failed to fully conceal them, people have asked me if I’ve been crying. No, I have not been crying, but now I’m going to, thanks.

My dark circles can be attributed to genetics, having thin skin under my eyes, sleep deprivation, etc. But Pia doesn’t sleep nearly as much as I do, and she’s MY TWIN, so none of these reasons make much sense to me.

Since I have no choice but to deal with this incredibly unfair situation, I’ve gotten pretty good at minimizing my dark circles. (Acquaintances sometimes mistake me for circle-free Pia, if that’s any indication.) Here’s what I do.


Products with arnica are supposed to improve the strength of capillary walls, so I’ve been using Jurlique Herbal Recovery Eye Cream lately. It’s also supposed to help with firmess, which isn’t a big concern for me yet, but there’s no harm in taking a little early action.

Before I go to bed, I make sure I have at least two pillows under my head. Dark circles can be caused by blood pooling up under your eyes, so propping yourself up a bit helps with the circulation.

Sleeping with a cool sleep mask has also helped with keeping puffiness at bay when I know I’m not going to get enough sleep.


To treat and cover simultaneously, I find that a brightening primer with vitamin C, like Benefit Stay Don’t Stray, really helps because it reflects light on the surface, while improving the dullness from within.

Because the skin under my eyes is not only thinner but also a different color than the rest of my face, liquid concealer leaves a grayish tint where the darkness peers through, making me look like a zombie. It also allows darkness to show through more easily, so I prefer a concealer with a creamy consistency.

After applying my primer, I dab my foundation brush into my Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge (that ish can cover like nobody’s business and comes with two shades so you can deepen or lighten coverage as you please) and gently dab under my eyes.

If you’re not handy with a brush, L’Oreal True Match Crayon Concealer provides great blendable coverage and is easy to bring anywhere.

When applying, the trick is to focus only on the areas where you a have darkness. Once I’ve got all the darkness covered, I lightly dust on some powder foundation to set the concealer and go.

So I haven’t found the cure for my two eyes made out of coal, but I’ve noticed that they are less of a nuisance as long as I stick to my regimen. In the meantime, if someone else asks me If I’m crying, I’m going to run away, wailing and flailing.

Do you have worse dark circles than other people in your family?