UNPOPULAR OPINION: You Don't Need To Cover Your Dark Circles

What's the obsession with looking "well-rested" anyway?
Publish date:
November 10, 2014
under-eye bags, Origins, dark circles, concealer, audrey hepburn, isabelle adjani

For as long as I can remember, I've had shadowy, puffy bags under my eyes, and up until recently I did everything I could to try to hide them.

Photos of me from age two onward show a tired-looking child, one who would grow into a teenager/adult with deep semi-circles carved into the flesh under her eyeballs.

No matter how well-rested I was or wasn't, my under-eye bags were there, waiting for my next concealing strategy.

As a teenager I grew self-conscious of them, wrinkling my nose at my reflection under the bright lighting of Sephora. I would sample various concealers, some tinted yellow in attempts to correct the bruise tones, others full of micro-fine shimmer to reflect light.

At home I would store eye cream in the fridge and press cold spoons against my eyelids, hoping to shrink the blood vessels and ease the swollen skin. None of these things really made a difference.

I soon realized the puffiness, most likely a result of fluid buildup around the sinuses thanks to a multitude of allergies, was there to stay. And those dark shadows? They were cast by my brow bone that protruded out over my small eyelids and deep-set eyes.

Working in the beauty industry, I learned that some things did seem to ease the appearance. Origins Gin-Zing Refreshing Eye Cream, applied cold, made my eyes appear brighter and less like I'd just had an allergic reaction, and I found success with thick-yet-creamy peach-tone concealers like the ones in Coastal Scents Eclipse Palette, as they corrected the blue and purple dark spots and hid a small patch of hyperpigmentation underneath my left eye that I'd grown bitter towards.

It wasn't until this past year when I started to ask myself what the point was. Why was I fighting a genetic predisposition towards looking tired? What was the use in trying to make myself appear well-rested, anyway?

Taking a survey of friends who also happen to be in their early-to-mid twenties, I found that none of us are actually getting any decent sleep. Between the strange hours of the jobs we work to the late nights spent, you know, being young, rarely do any of us ever hear the beeping of our alarm clocks and hop out of bed grinning ear to ear. And yet, morning arrives and so many of us shuffle in our slippers to the bathroom to try and undo a night of not enough sleep, smearing on whatever current fix-it solution we favor.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not against makeup at all in the slightest. I adore makeup for the creative expression it offers me and the chance it gives me to transform into whoever I please. And of course, I love concealer for hiding my zits. That being said, I find myself less and less concerned about fighting the inevitable. I am always going to look tired, and that's OK.

In fact, a lot of very beautiful people have gone out in the world with their dark circles on full display, too, and they didn't become less attractive because of it.

There's almost a very cool, DGAF-vibe to the act of going without camouflage, because looking a bit exhausted can make people feel slightly uncomfortable, like a leather jacket or a severe case of resting bitch face.

You don't have to abandon your under-eye concealer just because I've done so. If you want to look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I offer you my full support. I even suggest you try Sable's eye-brightening method.

But maybe let's take away the negative associations with looking sleepy and start treating those bags like we would if they were designer. A little bit of eye cream at night, and some plans to sleep in on my days off? That's good enough for me.

  • Are you ready to give up the cover-up fight?
  • If not, which concealer do you swear by for hiding a night of bad sleep?