Just because I don’t also share a specific beauty concern with you, doesn’t mean that I don’t have your back. You can write in any kind of Ask Afrobella question under the sun! Recently I got a good one.
Hey Hey Bella,
I’m a light skinded black woman with an ongoing beauty problem. I have these big dark circles under my eyes and I can’t seem to make them go away! They make me look old before my time, and all I can do is use concealer to try to cover them up. Do you know of any products for bellas to reduce under eye darkness?
love your site! Rhonda the Raccoon
Hey hey, Rhonda!
I know dark circles can be a never ending beauty plague for the bellas who have ’em. There are many possible causes of dark circles — heredity, hyperpigmentation, dramatic fat loss, lack of sleep, and vitamin deficiencies are all considered as contributing factors. And there are all sorts of fancy under-eye ointments and treatments — check out Sephora’s offerings, which range from Dr. Perricone’s $195 neuropeptide contour, to Bare Escentuals eye rev-er upper for $21. It’s a thriving industry based on products that may or may not work. Or so my friend Allie tells me.
“Oh, none of that stuff works. I’ve tried so many things,” she declares.
Yup, despite the last negative response to me discussing beauty issues with a friend and then posting their picture… I’m doing it again. And guess what — I’m not gonna stop. If I have a friend who is honestly knowledgeable about a beauty issue I’m covering, I’m gonna ask their opinion and share it on Afrobella regardless of what they look like. Why? Because I respect their opinion and can vouch that they’re for real about what they say. I have all different kinds of friends — some of them you’ll identify with, and others, you won’t. If it bothers you so much that you want to leave a comment about it, by all means express yourself.
Having placed that disclaimer… since Afrobella is about ALL shades of beautiful, I felt compelled to turn to the one expert I know in this particular arena, my co-worker, friend, and new neighbor Alexandra Quinones. Here she is. Say hi, Allie! Allie’s cool as hell, which is awesome for me because I sit next to her at work every day, and then I also get to hang out with her at home.
She’s of Peruvian descent, but Allie’s as pale as like, Kelly Osbourne. And dark under eye circles are the bane of her existence.
She’s tried just about everything, from the priciest potions to the cheapest creams. And she says nothing works. Ever. “Most of that stuff is just a waste of money. With the eye stuff, I think it’s most important to try to fix the underlying causes. With me, it’s probably due to allergies and genetics than anything else.” Allie’s pretty much convinced that it’s a hereditary thing, which makes sense because none of my relatives have dark circles. Our family beauty issues tend to deal with other kinds of hyperpigmentation. Allie has gotten so desperate to solve her underlying issues, that she’s giving up dairy products to see if it makes a difference. “All you can really do is cover them up. I use L’Oreal Bare Naturale mineral powder foundation because liquid foundation tends to look bad where the crease under your eye is — it’ll stick to the crease. It doesn’t give me the best coverage,” says Allie.
For reviews on new products, Allie hits up the My Dark Circles blog, so she’s always up on the hot new stuff. When the good people at Olay contacted me about their new Definity Eye Illuminator, I had to let her try it. As long as she promised to give me her honest opinion!
You may have caught the perennially gorgeous Angela Bassett doing commercials for this stuff on TV before. Ms. Bassett
no longer shills for Olay, but she ( **edited follow-up, Angela Bassett still reps Olay!) was the first celebrity to attract my attention to the stuff. At this year’s Emmy Awards, Primetime Emmys Make-up Department Head Bruce Grayson used Olay Eye Definity on the ever-rotating cast of celebrities whirling through his makeup chair. The official quote from him: “Before I even begin to apply eye make-up, I like to start with Olay Definity Eye Illuminator ($25.99 at drugstores nationwide) because it has multi-colored micas that help to hide imperfections. It limits the amount of make-up I need to use around the eye and this strategic use of make-up helped to create a beautiful look that was anything but â€˜over-done.â€™” True — I noticed on some of my favorite stars (like America Ferrara), the makeup look was all about the lips, and eye makeup was kept effortlessly simple with false lashes instead of heavy shadows and liners.
So I asked Allie to try this stuff and tell me how it worked for someone who actually HAS these dark circles and is turning to Olay to alleviate the problem. “I think it works good for sheer coverage because it has a light-reflecting quality to it, so that’s good for days when you want to wear less makeup. As for actually lightening my circles, I’ve only tried it for a few days so I haven’t seen any real changes. And I can only use it at night; the package says to apply morning and night, but it doesn’t look good under makeup — it’s kind of like putting foundation on over glue. But I’m not a makeup pro. I’ve heard creams like this work good as a primer from some women,” she says. “Honestly, the best thing you can do is drink a lot of water,” she adds. So there you have it.
Rhonda Raccoon, if you’d like to solve the problem, consider addressing your own underlying issues — get lots of sleep, drink lots of water, and treat your body right. I hope that helps somewhat. And having said that — it’s giveaway time!!
Do you have dark circles under your eyes? Would you like to try Olay’s new $25 hotness, to see if it helps your situation out? Leave a comment for me, telling me about your own dark circle issues, and favorite treatment method. I’ll close comments on Friday, pick five winners at random, write you to get your mailing address, and Olay will hook you up!