woman with cucumber slices

3 steps to bright eyes

My biggest daily struggle when I have to get my face ready for work is my eyes.  How do I make them look brighter, and appear more rested? Of course, the best remedy would be a good night’s sleep, but sometimes that’s easier said than done! When it comes to making our eyes look bright,  unfortunately for many of us it’s not a single-product-fix. Darkness around the eye area can be hereditary and not easily “fixed” with sleep or an expensive eye cream.  In this article, I share with you 3 steps to bright eyes that you can easily do every day to look more awake.

1. Hydration for bright eyes

The benefits of cold cucumber slices

The first step to bright eyes is hydrating the eye area and reducing puffiness.   If you wake up with swollen eyes after indulging in salty snacks the night before, you definitely need a way to reduce puffiness in the area.  Also, seasonal changes can trigger allergies leaving you with red, itchy and puffy eyes.

cucumber slices for bright eyes

There are a few ways to remedy the redness and puffiness.  One of the quickest is to apply cucumbers slices on your eyes.  You might have heard about the benefits of cucumbers for bright eyes before but not taken it seriously.  I mean, how can this ordinary vegetable improve the eye area? The benefits of the cucumber for the eye area lie in its unique hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.  Cucumbers are high in water content helping to hydrate the delicate eye area.  Cucumber juice has been deemed as an effective ingredient in many clinical trials for reducing wrinkles.  What’s more, cucumbers are high in Vitamin C and folic acid. Vitamin C helps wake up the eyes while folic acid can increase the production of collagen to give you firmer and more toned skin.  If you store your cucumbers in the fridge, the cooling effect alone will give you a fresh look.

How to use:

Slice cucumbers super thinly, almost to the point of being transparent. If you slice them this thin, you’ll find that they will stick onto your face and you can move about freely. Then, cut them into a half-moon shape, and place them on your under-eye area. Keeping them sliced and ready to go in a sealed container in the fridge will help get them on your eyes faster in mornings.  Apply them on cleansed skin and leave them on for at least 15 minutes before applying your makeup.  If you have time to relax for a few minutes while the cucumber slices sit on your eyes, then you can apply them over your eye lids as well, not just the under-eye area. You can also do this at night as well, but I find it more effective to do when you start your day and before you apply your makeup. If you want to create the ultimate spa experience with your eye treatment, this article will inspire you!

The benefits of caffeine on the eyes

The second trick for bright eyes is to save your black tea or green tea bags in the fridge. Besides the hydrating and cooling effect, the caffeine from the tea is excellent at reducing puffiness and brightening dark circles. Both black and green teas contain antioxidants called flavonoids and tannins.  These have an anti-inflammatory effect on the eye area helping to tighten and draw out fluid. Green tea might be more effective than black tea because of its higher tannin content.

caffeine for bright eyes


If you’re not a caffeine fan, chamomile and rooibos teas are also wonderful for soothing the eye area. Rooibos tea is also excellent at reducing the look of fine lines or wrinkles. So steep, your favorite tea and reap the benefits!

How to use:

Steep your favorite tea as you normally would.  When done, remove the tea bags, place in an air-tight container and put in the fridge.  In the morning, you have cooled tea bags waiting to soothe and brighten your eyes. On cleansed skin, let the tea bags sit under your eyes for a good 10 minutes. Once the ten minutes are up, gently tap any excess tea into your skin using your ring fingers.  Proceed with your eye cream.

2. Moisture for bright eyes

Do Eye Creams Help Under-Eye Darkness?

This is a good question, isn’t it? Women spend hundreds of dollars on face creams and eye creams in particular are one of the most expensive items.  A small bottle of eye cream can run you anywhere from $40 to $165 for 20ml! In my experience, eye creams don’t decompress my eyes as well as the cooled cucumbers or tea bags have in the past. The eye creams, however, are effective in plumping up the skin and smoothing out wrinkles.

eye cream for bright eyes

A great eye cream that won’t break the bank is Cocoon Apothecary’s Eyewaken.  It contains cornflower water, rose hydrosol, argan oil, almond oil and grape seed oil.  When applying, I find that even half a pump is more than enough for both eyes.  If that is too much for your eye area, bring the product up on your eye contour and give your eyes a little massage working in counter clockwise circles.  This cream is unscented and just rich enough to help create a beautiful base for eye makeup.

Another winning product is Consonant Skincare’s firming eye cream . It’s firming, brightening and lightweight.   Zinc Oxide reflects light to help make the eye area appear brighter while natural botanicals such as Senna hydrate and plump the skin.  It also contains Niacinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3. This is an essential nutrient and is fantastic for the skin for so many different reasons. The non-greasy unscented formula of this cream can be applied 360 degrees around the eye area.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a cream that has taken away the under-eye discoloration that I’ve had since I was a kid. And now that I’m in my forties, my circles are just getting worse because of the loss of volume in this area and gravity pulling everything downwards. Although eye creams have amazing benefits, there’s no instant magic when it comes to removing dark circles. I love eye creams for all the other benefits they offer: plumping for makeup prep, moisturizing the eye area and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

3. Makeup for bright eyes

Best concealer trick

As I mentioned before, the discoloration is not going to go away instantly with an eye cream. This is where a few good concealers come in handy. When it comes to concealers, it’s always best to have something a bit lighter than your skin tone.  If you have deep under-eye circles, you’ll want to make them appear less deep.  A concealer one shade lighter will brighten the area and bring it forward reducing its depth. So, two different shades of concealer are very useful to have on hand.

My concealer trick is to apply the lighter shade in the deepest part of your circles.  Apply with a thin eyeliner brush, so you can really get into that line and bring the depth forward. Watch me do this in my “bright eyes” You Tube video! For the rest of your eye area, a concealer the same tone as your skin works well.  Personally I have a lot of discoloration on my eyelids, so I like to use concealer all over the lid as an eye primer. This really helps open up the eyes making them look more awake. It also helps your eye makeup stay in place.

After I finish concealing all the dark areas, I like to go in with the smallest amount of loose powder to set everything in place. Pressed powder works too!

woman with bright eyes

Nude eyeliner is a must-have

Finally, the last tip I can give you for bright eyes is to use a nude pencil in the bottom water line. Using the nude pencil can really help brighten up the whites of the eyes and the eyes in general.  It’s very subtle change, but it makes it look like your eyes are just popping a little bit more than before. Finish it all off with a thick coat of black mascara and enjoy your bright eyes in the mirror! If you want to wear eye shadow, stick to shades that brighten up the eye such as blues and greens. Stay away from pinks, purples and plums that will make your eyes appear red and tired.

Final thoughts

If you struggle with puffy and discolored eyes like I do, please try out my brightening tips and you’ll be amazed at the difference! With a bit of practice these tips don’t take up a lot of time.  You just have to have some cool props in the fridge, cucumbers and tea bags, and a bit of product in your makeup drawer. If you have any questions about these tips or any of the products I mentioned, please let me know in the comments below.  I’d love to help you create a bright eye look that works for you.


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