Things have (thankfully) come a long way since Grandma's days of tea bags and thick "pancake" foundations for dealing with under-eye issues. The first step: Treat the underlying problem before you reach for concealer. "The skin under your eye is the thinnest on your body," explains dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "And most dark circles and bags are caused by inflammation and leakage from blood vessels in the area." Go with an eye cream containing caffeine, which will help nix both dark circles and under-eye puffiness by constricting blood vessels in the area. Darphin Anti-Fatigue Smoothing Eye Gel ($38; neimanmarcus.com).
For years, women had to layer on foundation to try to disguise fine lines, but now high-tech primers and wrinkle fillers can help. "These silicone-based gels temporarily fill in pores and lines, making your face look smoother," notes New York City and Los Angeles–based makeup artist Napoleon Perdis. "They help your makeup go on more evenly and last longer by giving it something to bind to." We love Kiehl's Double Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler ($39; nordstrom.com). Spread a tiny amount of primer over moisturized skin, making sure to get it on the tiny lines and creases around your eyes and mouth. If you prefer to turn your age-erasing over to a dermatologist, treatments like Botox (made with botulinum toxin) remain the gold standard for fine linesand it's wiping out more wrinkles than ever. "Before, it was only for around the eyes and on the forehead," Dr. Zeichner says. "Now doctors are using botulinum toxin to improve the appearance of fine lines around the mouth."
Cover up: Thinning lashes
The key to getting long thick lashes without pasting them on? Use a volumizing mascara that helps plump up your fringe. But before you break out the mascara, softly line your upper lid with a black pencil to darken the lash line and create the illusion of thicker lashes, Perdis advises. We love Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum ($10; walmart.com). Then reach for a lash primer like Estee Lauder Lash Primer Plus ($22; neimanmarcus.com), which contains fibers that cling to lashes to make them look thicker. After the primer dries, apply your mascara. "Look for a small wand that can get to the root of your lashes," Perdis says. Working in small sections from your outer lashes in toward your nose, place your mascara wand at the base of your lash, slowly wiggle it side to side a few times, then sweep it out to the tip. For a little extra length and volume, apply another coat of mascara just at the tips of your lashes.
Erase these complexion challenges with a skin-refining, two-step approach. Start by treating your dark spots with a lotion containing ingredients that exfoliate dead skin cells and work to lighten pigmented patches. Try La Roche-Posay Mela-D Dark Spots ($52; target.com), which uses lipohydroxyl acid to get rid of dead cells and slow the production of melanin in the skin; you can use it on your neck and decolletage, too. Finish with a new, state-of-the-art foundation like L'Oreal Paris Visible Lift Serum Absolute ($15; walmart.com), which is packed with anti-agers like retinol (to promote cell turnover) and vitamin C (which can have skin-lightening effects). "Apply a matching shade directly to your spots using a foundation brush, making sure to blend well," Sakas explains. If you're dealing with darker spots, apply a second coat once the first is dry; blend again for flawless results.