When it comes to battling crow's feet, undereye lines, or whatever else you might call the supposedly character-building beauty marks, the best way to attack them is to use a three-pronged approach. First, start treating the lines asap to help diminish them over time. Second, you probably want to minimize the appearance of them immediately, right? That's why you'll want to employ key line-hiding makeup tricks. And finally, you need to prevent more (or deeper) lines from forming. With the help of dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner and makeup artist Emily Kate Warren, we've got the key tips and products that'll help you master this approach and send your lines packing.
When it comes to treating lines, "topical retinoids like tretinoin are the only ingredients that have been proven in clinical trials to improve fine lines and wrinkles," says Zeichner. You can either opt to get a prescription retinoid like Retin-A Micro, Tazorac or Differin from your dermatologist, or try an over-the-counter product that contains retinol, a form of retinoids. Try SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0, which is meant to be used all over your face, or Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Instant Treatment Mask, which is an eye treatment patch that contains retinol in addition to hydrating ingredients like glycerin.
You can also opt to use a eye or face cream containing plumping ingredients like peptides and light reflective pigments in order to help temporarily reduce the appearance of your lines, says Zeichner. But, they will only work while on your skin—unlike the aforementioned retinoids, which continue to diminish lines over time. Try Yves Saint Laurent Temps Majeur Eye, which contains a Cyto-Regenerating Complex that includes oligo peptides; Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel that plumps up lines using peptides and hydrating humectants; and Dr. Brandt Flaws No More r3p Cream, which uses a triple peptide formula that's rich in antioxidants and shea butter to help reduce the appearance of lines.
Until your retinoid-infused products have time to work their magic on your lines, you can use these simple makeup tricks to minimize their appearance.
Prep skin before foundation with a tinted primer, says Warren. It "smooths fine lines" and will "knock out a lot of the creasing and unevenness or redness that comes with age and sun damage," she says. Try Make Up For Ever HD Primer.
For foundation, use a sheer formula that is lightweight and won't ever look cakey. Try Shiseido The Makeup Dual Balancing Foundation. Apply it using a damp sponge so "the foundation goes on smoothly with no seams," says Warren. If the foundation isn't enough to hide imperfections (like discoloration) then use concealer, but avoid a light reflective or radiance-enhancing formula. "It may be a bit too bright and produce the reverse effect for crinkly undereyes," adds Warren. And, only apply the concealer in the darkest areas under your eyes or you may actually make your lines look more obvious. Focus the product on the area from your tear duct to the darkest point under your eyes, and blend.
Finally, avoid using too much powder as it "tends to settle into lines," says Warren. Also, play up your lashes and subtly fill in your brows to define them. Both will add instant lift to your eyes and draw attention away from your lines.
If you don't have too many obvious lines yet (lucky you), and if you want to prevent the lines you do have from becoming deeper and more obvious, it's time to start taking a few precautionary measures.
First, "sun protection is key to prevent damage to collagen and elastin in the skin," says Zeichner. So, slather on your SPF rain or shine. (Try Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid.) You should also keep your skin well hydrated by using moisturizer regularly. It'll help the "skin retain water and stay healthy," he says. Look for products containing hyaluronic acid, which is one of the most hydrating ingredients available. Try Lancome High Résolution Night Refill-3X.
Preventing lines, however, goes beyond using the right skin care. Zeichner also urges us to wear sunglasses to prevent squinting, which can cause lines, and suggests wearing regular glasses to read or watch a movie (if they're needed) because that too can lead to squinting. And, avoid smoking. Not only is it bad for your overall health, but it also leads to squinting when you're trying to avoid getting smoke in your eyes. And, "nicotine has been shown to constrict blood vessels and can interfere with nutrient delivery to the skin," he says.