How To

How to: get rid of dark circles

Oh, the ol’ circles of darkness. Surefire sign of a night on the sauce (damn those Happy Hours). However, next time you wake up feeling like Withnail and looking like Droopy – these simple steps will get you back to bright eyed (if not necessarily bushy tailed), quicker than you can say ‘fry up’

That said, dark circles are not caused solely by too little shut-eye/too many tequilas. As {Tata Harper} points out, they can be hereditary and are dependent upon skin thickness (which is why they tend to manifest themselves as we get older, and skin becomes thinner). They can also be attributed to dehydration – the body retains fluid in peculiar places, and under the eyes is one such reservoir – as well as to the accumulation of toxins (which is why hangovers wreak havoc).

Thankfully, we have a comprehensive collection of treatments, tricks and cover-ups, to conceal dreaded ‘circles of darkness’ (and help diminish them for good).


Eye cream may seem like an extra, unnecessary step in your skin care regime, but they’re especially important once you hit your 30s. They’re formulated differently to regular moisturisers – designed to penetrate delicate skin without irritation, and target those common concerns.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s {Ferulic + Retinol Eye Serum} wages two-pronged attack on dark circles. Stimulating collagen synthesis to ‘thicken’ skin, whilst liquorice exerts brightening benefit. Verso’s {Super Eye Serum} is phenomenal – strengthening skin with its signature ‘Retinol 8 Complex’ (the rave reviews speak for themselves) – and both Tata Harper’s {Restorative Eye Crème} and Odacité’s {Eye Contour Serum Concentrate} rely on a cocktail of all-natural actives, to lessen visibility of shadows.

Tata Harper recommends an every morning ‘massage’ – be sure you have something between skin and fingertips to prevent tugging – then close your eyes and move your ring finger along the lower eyelid in an arc, from inner to outer corner, then back around the top lid. Repeat 10 times every morning, to increase microcirculation and in turn, send your eye bags packing!



{Cryotherapy} is brilliant for bags. By ‘cooling’ the delicate skin, you constrict the capillaries which provokes elimination of toxins – whether due to too much salt or alcohol, lowering cell temperature is an excellent (proven) way to tighten and brighten the oribtal area.

Peter Thomas Roth’s {Cucumber De-Tox Depuffing Eye Cubes} are designed to be used fresh from the freezer. Just wrap the frozen contents of a pod in a muslin, and apply directly to puffy, sleep-deprived eyes to help you fake wide awake in an instant. Embryolisse’s {Eclat du Regard} is a soothing, twist-up stick (it looks a bit like mini Pritt), that can be applied under or over make up, to refresh and illuminate eyes on the go.

The ‘little end’ of Yu Ling’s {Jade Facial Roller} fits the eye contour perfectly, while White Lotus’ {Gua Sha} is made from pure jade which is hailed for its powerful, detoxifying properties – it’s believed to balance fluid and even enhance kidney function. Whether or not you’re a believer, applying a chilled stone to scratchy, inflamed eyes feels rather heavenly (and works wonders).



Choose a yellow or peachy concealer, depending on the colour of your shadows. Yellow neutralises blues and purples, while peach works to brighten brown-ish, sallow tones.

Use your ring finger to gently melt concealer – the heat of your fingertips makes for a beautiful, natural finish. BECCA’s {Under Eye Brightening Corrector} is laced with light-scattering pigments to blur and brighten in an instant – a great way to fake ‘wide awake’ (when you’re anything but). Alternatively, Kevyn Aucoin’s {Sensual Skin Enhancer} can be served ‘straight up’ for the ultimate camouflage, or ‘diluted’ with eye cream to grant bespoke coverage. Dust with a lightweight, translucent powder to set. BECCA’s {Under Eye Brightening Setting Powder} is perfect!

Finally, line the waterline with a flesh-toned pencil (white is too stark and unnatural). NYX Professional Makeup’s {Wonder Pencil} makes tired eyes appear wider – it’s an optical illusion that works, well, wonders (and the magic can be worked while stuck in traffic on the bus). For added benefit – smudge a shimmery, skin-coloured shadow all over the lid and to the inner corners of each eye. Too Faced’s {Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Palette} has a collection of hues to enhance all complexions (contained under one slimline roof).



Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...