Graphic by Tara Steinmetz

Graphic by Tara Steinmetz


By Katrina Froelich

4 · 14 · 2019


 My whole life I have been plagued with dark circles under my eyes. Whenever I make the mistake of not wearing concealer someone always asks me if I’m tired or sick. Its sucks. So, this month I tried to do the impossible - get rid of my soul-crushing dark circles once and for all.

Attempt #1 - Sleep

So maybe I just have never had a good nights sleep in my life? This could be a possibility. I love waking up early and I have trouble falling asleep right away. Maybe I’m just not logging in enough hours in bed.

Result: I slept in so late I missed brunch

I legitimately slept for a total of 12 hours and I still woke up looking tired as ever

Attempt #2 - Beauty Sleep

Is there a difference between sleep and beauty sleep? Maybe I’m just not sleeping beautifully or restfully enough. In order to transition from a normal sleep to a beauty sleep I tried the Instagram favorite Sleep Mask from Slip - basically a luxurious silk mask that is specifically designed for, well, beauty sleep.

Result: I looked so good going to sleep even my roommate said something

I also looked pretty good waking up. I’d never really slept with a sleep mask before but I loved how it basically forced me to fall asleep (and stay asleep). Unfortunately my dark circles were not banished after my one night of beauty sleep, but I actually did look more well rested.

Attempt #3 - Eye Creams

You know how every product out there promises to get rid of dark circles but it actually doesn’t? I stumbled across a product that didn’t claim to get rid of dark circles… but the customer reviews claimed it did. Curious to see what all these ladies were talking about I tried the cult favorite Drunk Elephant C-Tango™ Multivitamin Eye Cream and to my surprise it actually did diminish my constant companions. While C-Tango wasn’t specifically developed to get rid of dark circles, it was developed to brighten and firm the eye area. It has a combination of eight peptides, five forms of vitamin C and cucumber extract for firmer, stronger-looking skin around the eyes.

Result: The packaging was super cute and afterwards my face was even cuter

Bright and firm eyes definitely make you look less tired and C-Tango delivers on its promise - and then a little extra.

Attempt #4 - Gels

If you came to this article to understand the difference between creams and gels then you’re in the wrong place! The only thing I can say is that gels are more clear and feel a bit cooler around the eye area. I tried the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel to see if this Berkeley-based sustainable beauty brand could solve what sleep never could. The eye gel was easy to use and has peptides (what are they, don’t know) that are good for your skin. It’s designed to reduce dark circles and puffiness as well as sagginess.

Result: It took a while but I don’t hate my face

This gel took a while before I saw actual results, but once it started working my eyes actually did look noticeably brighter and my dark circles actually started to go away, even if i didn’t get any sleep the night before!

Attempt #5: Oils

Ah yes, the lightweight cousin to gels, facial oils are all the rage. To see if any facial oils would help me with my bad boys I turned to Herbivore’s Orchid Facial Oil. To help with oil absorption, I used a jade facial roller that I bought on Amazon 2 years ago and haven’t used till now. Phoenix Oil contains Rosehip Oil and CoQ10, both of which help to visibly brighten skin while reducing signs of aging, which somehow at age 22 I desperately need.

Result: Oils are great for your skin but you might need more to treat terrible dark circles

I really loved using these facial oils (and rubbing them in with a jade roller made me feel like the influencer I’ll never become) but while the overall treatment was great for my face, it didn’t do much to get rid of dark circles. But my overall face did look brighter. Oils are designed to be used over time but I don’t really have the patience for that so, I still have dark circles.

Attempt #6 - Serums

Serums are the heavy-hitters of the skin world (fun fact: my dermatologist told me that if there’s one thing you should never skip, it’s a serum). The Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum is some pretty intense stuff. Made for the entire eye area, this serum even makes your eyelid look better (which I didn’t know I should be concerned about until now… cool). The Licorice Root Extract brightens the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Result: My man, Dr. D came through

I really fuck with my eyes after this serum. I still had the faintest dark circles after taking it for a couple of days but it reduced them enough for me to completely forgo any and all makeup to work and no one asked me if I was tired! So really that’s a huge win for me.

Attempt #7 - High-Tech Devices

If you thought you could just solve your skincare problems with creams and serums you were wrong! Skincare devices are becoming a thing, and I’m talking way more high tech ones than my $10 jade roller. The latest high-tech device is Foreo’s Iris Illuminating Eye Massager Inspired by the lymphatic eye massages practiced in Asia, this little eye massager is designed to basically massage your eye and make it beautiful. It also makes it so that the eye area absorbs more of whatever cream your putting on it because skin care is expensive and I’m not trying to waste a drop.

Result: Massaging my eyes for the rest of my life, thanks

I don’t know if it’s because I slept better after I massaged my eyes or that they were just grateful for the vibrations but this device actually reduced the physical bags under my eyes, which is pretty much game changing for me. This, in combination with a great eye cream, has changed my nightly routine.

Attempt #8 - Treatments

If you’re a girl who hates any type of “do it at home” treatment don’t worry. I also went to MudbuM West Hollywood to see if a facial with some extra “perks” would do anything for my skin.

Result: Perfect skin never lasts

The Gel Eye pad add-on actually worked amazingly well. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and by the third day I could see my dark circles creeping back into my life like the world’s worst ex. So, if you have a special event coming up - get this done a day or two before!

Attempt #9 - Vitamins!

Treating what's inside that's causing my outsides to look the way they do, I turned to HUM Wing Man Vitamins which are used for liver detoxes and dark circles. Apparently your liver can cause you to have dark circles, so it's time to take care of it bitch!

Result: I’m not sure, but I’m not complaining

It’s hard to tell if vitamins are working, because all of it is happening on your insides and it’s hard to tell if it's really affecting your outsides. My dark circles weren’t cured, but I can’t complain that I’m taking pills to detoxify my liver and make me beautiful.

Attempt #10 - Be Lazy

Look, at the end of the day taking care of your skin is a lot of fucking work and some days you should just pat yourself on the back for putting on sunscreen before you head outside. And honestly some days self-care is not doing any of those fancy self-care skincare things and just treating yourself to your junk food and watching your favorite movie. I don’t think that I have the capacity to take care of my skin every single day, and for that reason there are going to be some days when it looks worse than others.

Result: Acceptance

Skincare is fun! Don’t stress too much about any of this. Certain products can visibly improve your dark circles, but so can concealer. And when all else fails, make dark circles chic?