My New Under Eye Routine

Hey, friends! We’re taking a break from fashion to talk about my new under eye routine for aging skin.

These products and techniques have made a huge difference in the appearance of fine lines in that area and how my concealer wears throughout the day.

My New Under Eye Routine

I’ve been struggling with my under eye area for a while now. I’ve developed some pesky eye bags and puffiness, for one thing. But I also have some dark areas, not just under my eyes, but on the sides by my nose as well.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried a couple of different concealers, which I’ve shared with you. They cover okay, but I’ve noticed they tend to break up throughout the day and cause a lot of creasing, making that under eye area look almost worse than if I ditch the concealer and just bring my foundation up into that area.

I started poking around to try and find a solution that doesn’t require surgery or injections… not that I’m morally opposed, I’m just not quite there yet!

Anyway, I started watching some of Angie’s videos over at Hot & Flashy, and I came up with this under eye routine.

If you don’t know of her, she is a wealth of information for how to care for mature skin (she’s in her 50s.) I highly recommend her videos if you need skincare or makeup advice.

The very first step, of course, is a morning skincare routine. I will admit, I often skip this step. Or, at least, I do the bare minimum — splash water on my face and apply a moisturizer with sunscreen.

I always do the whole rigmarole in the evenings (you can see my nighttime skincare routine here) but I rarely wash my face again and do a whole routine in the mornings. Although I recently started using this CBD Face Oil before my sunscreen, to help moisturize and reduce redness. And if I think of it, sometimes I apply this Retinol Supreme Eye Serum.

But lately, I’ve started being more intentional about a morning skincare routine. I’ll start with this Replenix Gentle Antioxidant Soothing Cleanser I got from my dermatologist, as green tea is soothing and helps reduce redness, and then I will follow up with the CBD Face Oil and then my Jan Marini Antioxidant Face Protectant. It’s a moisturizer with sunscreen built in.

I’ve been using that Jan Marini cream in the mornings for years, and I get it from the spa where I go for facials, but I recently ordered the EltaMD face and body sunscreen, at Angie’s recommendation. It’s a mineral sunscreen, which is more gentle on the skin, and it’s also tinted, so it helps with color correction, and I have a lot of redness as well as melasma to cover up.

I don’t know if it will be as moisturizing as the Jan Marini, so I may need to add a morning moisturizer to my routine if I switch to that for my sunscreen, but I will report back on that.

But that’s for my face, not the under-eye area.

The first NEW product I recently added to my under eye routine, and one that I think has made a huge difference already, is this Colorescience Total Eye 3-In-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 — a tinted sunscreen and treatment cream specifically for the eye area.

You can find it at Nordstrom, Amazon, and Dermstore. (I have the color fair.)

Protecting the eye area from sun damage is super important, and a mineral based sunscreen is less irritating to that delicate eye area than the more common chemical sunscreens.

This product also has moisturizers and hyaluronic acid, which helps plump up that area and reduce puffiness, and it also has a color corrector in it. It immediately starts to brighten up the eye area, and I apply it under my eyes and into my lids as well.

I use my finger to apply this, not the metal applicator. A little goes a long way with this product. You don’t want to use too much, or will settle into your wrinkles.

And here’s something new I’ve learned from Angie. Evidently sunscreen needs time to set up before applying other products — like 15 to 20 minutes. I have NEVER done that. I usually start my foundation or concealer immediately after applying my sunscreen.

So lately, I do try to allow some time before moving onto the next step, which is a makeup primer.

The primer is an important step because it helps prevent your under eye concealer from breaking up throughout the day, which is the biggest issue I’ve had in the past with concealers.

I use the same primer all over my face and in the under eye area, and I’m currently using one Angie recommends — this Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer.

The original Laura Mercier Foundation Primer seems to be sold out, but I have been really happy with this one. I used to use the original one many years ago and always liked it, so I was happy to rediscover it. You can find this primer at Sephora, Nordstrom, Amazon, and others.

Angie recommends not using a silicone primer, which can cause makeup to slide around, and the Laura Mercier one says right on it, silicone-free.

After the primer, I apply my foundation, but I’m careful not to get it into the eye area. Using too many products also causes makeup to settle into fine lines and wrinkles, and I’m going to be using a concealer, so that will be enough coverage on top of the tinted sunscreen.

The other NEW product I added to my routine is the Lancôme Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer, and I love it. It’s so much more lightweight than the ones I’ve used in the past.

It’s also moisturizing, which is good for the colder months, which is what we’re headed into here. You can find this concealer at Nordstrom, Bloomies, Ulta, and more.

I had to totally guess at color because I ordered online, and I went with the 220 BUFF (LIGHT BUFF). It seems to be working out alright. The idea is to go a shade or two lighter than your foundation.

I use a concealer brush to apply, and then I press it into my skin lightly with my fingers. Less is more here, as well.

You want to start by applying at the inner corners of the eye, and gently press outward, without getting too much into the crow’s feet, because it can settle in and make them more noticeable. Focus on the areas where you have discoloration.

Okay, finally! No, we’re not done yet.

This was a totally new concept to me too, but Angie swears by setting your concealer with a mattifying setting powder. This is especially helpful for reducing the appearance of eye bags.

She recommends the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Powder, but I happened to have the pressed version already, so I’ve been using that. You can find it at Sephora, Ulta, and Amazon.

Again, a little goes a long way, and you want to gently press it on, not swipe it on, like you may do on the rest of your face.

And that’s it!

At this point, I’m done with the under eye area and ready to move on to eye shadow, liner, mascara, etc. But that’s a post for another time!

Yes, it’s a lot, but once you get used to it, it doesn’t add that much time to your makeup routine, and the results (for me, at least) are well worth it!

I can’t believe how much better my under eye area looks and how much better the makeup holds up throughout the day.

If you have any other tips for the under eye area, let us know!

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photos: Alison Cornell

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28 thoughts on “My New Under Eye Routine

  1. It is good  to hear that you have found a sunscreen to use around the eye area. So many fail to emphasize the importance of preventing sun damage which is the main cause of skin aging. It is hard to find one that doesn’t cause eye stinging or plays nicely with makeup. If someone suggests a morning skincare routine without applying sunscreen as part of it you are wasting your time. 

  2. I discovered Angie’s youtube channel about 2 months ago. Really like her and her suggestions! I’m using the Colorscience Total Eye and do like it as well!

    Just FYI, I just had Moh’s surgery for a spot right by the inside corner of my eye more on my nose. All is fine, BUT, it was in such a strange spot. So that’s why I tried this product…hadn’t really thought about protecting my eye area…figured my hats and sunglasses did that! I did lifeguard in my earlier years, and I understand that’s probably where the basal cell carcinoma originated, but it’s definitely a wake up call to take care of that area (as well as everywhere else)!!

  3. Wait so I’m confused… the primer you’re using is the Laura Mercier, and the new concealer youre using is the Lancôme? ( I think you called the concealer a primer, unless I read wrong). I’ll give it a whirl! It’ll be concealer number 24 in my drawer! Ever hopeful I’ll find one that will work! But I don’t do the primer step so maybe that will help?

  4. Thank you for this post. Some ideas I may try. It is so hard to buy any make-up products that depend on buying the correct shade. I still am not going into stores (except for food shopping), so everything I buy is online. Since I am not a big make-up person, it is even harder to me to figure out the correct shade of a product for me. And I am very late to the game on skin care (66 years old) and only started a few years ago, so I have sun damage and spots I am trying to hide (as well as wrinkles, etc.) I have finally been conscientious about sunscreen in the past few years, which I should have been doing all along. Better late than never I guess.

  5. I love Angie @ Hot&Flashy! I’ve been watching her videos for several years– she’s the only other blogger I follow besides you, Jo-Lynne. I have been using her morning and evening skincare routines, mostly with the same products for over 3 years and there has been a noticeable improvement in my now-58-year-old skin. I have not, however, been using her undereye routine before makeup and I think I’m going to try it. Great post!

  6. I really liked this post. I love looking natural, but as I get older, I need a little help in that area. Thanks for your recommendations. I had to go through the Colorescience website to order their product, but I was able to get the primer for Nordstrom pick-up (I hope they keep offering that service, it’s the best). I wasn’t able to find the Lancome concealer in my color anywhere, but I’ll try the products I did get with my Nars concealer and see what I think. Thanks again! 

  7. Thanks so much for this post!  I just ordered the Total Eye Therapy from Dermstore because Nordstrom and Amazon didn’t have the item in “fair.”  I’m hoping for some good results.  How is it that I didn’t know I should be applying sunscreen specifically to my eye area?  I do have SPF in my foundation which I use on my eye area, and I always wear sunglasses with UV protection, but having this added protection sounds like a smart idea.  Also good to know that sunscreen needs to absorb into the skin before adding other products!  

    1. Yeah, I can’t believe this is new info to me too. Of course, you can use your regular facial sunscreen in that area if it doesn’t irritate your eyes, but I like how this has some color corrector in it as well.

  8. I noticed that all of your makeup/skincare products are what would be considered at the high-end, and you don’t offer any ideas for more affordable options as you do with fashion. I understand that it is difficult to try everything, but it would be wonderful to have alternatives to the more expensive makeup/skincare products.

    1. I totally get that. I’m really not much of a beauty guru and I don’t try a lot of drugstore brands. I just wanted to share what’s working for me since I just changed up this part of my routine, but Angie does offer drugstore alternatives for a lot of her recommendations. I think you’ll find her posts and videos to have a lot more variety.

  9. Thanks for the tips! I will check out Angie’s website. Another makeup artist I follow is Sharon Danley on YouTube and on Facebook at Going Grey and Loving It. Her tips on how to apply makeup when ahem “mature”:) are fantastic. She also educates on what a difference makeup can make. She helped me embrace the grey and up my makeup routine.

  10. Your makeup routine sounds wonderful, if not time consuming, and expensive! I dont think I’m the only one that would like a less expensive alternative.

  11. I LOVE Angie. She has saved me time and money over the years. I appreciate how she researches the products and shares the science behind the claims they make. Jo lynn, you have improved my wardrobe and Angie has upped my skincare. Ya’ll are my dynamic duo!
    Also. I have the It powder in the compact and loose forms, I think my under eye looks better with the compact form. I’m able to use less powder and press it on. I tend to load up those big ole fluffy brushes, then look like I’m 100! Great post

  12. Wow, that is a lot to do. 🙂 I have never used a lot of products and with my allergies and sensitivities and having to and wanting to use CLEAN products, its a nightmare to research and get all the products CLEAN. I’m glad these products have helped you and shown so many results. 🙂  Thanks for such an informative post.  

  13. I discovered Angie right at the start of the lockdown in March and have been very diligent about my daytime and nighttime skincare routine ever since, including the nightly double cleanse (prior, I just used a facial makeup remover wipe, which a clerk at Sephora strongly discouraged me from using – who knew?). I also had fallen “victim” to all the 20 and 30-something influencers who so highly praised the Tarte Shapetape concealer, and bought two tubes. I’ve since learned there’s NO WAY I can use that under my eyes. Way too heavy and thick and seems to just settle in and emphasize my crepey skin, fine lines and wrinkles. I have, though, started to use it as a “primer” on my lids, under eye shadow,to and it seems to do a nice job at that. I’m still waiting for my skin to look “great”, but realize it’ll take more than a few months to reverse years of sun damage and abuse. 

  14. Bobbie Brown started with a concealer and powder to set years ago when she started her line. It is still a fantastic product even if she did sell her company to the big cosmetic guns

  15. Thank you, great post! And I am totally looking forward to the liner/shadow/mascara post! My eyes need to be brightened up a bit! My blonde/brown eyelashes and eyebrows are looking a little peaked!

  16. Hi can you please tell me your under eye routine / face routine I am 48 hve horrible dark circles my make up creases I’ve tried many primers nothing works not to mention my crowsfeet stress has put a toll on my face

  17. I have 1 eye(Lt) that has an under eye bag that is always fuller than my other eye, in fact my better (rt)eye bag area will become alot flatter to not noticeable with the right concealer, but my Lt eye bag does not go down HELP!! It’s ugly I feel plastic surgery not an option too much $$

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