I've always been very self conscious about my puffy, dark undereye bags, and have spent tons of money on store-bought eye masks (those single-use adhesive eye masks can be crazy-expensive) in a desperate attempt to make them less noticeable. While those are nice and I enjoy using them, I feel that they're very overpriced for what they are and would much rather have do-it-yourself options that are inexpensive and that I can create with items I already have at home. These are some of the most effective DIY eye masks I have used as well as some bonus tips for puffiness and dark circles.
Potato Eye Mask
The potato eye mask can help reduce dark circles and puffiness due to their high concentration of vitamins and minerals. It will also help if your eyes are red or feel dry and tight, as they are often credited with anti-aging properties. Simply wash and slice a potato into wedges, lay down and leave them over your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes.
The cucumber mask is very popular both in professional spas and as a home remedy because they are refreshing and relaxing. You could create a cucumber mask the same way as the the potato mask, but you may get more benefits by using cucumber juice. Saturate two cotton rounds in cold cucumber juice and press them over your eyes until they get down to room temperature.
Another very popular way to depuff your eyes at home is to use tea bags. Some of the popular teas to use are green, black and chamomile. Green and black tea are great because of the high amount of antioxidants they contain, but chamomile is also popular because of it's relaxing scent and its ability to reduce fatigue. Brew tea using two tea bags and put them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Then, make sure they are damp and leave them over your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.
Egg WhitesEgg whites are great to use under the eyes because they can tighten pores and dramatically reduce puffiness. Beat an egg white with a fork and smooth it underneath the eyes (but be careful not to get it in your eyes). Wait until the egg whites have hardened, peel them off and rinse with warm water.
Cottage cheese is great for reducing dark circles and swelling- it's a well known remedy in many parts of the world. Grab a thin cloth and coat it with cottage cheese, and leave the cloth over the eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. Use several times a week for more potent results.
StrawberriesSimilar to the potato and cucumber masks, strawberries are another food item that can be sliced, chilled and placed over the eyes. Use the same instructions from the potato and cucumber masks using strawberries, and you'll have a tighter, brighter, smoother eye area.
Two essential oils commonly used for hydrating and reducing puffiness under the eyes are almond and coconut oil. Massage either oil under the eyes before bed to increase hydration and help reduce fine lines under the eyes.
Tip for Puffiness
As an overall tip for reducing puffy eyes, use cold items to compress the area. Try popping spoons in the freezer for 10 minutes and rubbing the round dome side over the eyes until they start to warm up. This is something you can easily do in the morning while you're waiting for your coffee to brew. You can also make the eye mask ideas above more effective for puffiness by using cold ingredients in place of room temperature ones.
Tip for Camouflaging Dark Circles
I've had really intense dark undereyes as long as I can remember, and have desperately piled on heaps of too-light concealer in an attempt to cover them up. The best technique I've found for covering my dark, purple-toned undereyes is to first use a gel-based peach corrector before I go over it with a brightening concealer. The peach color really cancels out the purple and covering the peach with a skin-tone shade makes the area look naturally bright.
Other articles from my 'Budget Beauty' series:
25 Dupes for High-End Products: http://thebudgetmakeover.blogspot.com/2014/08/beauty-on-budget-25-dupes-for-high-end.html
At-Home Spa Day: