The Eyes Have It

The eyes are the windows to the soul, they say. But they are so much more than that. As a focal point of the face, eyes reflect your age and health, interest level, and even your hormonal status. In my book Seven Days to Sexy, I discuss attributes of attractive eyes and they most often parallel attributes of youthful eyes. Higher eye-to-face ratio (bigger eyes), bright whites, long eyelashes and brows, and a relatively steady, receptive gaze have been found to be the most attractive. There are beauty secrets to optimizing the appearance of the eyes—from lifestyle habits to skin care to procedures. In this article, we will explore options for optimizing the appearance of your eyes.

AT-HOME TIPS:
In order to prevent puffiness or excessive wrinkling around the eyes, there are a few rules to follow. Get plenty of sleep, and when you do, sleep on your back if possible. This minimizes sleep creases and swelling of a face that has been jammed into a pillow. If you find that you rub your eyes a lot due to allergies, you may need a nighttime antihistamine. Chronically rubbing your eyes makes the skin around them dark and very wrinkly. Wash all makeup off thoroughly before bed so that you do not have makeup particles irritating your eyes overnight. Try to follow a low-salt diet. If you take your vitamins at night, it helps osmotically remove excess fluids from your body so you have less facial swelling. Use eye creams at bedtime consistently to ameliorate fine lines by plumping and hydrating them. In the morning, an eye cream that incorporates SPF, such as Colorescience Total Eye, is ideal. And of course, wearing sunglasses consistently helps prevent the deepening of the crow’s feet that form due to squinting. I recommend 3M Crystalline clear window tint on the windshield and front windows to block out 80% of heat and 99% UV. This protects the eyes from wrinkles and cataract formation, not to mention the skin of the hands, arms, and face. One more trick if your eyes are bloodshot or rheumy looking, is a judicious drop or two of Visine. Visine can help improve the clarity of the whites of your eyes, hence enhancing your look. This should be done only for special occasions due to the rebound effects of these vasoconstrictors.

BROWS AND LASHES:
While we may all want to have doe eyes like Penelope Cruz, Audrey Hepburn, and Mila Kunis, not all of us are so endowed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your own eyes with an incredibly sexy look. One of the ways you accomplish this is by bringing attention to your eyes by contrasting them with other parts of your face. Dark or colorful contrasts in facial features around the eyes naturally serve to augment the appearance of your eyes themselves. Long, thick eyelashes; dark, perfectly arched eyebrows; and artfully applied eyeliner and shadow– Cleopatra knew this all too well. All of these serve to draw attention to one of your most alluring attributes: your eyes.

While eyes play a role in communicating trust, interest, and youthfulness, eyebrows also have more than one role in enhancing sexiness and beauty. As noted, eyebrows provide a sense of facial symmetry which implies good health and well-being. Likewise, eyebrows can be used to help highlight eyes through proper contrast. But eyebrows also convey information about health. Aging and hormone changes cause brow hairs to become lighter and thinner, whereas youthful brows are thick and dark.

I recommend Latisse, GrandeLash, and GrandeBrow lash and brow enhancers. When used regularly, these products make the hairs of brows and lashes grow longer, thicker, and darker. The framing of the eyes creates a youthful look. Other options are eyelash extensions, where long mink or synthetic lashes are glued to existing lash hairs. Extensions are popular because they look beautiful, but they can predispose the eyes to conjunctivitis or allergic reaction to the glues used. They need to be redone every four to six weeks. For the brows, a popular option is microblading, which is a form of tattooing that enhances the appearance of brows. This must be done by an experienced artist so it looks natural. The tattoos must be redone every few years, as the colors may fade.

PROCEDURES:
Complaints about the skin around the eyes are variable, depending on anatomy and skin type. Sometimes, the issue is loose skin, sometimes wrinkles, and sometimes hollows. Regardless, there is always something that can be done to improve the appearance of them. Botox is the most popular way to reduce crow’s feet, or wrinkles around the eyes, and it also creates a chemical browlift. The process is easy and quick, with little to no down-time, and it generally lasts four months.

Filler can be used to recontour the indented semicircles under the eyes. This brings the darker, shadowed areas to the light and improves the appearance of the undereye area. The type of filler used and the technique are important in order to prevent a swollen, boggy appearance. Downtime with this procedure is none to one week, depending on bruising. We usually advise avoidance of aspirin and Ibuprofen the week before and alcohol the night before the procedure, to minimize downtime.

Thermage is a no-downtime radiofrequency device that tightens and firms the skin around the eyes. It is popular because there is no need to have time off, and it lasts about two years. When eyes are treated the entire forehead is treated as well, in order to cr eate a mini br ow-lift.

TCA peels can be performed to reduce lines under the eyes. This is a medium-depth chemical peel. We usually recommend one a month for a series of two treatments. Each treatment has a week of downtime, as this is a deeper peel. Results last a few years.

GAZE:
In my book Seven Days to Sexy, we also explore sexy behaviors that make your looks most alluring:

When it comes to direct eye contact with another person, the spectrum of a prolonged gaze can extend from one that signals interest and confidence to one that is more dominating and intimidating. Naturally, when we want to be our sexiest and most appealing, the latter is not the look we are going for. So, how long should we direct our gaze into another’s eyes? According to some studies, just an extra beat in the gaze signals interest and can be very provocative. Batting eyelashes slightly but not too fast can also signal attraction. More details about alluring behaviors and how to optimize them can be found in the book.

When it comes to attractiveness, the eyes have it. Because it is a focal point of the face and an important conduit of communication, it is important to feel completely confident about the appearance of your eyes. In this article, we reviewed at-home tips and tricks as well as cosmetics and procedures that can enhance the appearance of your eyes and, hence, your confidence. One of my favorite quotes is by Audrey Hepburn: “The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes because that is the doorway to her heart, where love resides.”

By Anna Guanche, MD FAAD Board-Certified Dermatologist
Bella Skin Institute

The statements in this article are for general informational purposes only and do not substitute for individual medical advice.