How to Get Rid of Those Pesky Dark Under-Eye Circles in One Minute (Literally!)

Hair & Beauty
Brighter Eyes Undereye Circles

Courtesy of Fairchild Archive

Nothing goes better with your walking-down-the-aisle grin than a pair of bright, wide-open eyes. Unfortunately, most of us wake up each morning rocking a pair of dark, shadowy "I was up all night stressing about the guest list" circles around each eye. Whether caused by genetics, lack of sleep, allergies or that third margarita, dark circles don't have to stick around for your wedding: If you're getting married in minutes or months, it's possible to get brighter eyes for your big day. We asked New York City dermatologist Angela Lamb, MD, for the easiest ways to banish dark circles for good.

If you have one minute...
Never underestimate the power of a great concealer. Try a liquid formula with light-catching pigments, like MAC Mineralize concealer ($20, available at MAC). For maximum staying power, layer it over a full-coverage cream concealer with SPF, like Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer ($24, available at Amazon)

If you have five minutes...
Lube up. Puffy eyes and dark circles can be caused by dehydrated skin, so a layer of moisturizer can cause an instant fix. Try a formula with skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, like Stila Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($32, available at Sephora).

See More: 7 Beauty Products No Bride Should Go Without

If you have fifteen minutes...
Home remedy time! Stick two spoons in the freezer, then hold over your eyes for 10 minutes to bring down puffiness and inflammation. Cucumbers and used tea bags also cool and calm sleep-inflamed eyes. For a quick fix, try a de-puffing eye cream with a cooling metal applicator like Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller ($8,.35, available at Amazon). And don't rule out the craziest cult remedy of all: Preparation H! Anti-inflammatories in the cream help brighten your peepers in time for your getting-ready photos.

If you have one hour...
Get a facial — an hourlong spa session will provide some much-needed TLC. For a DIY fix, go double-duty on masks: start with an antioxidant-packed hydrating mask to soothe and hydrate your skin, like Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask ($88, available at Sephora) followed by a cooling eye mask, like Sephora's cloth Instant Depuffing Eye Mask ($6, available at Sephora), which adds an instant jolt of moisture to dehydrated eyes. Finish with a calming moisturizer, like Kiehls Skin Rescuer ($40, available at Kiehls), which contains rose extract and chamomile to reduce signs of stress.

If you have one week...
Log eight hours of sleep each night. Losing ZZZ's is the easiest path to puffy eyes at your wedding. When you're sleep deprived, your brain releases more cortisol — a stress hormone — which leads to inflammation and shadows under your eyes. If pre-wedding craziness is keeping you up at night, try melatonin supplements and stash your phone an hour before bed (the blue light tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime). And go alcohol-free the week before your wedding — there's no quicker route to puffy eyes than a hangover.

See More: 4 Ways Busy Brides-to-Be Can Get More Sleep

If you have a month or more...
Join the eye cream party. If your dark circles are genetic and caused by hyperpigmentation (which is the case for over 50% of women, Dr. Lamb says), look for creams with brightening agents like Vitamin C and hydroquinone, like Vichy ProEven Eyes ($40, available at Vichy). To address thinning skin under your eyes (a natural byproduct of aging) try an antioxidant-packed formula. Dr. Lamb swears by SkinMedica TNS Illuminating Eye Cream ($88; available at Skin Medica).

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