The Best Makeup, Skin Care and Procedures for Younger-Looking Eyes

The Best Makeup, Skin Care and Procedures for Younger-Looking Eyes featured image
This article first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

Are your eyes telling your age quicker than the rest of your face? If so, you’re not imagining it. “The skin in the eye area is about 10 times thinner than the skin on the rest of the face or body,” says Beverly Hills, CA oculoplastic surgeon Raymond Douglas, MD. “Our eyes are the first area to show signs of aging—sometimes a decade or more before other areas.”

Featured Experts

  • Dr. Janet Allenby is a dermatologist in Delray Beach, FL
  • Jeffrey B. Wise, MD is a facial plastic surgeon in Wayne, NJ
  • Raymond Douglas, MD is an oculoplastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, CA
  • Irene Gladstein, MD is an oculoplastic surgeon in New York
  • Jamie Greenberg is a celebrity makeup artist and founder of Jamie Makeup
  • D’Andre Michael is a celebrity makeup artist

Why do our eyes age?

“As many people are aware, the thinnest skin on the human body is the eyelid skin,” begins Wayne, NJ facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey B. Wise. “Due to the minimal collagen and elastin in this area, aging changes often occur here first, causing the skin to stretch out initially. In addition, this can lead to various aging signs such as fat herniation, resulting in the appearance of under-eye bags, which can develop at different ages, including as early as your 20s and 30s. Therefore, many patients prioritize addressing this area first when considering facial treatments.”

Dr. Douglas agrees, reiterating that we lose some of the natural fat in our ocular region as we age. “This, combined with the breakdown of collagen and elastin, causes fine lines and wrinkles along with diminished elasticity in the area.” New York oculoplastic surgeon Irene Gladstein, MD says dark circles, volume loss around the tear trough area, “or fat herniation in the area of lower eyelids, also known as ‘bags,’” can also contribute to an aged appearance.

How to make your eyes look younger

From makeup tips and potent skincare ingredients to in-office tweaks and permanent fixes, experts outline every option when it comes to turning back the clock on the eyes.

How can you make your eyes look younger with makeup?

These application tricks straight from top make up artists will help give the eyes a youthful look. “The key to making your eyes look younger is using makeup techniques and products that give you a lifting effect,” says celebrity makeup artist D’Andre Michael. So, learning which formulas and techniques can help you achieve that lifted look is key.

Use Creamy Formulas

Shimmery power shadows may look pretty in the pan, but celebrity makeup artist Ermahn Ospina says to steer clear of powder formulas on the eyes. “Cream and liquid products are your friend,” agrees celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg. “Powder products often accentuate signs of aging, as mature skin tends to be more dry.” Instead, opt for cream shadows and take your time blending them in.

Go Easy on Concealer

When it comes to wrinkled skin, Greenberg says less is more, including concealer. Start with a small amount on the inner and outer corners of the eyes and blend. Along with proper application, selecting the right formula is paramount. Ospina says using one that is “both concealing and hydrating” will leave you with younger, more even-looking skin beneath and around the eyes.

Focus on Skin Prep

“Skin care plays an important role in prepping clients with mature skin,” says Greenberg. “For wrinkles, I start by hydrating the skin with a good moisturizer and primer.” Don’t forget that skin prep applies to the eyes, too, adds Michael. “Use an eyeshadow primer on eyes to prevent your eyeshadow from creasing or separating.”

Define Your Brows and Stick to Matte Shadows

“Another key to making the eyes look younger with makeup is having a thicker brow that is well defined which will lift and open your eye and frame your face,” Michael explains. “Additionally, it’s better to stay away from high gloss, shimmer and frosted eyeshadows, as these will accentuate lines or wrinkles. Instead, use matte or satin finish eyeshadows in shades like nudes, browns, pinks and grays.”

Dr. Gladstein performed an upper blepharoplasty on this 58-year-old patient, along with Sculptra for midface volume correction, and Botox Cosmetic for crow’s-feet. Platelet-Rich Fibrin Matrix was used on the lower lids to improve skin quality.

What skincare can make your eyes look younger?

Quality skin care is a tool not to be overlooked.

Ingredient Spotlight

When shopping for an eye cream, Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby says to look for one containing antioxidants, flavonoids, peptides, or caffeine. For an instant fix, “optical diffusers help diminish the appearance of dark circles and undereye puffiness, too.”

Vitamin Code

To plump out the look of wrinkles and lessen hyperpigmentation, creating new collagen is the goal. “One of the most beneficial skin-care ingredients to stimulate collagen is vitamin C,” says Dr. Allenby.

Retinol Rules

Anti-aging retinol can also be found in around-the-eye products. Before jumping in, Dr. Allenby says to keep these guidelines in mind: “Retinol should always be used at night, especially around the eye area. And, because retinol will make you sun-sensitive, always protect your skin with SPF during the day.”


What in-office treatments can make your eyes look younger?

For transformative results, experts say going under the knife isn’t your only option.

A Combination Approach

“Most mild-to-moderate concerns regarding the lower eyelids are often best managed with nonsurgical approaches,” Dr. Gladstein says. “More advanced cases may benefit from surgery as a first line of treatment, but may still require regenerative techniques for the best outcomes.”

Needle Point

Dr. Wise recommends “energy-based devices like radiofrequency microneedling” for the eyes, as they stimulate collagen production. Microneedling treatments such as Vivace RF and Morpheus8 can make a significant improvement in the wrinkles and firmness around the eyes. “Vivace RF can be effective for the eyelids by improving fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation issues, as well as skin tone.”

Fill Up

Volume changes around the eyes should be managed by assessing the volume in the midface, says Dr. Gladstein. “Often, other parts of the face require correction prior to improving volume around the eyes.” According to Dr. Douglas, another area that can benefit from dermal fillers (used off-label) are the temples, “which can become depressed and showcase the bone around the ocular region, often a sign of age-related fat loss.” Due to the vasculature of the temples, it is vital to see a properly trained expert injector for this treatment. Dr. Wise reiterates the importance of assessing candidacy for fillers around the eyes, noting that “dermal fillers for tear troughs are a great non-invasive option for rejuvenating the eyes, but candidacy should be confirmed beforehand.”

Toxin Talk

If dynamic wrinkling around the eyes, aka crow’s-feet, is a concern, neurotoxins such as Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau and Daxxify offer an easy fix. By temporarily blocking the nerve signals responsible for these constrictions, wrinkling is bypassed. Neurotoxins can also sometimes be used on the forehead and glabella (between the brows) to help give a mild lift to the eye area.

Lasers + Tech

Collagen-boosters such as TIXEL and CO2 lasers are also used for skin-tightening and anti-aging around the eyes, Dr. Wise affirms. By transferring thermal energy into the skin, Dr. Douglas says TIXEL doesn’t just tighten; “it also increases lubrication and reduces tear evaporation for an overall more youthful appearance with improved eye comfort.”


For low-lying lids or ptosis (a detachment of the eyelid muscle that can happen with age), Upneeq is a prescription daily eye drop that quickly opens up the eye. Utilizing 0.1 percent oxymetazoline hydrochloride, when placed in the eye, it causes the Muller’s muscle to contract and lift about 3 millimeters. “The result is a brighter, wider, bolder, more awake look,” says Dr. Douglas. “It’s like a great night of sleep and a cup of coffee combined.”

What surgical treatments can make your eyes look younger?

For a relatively quick, low downtime solution to aging eyes, consider a surgical approach. “Aging eyes are a tremendous part of my practice and I perform five to 10 eyelid surgeries per week,” says Dr. Wise, “Eyelid procedures are suitable for most individuals, except those with specific eye-related medical conditions that would prevent them from being a candidate.”

Upper Blepharoplasty

An upper blepharoplasty, or eyelift, addresses the upper eyelid by removing excess fat, skin and muscle to eliminate the sagging skin, excess fat or puffiness on the upper eyelids.

Lower Blepharoplasty

A lower blepharoplasty removes the excess skin or “bags” under the eyes. This can be done via an incision just below the lower lash line or on the inside of the lower lid.

In addition to addressing “bags” and loose skin, a canthopexy procedure may be necessary to tighten the lower eyelid to prevent it from pulling away from the eyeball after surgery.

Ptosis Correction

Ptosis correction surgery—Dr. Douglas calls the procedure “relatively simple”— tightens the Muller’s muscle of the lid for a wider, more awake look.

What should you consider before getting eye treatments for younger-looking eyes?


  • Talk to your surgeon about your current medications and adjust accordingly
  • Stop smoking and/or alcohol consumption
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs or any herbal supplements, which may increase bleeding and bruising


What to expect: Mild swelling, bruising, some irritation at the incision site, and dry eyes for a week is normal. Expect the healing process to last about 14 days and the small incision to fade into the eyelid’s crease.

What to do: Continue applying lubricating ointment, cold compresses and gauze

  • Wear sunglasses daily to protect the area
  • Prioritize quality sleep
  • Avoid physical exercise
  • Continue to steer clear of smoking and alcohol

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