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"Masquerade...Yes, The Puffy Eye Parade!"

"The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides." - Audrey Hepburn

Okay, the title here is a quirky allusion to Phantom of the Opera's epic musical masterpiece "Masquerade", so maybe it's nerdy, but it's my own salute with a lyrical twist. My struggle with puffy, distended eyes extends all the way back to early childhood. I've been told it's a tell-tale sign of allergies and auto-immune disorders - I, of course, have both. Because eye bags are 3-D in nature, no amount of concealer is going to camouflage the excess skin, so I'm on an endless quest to find the best de-puffing product. Thus, I gave individual eye masks a try...

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These are found on Amazon and are more cost-effective than some brands like Mishe Beauty (which I love) or Peter Thomas Roth. The two most highly rated AND budget-friendly eye masks I found on Amazon were Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Gold Collagen Masks which are $22 for 12 pairs and 24K Pure Nano-Active Gold Masks which are $21 for 15 pairs.

The Grace & Stella ones focus on "fine lines, puffy eyes, and dark circles", and the creators suggest popping a pack in the fridge for an added cooling bonus. These are my favorites of the two because they adhere well to the skin and stay put. The patches contain plant-based collagen, vitamin C, rose oil, and hyaluronic acid, so they're packed with fabulous ingredients!

The Nano-Dermal ones possess anti-inflammatory properties which "help naturally expel harmful toxins, increase blood circulation, adding freshness and shine to dull skin" per the product description. They contain Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, trehalose, and though it sounds bizarre, snail mucin essence, which apparently "seals the skin so that the nourishing ingredients can be fully absorbed into the skin, resulting in extra supple and naturally glowing skin". My problem with these is that they slip off my eyes constantly.

Now, though I haven't noticed a remarkable change in my eye area, I believe that over time and with continued use, benefits could be seen from using these masks. One of the main reasons I purchased these particular masks too is that they're individually packaged, so I can add a few to my MUA kit in a neat manner rather than toting an entire cylinder with liquid and patches inside that could potentially leak out.

What is your routine for your own puffy or tired eyes?

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