December 23rd, 2013

You call that a dark circle?

I was watching a TV ad for some undereye circle cream that purports to do away with the little buggers. It features a young woman with no dark circles at all—and that’s the before picture.

YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of “learn to put on makeup” videos. Some of them are merely ads for products, or ads for people who specialize in applying makeup for a fee, but some are just regular folk with an interest in it. Most are young; you have to search for the topic “makeup for mature women” or “makeup for older women” to find that genre, which tend to be rather impressive. Makeup, judiciously applied, can do the “mature” woman a lot more good than the young, who tend to look pretty darn good even without it.

Undereye circles have long been the bane of my existence, young or old. I remember looking in the mirror at the age of eight and wondering why I had them. “I’m just a child!” I thought, but I knew the answer: they ran in my family (my older relatives had truly impressive ones), as they do in most people of the highly-pigmented Mediterranean persuasion.

If you don’t believe me, here I am at twoish and change:


I’ve long comforted myself with the idea that my circles give me an air of exotic, smoldering, wistful, mystery, a la Jeanne Moreau (which doesn’t stop me from using concealer to make me a bit less mysterious). Plus, being rather dark also tends to mean one ages at a slower, more sedate pace (at least so far).

Why Jeanne Moreau? The very first time I saw her, in “Jules and Jim,” I realized that here was a person with dark circles who was considered highly attractive. Moreau was 34 when she made the film, and a smoker (the third photo isn’t from that movie):




And here’s one of those YouTube “how-to” videos, featuring a youngish person. She initially appears to have no problem with undereye circles, but when she removes the makeup from one of her eyes you can see that—despite not being especially dark herself—she does have some bona fide circles going there. See the amount of work it takes to do the coverup:

Then again, you can just go au naturale for the Moreau look.

11 Responses to “You call that a dark circle?”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of “learn to put on makeup” videos.”

    I had no idea, how could I have missed them? ;-)

    “Undereye circles have long been the bane of my existence,… as they do in most people of the highly-pigmented Mediterranean persuasion.”

    Genetic adaptation? High-pigmentation is an adaptive response to a bright, sunny climate. Both football players and the military use what as known as ‘eye black’, a grease applied under the eyes to reduce glare. I’ll bet your eyes would handle a day out on the water fishing better than I with my fair complexion and semi-light sensitive blue eyes.

  2. KLSmith Says:

    Other than temporarily from lack of sleep and of course aging, I thought circles under the eyes were a sign of an allergies and that’s why young children can have them.

  3. neo-neocon Says:


    Allergies can be part of it. But much more often bone structure (the hollow underneath the eye) and pigmentation, as well as whether blood vessels show through the skin.

  4. kit Says:

    Don’t worry too much about a little shadow beneath the eyes. It is evident, even from behind that apple, that you are very pretty and with gorgeous hair! I wish I had hair like yours.

    The skin under the eyes is very thin and so most everyone has them to one degree or another.

  5. neo-neocon Says:


    Thank you!

    I don’t know if I worry about it, exactly. But I sure do buy products.

  6. Eric Says:

    Neo: “YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of “learn to put on makeup” videos.”

    The proliferation and popularity of the make-up tutorials on youtube driven by girls and young women is what convinced me conclusively that feminine beauty as a social-cultural phenomenon isn’t ‘imposed by the patriarchy’ or a commercial invention as claimed by radical feminists. It’s organically derived from female nature. Perhaps impressing the male gaze is its sexually derived point of origin but feminine beauty has a meaning for women that goes beyond the sexual reaction of us men.

    What most convinced me is the distinctly female, organically evolving sub-culture that’s grown out of the make-up tutorials and the electric enthusiasm girls have for them that can’t be faked or come from outside.

  7. Ymarsakar Says:

    “Perhaps impressing the male gaze is its sexually derived point of origin but feminine beauty has a meaning for women that goes beyond the sexual reaction of us men.”

    It helps them bond. It creates a barter and mini economy. It organizes the gatherers and supporters of the tribe.

    Competition for males can destroy a tribe or female group’s solidity against nature, predators, or human enemies. Thus organic and social cooperation instincts are a positive.

    In Japan, instead of killing or fighting each other over a man two woman love, they may hold a contest to see which woman is better. While males may wrestle and use fist fights as a way to prove their competitive prowess, women instead prefer painting, singing, cooking, and various other things like that.

    The fact that American girls are now fighting with fists and pulling of the hair, over social conflicts and attention of boys, has a lot to do with the destruction of biological gender. It’s a cultural imperative imposed over natural instincts.

  8. Perfesser Plum Says:

    You didn’t select that sleep outfit, did you, Neo?

    “No, but I suppose I gave tacit approval.”

    Sure, you were just a kid. Nonetheless! What is that? Some kinda samurai thing? Kabuki? Geisha?

    But let us not speculate. Fruitless. Also bootless.

    Re eye bags. I think they’re cute. On you. Others? Not so much.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Perfesser Plum:

    Well, it was actually a type of outfit I had to wear a lot in my youth: a hand-me-down from my older brother. So it’s boys’ pajamas. Sad but true.

  10. Sasha Says:

    There is no particular reason as such for dark circles problem. We see sometimes kids also have this problem. As you said.. it is hereditary in nature. Only make up will help to hide only temporary solution.

  11. natural nail care Says:

    Hello There.I found your weblog the usasge of msn. That is a very neeatly written article.
    I will make sure to bookmazrk it and come back to learn extra of your useful
    info. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

    My weblog: natural nail care

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge