To keep skin from aging, there’s plenty we can do: eat right for that “glow;” exercise so things stay taut; and limit our Sunday brunch cocktail consumption to just one (or two) to avoid dehydration. But when it comes to the delicate area around our eyes, it seems that things like crow’s feet and droopy eyelids are inevitable—or are they?
We spoke to Clyde Johnson, the chief education expert at La Mer and former makeup artist to both models and stars alike, for his tips on how to keep the skin around our eyes fit, and to learn more about La Mer’s latest innovation, The Lifting Eye Serum. (Celebrity makeup artist Romy Soleimani even used it on actress Maggie Gyllenhaal for the Golden Globes.) Here’s what he had to say:
What happens to the skin around our eyes as we age?
The skin around the eye area is among the most susceptible to signs of aging, and it’s certainly impacted by lifestyle, from inflammation from fatigue, and things like allergies and pollution. There’s a lot of ways that the eye area can become fatigued and show stress because of the nature in which we live our lives. And certainly, the actual physiology of the skin around the eyes being thinner than the skin on the rest of the body—being more delicate and ultimately being more fragile—additional care and repair is certainly needed.
La Mer has a few products for the eyes, so how did this one come about?
Inspiration came from the concept of creating shape—this idea that you can really form your shape or sculpt from within. There are examples everywhere, some as mainstream as Spanx and some as futuristic as flexible glass. 3D-printing is another example. It’s very influential. We know that clients are always looking for a breakthrough for the eye area. They verbalize that desire to lift the shape of the eye in order to create the most open eye possible.
How is this formula different from La Mer’s other lifting and firming products?
The Lifting Eye Serum is a product that offers those instant benefits that we all seem to want to have today, but also, more importantly, long-term corrective care. When you experience it on the skin, initially you get this beautiful smoothing and tightening feel. As the formula gets absorbed, you feel this sculpting on the surface. We teach the client the direction in which to apply The Lifting Eye Serum to increase this liquid lift that becomes a kind of second skin right away. Then you’re ready to really nourish the eye area and take it to a whole other level.
The Lifting Eye Serum materials talk a lot about massaging the product in. What kind of techniques do you recommend?
A big part of the magic of The Lifting Eye Serum is the unique applicator that comes with the product and was designed specifically for this formula. It has a round edge and a flat edge, whereas our other eye treatment applicators are purely rounded. There are three key moments in the application of The Lifting Eye Serum to get the best results of the formula: There is a special energizing sequence that we teach the client in the beginning to use the applicator to wake up the skin and really energize the skin and get the circulation flowing. We do that with the rounded side of the applicator and it feels absolutely divine. My expert tip is to pop the applicator in the fridge and you feel that energizing result even more. Then the formula goes on. Use the pads of your ring finger to very gently pat the formula into the skin around the eye and lightly smooth it. Then we use the flat side of the applicator and we do a smoothing motion around the eye that is akin to ironing. The sequence goes from under the eye to the corner of the eye, to under the brow.
Then, finally, is the lifting sequence where we use the tip of the applicator to actually lift the brow. We start at the inner corner of the brow and then work our way to the outer corner, to the end of the brow. You can be quite physical with it, unlike how you’ve been very gentle in how we smooth and pat. Lift the brow and it just immediately takes tension away. It has this eye-opening effect. What you must do when you try this is look in the mirror so you can see the difference in one eye versus the other.
I love the insider tip about popping it in the fridge. Any others like that that you can share?
One of the best tools that we have at our disposal are our hands themselves. How you hold the hand; the pat of the ring finger itself… When you are applying facial products, use the entire length of your fingers, if you are applying body products, use the entire length of your hands, but it’s got to be gentle pressure. Then you also get to harness your body temperature, which helps to warm the formulas up and helps them smooth, so you get more out of your product.
Also, from my experience as a makeup artist, I’ve found that being more generous and more attentive to the way you apply your eye cream, you use your concealer much better. My favorite place to put concealer is not just on the inner corner, but to blend that out with warmed-up eye cream, then using that little bit of highlighted concealer just under the eye area in that fatty triangle to brighten and lift.
If you could tell women everywhere to do just one thing for the rest of their life to preserve the skin around their eyes what would it be?
Handle with care. The gentle pampering touch and great care is going to make the biggest difference over time, for sure.
Watch this interview on even more tips to keep your skin young and vibrant with Clyde Johnson.