Rebecca Stokes At 30, I was pretty sure that I'd gotten my issues with self-esteem under wraps. I started losing weight, eating right, and working out. I got a haircut that works for me. My skin is currently in that happy place between acne and wrinkles and I can successfully apply eye-liner without accidentally making it look like I've been day-drinking for roughly eight weeks. I'm a step away from reciting self-love affirmations in the mirror when I wake up. 
 
But my recent foray back into the world of contact lenses called all that confidence into question. You see, I haven't worn contacts on a daily basis since I was in my 20s. While it's not as though I'm now a haggard old crone (shout out to the #crones, yo!) one thing has changed.
 
I've got really puffy, dark, under-eyes. And I can't NOT see them. With glasses on, I can hide from them, but with contacts in, they are all I see. I'm trying not to let vanity get the best of me. But it isn't working. 

I know full well that just like cellulite, there's not a hell of a lot I can do to magic my eyes into being what they were five years ago. But still I fall victim to buying lotions and potions -- even the beyond ridiculous ones that have their own commercials. I've got so many bottle and jars of various tinctures that it would not be totally strange were someone to confuse me with some sort of low-grade witch from a fairy-story. 

I'm not saying ditch the cosmetics and 'learn to love yourself'. Mainly because in addition to realizing that's a cop out, I also really, really love cosmetics. I know this magical pen that squirts out concealer isn't going to make me look like a celebrity. But...it's a magical pen that squirts out concealer! How can I not buy it?

Maybe it's a massive rationalization, but if the simple act of shelling out too-many-dollars at my local Sephora makes me feel good (even just temporarily) isn't that just as effective as learning to love myself moles, warts, and all? (I don't actually have warts, though I was riddled with them as a child -- true story.) 

I've spent so much time worrying about how I look, and it's taken even more time to stop actively waging a war against my own appearance. While it's natural that I'd be worried that this new found fixation with my dark, puffy circles was proof of backsliding, I'm not going to worry about that too much. 

Because, in part, for so many years I'd duck mirrors altogether. The fact that I'm looking in them now, showing more of my face than ever before, and thinking "ugh, I don't look as hot as I know I can look" might be vain -- but it might also be progress. It means I want the outside of myself to reflect the inside; the insides I'm so proud of. Wanting to be proud of the outside is a step in the right direction. 

Do you have any tricks for reducing under-eye puffiness? ....Asking for a friend.