I've always had a problem with dark circles under my eyes. When people tell me I look tired, what they really mean is, "My God, look at those bags." (In the same way, when people tell me I "look well", what they really mean is that I've put on weight.) I've tried all manner of eye creams, gels and various potions. Gels are more effective than creams when it comes to instant de-puffiness, and at the moment Apricot And Aloe Eye Gel by Jo Malone, and Clarins' Eye Contour Gel are fighting for space in my fridge (next to my favourite nail varnishes and a jar of pesto).
But if you're serious about getting rid of dark circles, it takes more than just slapping on a couple of creams. Dark circles can be caused by a poor diet, tiredness or they can be hereditary. The skin under the eyes is much thinner than on the rest of the face, and it's constantly moving. But short of never blinking again, what's a girl to do? Avoiding the fun things in life (ie, toxins, late nights, Sundays slumped in front of the TV) is a simple way to start but you'll probably lose your sanity rather than those circles.
You give your other bits of your body occasional treats (manicures, pedicures, haircuts, etc) so why not your eyes? Having had one too many comments on my "tiredness" lately, I check myself in for a Talika eye ritual (previously only available at the George V Hotel in Paris) at the suitably swanky Hurlingham Clinic, in London. In the name of research, I stayed out very late the evening before, had a takeaway and drank far too much. The treatment, which mixes Asian, western and Native American massage techniques around the eye area, left my dark circles looking better than they had for ages. But the real treat was the eye mask, which you can buy separately, which contains musk rose, avocado and wheatgerm oils. At £34 (available at Space NK nationwide or from talika.com), the mask isn't cheap, but it is very effective and you can use it up to 20 times, which is more than you can say for those manky old cucumber slices.