Dark Under-Eye Circles
We all get raccoon rings around our eyes after a long night out with little sleep, but for some of us, have brown or red discoloration all the time, no matter how much rest we really get. According to Dr. Neal Schultz, M.D., this tendency toward skin discoloration is due to our genetic makeup. For those prone to discoloration, sunburn turned to tan or a sports injury acquired in high school may result in a brown mark, while red discoloration, which is a huge part of hereditary under-eye circles, is caused by the tiny blood vessels that line the dermis of the skin (the second layer under the epidermis). These vessels are hard to see with the naked eye, but in the very thin skin of your lower lid, they are much more visible and therefore give off a pinkish hue.
NEXT: How to fix your dark circles
The Dark-Circle Solution
To fix your dark circles, Schultz says to think of the color wheel: Opposite colors on the wheel cancel each other out. So if your red vessels are causing your dark circles, apply a green-based foundation over top to hide them. For regular shadows (e.g., from too many cocktails, or not enough sleep) apply a tenser gel to tighten skin and prevent dark circles.
Learn more tricks from the pros to cover up your circles.
The docs can call it whatever medical term they want, but all women know what "the pooch" is. It's that area underneath your belly button that no matter how many crunches you do and miles you run just will not whittle down. If you have one of these, take a look at not only Mom, but Grandma too. This is a body trait that is generally carried down generation to generation, like having tiny ears or a weird pinkie toe. Unlike that odd toe, however, there is a quick fix to this solution. "The most immediate results can be seen by correcting your posture," says Robyn Flipse, M.S., R.D., of the Nutrition Communication Services. "Look at your body in a full-length mirror as you straighten the spine, raise your chin, and gently push your shoulders back. The chest is naturally lifted and the stomach flattened." Flipse also suggests eating meals at regular times and drinking carbonated beverages through a straw, to keep air out of the abdominal area and bloating at a minimum.
Get more tips to improve your posture.
In middle school your teacher told you they were caused by crossing you legs too much. Though that's not impossible, you're more likely to get these long, treelike lines all over your legs from your DNA. In fact, spider veins, otherwise known as telangiectasias, affect nearly half of adult women in the U.S. "Veins have areas that act as one way-valves to prevent the blood from flowing backward as it moves toward the heart," says Dr. Rob Schwarcz, M.D. "If these valves become weak, blood can back up into the vein and collect there. Pooled blood enlarges the vein and pushes it closer to the surface." Yuck!
NEXT: How to fix your spider veins
To prevent spider veins from forming, Schwarcz recommends exercise and weight control. Elevating your legs while you sit also helps, as does wearing compression socks to minimize spider veins if you begin to notice them. If they get really bad, Dr. Howard Sobel, M.D., recommends a laser ablation process, a painless 45-minute procedure that aims carefully controlled pulses of narrow-wavelength light at the damaged veins. The veins absorb the heat, collapse, and are eventually reabsorbed by the body, becoming invisible.
You've heard it at every family function since birth: "You have your mother's nose!" That's great and all, unless it's bigger than you'd like it to be. To contour your face to make it look smaller, Landy Dean, EDRIS Salon NYC makeup artist, suggests using a concealer two to three shades lighter than your skin or a sheer, skin-toned highlighter. Draw a line about 1/8 inch wide down the bridge of your nose and blend the edges to soften. Next, use a foundation two to three shades darker than your skin tone to softly shade each side of the nose, about 1/4 inch wide, blending the edges.
To slim down your face, Dean says to follow a similar routine. Choose a foundation two to three shades darker than your skin tone and shade just under the cheekbone, working in an upward vertical direction. Shade the outer third of both sides of your face near the hairline from forehead to jawline, blending toward the center. Check out more slimming contour tips here.
When it comes to hair, the grass is always greener on the other side. If we have straight hair, we want curly, and if we have curly hair, we spend hours flat-ironing it straight. It doesn't matter what you've got, you want something else. Take a good look at how Mom's hair looks now, says hairstylist Amoy Pitters of Amoy Couture Hair in New York, because it is a good prediction of what's in store for you. If you come from a family of frizzies, silicone-based, antifrizz products like the Amoy Couture Hair Hydrating Serum will smooth out your strands without weighing them down. Chemical treatments, like a Brazilian Keratin Treatment, can also drastically reduce frizz from anywhere from up to three to five months. See the results of this staffer's keratin treatment!
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness and swelling in the face area. Sobel says 30 to 40 percent of patients have a relative with the condition, so this could come from Mom or Dad's side of the family. To fix, Sobel recommends talking to your dermatologist about what treatment is right for you, as it can vary from topical prescriptions to a more extensive laser therapy. For immediate relief, try Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion or Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer.
Looking at Mom really is like looking in a mirror! Sobel says she's a great indicator of how your skin will age. But it's not all her. Take care of your skin now by wearing sunscreen, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of sleep. Those who want to reverse aging (or maybe just back it up a little) should look into dermal fillers, which replace lost skin volume and restore youthful contours to the skin, smoothing away wrinkles and folds. Keep your complexion gorgeous and determine what your skin type is.