Monthly Archives: May 2018

How to Uncover Your Dark Circles

Maybe you were genetically blessed with perfectly smooth, shadow-free undereyes. Or maybe you get 10 hours of sleep a night and drink four liters of water day in and day out. Or maybe you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies that cause the blood to pool under your lower lids like you’re a prizefighter who’s been socked in the face repeatedly. But no matter what the cause of your fresh, awake-looking face, you too can get the appealingly haggard look of someone with chronic insomnia, hayfever, or the medical condition known as “Steve Buscemi eyes.” Read on to find out how.

Get less sleep.
Too much rest is a surefire way to smooth out those pesky bags. Instead, go to bed at 11:30 PM, even though you know you have to get up at 5:45, because Bar Rescue is on and you need to relax, goddammit. For bonus points, contract an intractable chronic cough that rouses you every hour, on the hour, to hack up your esophageal lining.

Drink as little water as possible.
I’m talking, like, “just enough to unglue your tongue from the roof of your mouth.” Like one sip every three hours. Instead, load up on caffeinated and/or alcoholic beverages to drain your skin of any remaining moisture. And if that doesn’t work…

Eat more salt.
Heaping in more sodium into your diet can work miracles to balloon those undereyes out until you look like famed Law & Order actor and erstwhile presidential candidate Fred Thompson. Recommended vehicle: a half-bag of Aldi-brand flax seed tortilla chips and as much Tostitos-brand no-actual-cheese-included salsa con queso before you fall asleep on the couch while watching Bar Rescue. Hey, wait, I mean, don’t sleep! Wake up!

Don’t apply a color-correcting concealer.
I mean, you can try, but you know that your broke ass bought Cheapeaux Maquillage brand with your CVS ExtraBucks® that clusters in salmon-colored splotches and underscores the lines even further, especially which you smile, which is just another reason not to smile!

Don’t use a Vitamin C serum.
You’re going to get it in your eye, and it’s going to sting.

Avoid putting cold spoons on your undereye area.
This is a tip you got from YM, or possibly Seventeen, ironically at the age when you were elastic and well-rested enough to look plumped and dewy even on thirty minutes’ sleep. Anyway, to achieve this you’d need to have enough clean spoons at any given minute to spare two to put in the fridge, so it’s a non-starter in your oatmeal-encrusted world.

Let your allergies ravage your body unchecked.
Your sinuses should be positively swollen with gunk, pressing your eyebags yet further outwards and purpling up an attractive half-moon of discoloration. For extra saggage, rub the pollen out of your eyes with an aggressive knuckle every few minutes.

Get as much sunlight on those lids as possible.
Ha ha ha! This is a joke, because you never go outside anyway.

Avoid lying down with your head elevated.
Just let it sink into the cushions. No, further than that. In fact, just sort of flop off the couch. Just let the blood rush into your head. There’s no point in moving. The dark circles are a part of you now. You may as well just get them microbladed in, like a rich lady does her eyebrows. Besides, Law & Order is on.

Vaeylena, the High Elf with Seasonal Allergies

Dawn. Sun crested over the sheer peaks of the Fharentir Mountains, pierced the green leaves of the terebinths, and sparkled through the playing waters of the steams below the Skybound City. A tower of polished stone stood astride the crystal-colored falls that plunged to the valley below. Intricate coronets gave way to a sweeping balustrade of silken marble. There, Vaeylena, daughter of Vaesanor, Acolyte of the Goddess Dalyndera, was sneezing her fucking brains out.

“My child, come closer.”
Vaesanor lifted his daughter’s chin, alarm etched on his normally impassive face.
“This is an affront,” he said. “A crime of sacrilege. No one is to lay a hand on a priestess, let alone my daughter!”
Vaeylena pulled away. “Say what?”
“Your eyes,” he said, his voice breaking. “You’ve been struck, bruised, wounded.”
Vaeylena looked skyward and sighed. “It’s congestion, okay? My sinuses are making my skin all saggy and gross.”
Vaesanor frowned. “What is a sinus?”

Olomar flung his blade onto the council altar, the metal clattering sharply against the stone.
“We will take up the quest!” he roared. “The council’s proclamation be damned!”
The assembly murmured its consternation. Such a bold declaration could only proceed with the presence of a High Priestess. All eyes swiveled to Vaeylena.
She sneezed.
“Yeah, see, here’s the thing,” Vaeylena said. “The forest is, like, full of leaves?”
“Of course it is!” squeaked Branhilda the halfling. “It’s a forest!”
“Well, maybe you don’t have hayfever out in your bucolic little dirt-houses, but get me into a forest in springtime and you’re looking at a wicked bout of bronchitis.”
“Can’t you just…hold it in?” Olomar said.
Vaeylena scrubbed at her watering eyes. “It’s not exactly that simple,” she ground out. “Does anyone have a clump of spiderweb or something I can wipe my eyes on?”
The assembly went silent. Vaeylena sneezed.
“Gross,” said Branhilda.

Fortunately, the town that was to serve as their waystation boasted an apothecary, a tightly-packed corridor of a building crammed with every size and shape of bottle and jug imaginable. Vaeylena jingled the coins in her pocket as a grubby, stout human emerged from behind a curtain.
“I need sobting to unstuff my node,” she said.
“I NEED SOBTING TO UNSTUFF MY NODE,” she repeated, angry. “Id’s snot city ub in dere.”
“I see,” the apothecary said. “Well, I have essence of bitter snaproot, ground lapidinaria, a tincture of purple star-blossom—”
Vaeylena groaned, or attempted to, as the groan quickly became a phlegm-laden cough.
“Does any of that hab pseudoephebdrine? Antihistabines?”
The apothecary frowned. “What is a histamine?”

The cavern of the Dragon of Eld’Ramar. It raised its black heights beyond the sight of even the sharpest of elven eyes, and receded further than even the strongest of dwarves could throw an ax.
But all that vastness mattered not to the Dragon of Eld’Ramar. Its senses were tuned finer than the edge of a Morgundian blade. One footstep, one intake of breath, and its firey breath would sweep out and scorch the intruder into a—
Vaeleyna sneezed.

“Good news!”
Vaeylena regarded the apothecary with suspicion. “What is it?”
“I have a new cure in,” he said. “I think it will aid you.”
He pulled out a small package.
“Now, you can only buy one dose at a time,” he went on. “And you must affix your identifying seal here, and sign your full name on this roster of parchment.”
“All this rigamarole for a stupid tonic?”
“Yes,” the apothecary replied sagely. “I think people make meth out of it or something.”
Tugging her sacred seal from between her breasts, Vaeylena sighed and stamped it on the parchment. The apothecary took her coin and handed her a small bundle, along with a three-foot roll of parchment.
“What is this for?”
“It’s your receipt,” he said.
“For one purchase?” Vaeylena held it up in disbelief. “This is, like, two sheep’s worth of parchment!”
The apothecary shrugged. “Take it up with corporate.”
Vaeylena sneezed.