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Curly Nikki

The Skincare Mistakes That Were Making My Eyes Puffy and Tired!

By January 28th, 20219 Comments

The Skincare Mistakes That Were Making My Eyes Puffy and Tired! 

Hola Chicas!

So I smile, a lot. A lot, a lot. Maybe not in pictures, but definitely in real life!  Resting bitch face was my thing, but I started smiling actively as a meditation, like this back in 2016ish.  They say the day always looks brighter from behind a smile, and they absolutely weren’t lying. But while it feels amazing to glow from the inside-out, and to help activate the glow in others, repetitive facial movements can and will leave ‘beauty’ marks :)  STORY TIME!  The year was 2017, I had already delivered Max, and Gene and I were sitting across from each other having brunch, al fresco. I was devouring a loaded hash brown bowl with all the cheese, onions, and mushrooms, and sipping my Bellini. Happy, oblivious to the acute ‘before-after’ quality of the moment. 


We were belly laughing about something, and then he said, ‘Oh how cute! I can see where your wrinkles are going to be– around your eyes, there!’  Innocent enough, it stung in the moment, and worse later, when I ran to the first mirror I could find.  All of a sudden I went from completely unaware of the fact that this body was actively aging, to aware AF, constantly mirror checking, and buying allllllll the serums, potions, and lotions. It was an obsession, like if I found the right mix of products, I could stop it? Excellent. Right in the midst of my spiritual awakening, the mind was reeling constantly about improving my eye area.  I’d go from reading Goldsmith to scouring the web for natural remedies for youthful eyes. I could see this seeming back-tracking, but couldn’t do anything in those early days but watch it play out.  

The constant, close-up mirror checking revealed a super-fine line under my left eye.  I have no idea how long it had been there, but now, it was all that I could see.  No products helped it, some seemed to make it worse (and the rest of my skin too, causing unnecessary breakouts, etc), and every morning I woke up, it was worse than the day before! It also didn’t seem to be caused by the smiling.  The smiling lines would crinkle and then disappear/snap back when my face went neutral, but this line was static. I resorted to professional facials, microneedling, and finally botox, which I abandoned because (1) it felt toxic, (2) it didn’t help that line at all, and (3) it made my smile hella weird. Like Dr. Evil, weird.  Acceptance was easy in other areas of my life, but I found this one hard. This was my spiritual work, ‘spiritual vitamins’ as Mooji would say, and I overcame it eventually by remembering to feel for LOVE inside, before looking in the mirror.  Then, the appearance of Nikki and all of her lines, crinkles, and radiance was happening in this Love, in this Perfection, in what I really am.  It felt good and true, and now everyone I meet, is held in this Loving acceptance as well. I smile now, non-stop, without (much) worry about the side-effects! 

But, while I may have one foot in the Kingdom, I’m still in this world!  And you’re reading because you are, too. And you want some answers!

I’ve got three things to share which GREATLY reduced the line under my left eye and made my eyes less puffy and more youthful looking overall.  Wanna hear it?

1. I started sleeping on my back — When I was pregnant, I was told to sleep on my left side for the baby (better circulation or something?). Both pregnancies I did that, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s a habit. And if you have more fine lines on one side of your face than the other, this may be the culprit for you, too!  Go to the bathroom mirror and imitate how your face likely rests on your pillow at night.  When I use my hand to simulate a pillow, my face folds right where that line is! Like this– 

The Skincare Mistakes That Were Making My Eyes Puffy and Tired!

Satin pillow cases help (which you likely already have because of your hurrrr), but they’re not enough. You have to train yourself to fall asleep on your back and stay that way! I trained myself with an airplane neck pillow, and now sleep on a thin, satin-covered pillow, flat on my back. My head rolls to one side or the other, but it’s still mostly looking up toward the ceiling.  This one thing GREATLY reduced that line, more than any products, or facials. It took about a solid month and that line gradually reduced. 

The Skincare Mistakes That Were Making My Eyes Puffy and Tired!

You can see it here (pic from July 2020). When I sleep on my back, it’s gone. When I don’t it’s faint, and gets worse throughout the day with all the smizing! This hair? My! Get one and be great without trying haha!  The hair comes with the hat, girl. GIRL. 

2. I stopped using heavy creams — I noticed a pattern.  When I went to sleep greasy, shining, with a super heavy, rich cream on my face (drugstore ones like Cetaphil and then more expensive boutique ones), I woke up puffy. My eyes would look like I had ZERO sleep.  When I went to sleep without doing my nightly routine, I woke up fresher looking.  My pores were imperceptible and there was no fluid retention under my eyes at all.  I recently started using mostly serums (that also contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe, and veggie glycerin, etc) and the puffy under eye struggle is no-more. If your eyes look tired even after a good night’s sleep, and you’ve tried every cream under the sun, stop. Try a light weight serum, and see where this leaves you.  Also, read this article!

3. Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum from Whole Foods– MY. JAM. And it’s cheap. And it has great, all-natural ingredients. While I’m sure the new-age retinol is doing something, I think it’s the Oat Beta Glucan doing the heavy lifting. Between that, the Aloe Vera, and the Sodium Hyaluronate, I wake up glowing  If I feel dry after applying it, which I usually do not, I’ll add some Rose Water + Glycerin by spraying it into my hands before applying it to my face and neck. 

The Skincare Mistakes That Were Making My Eyes Puffy and Tired!
Pic taken August 2020
I also rarely wear makeup.  Even stopped with the concealer (which was a new addition, trying to minimize the look of tired eyes).  Just a lippie, and a little brow fill in from time to time. And that’s all I got for now!  I’ll share my full routine in another post. 
Standing with you in and AS Love, 

What skincare practices have been game changing for you?


  • keisha says:

    I guess I need to squintttt to see the fine lines cause I's sees nuthin!!!! Like seriously…you've ALWAYS had the most amazing and clear skin! I started using @Cynthiaesthetics and her products are amazing! She's a black owned powerhouse! I'm experiencing hormonal/face maskne at the moment which is driving me INSANE.COM I hope it clears up SOON!

  • Tibard says:

    Haven’t been back to this site in a long time, it sounds like you have had another baby- Congrats! Thank you for being such a guiding light when we did not have many supportive natural hair sites back in the day. Nikki, I will always remember you as one of the “OGs”. Thank you for helping me love my hair, no matter how I wear it.❤️

  • CurlyNikki says:

    Thanks @ThisOwl! I did– on my face. Every night I use it, I wake up with puffy eyes!!! Crazy. I've heard from several women since this post that said their puffy eye problem has been solved– either a light hand with the heavy creams or no heavy creams at all! xoxo

  • ThisOwl says:

    You are stunning regardless. Thanks for sharing. Did you stop using the Cetaphil lotion?

  • LifenotesEncouragement says:

    lines will come, but for me not alot. as long i'm sleeping i'm good. apparently insomnia comes with age but that's not my story. So what's 1 line? you still have beautiful skin. my skin care routine is minimal – cleanse, moisturize…that's it. but i have a funny story – an aesthetician gave me some gold serum that she makes; it hasn't flecks of gold, smells like roses, makes your skin smooth and erases lines. a little goes a long way. Anyhow Covid happened and I ran out. So I called her and it felt like a drug transaction – "come to my house, leave the money under the mat and I will leave at the door for you." BTW she's Israeli. So I said sure, followed the gps to her house and made the transaction. now my skin and i are happy again.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    That's so funny that you mentioned that @april! I just bought some a couple of weeks ago. It was a tried and tru cleanser. I have that one and the Bounce one from Glow Recipe. Mad Hippie also has a great cleanser but it was a bit too rich for my skin type.

  • April says:

    I started sleeping on my back in high school when someone suggested as a way to prevent breakouts and acne. Something that has helped my skin is going back to using Cetaphil gentle cleanser. My skin is dry and sensitive so most other things seem to make me break out more. I'm currently using a lightweight moisturizer from simple truth. I've also started using under eye cream from chagrin valley, which I need to restock on.

  • CurlyNikki says:

    Thank you!!!

  • Unknown says:

    "you can see it here" GIRL I can't see anything you're so gorgeous – wrinkles or not!! <3

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