I have just turned 36 and I am concerned about the lines around my eyes which seem to have developed after I had some surgery (not on my face) a few months ago. I would like to use some moisturizing and firming creams but am not sure how they work. Is it too late to start?

Some of the “anti-wrinkle” or “firming” creams for the eyes and the face can temporarily improve the appearance of fine lines by filling in the outer surface layers with enough fluid to minimize them. Stimulating creams help strengthen eye tissues and help them to retain fluid. Other creams may contain a mild irritant to induce a slight swelling and some of these may cause a slight problem by causing the skin to retain too much moisture around the eyes which may lead to over-stretching of the tissues. If continued over a long period of time, a slight sagging or wrinkling could result. There are other varieties of creams which claim to have a “treatment” rather than a cosmetic effect. Primarily they are said to help restore some of the natural functions of the skin such as cell regeneration, moisture retention, oxygenation, resistance to pollution, grime, temperature fluctuations, etc. You will find that some of the components of these products resemble components found in the skin, such as varieties of proteins (collagen, elastin and amino acids) and some vitamins, minerals and herbs.

Some of the creams will be more effective than others and only testing them will reveal which are best suited to your type of skin. For instance, choose only an eye cream and not a face cream for the eye area. Apply a minimal amount along the crease of the upper lid and just below the lower lid (under the lashes). Eye irritation could result if the cream is applied too closely to the mucous membrane of the eye and if too much is applied, the eyes could become puffy. The cream should have blended in within five minutes at the most. If not, you have probably applied too much or the cream is too heavy for your skin type. In answer to the final part of your question, it is not too late to start. We begin to lose elastin and collagen fibres in the skin from the age of 20-25.

My eyes are very sensitive to any kind of mascara, even the ones designed for sensitive eyes. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can make my eyes look larger or my lashes fuller?

There are a number of things that you can do to make your eyelashes appear thicker. Here are some suggestions: You can use an eyelash curler and then apply a touch of an eyelash conditioner or olive oil on the ends of the lashes to make them look shiny. When you curl the lashes, place the curler at the base of the lashes, gently squeeze and hold for a few seconds.

Outline the top and bottom lids with an eyeliner pencil, drawing a line close to the lashes. Then try smudging it slightly to make it softer looking. Do not, however, completely surround the eye with the color.

Have your eyelashes tinted by a esthetician or beauty therapist. This procedure is done with a vegetable tint that can last four to six weeks.

You could try false eyelashes – the single ones – and place them between your own to create a thicker line. Do a patch test with the glue or adhesive that is needed to make them adhere. Since your eyes are sensitive, it may bother you.

There are some new mascaras made for sensitive eyes, including one that is clear.

Can you give me the name of an eyeliner pencil that does not always break and one that won’t whittle down to nothing after sharpening?

When you sharpen the pencils, make sure your sharpener is of good quality with a blade that will cut well. Refrigerating your soft pencils will make them easier to sharpen. Place them in the freezer for a couple of hours.