The best way to give dark circles a run for their money is with a good concealer. However, getting it right can be tricky. Do you struggle making concealer work for you? Does it get cakey, or creep into your fine lines? Do you have trouble with your concealer looking grey, instead of covering your circles? Which concealer do you even choose? There are so many options. Well, this post is for you. I am sharing my best tips for how to apply concealer the right way, fixing the biggest concealer mistakes, and finding a concealer you like.
WHAT TYPE OF CONCEALER IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
First, let’s chat about which concealer to choose. There are 2 basic types. There are matte concealers, which are better suited to cover blemishes and fix skin issues, and then there are illuminating concealers for the under eye area. The latter are generally a better choice for dark circles, especially for more dry and mature skin. They blend easily and brighten and highlight the area under the eyes. Look for words such as “illuminating” or “radiant” in the description. I have listed my favorite concealers as well as primers and setting products for you in this post and have also included a few budget friendly drugstore concealer options. There are a few common mistakes that can really sabotage your concealer application and I have broken them all down for you here
TOP 5 CONCEALER MISTAKES YOU ARE MAKING
You are not prepping the under eye area first – Just like painting a wall, you want to always prep and prime the area first. I wrote a whole blog post about that, including my favorite eye creams, here. You should apply eye cream every morning and night to keep the area hydrated and deal with texture issues. Then, before applying concealer, you always want to apply eye cream and let it soak in beforehand. I apply my moisturizer and eye cream, then I do my eye makeup first. When I am done, I clean up under the eyes to clean up fallout and remove any excess eye cream that didn’t soak in. I am ready for concealer.
You are choosing the wrong color – There is a common misconception that concealer should be lighter than your skin tone. This is absolutely false. You concealer should match your skintone. Otherwise, you end up with your concealer looking greyish and chalky, instead of covering your circles. You have probably heard of the dreaded racoon eyes and this is the culprit. Think about it, if you cover a dark paint with white paint, it doesn’t cover the black paint, but turns it grey. The same happens to dark circles when you apply a concealer that is too light. Instead, think about the color wheel. Red, or orange cancel out blue or purple, so if you have very stubborn circles, you need to apply a corrector under your concealer first to color correct. I have listed a few great options below.
You are applying concealer in the wrong place – I chat about this in a lot more detail in my Instagram stories. Focus your concealer on the hollows of your eye and about halfway. across. You do NOT need concealer on the outer corners, where your smile lines are. Typically, you don’t have darkness there and concealer settles into those fine lines, emphasizing them.
You are using too much concealer. – I would say 95% of women use too much concealer. You need the tiniest amount and it helps to warm it up on your hand first before applying it. I generally never apply product directly from the container or tube. It really helps to warm it up first and then apply a small amount by tapping it into the area. You can always apply more, if needed. This will help you achieve a natural looking coverage and avoid cakey concealer.
FAVORITE CONCEALERS, PRIMERS & SETTING PRODUCTS
URBAN DECAY PRIMER POTION | This is a great primer for the eyelid as well as the under eye area. A little bit goes a very long way. It will help your concealer go on more smoothly and stay put. It wilL also help with mascara bleeding.
BECCA ANTI FATIGUE EYE PRIMER | This product has reached “holy grail” status for me. I use it daily to wake up and de-puff my under eye area. You can actually feel it working. It prevents caking, concealer glides on effortlessly and stays put. I highly recommend it.
LAURA MERCIER SECRET BRIGHTENING POWDER | This powder is amazing for setting concealer, especially for dry and more mature skin. It reflects light and has a brightening effect. It is magical and lots of celebrity makeup artists have this secret weapon in their kit.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY MAGIC CORRECTOR | This is a great color corrector and it comes in various shades for the lightest, to the darkest of skin tones. This is a great product for very stubborn dark circles. You apply it over primer and under concealer.
BOBBI BROWN UNDER EYE CORRECTOR | Another great corrector option and the one I am currently using. It has a dense, creamy texture so a little bit goes a long way. I share more about it in my Instagram stories.
BECCA BRIGHTENING CORRECTOR | This corrector comes in 2 shades, for light and dark skin tones. Backlight technology reflects light to draw attention away from lines and wrinkles, creating a lifting effect. This formula also perfectly preps and evens skin tone for concealer application and is like 8 hours of sleep in a jar.
HOURGLASS VANISH AIRBRUSH CONCEALER| I wanted to hate this concealer because of the price tag, but it is AMAZING!!!! You do not need a primer or anything and it stays put all day long without a setting powder. The consistency is dreamy and it is super easy to work with. Hands down, my current favorite concealer and worth every penny!
TARTE CREASELESS CONCEALER | This concealer is really great for dark circles. The consistency is pretty dense so a little bit goes a really long way! I much prefer it over the uber popular shape tape as this is much less drying and will not crease or crack at all. it is good for those with a dry under eye area and I highly recommend the becca primer I mention above with this as well.
NARS SOFT MATTE CONCEALER | This is my current, favorite concealer. It is matte, but has a light, whipped, and creamy consistency that applies easily and really covers dark circles and blemishes, but it looks just like your own skin. I am not sure, how they did it, but it is amazing.
LAURA MERCIER SECRET CAMOUFLAGE CONCEALER | This was one of the first high end concealers I ever purchased and it has been a staple item in my kit for years. This customizable concealer naturally and completely covers dark circles, blemishes, scars, minor imperfections, and discolorations with a unique two-shade system. One shade is formulated to match skin’s depth of color, while the other matches skin’s undertone. This is a denser product, so priming is key.
BEAUTYCOUNTER TOUCH UP CONCEALER | I was really surprised at how much I liked this concealer, but it is great. It has a very easy to use texture and really brightens the under eye area and conceals dark circles. It reminds me a lot of the YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch pen. If yo are looking for a clean beauty option, this one is fantastic.
NARS RADIANT CREAM CONCEALER | Another favorite of mine. This concealer is never cakey and goes on like a dream. It is a multi-action, 16-hour formula that instantly masks imperfections, blurs the look of lines and wrinkles, and hides dark circles and signs of fatigue. The botanical blend hydrates, firms, reduces redness, and strengthens the look of skin by helping its barrier retain moisture. Light-diffusing technology evens out the complexion so that skin appears fresh and natural with a radiant finish. It also delivers antioxidant protection to help shield skin against damaging free radicals.
NYX HD CONCEALER | This is a great budget-friendly concealer option. It is available in 22 shades and blends easily, yet covers fully. The concentrated emollient-rich concealer formula goes on like a dream and effectively covers imperfections, color corrects redness, discoloration and under-eye circles without ever looking cakey or obvious.
MAYBELLINE FIT CONCEALER | Touted as a dupe for the Nars Radiant Cream Concealer, this product has a natural finish and lets the skin shine through. Probably not suited for extremely dark circles, but a great natural looking concealer when you need just a little something.
MAYBELLINE AGE REWIND CONCEALER | A fabulous option for mature skin. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer instantly creates a radiant, refreshed looking eye area. Super concentrated formula with goji berry and haloxyl helps to erase the appearance of dark circles and fine lines, while visibly diminishing the appearance of puffiness around the eyes.
I know this was a handful of info and I hope it wasn’t too confusing. Contact me with any questions, and I hope you learned something new today.