Why, yes. Those bags under my eyes are designer, and I got ’em from my mama.
They’re what I worry about most when going makeup free, since no matter what creams and serums I use to try and minimize them, they’re still there. It’s partly genetics, partly the kind of lives we lead with too little sleep and too much screen time. Regardless of why they’re there, most of us can relate to the dreaded dark circles under our eyes.
I used to just apply concealer to try and cover them up, but it was never enough. No matter how many layers I would put on, you could always see the dark coming through. After 27 years, I’ve realized that the key to really masking the dark circles is a 4 step process of:
That may seem daunting to add all those bits into your makeup routine, but I promise it’s simple, quick, and doesn’t leave you feeling like you have a thick layer on your face.
In fact, since dark circles are my main problem, I spend most of my morning routine using these 4 products, and then I just add eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, bronzer, and maybe some lipstick to finish it off.
So here are the simple steps to getting a handle on those dark circles!
July 2018 Update: Since I’m transitioning to cruelty free products, I thought I would update this post with a few new favorites! Catch my updates under each step for the products I now use to conceal my dark circles.
Step 1: Color Corrector
Ummm…I said I wanted to conceal my dark circles, not turn into an oompa loompa! Well the orange is all about color correcting, or neutralizing the dark undertones under your eyes. Check out this graphic pin that explains what all the different colors can do, like green for cancelling out redness from sunburn or acne. Depending on what colors are prominent under your eyes, you’ll probably need yellow or orange. I have a lot of blue veins under my eyes, so I went with orange.
I used my fingers to pat this NYX color corrector under my eyes, spreading it out to the extent of the discoloration. Don’t worry about the color corrector being completely opaque. One to two light layers is good enough for me.
Update: While NYX is already a cruelty free brand, I’ve recently been favoring this e.l.f. color corrector in yellow. Both are good options!
Step 2: BB Cream/CC Cream/Foundation
Next, you’re going to move on to whatever face product you use. I am a huge fan of BB cream, since it’s a step below foundation in heavyness and a step above CC cream for coverage. And this Garnier Skin Perfector is my favorite.
Apply the BB cream to your face as usual, and lightly pat the product above the color corrector to start to conceal it. It’s okay to still be able to see the orange through the BB cream.
P.S. I am not a fan of beauty blenders…hence using my hands. I think you get the most precise application this way.
Update: My current cruelty free favorite is this Physicians Formula Organic Wear Beauty Balm Cream, and if you’re looking for something with more coverage I like Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows Foundation.
Step 3: Concealer
Now we’re moving on to concealer. If you have serious dark circle problems, I think you need to nix the liquid concealer. I have never found one to provide a decent amount of coverage, and thicker concealers, like this Estee Lauder one, hold up better throughout the day for me.
Use your hands to lightly press the concealer under your eyes, gently spreading it over the color corrector and BB cream. After applying you should see almost no orange through your BB cream and concealer. It’s okay if you still lightly see dark circles or veins, since we have one more step to full coverage.
The products from step 1 and 2 are inexpensive drugstore brands, but I think you really need to spend a bit more on concealer to get the best results. Another good option besides Estee Lauder is the Benefit Boi-ing Concealer.
Update: Finally found a great cruelty free (and drug store!) option for concealer! The Physician’s Formula Conceal Rx Concealer is really great despite being liquid. A little goes a long way with it.
Step 4: Setting Powder
Before I actually get into step four, I usually apply my eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara, (all drugstore!). This way if I have any fallout or mistakes, I can use the last concealing step to cover it up a bit more.
The final step is setting your color corrector, BB cream, and concealer underneath your eyes with some powder. It’s a good idea to get a powder slightly lighter than your skin tone for a brightening effect. I like this Bare Minerals powder in the appropriately named ‘well-rested’ shade. I use a small eyeshadow brush to make sure I only apply it underneath my eyes, but if you want more of a contoured look you can use a fluffy brush and spread it out (or at least that’s what the makeup artists do on the Youtube videos!).
Update: Bare Minerals is cruelty free, and I still use this powder to set my undereyes.
And after a finishing touch of bronzer and lipstick, here’s the end result:
Ta da! I’ve said before that I don’t consider myself to be a makeup guru, but I do think I’ve gotten a handle on this dark circle thing.
Have you ever tried using a color corrector, or do you know a great way to conceal dark circles?
P.S. Check out my favorite drug store lipsticks to top off your look 🙂
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