Next up in my series of FAQ's has to do with the dreaded dark circles. I think we ALL feel like our own dark circles are the worst. That purple/blue under eye situation is so common - so first of all, let's not beat ourselves up about it! No amount of sleep, nutrition, or magic potion will completely eliminate dark circles. Forgive yo'self. This area is comprised of such thin skin, and for those of us with especially little pigment, it can be almost translucent. Regardless of skin tone, though, there are steps we can take to correct and brighten up darker under eyes. Product recommendations can be found at the end of the post!
It's important to note before explaining how to cover dark under eyes circles, that this should not be done in isolation from the rest of your face. If you decide to only cover your dark circles, by skipping the rest of your face, chances are high it's going to look weird. Having concealed and neutralized under eyes is going to highlight the redness/unevenness in other areas of the face (around the nose, etc) - unless you have especially nice skin in which case I am jealous. Most of us, however, will need to begin with a base of tinted moisturizer or light foundation. I apply a light foundation to my entire face EXCEPT my under eyes, to eliminate an extra unnecessary layer of product, since I'm going to be concealing with a couple of items.
This has become a major fad on social media over the past couple of years. A lot of what you see on Instagram is either exaggerated for views or just plain wrong. You may have seen people with bright green or purple or orange war paint all over their faces. While the demonstrative purpose is served, this isn't how it should play out on an everyday basis for the average consumer.
Colour correcting uses colour theory, particularly complimentary colours, to neutralize imperfections. For example, many of us have facial redness from blemishes or scars or hormones. The opposite of red is green, so by applying a green-tinted product over redness, we are left with a neutralized area over which to apply foundation or concealer that matches the natural skin tone.
Under eye dark circles are often purple or blue - ranging from brighter to darker depending on skin tone. By looking at the opposite side of the colour wheel from these cool tones (purple/blue) we find peach/orange/red. Therefore, a colour correcting concealer applied over dark circles will cancel out unflattering tones and leave you with a neutralized area over which to apply under eye concealer that matches your skin tone (or in the case of under eyes specifically, generally 1-2 shades lighter than the rest of the face is recommended for a more brightening effect). Light skin - peach corrector, dark skin - orange (red can work, too) corrector. Medium skins in between will adjust intensity accordingly.
As mentioned, apply concealer over your colour correcting product. Choosing the right shade can be tricky, but research swatches online or ask a sales person for help! Experiment with drugstore brands first for a low risk investment. In terms of application technique, less is more - again, Instagram and youtube often leads people astray in this department - you see them applying SO MUCH CONCEALER - smdh - totally a pet peeve of mine. More product = more opportunity to settle into lines and leave visible creases. However, it does again serve it's demonstrative purpose - often these artists apply in the "upside down triangle" shape, this is indeed flattering and my preferred technique for under eye concealer. If we apply concealer JUST to the dark circle area it can look like big round panda eyes; pulling down beside the nose creates a flattering smoothness on the centre of the face.
Corrector and concealer can definitely be applied straight with fingers. The warmth will help them smooth into the skin - gentle spread the product out to create evenness and then begin to just pat pat pat pat! Use your ring finger since it applies the least amount of pressure to this delicate area. I prefer to keep my hands clean because I get makeup all over everything! So, when using a brush for cream products, it is best to use one that is synthetic rather than natural haired, since the product will not soak into the bristles. I enjoy using a small, relatively dense, dome-shaped brush like the ones found in this set or in this real techniques set. Of course, a damp makeup sponge is always another great option! Try it out. Experimentation with your tools will help you find what works best for you!
Set with Powder:
As mentioned in previous posts, setting your cream or liquid products with a powder is essential! Especially on the under eyes, where concealer can easily crease and fall into fine lines as we talk and smile throughout the day; powder will lock it into place upon application. You may just tap a brush over the area with some loose or pressed powder (make sure not to swipe the brush, this can disturb the concealer underneath you worked so hard to blend in!). For myself, I prefer to press powder into my under eye concealer with a powder puff or a beauty sponge. I will even apply "extra" that will sit on top of the skin momentarily in order to maximize that "lock." Technically, this is called "baking," but since I have dry skin, I only let the powder sit for about a minute so that I don't end up looking super duper wrinkly (cuz that can happen). Baby baking!
- Love the Sephora Bright Futures correctors! They are very light and thin, and do not even feel like you're adding an extra layer.
- At the drugstore, NYX makes correctors in both cream and liquid variations available in green, yellow, peach, etc. and can be found at Shopper's Drug Mart. Maybelline Age Rewind correctors are also very popular.
- Maybelline Fit Me concealers are some of the best out there from low end to high end. It is also very similar to the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer which is very popular. Maybelline's Age Rewind also comes in skin-color shades in addition to correctors and come highly rated.
- For heavier duty, you might like MAC Pro Longwear concealers - they stay on and do not move; they dry quickly so work fast, and oxidize a shade darker so probably choose one shade lighter than you think. Kat Von D tattoo concealers are another option for heavier coverage.
- RCMA No Color Powder will set products on any skin tone since it is no pigment. No brainer! The Laurier Mercier Translucent Setting Powder is very popular, but does not work for very fair or darker skins. Best for light to medium-deep. They now offer a specifically "deep" formula which is cool! Deeper skin tones can also use a yellow-tinted powder to set and brighten - Ben Nye Banana powder is a cult favourite.
- From the drugstore, I love my Rimmel Stay Matte, and the NYC Loose Powder.
- Beauty Sponge - Beauty Blender or Real Techniques.
- Synthetic brushes - small, domed or flat-topped work best to pat/buff cream products into the skin. Great cheap sets on Amazon or Real Techniques can hook you up with budget synthetic brushes - as mentioned/linked above!
Hopefully that helps! Let me know if you have any questions or more tips down below in the comments. I'm happy to help! Remember to experiment... if it doesn't work - it washes off! What else should I blog about... ? Comment with your questions and ideas below!
Thanks for reading bb's :)