Has the onset of winter brought your eye circles to the forefront? It sure seems mine are worse these days!
In the 'olden days' we called it cover up. Today, the cosmetic industry affectionately refers to it as concealer. Whatever we call it, done correctly, it can take years off our appearance. Done incorrectly, it simply draws attention to the very circles we were trying to conceal in the first place.
Color and formula are the two problem areas in concealing. Both are easy to detect and correct.
The easiest and best way to determine if you're using the right color concealer is to take a look at some recent photos of yourself taken in a variety of light. Does your eye area look super dark (need to conceal), quite natural and good (perfect- don't change a thing), or do you look like a raccoon (too light, too light!)?
Concealer that's too light is very common. The best example of raccoon eyes is Eva Longoria. I don't know who her make up artist is, but he/she should be replaced, STAT! Eva's beautiful, but the abuse of concealer not only distracts from her beauty, but makes her look like a cartoon character.
I've no idea where the 'lighter is better' mentality comes from regarding under eye concealer. Daily I re-educate lovely women on proper concealer color choice. Concealer should be very close to our foundation color. In other words, it should match our skin tone! A good concealer will cover our dark circles and should match our cheeks in an even progression up to our lower lashes.
Here's a great tip/trick where light color is better: apply a light color shadow base to the eyelid. Dark circles are a FULL circle that goes all the way around the eye. Concealing the eyelid prevents dark circles from casting a shadow back down on the concealed lower eye. Continue with regular eyeshadow application over the base.
A few more concealing tricks:
-apply concealer into the 'divet' (inner corner of eye) and down into nose bridge
-make sure to take concealer all the way up to lower lashes and blend
-concealer should be blended into the nose mid way down
In my opinion, a concealer must have these four things:
1. It needs to actually cover dark circles (kind of a duh, but many don't)!
2. It must wear all day without reapplication.
3. It CANNOT, under any circumstances, settle in lines and wrinkles. (One pass with my finger after initial application is acceptable). Concealer congealed in lines and wrinkles is worse than dark circles left alone and ages us as much as raccoon eyes.
4. The right consistency...not too dry, not too moist. It has to be j-u-s-t right. (Sounding like Goldilocks here!) If it's too dry, it looks chalky and draws attention to imperfections in the eye area. If it's too moist, it shines and the same problem exists.
How hard can it be to find the right color and these four attributes in a concealer. Turns out it's a challenge. Here are a few concealers I like and the reasons I like them for myself and my clients:
-Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector ($34). This concealer works the best for me personally and is beautiful on many lighter skinned women. The 02 color is a perfect match for 90% of my Scandinavian clients. Instant Light contains rice peptides and oat sugars that help to smoothen and brighten under eye skin, so it doesn't settle in lines and wrinkles and it makes the eye area look better than before it was applied. Yippee! It's every bit as good as Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen ($37) and lasts much longer. My only complaint is the limited color range. It's only offered in three shades- none dark enough for women of color :(. I hope Clarins will expand the color line in Instant Light. (It should be noted that Clarins introduced Instant Concealer $30 this past August that comes in shades for all skin tones. Reviews for Instant Concealer have been fantastic, but I like Instant Light so much I can't get myself to try it. However, it looks great on every customer I've put it on. Most purchase it).
-Exuviance Coverblend Concealing Treatment Makeup ($38). My second choice. It's not as lightening/brightening as Clarins Instant Light, but stands out because it's anti-aging and wears forever. The color range is HUGE, so everyone can get a proper match! It is very versatile and can be used as an all over face concealer as well. Wears well and doesn't settle. SPF20, and somehow it doesn't bother my eyes. A little goes a long way, so the tube lasts a very long time.
Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Concealer ($30). Until I tried Exuviance and then Clarins, this was my favorite. Good coverage, long wearing and it doesn't settle in lines and wrinkles. Until two years ago, there were only four color choices. Now there is an expanded color choice, so most women can find a color match. No bells and whistles. Just a great performing concealer that meets all the basic requirements as stated above.
Do you have a concealer you love? Let us know. I can't wait to hear from you.
*I receive no compensation for writing this. If I do in the future, I'll happily let you know. Maybe I'll get so much concealer I'll be invisible! 🙂