Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Advice for anyone with dark under-eye circles

As you will no doubt know by now, disguising my hereditary under eye dark circles is a constant battle for me. I have accepted at the age of 27 that they are never going to completely go away as I have deep set eyes, like my mum, so that’s bound to create a shadow. I can improve the situation by getting adequate amounts of sleep and drinking lots of water but at the end of the day, I always need a good under eye concealer to hand to camouflage them.

I know this is a problem for lots of other women, so I decided to make this post into a little guide on what works for me and I also have a few little tips as well that I have picked up along the way.

First up, using a light eye cream containing Avocado oil, Chamomile, Sesame, Vitamin K and Vitamin E will help to reduce some of the darkness under the eye. It’s best not to use heavy formulas or normal moisturiser as these are way too dense for the skin under the eye and can cause swelling/puffiness. Using eye cream will also stop your makeup from caking.

I have always found that the way you apply the concealer under your eyes is just as important as the actual product you use. For instance, there’s absolutely no point in applying a concealer that’s a couple of shades lighter than your skin tone on the whole area under your eye. This doesn’t achieve anything as you are lightening the dark shadows AND lightening the area that surrounds the dark shadows so in essence, they cancel each other out! This also creates a weird reverse raccoon effect when you get your photo taken (I have seen many celeb pics where they have way too much illuminating concealer under their eyes and they end up with white circles).

Also, don’t use any products that are too thick/heavy on the delicate skin that surrounds the eye, it will just look cakey. I think the key to getting it right is choosing the right shade which is generally one shade lighter than your foundation (difficult to do when some brands only offer a very limited choice of shades). Generally, peach toned concealers are best for those with paler skin and yellow toned concealers are best for medium to dark skin tones.

This is a fantastic video to watch about concealer by Lisa Eldridge, the famous makeup artist, she has taught me A LOT! She has a great way of making you re-think your whole perception of makeup…

Lisa explains how you should ONLY apply concealer to the areas of the eyes where you have dark areas (which is generally the inner corner and outer corner of the eye). Once you adopt this technique, you will really see a difference and you also don’t need as much product which is always a bonus! A really good product is the Benefit Eye Bright section of the Brows A Go-Go palette shown below. The pale pink creamy corrector (front right hand side of palette pictured below) is brilliant for brightening the eye area. I just apply it with my finger.Another good technique to use is the ‘upside down triangle’ method. Basically you apply your under eye concealer in a triangle shape with the flat base sitting against your eye, so it would be pointing down towards your cheek (running up against and parallel to your nose). This creates an optical illusion that brightens the area and draws the eye away from any darkness. I learnt this technique from the YouTube goddess Kandee The Makeup Artist. I have found that it’s best to use a creamy concealer for this rather than a liquid formula as it’s easier to blend it down. I only use this method when I am doing more dramatic makeup looks for night time as I feel it’s a bit much for the day, but that’s just my personal preference.

I use a few different concealers depending on how bad my dark circles are. I have listed my favourite ones below and why I like them:
Korres Wild Rose Brightening Concealer – This is a brilliant illuminating everyday concealer with a light formulation that offers a lot more coverage than any of the other illuminating products such as YSL Touche Eclat. It doesn’t settle into lines or wrinkles, it doesn’t cake and it lasts all day whilst really brightening the whole eye area.
Bobbi Brown Corrector – This is a great product because it concentrates more on correcting the colour under your eyes rather than just lightening it. It comes in a wide range of shades and can be used underneath a conventional concealer if you need a lot of camouflage under the eyes. It’s long lasting and when applied thinly and with care, it looks really natural.
MUFE Full Cover – This stuff is heavy duty! It’s very opaque and you only need a tiny bit but boy does it cover up! You have to be careful to use it sparingly on the eye area but I like to use this for night time looks to get a totally flawless look. There is a large choice of shades so there’s bound to be something there to suit everyone.
Clinique All About Eyes – I like to use this product when I’m suffering from a lack of sleep because it reduces any puffiness as well as concealing (I don’t suffer from severe puffiness, just very slightly when I’m tired). It’s oil-free and doesn’t settle into lines and it lasts all day without melting off. The down side is there’s only 4 shades available but luckily No.02 Light Golden was a great match for my skin tone.

I prefer to apply under eye concealers with my fingers rather than with a brush. The warmth from your fingers helps to blend the product into the area (you can always go over the area with a clean fluffy brush to really buff the product in if you have extra time).
Another great product to help brighten the eye area is Benefit Powderflage. Now I know some people don’t see the point in this product but I have never classed it as a concealer, I use it as a finishing product. In the same way you use light diffusing powder to set foundation, this pale pink brightening powder is great to apply over the top of your under eye concealer to set it and sap up any excess moisture and also to brighten the whole area. I don’t apply mine with the small fan brush that comes with it, but with a clean eye shadow brush with more density. I dust it on the area under the eye and it really diffuses/softens any fine lines and disguises my dark circles even more.

If anyone has any tips/advice on this matter, feel free to comment below…I’m always open to learning new things!


  1. Thanks for this post - I have a friend who is always complaining about her dark circles so will link this to her! xx

  2. A really thorough and useful post - thank you for this!

    I've been using the Bobbi Brown Corrector for a few months now and although I like the effect it gives, I find that when paired with concealer it has a tendency to cake like crazy - must remember to use an eye cream!


  3. I suffer from terrible dark circles under my eyes and my paleness and glasses just bring them out even more, so I found this post really interesting.

    I have seen the triangle technique but never tried it out myself.

    I haven't used any of those concealers, I've got GOSH Touch Up and Maybelline as I'm a cheap product girl. I don't know if these are right for me so I'll have a play and see what happens with the new technique. x

  4. This is a really great post - very helpful. Btw I was told at a Benefit counter in Glasgow that they've discontinued Powderflage so you might want to stock up if you can!x

  5. Another brilliant post hun, you are on a roll this week! I purchased that Clinique highlighter that you recommended tonight so I will give it a go and let you know, your skin always looks flawless and I wanted some of that!

  6. thanks for this post.

    I find peach tone concealers work best for me!!

    My only problem is finding the perfect concealer with the perfect shade that lasts long

  7. this is a fantastically useful post. I have dark circles that have developed recently so I'm keen to learn how to get rid of this development. Bobbi Brown have a new eye concealer out which I'm considering trying...

  8. cool Minx nails very pretty the leopard prints!

  9. I used Bobbi brown concealer and it works well for me! It completely covers dark circles and doesn't even look heavy.

  10. Try using natural remedies such as applying crushed mint or massaging almond oil around your eyes.

    Dark eye circles

  11. Very helpful and informational post. There is also information here on a home remedy program.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. We list down some simple and easy Eye Bags Home Remedies which will help you to rid of dark circles. The best Eye Bags Treatment is available at your home itself.


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