Bags are never really appreciated when it comes to the under eye area – even if they *are* designer.
Hi, I’m Amanda, and as your average college student studying in a foreign country for two years to complete three degrees, I probably don’t get as much sleep as I should.
If we’re being completely real here, I can’t really remember a time I actually slept through the night. Is that healthy? Well, probably not. I’ve never really been a coffee person so I know for sure caffeine isn’t the issue, and while it would probably do me some good to *cough* exercise, or something *end cough,* I just refuse to do that. So there.
Luckily for people like me who sport some pretty snazzy bags under the eyes as a result of not-so-ideal sleeping habits, under eye concealer is a thing. I’ve spoken about this many times before, but my all-time favorite holy grail under eye concealer is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer in the Neutral shade, which not only has a ridiculously long name, but this particular shade is yellow-tinted to counteract dark circles.
But the buck doesn’t just stop here! Not only do I have dark circles on the reg, but I also have these fantastic little creases under my eyes that I’ve had ever since I was a baby! Due to these bad boys, it’s a struggle finding concealer that plays nice and doesn’t crease further. The reason why I like the Instant Age Rewind so much is that along with making me seem like I got a few extra hours of sleep, it also doesn’t settle into these creases an excessive amount.
Over the years, I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks to help ~smooth things out~ under the eyes and make sure my concealer stays put and keeps me looking awake throughout the day:
1.) 2 Thiqq
I like my milkshakes thick, but definitely not my concealer. When it comes to formulas, I’ve realized that the thicker the concealer is, the more it likes to crease on me, so I tend to look for concealers that have a decent amount of pigmentation without feeling like I’m slathering peanut butter under my eyes.
As already mentioned, the Instant Age Rewind is great because it provides good coverage while having a super thin formula. Another concealer I’ve been loving lately is the new(ish) No Filter Concealer from Colourpop, which I specifically get in the Light shade. This concealer is super opaque without being overly thick, so it spreads out really easily, covers my dark circles, and doesn’t crease.
2.) Brace Yourself
Maybe the title of this section is dramatic, but how can you expect your concealer to help you if you don’t help yourself first?? Once you’ve chosen a great concealer, you want to make sure you give it the best chance to perform well, which is why I always take great care to prep my under eye area in the morning before putting concealer on. I noticed that if my under eye area is dry, the concealer has a higher chance of looking cakey and just overall gross, so I make sure to get my moisturizer right in the under eye area in the morning, as well as to put eye cream on at night.
In terms of makeup, I actually like to put some of the primer I use on my eyelids for eyeshadow under my eyes as the very first thing I do in my makeup routine. I blend everything in like normal with a finger and then apply my concealer on right away and I find that this helps the concealer wear better throughout the day. For this, I’ve been using the Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base. It has a little bit of a tint to it, it’s a great primer for both eyeshadow and concealer, and, oh yeah, it’s only $3.49!!
3.) Use the Right Tool!
Take a look at your arsenal of tools – if you find that your concealer still looks like a hot mess even after prepping and choosing a great one, maybe you’re using the wrong tool for the job!
I personally find that my concealer always looks terrible if I try to use a brush to apply it. It doesn’t matter what kind of brush I use – it still never fails to look subpar. My favorite weapon of choice to tackle the concealer job is a slightly-damp sponge, particularly the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. This sponge works great for people who can’t afford a Beauty Blender (like me) and is the perfect level of density!
The reason why I say slightly-damp is because I want to get the most coverage out of my concealer as possible, and the damper the sponge is, the more I find it takes away from the coverage. To dampen my sponge, rather than dunking it in water like most folks do, I just spray it with a few spritzes of setting spray, which also helps lock the concealer in for longer. I’ve been using the e.l.f. Cosmetics Makeup Mist & Set, mostly because it’s cheap (hello $3!), but also because it gets the job done.
4.) Two Words: Translucent Powder
Now that you’ve got all this down, you want to keep it down. And you don’t want it to crease either. Enter: translucent powder.
You don’t have to go full-on bake every day here (unless you want to), but a dusting of translucent powder always helps to lock in the concealer and prevent creasing. Some people like to use their already-damp sponge to pack some translucent powder on under the eye area, but I like to take a brush. My favorite combo of translucent powder + brush has been the Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder paired with the Real Techniques Contour Brush, which I got in their Core Collection.
The powder makes my under eye area feel really soft and is completely transparent without giving off a white cast – I’ve used it with flash too and there doesn’t seem to be any flashback. I particularly like the brush (it’s the one on the very left above) because although I’m not using it for its intended purpose, it has a nice shape for getting right under the eye area. I typically like to take a decent amount and pat it under each eye at first to give it a few seconds to sit, then take a more conservative amount and buff the excess in.
Even if I take all the care in the world to prep, moisturize, and prime my eye area, if I skip the powdering step it all goes downhill really fast!
5.) Color Correction vs. Concealing
As I said before, how can you expect your concealer to help you if you don’t help yourself first? While one may argue the best way to help yourself is to sleep more, I raise the notion that perhaps the job is just too great for your concealer – maybe you need a corrector instead!
Remember when I mentioned the whole “wow this Neutralizer shade in the Instant Age Rewind concealer is great because it’s yellow-tinted” thing? I particularly like the concealer because the yellow tint functions as a corrector, which isn’t exactly the same thing.
You see, my friends, a concealer conceals, while a corrector corrects, and if that isn’t just the most obvious thing you’ve read all day, I’d really like to know what is! To make it more explicit: sometimes dark circles can’t really be hidden with a concealer alone, but instead, must be “neutralized” via a corrector.
I’m sure the whole color correction thing isn’t new to you because it’s been around for awhile, but the basic story is that it all goes back to color theory, which says that colors opposite from each other on the color wheel, or “complementary colors,” will neutralize each other. A quote taken from the website Watercolor Paintings and Projects says:
When mixing colors, the role of the complementary color is to slightly tone down your original color, or color mixture. The more of the complementary color you add, the more neutralized your initial color becomes.
Since I have purple-ish dark circles, the yellow in the Instant Age Rewind should theoretically counteract this color and make it more “neutral,” thus getting rid of the dark circles.
Tl;dr – if you find that no matter how opaque your concealer is, it still can’t seem to hide your pesky dark circles, maybe you should try neutralizing them with a complementary color opposite on the color wheel of them first before hitting them with your concealer again.
And there you have it – my tips for faking sleep! At the end of the day, you really should just sleep, but hey – who has time for that??
- Popsugar // “The Grandmother-Approved Makeup Trend That’s Making a Huge Comeback“
- Watercolor Painting and Projects // Mixing Complementary Colors
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer (Neutralizer) // $9.99
- Colourpop No Filter Concealer (Light 20) // $6.00
- Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base // $3.49
- Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge // $6.00
- e.l.f. Cosmetics Makeup Mist & Set // $3.00
- Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder // $7.00
- Real Techniques Contour Brush (in the Core Collection) // $12.00
*Disclaimer: I purchased all above products with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!). As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!