Dark circles happen to the best of us. Whether they materialized due to a night of overindulgence, seasonal allergies, or sleep deprivation, making them disappear requires the same correct and conceal strategy. So we asked a couple of pros how to fake brighter eyes.

Prep Step

While makeup instantly camouflages darkness, it’s important to also use a long-term solution like an eye cream. Though a richer formula is fine before bedtime, priming under-eyes for concealer requires a lighter option. Makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor suggests sticking to a fast-absorbing lightweight gel cream that won’t make “your concealer run.”

Neutralize Darkness

Color theory comes into play here with peaches or pinks counteracting “blue, grey and brown tones in under-eye circles,” explains Sotomayor. Most people will be perfectly fine using a concealer with said undertones to neutralize and brighten, makeup artist Vanessa Scali says. But if that doesn’t do the trick, Sotomayor recommends priming with a color corrector—pink works on fair skin and peach on medium to dark tones—before layering concealer on top.

In addition to choosing a concealer with a pink or peach undertone, the right formula should “go on smoothly without looking cake-y, but should dry down enough that it won’t crease much,” says Scali. To ensure you won’t get crease-y post application, Scali suggests applying concealer after eye makeup but before lips, cheeks, and brows. “This way, concealer has time to set, and if it creases a little bit, which is normally right after you apply it, then you have a chance to blend it smooth and add more powder if needed.”

Use a Light Touch

How you apply concealer depends on the coverage it provides, says Sotomayor. For medium coverage, “tap it at the inner and outer corners of your eyes, then buff it smooth with a clean and fluffy eye shadow brush,” while for full coverage “use your finger or a concealer brush to tap a corrector into the inner corners of the eyes or wherever the color is darkest, and then use the brush to pat neutral concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone under the whole eye area.” Just remember the key is not to rub it, which “will just wipe the product to the side leaving problem area exposed,” Scali says.

Set it

To make sure concealer stays exactly where you left it, Scali recommends dusting the area with a bit of translucent setting powder. To get the best possible finish, she suggests avoiding “mineral powders, which can be shiny and accentuate creases around the eyes,” and cake-prone full-coverage formulas.


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