Despite being a makeup bag’s most standard asset, concealer is more complicated than it looks. Lots of room for error. Take the issue of shade matching, for example. A concealer that’s an exact match for your skintone (let alone for the potentially different areas of your face) is hard to find. Factors of undertones, texture, brightness, and application process all come into play. But here at ITG, we’ve been thinking a lot about concealers. There’s just so much to consider! And maybe because it’s still February, or maybe we’re just short on sleep right now, but the thing everyone on our team seems to be looking for is something to hide dark circles under the eyes. (In the words of Alexa Chung, “You have to cover that shit.”) In order to help the ITG team navigate the proper level of brightness, coverage and creaminess, a bunch of our makeup artist pals wrote in about their favorite under eye concealer hacks. Let’s figure this out together:
“I love to use the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème applied with fingers around the eye area. This product is a dream because it tones down discoloration, hydrates the eye, and gives a beautiful, butter-y slip under the eye. It also supports concealer nicely.” —Nam Vo
“Concealer works best on a hydrated under eye area, so consistently wearing an eye cream helps to smooth out the texture and fine lines. The best [concealer] for WOC has to be the new Soft Matte Concealer from Nars. It has a beautiful undertone that covers under the eye and does not settle in lines. It also comes in a few warm shades, if that works best on your skin tone. I like to apply with the ring finger by dipping directly in the container, then I pat it on the back of my hand to warm it up. It’s perfect by itself because it has a slip to it but doesn’t settle in the lines so it lifts and makes the skin look youthful. I also love to set it for long wear with Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder. For lighter skin tones, I like the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage under the eyes, because it has the perfect balance of pink and golden undertones. It is a drier formula, but one that plays well with both oil and water based makeup. Apply it straight from the pan with a flat concealer brush. My best tip is to mix both shades in the palette as you go, rather than simply layering. This gives a more real appearance to the skin. It is super buildable and plays well with a lot of other formulas.” —Delina Medhin
“My favorite undereye concealer is the Hidden Corrective Concealer by Hourglass. You can use your finger or a brush to apply, and it’s perfect for the eye area because it’s creamy in texture, light in weight, and does not crease.” —Dotti
“Undereye concealers are tricky! It’s all about a good eye cream to prep. I am currently loving the Tammy Fender Awakening Eye Gel. I’ll pat it on and let sit for a few minutes. Then, for concealer, I’m obsessed with Lancôme Effacernes. I try every product and always come back to this. It is long wearing and comes in softly matte, flattering shades. Plus it’s waterproof. I pat it on the undereye area with my ring finger. Afterwards, I use a Kleenex to absorb any excess oil, but keeping the pigment on the skin. If needed, a second application ensures long wear.” —Tracy Murphy
“I just discovered Illuminare concealer. I love that it does not feel heavy, and the oil free, semi-matte texture leaves a nice finish. If you use just a little to dab under the eye with your finger, it gives the right amount of coverage.” —Tracy Alfajora
“It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector is my favorite because it does just that—it corrects the blue-ish, purple-ish tones of under eye circles by counteracting them with peachy-apricot tones. With this one, a little bit going a long way.” —Justine Purdue
“Double Wear Maximum Cover from Estée Lauder is a fond de teint camouflage for the face and body. The shades 01 Medium Deep and 07 Creamy Ivory mixed together are the perfect duo to cure any sign of a late night out or blemishes that need hiding ASAP. I love the creamy texture and how easily you can blend on the skin, which won’t dry out with this product. I also love that it can be either full coverage, or even quite a sheer look if blended with your everyday moisturizer. I get the best results when applied with my fingertips. This slightly heats up the product as you apply to the skin, making it even smoother and giving a healthy finish.” —Maud Laceppe
“I love Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer for under the eyes. It goes on smoothly, has a vast array of pinky undertone shades to cancel out dark circles and has tremendous staying power!” —Courtney Perkins
“My favorite under-eye concealer would be Ellis Faas’ bullet shaped concealer pen. It’s light and pigmented enough to get rid of dark circles and puffiness, with just enough emollience to easily target larger parts of the face—around the nostrils, corners of the mouth, forehead—as well. All I used on this shot of Grace Elizabeth for Russian Vogue was some of that concealer under the eyes and alog the T-zone, a little powder and a flush of bronzer. No foundation necessary.” —Sil Bruinsma
“When I’m working on a show look or a TV appearance or shoot, I need to create a look that’s going to stay put and keep looking flawless. Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Concealer promises to stay put for 15 hours, and I love the lightweight cream formula because it blends so well with your usual foundation. The common misconception with concealer is that it should be the first thing you apply when you’re doing your makeup, but I always like to use concealer for touch-ups post-foundation application. This concealer is is waterproof and long-wearing, and it provides a really good coverage for all skin types. Tap a little onto skin and blend to cover blemishes. When using to disguise dark circles, just know that the coverage is on the heavier side, so tread lightly. It’s available in 11 shades from extra light to ultra-deep, too, so you should be able to find a shade that will blend well with your face makeup.” —Wendy Rowe
Photographed by Tom Newton.
Another strategy to help with the undereye bags: Better sleep! Read here for more.