My HOLY GRAIL concealer products & tips for extreme dark circles

For years, ever since I was about 12 actually, I have been obsessed with finding a way to banish my terrible dark circles. I have been genetically blessed with very dark circles which are made worse by my allergies. As a child, I was blissfully unaware of this and couldn’t care a less about my appearance (oh the joys of being a child with no cares of self-image). It wasn’t until I went to school one day and someone said to me “Have you been punched in the eye?”, I didn’t know how to respond to this except for “No?”. “Oh why is it so dark and purple under your eyes then?”….It was the first time I had felt truly insecure about myself and for the rest of the day I didn’t even want to look at anyone in case it was brought up again. This marked day 1 of becoming obsessed with my dark under eyes and finding ways to cover them.

Alright sob story over. SO, if you’re like me – DO NOT DESPAIR. As I have some tried and tested techniques on how to cover your dark circles. Finally, I feel I have found my ‘Holy Grail’ products that I would like to share with you.

Ok this is the scary bit. Here is me before any makeup (except brows, my god my non-existent brows are a whole other topic), all in different lighting. You can see the colour underneath my eyes is very purplish and I suffer with deep tear troughs which emphasise the darkness. No matter how much sleep I get, I wake up like this everyday (thanks genetics).

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Now moving on to THE BEST CONCEALERS EVERRR! Oh and a few tips here and there. These bad boys are my makeup BFF’s and help me to go out feeling confident about myself.

Step 1 – Eye Cream

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Origins – GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

Before I start any makeup, it is so important to prime your under-eyes with a nice moisturiser. I prefer to use an eye cream rather than a regular face moisturiser as those are usually a bit too thick to put on the thin and delicate skin of your under-eyes. Using a face moisturiser as opposed to an eye-cream can actually cause milia due to the thickness. My top pick of eye cream is the ‘Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream’. It is lightweight, sinks in immediately and leaves my under-eyes incredibly soft. It lasts absolutely ages and has a refreshing zesty orange scent which helps my eyes wake up in the morning. It also has a tint to it so already provides a small amount of coverage. I’d highly recommend it!

Step 2 – Cream Concealer

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IT Cosmetics – Bye Bye Under Eye

I start with IT Cosmetics ‘Bye Bye Undereye‘. I take a pea-sized amount and apply it under my eyes and on my eyelid (it also makes a great eyeshadow primer).   Only a tiny bit is needed because this stuff is thick, which is just what I need to cover my deep circles, ‘sheer’ and ‘light’ coverages were unfortunately NOT meant to be for me!  I tried the shade ‘Light’ first but it is waaaay too light for me, it would be perfect for someone with really fair/pale skin. So I use the shade ‘Medium’. I have swatched the two shades in the image below 

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I’ve decided to do just one eye so you can see the difference between both eyes more clearly. As you can see, this amazing product has already cancelled out a lot of the darkness.

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Step 3 – Liquid Concealer

IMG_2090 2My top picks for liquid concealer is the glorious ‘Tarte – Shape Tape’ and the ‘Nars – Radiant Creamy Concealer’. I like to go over my cream concealer with a liquid concealer to really help lock it in place. I find when you are using a cream/thick product as your concealer, it can make the area slightly dry and sometimes sticky. Putting a liquid over the top keeps the area more hydrated, blendable and easier to powder afterwards. It also provides that little extra coverage I am in need of!. Instead of applying the concealer in a ‘half moon shape’, I make sure to apply the concealer in an ‘upside-down triangle’ shape which brings the concealer slightly downwards. This avoids a weird racoon look and your under-eyes blend in with the rest of your skin.

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Tarte Shape Tape – working its magic

You will notice I also use a concealer colour closer to my skin-tone, rather than an ultra light ‘brightening’ colour that I usually see people use. That trick is great for some people, but for people like me with tear troughs and deep circles, AVOID! I want my under eyes to blend in with the rest of my face and look as natural as possible, I do not want them to stand out because that will only make people notice the bags under my eyes and that i’ve clearly tried to conceal them.

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After blending the concealer in, you can see there is a considerable difference after the first concealer application. More of the darkness has been cancelled out and it looks even with the rest of my skin.

Step 4 – Powder/Baking

IMG_2091 2This step in the process is probably the most crucial. If you suffer with deep tear troughs like me, this step will change your life! Somehow when I put this powder on, that distinct tear trough line almost vanishes, it’s like a miracle worker. The concealers are amazing and last a long time, but to get that ‘flawless skin’ look, you need to powder! I have tried many powders but the one I go back to time and time again is the ‘Laura Mercier – Secret Brightening Powder’. It is so light, finely milled and sets my under eyes beautifully and makes me look awake and fresh. I apply it with a damp beauty blender which helps not dry the area out and avoids the ‘cakey’ look by adding moisture. I concentrate the powder on my tear trough area.

Baking Undereye

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I don’t bake for very long, after about 1 minute I dust off the excess powder with a finishing powder. The one I am obsessed with is the ‘Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder’ in the shade ‘Diffused Light’. It dusts the excess off without taking off any product and leaving a gorgeous airbrushed finish.

After baking wiped off

After excess powder has been dusted off with Hourglass finishing powder

Step 5 – The Final Look

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And this is what my face looks like once I’ve done all the rest of my makeup! Under eyes are looking decent and you wouldn’t be able to notice my discolouration. Yay for makeup!

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I didn’t use it on this occasion but an honourable mention is the ‘Nars Soft Matte Complete’ concealer. This concealer is fantastic and gives me superb non-cakey coverage under my eyes and I use it all the time. Thank you Nars for your amazing concealers 

Now these products, tips and tricks have served me well, and I hope you find some use out of them too. However, unless you go down the surgery route (which I admit I have researched but it is risky and not to mention expensive), there is no way to completely eliminate dark circles and tear troughs, no matter how much makeup you apply. It’s something I am slowly trying to accept about myself and I’m glad makeup can help improve them drastically.

What are your holy grail concealers? Do you have any tips/tricks? If so please do share them! Thanks for reading lovely people!

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