Dark Circles? Stop Using Concealer That's Way Too Light—It Just Makes It Worse

Here's what to do instead.

Few things dampen a sunshiney morning like seeing your under-eye circles in full force under recessed bathroom lighting. Same thing goes for the pulsing, raging blemish that makes its monthly appearance on your chin or forehead. It'll really humble a gal.

That's why if quarantined to a deserted island with only two makeup products left to our disposal, one is going to be concealer. No question. It's the multi-use wonder kid that can conceal blemishes and hyperpigmentation, while simultaneously color-correcting dark circles (sleep depravity-induced, genetically given, or otherwise) in order to make us appear more human than zombie.

Concealer Faux Pas
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Concealer is also one of those things that you assume you do correctly—until you don't. Smear and dab, dab and smear. That's all fine if you're working with the right formula, which is where the trouble starts.

There is a certain concealer faux pas that was once wildly prevalent—no, rampant—in the early 2000s, and we clearly didn't talk about it enough because we're still out here doing it. That, my friends, is the severe misuse of way, way too light of concealer shades. It's called over-correcting, and we've all been guilty of it.

It starts innocently enough, undoubtedly on a day when the dark circles are so bad we're not sure we should be allowed to venture out of the shadows of a troll hole somewhere. Then we're in full-fledged ghost mode, paralyzing folks at the sight of overly pasty, powdery under-eyes. The whole mess actually brings more attention to the dark circles and reddish pimples than if using one more suited for your skin tone.

How can you remedy chronic over-concealing? Start with the proper formula and shade. You want something creamy and blendable, such as the cult-fave NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, or something that is made to combat discoloration, like drugstore treasure Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser. (This stuff is magic.)

Pick a shade that is no more than two shades lighter than your neck or jawline, which will be closest to your true shade. Go just one shade lighter for the most natural-looking results.

Start by prepping the canvas with a hydration-packed eye cream, such as Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. Then apply just enough concealer to cover the inner corner of your eyes (when concealing dark circles) or the very middle of a blemish. Blend out with your finger by tapping lightly.

Pro tip: Start with a creamy, color-correcting formula like our favorite Maybelline number from above. Blend it out. Then follow with a small swipe (read: just a tiny bit) of a full-coverage formula like Urban Decay Stay Naked Correcting Concealer. Blend it out. Finish with optional setting powder. This the best technique to use when those dark circles or angry blemishes are bringing you down. Like, way down.

Say it with us: I will not over-correct. I will choose the right shade. I will blend it out seamlessly. Now go forth and prosper—dark circles be darned.

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