Monday 18 May 2015

How to Conceal Dark Circles – Plus the Tools You Need

When it comes to the skin around the eyes, crow’s feet and dark circles are among our biggest bug bears.

The first is directly related to ageing (skin loses collagen/elastin and so wrinkles form); the second isn’t, though dark circles can often get worse as we age because skin becomes thinner and so more transparent.

In recent months I’ve picked up some great tips from make-up experts on how best to conceal both. They’re tricks that I swear by and use daily. I’ve also recently discovered new products that truly help to disguise these two enormously irritating problems.

In this post I’m going to talk about dark circles. I’ll do a second post, scheduled for a couple of weeks’ time – God willing, I haven’t written it yet! – on crow’s feet.  I’m sure you have your own tricks up your sleeve too, so please share in the comments section below.

Use a Base

Previously, I would just plonk a concealer directly on top of my foundation. That’s it, job done. But I was told that if I use a light reflecting base first it will brighten a darkened area better, as well as help concealer to last longer.

At a recent Space NK event day I discovered this new Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector. It’s so light reflecting! I hope you can see that in the pic above - apologies for the finger marks (it’s a much-loved new addition to my make-up stash). It immediately brightens the eye area. Also, because it’s a balm, it hydrates the skin as well as locks in moisture – just the thing if your skin is dry and sometimes a bit crepey! The Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector is priced £19 for 4.5g (worth every penny) at Space NK here.

Choosing the Right Concealer

‘Brightening’ as opposed to ‘lightening’ is key. One common mistake is to load the eye area with the lightest concealer you can find. To avoid the illusion of wearing a white mask around the eyes (yes, that is what would happen), choose a concealer that is just a shade lighter than your natural skin tone.

I’ve always turned to By Terry for concealers as she packs so many skincare ingredients into her make-up. Here I’m using Touch Expert Advanced, an airbrush-applied product containing botanical extracts and hyaluronic acid microspheres - £32 for 2.5ml at Space NK here.


After concealer, dab on a sheer layer of highlighter to help reflect light away from naturally shadowed areas. I tend to apply it to the under eye inner corners. Here I’m using Benefit’s Fake Up, (sorry, the writing and pretty swirling patterns on my tube has worn off - I hate it when brands don’t think about the durability of their packaging!).

This is actually a concealer but 01 light is just brilliant as a highlighter - hopefully you can see that in the main post pic (check out the under eye inner corners).   It reflects the light incredibly well. Plus it’s tremendously hydrating. The concealer bit is actually housed inside a layer of balm, infused with vitamin e and apple seed extract.  It’s silky smooth and doesn’t crease! Available in three shades and priced £18.50, Benefit Fake Up can be bought here.

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