From a young age, I’ve been battling with dark under-eyes. I seem to have more pigment beneath my eyes, slower vascular movement, or simply thinner or paler skin. Both are hereditary traits that cause my under eyes to look like I’m constantly lacking sleep.
Before I discuss makeup, my first piece of advice (writing from personal experience) is to see your doctor or a naturopath! Two months ago, my naturopath told me I have an iron deficiency (something my friends had also been quick to suggest in the past, especially after my years of threatening to get surgery or filler). After running a few tests, my naturopath upped my iron intake, tossed in a handful of supplements and suggested I try and sleep at least seven hours a night. The supplements I can do, the seven hours of sleep per night…I mean, it all depends on my current Netflix or HBO obsession! After only two months into my Iron Man transformation, I’ve seen a major change in many of my anemia-related symptoms. Not to mention, my dark under-eyes were not nearly as dark as they once were. Hallelujah!
Now that I’ve given you a mini back story as to why I've self-proclaimed myself as Shadow Tamer, you understand why (side note: that title reads a bit bad ass, no?). I’ve been far too self-conscious of this in the past, and as a result, I’ve gone through my share of products over the last 15+ years.
What really works? Tried, tested, and true, my top two go-to products:
1. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
I’ve never been like a moth to a flame when it comes to MAC products. However, over the years I’ve tested more of their products and have found a few go-to items. One of them is MAC’s Pro Longwear Concealer. It comes in 16 shades and provides up to 15 hours of coverage. Yeah, I didn’t believe that either until I had my makeup done at 10AM for a wedding and still looked flawless at 11PM.
It’s a full coverage concealer with a matte finish, and it leaves your under-eye looking moisturized and flawless. I find some concealers can be too heavy or sit in the creases – and that can age you. My sensitive eyes welcome the soft, lightweight product, as it works its magic to seriously conceal those dark circles.
Application: Apply a tiny drop to the pad of your ring finger and rub it between both ring fingers to warm up the product (I spread the product from the pad to the first knuckle line). Start from the inner corner of your eye and lightly press the pads of your fingers under your eye all the way to the outer corner of your eye, wiping excess product on your lids. I then go back and work the product under my eye and move downward to blend the product out. Lastly, a quick dusting of translucent powder to set the concealer. I use the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Power, and I apply it with a soft foundation brush by Firma Beauty to gently press the product in).
2. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind® Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer
I’ve used this product for over six years. This treatment concealer is infused with goji berry and Haloxyl™ (a man-made product, designed to help reduce the appearance of dark circles), which when applied to the skin will instantly begin to work its magic. Unlike the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer which provides full coverage, this treatment concealer tends to require the occasional touch up.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind® Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer comes in four different shades, including a brightener and neutralizer. I use and obsess over the neutralizer. It’s as if it were magic as you witness the correcting right in front of your very own eyes (well, below them). The product melts into your skin and begins to neutralize the darkness while brightening and concealing the under-eye. Whatever your style, you can keep it natural or layer to really brighten the under-eye area.
Application: The beauty about this product is that it comes with a wonderful application sponge. Twist the wand and the product will slowly fill the sponge applicator, then create strokes from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner. Rather than blending the product with the applicator, I like to use my fingers to work the product in. Finally, I set this with the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Power.
PRO TIP: If you have incredibly dark under-eye circles, apply the neutralizer first and then apply a concealer of your choice on top. On days when I lack sleep or require a little more coverage, this is my go-to!