Requested | How I Cover Up Really Dark Under-eye Circles

Hello everybody! This is one of my most asked about posts, and it’s taken me a long while to finally write it up! I think its probably because I’m worried that the products I recommend won’t work for everyone, so I’ve decided to make it into a bit of a ‘guide to covering up dark circles’ and I’ll explain everything as thoroughly as possible while recommending other products too. (Read: this will be a long one! In fact one of the longest I have written to date ._.)

This post will only really benefit you if you have medium/very dark under eye-circles. Of course please feel free to read if anyways if you don’t, I’m  just throwing it out there! If you have no dark circles/only very slightly then you don’t need to be using all of these products you lucky thing!
 My skintone is around NC30-35 and I have very dark circles. They are partly hereditary and partly because of late nights. The trouble with dark circles it that they impossible to eradicate completely. There are a few things you can try which sometimes do help lighten them, but usually (and unfortunately) they don’t do much. For example placing a thin slice of cucumber, or potatoes on the eyes is said to reduce the darkness, and although it feels very cooling and refreshing there is little evidence that it rids you of darkness. Also Increasing your intake of water is also supposed to help, something we should do anyways because water is EVERYTHING but again it’s probably not going to make a HUGE difference to your under-eyes. A lot of the time people buy fancy expensive eye-creams which promise to rid them of dark circles and…they just don’t work! So that brings us to makeup!

Like I said I do have pretty dark circles, so if you don’t – this will be excessive for you!
My four step routine is as follows:

Moisturise – Correct – Conceal – Set

1. Moisturise using a lightweight, hydrating eye-cream
Why? I know I just dismissed eye-creams a couple of sentences above, but I was talking about those rather expensive ‘talk the talk but don’t walk the walk’ kinda creams y’know? For me it is essential that I use an eye-cream before I start my concealing routine, because my day cream (the Nuxe Reve de Meil Ultra Comfortable Face Cream) is simply too thick and creamy for the delicate under-eye area.

You want to hydrate the area and prepare the area for some pretty thick products or at least 2 or more light layers of makeup! So the moisturising is best done with an eye-cream and there are plenty available on from the drugstore/supermarkets so you don’t have to purchase an over-priced one. If you don’t moisturise your skin and you have any dryness around your eye – you will definitely see concealer cake up and look horrendous ._. so take the time to prep the skin properly!

Currently I have been loving the ‘Good things Bright Eyes Eye Cream’ which is fragrance free as well as paraben and mineral oil free too. The only thing I don’t love about it is it’s claim to reduce dark circles, because it hasn’t for me! But still a good EC!

How do I use it? I simply dot it around the eye area and using my ring finger gently ‘tap’ it in. It’s SO important to be gentle with your under-eye area and vigorously rubbing around the eyes is a major no-no. Also by using a tapping motion you’re more likely to use less product and evenly distribute the amount you do have on places you need to most.

2. CORRECT The Darkness!

What is it? This is the part which most people skip out on, and then wonder why even with concealer there’s a grey undertone showing through. Dark under-eye circles are essentially dark pigments in the skin. Before we can conceal the skin under the eyes and attempt to brighten it up, we must get that skin to a similar colour to the rest of our face…by colour correcting the darkness!

If you have black/darker under-eye circles then you need a peach shade corrector and if you have blue/green dark circles you need a salmon shade corrector.

 A corrector’s purpose is (funnily enough) to correct and it is the first thing that a makeup artist will do when working on the client. By targeting the area’s on the face that need the most attention and spending a bit more time and effort on it, you are free to then use a light/medium base which gives you a natural look rather than a super heavy full coverage foundation which could result in cake face! (e.g of a beautiful dewy base -Bare Minerals bareskin - reviewed here).

So…correcting = essential for anyone with dark under-eye circles!

How do I use it?

Currently I am using Benefit’s Erase Paste in the shade 3 ‘deep’. I use the Real Technique’s detailer brush (from the Core Collection) and take a small amount out of the tub. Then I  brush the corrector in the inner corner and outer corner around my eye. These are the darkest areas. I always make sure I brush corrector in a C shape, ensuring that darkness is covered above eye level and under the eye also (refer to photo below if confused).

Essentially apply the corrector in the darkest areas around the eye, but don’t over-do it. Correctors are usually made of a thicker consistency than a concealer, so you need to use a small amount and then blend it out with your ring finger. The warmth of your finger will help blend the corrector around your eyes and cover more area without applying LOTS of product. Trying to use a brush to blend out corrector is not going to get you very far because of how thick it is!

In this slightly  comical picture, I have shown where I apply the corrector with the detailer brush. Once it is on I use my ring finger to gently blend it out using the patting motion which spreads out the corrector and allows it’s coverage to spread without applying too much of the creamy stuff!

What correctors are out there?
The disadvantage of correcting is that the drugstore hasn’t really clicked onto it yet. So a lot of the time correctors are expensive, but remember you are only using a small amount (no-where near as much as a brightening/highlighting concealer) and generally a little goes a long way.

The most famous corrector is probably the Bobbi Brown one, however as that is owned by Estee Lauder who support Israel, thus killing lots of innocent babies and women I won't be purchasing from them the brands they own ever again. 

 Another option I used to use was the Benefit Boi-ing concealer in the shade 3, which is orange in tone and a slightly thick/stubborn formula! So I found it much easier to use my fingers to gently apply some of it, however if I bought it again I would warm the concealer up IN the pan,and then use a brush.

The detailer brush has made correcting my dark circles SO much easier because it is flat, small and applies the product exactly where you need it. I also find it easy to add more without disturbing what is underneath (something which is easy to do when you are using your fingers).

Currently the Benefit Erase Paste in the shade 3 is working a treat because it is designed for under eyes and so it’s a tad more creamy than products which are labelled as correctors. Having said that if you use a liquid concealer which is darker in colour, it simply won’t offer as much coverage and you’ll be there for hours layering it up – not to mention your eyes will end up looking an orange mess! Anything liquid-ish for correcting is not going to be effective enough. In fact Goss Wayne even recommends you to use a lipstick if it’s the right shade to correct your dark circles, and we all know how creamy they can be!

So a slightly creamy, thick in texture corrector is essential and a small detailer brush is the best for applying a concentrated amount of corrector onto the darkness.

3. Conceal and brighten to your heart’s content

This is the part which everyone is fairly familiar with so I will keep it as brief as possible!

Why do it?
So once you have corrected your dark circles, you will find that your under-eye now looks the same or slightly orange/peachier than the rest of your skintone. Some people are lucky in that their dark circles aren’t too bad and so they can correct and conceal in one! (Actually the Erase Paste is a ‘brightening camouflage’ and I think if you have medium dark circles and one of the shades matches you, it could be all you need!). However for most people they want a brighter under-eye, and using a concealer (which is a shade or two lighter than your skintone) will be able to brighten and conceal the area too.

How do I do it?

The number one mistake people make (myself included) is applying too much concealer. The most important thing to remember is NOT to add a tiny line directly under the eye, but to apply a small V shape under the eye. I’m not talking about going all out Kim K highlighting (unless you like to do that of course) but a small V shape will help brighten up the whole under-eye area.

Dot or gently spread the concealer from the inner corner in a diagonal line and the connect it to the outer corner. The using a damp sponge OR your ring finger again, bounce and tap around the eye area to brighten it up! (Sort of demonstrated in the picture below!)

Which concealer is best for me?
I get asked this a lot and to be honest it’s a very hard one to answer for someone else! You need to assess this yourself and I’m afraid sometimes its a case of trial and error! What works for me may not for you, so try and think about what YOU need…is it extra coverage? Brightening? and then set about looking for your near perfect concealer.

Personally I stick to my all time favourite drugstore concealer the ‘Collection lasting perfection’ in shade three. This is such a raved about concealer and that is because it provides fantastic coverage. Most people like to use this for blemishes and find it too thick for under the eyes, however as I keep saying I have pretty dark under eye circles, so as long as I am using a small amount and blending it out well with my finger -  I find its coverage fantastic. I also think that its slightly thicker consistency helps it to adhere to the corrector and NOT disturb/move it around! Which is something that happens when I use my Rimmel wake me up concealer because it is quite runny in consistency. 

On the other hand..after correcting you may find that the darkness is rid and you just want to brighten the area up, in which case look for a illuminating concealer. There are many brands who make these (I’ve heard the collection one is great actually!).

WHY? There are two reasons – firstly setting it will reduce the amount of creasing and secondly it will prolong the corrector and concealer and keep it in place all day!

What I use and how
I use the Ben Nye Banana Powder which I have reviewed here. I love using this rather than a transparent powder as the yellow colour not only brightens the whole area but also adds a tad more coverage – which is always welcome for people who have very dark circles. You can see this in the instagram video I will post ^_^

Taking the Real Techniques setting brush, I pat it gently in  small amount of the powder and gentle pat it on top of the concealed area. It is ESSENTIAL not to pat TOO much because you will have cakey under-eyes not a good look in the slightest. If you are not of a NC30-NC50 (approx) with yellow undertones then look for a powder similar to your skintone or a translucent one. If you have pink undertones, and are fair I’ve heard the bourjois powder (in the cute quaint pot) is a great brightening powder.

And there you have it ladies! My full concealer routine, nothing revolutionary but I’ve been asked to write this so many times I couldn’t put it off any longer haha ^_^

On my instagram @theblushinggiraffe you can see a super quick video of me completing the routine. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a comment and I really hope this has been helpful for you!

Thanks for reading!