7 Mistakes You’re Likely Making When Concealing Your Under-Eye Area

As a working makeup artist, this is the time of year when people start to worry about how to look more awake. Today alone, on a Thursday morning, I had four back-to-back clients complaining about their under-eye circles. As our tans fade, the stress of real life coupled with fairer skin makes our under-eye area show the damage left from those Summer margaritas and the neglect of our eye area.

How Do I Apply Concealer Under Eyes?

Women make so many mistakes (using powder to set, not using a corrector, thinking they can sweep foundation under the eyes, applying their daily face cream around the eyes, using a dry concealer, the list goes on and on) in an attempt to look well-rested. It’s an uphill battle, but it can be won. Keep reading to learn how!

You’re Using Foundation Under Your Eyes
It seems natural to blend your face makeup all the way up to your under-eye area, but it is ill-advised. Foundations are meant to make skin even and either luminous or matte, depending on skin type, and both of these formulas will do nothing to help you under your eyes.

While it doesn’t hurt to put foundation under your eyes, it certainly doesn’t help. Skip this move and only add concealer and/or corrector under the eyes. Even when I am doing makeup for people who have very dark circles under their eyes, I only use eye cream or serum, corrector, and concealer. Foundation will just add an unwanted layer to my process.

You’re “Baking”
“Baking” is a trendy term for setting the under-eye makeup with traditional translucent face powders. While this may work for a teenager with no fine lines or bags under her eyes, it often ages and dehydrates the under-eye skin of most women.

As a bridal makeup artist, I am always looking for ways to set makeup so it won’t move from morning to night. In instances where I am worried that the under-eye products might run, I will set only with powders that are specifically made for this purpose. My favorite is Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder($26), which was specifically made to brighten and set the under-eye ares.

You’re Using Too Light a Shade of Concealer
I work for a makeup brand that has a shade of concealer called “tan.” While this is the best fit for about 50 percent of my clientele, if I dare tell them the name of the shade, they freak out.

“Oh no — I am a light or a medium,” they will say, as they throw the concealer back on the shelf. I have to then explain that darker shades don’t necessarily mean that they will make your under-eye area darker. It just means that they have that peachy, orange-y tone that cancels out blues and makes you look well-rested and alive.

Sometimes people reach for the lighter shade because they think it will make them look bright and alive. It can have the opposite effect. If you pick a shade too light, it can end up looking gray, or even worse, it can give you raccoon eyes.

You’re Not Using a Corrector
Some people can just swipe on a light concealer and look great. This is not always the case. If you are one of those people who has tried dozens of concealers and you never are happy with the results, it may be because you need to add a corrector into your makeup routine.

Often I introduce this idea to clients, and they are quick to tell me that they don’t want to add another step to their morning routine. Once I show them how magically an under-eye corrector can transform their under eye, they are just as quick to say they will find a few extra minutes in the morning to be sure that they look well-rested.

The orange or peach tones of correctors are meant to cancel out the blues and purples that are often under eyes, and then concealers go over this “corrected” area much more effectively. The Bobbi Brown corrector ($27) is an easy go-to that’s available in multiple shades for the perfect match.

You’re Using a Dry Concealer
All concealers are not created equal, and often when you find a great concealer that covers everything, it will tend to be cakey and get caught in the creases of your under eye. If you find this is happening, chances are you need to switch to a creamy formula that will glide on easily and won’t crease.

Look for the words “creamy” or “radiant” when choosing a concealer that gives coverage without having to worry that it will look dry. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30) fits that bill perfectly and delivers exactly what it promises.