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How To Cover Dark Circles

How To Cover Dark Circles
April 9, 2014 6 minute read

Dark eye circles are the devil. I have had those malevolent bad boys since I can remember. I started trying to cover them up in elementary school, which means I’ve got about 14 years of experience with them. Surprisingly though, I’ve started to embrace them…with one minor setback. I recently went au natural on my eyes in Maui on our family vacation, and the first time I emerged sans under eye makeup my mother exclaimed: “Emma! Is that a black eye?! It looks like Aaron punched you in your sleep!” (he didn’t, by the way) Yep. That happened. So I’ve found a happy medium between letting your natural beauty show while subtly muting the undesirable. Here’s my step-by-step guide for combating genetics cruel gift of dark eye circles.

1) Always start with a fresh face. Go through your entire skin care routine so your visage is transformed into a beautifully moisturized canvas.

no makeup

2) Apply an eye cream using your ring finger and massage in small circles towards the outside corners of your eyes. I like to add extra moisture before I put on makeup; it’ll prevent any dry and flaky messes that can sometimes occur in the winter (which will be over by the time i’m back in NYC on Friday…right?!). I’ve talked about one of my favourite eye cream splurges here (but really, all eye creams are splurges because they just aren’t needed), and I love to use my 
La Prairie’s Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection a Porter, $150 pre-makeup. But CeraVe’s new Eye Repair Cream, $14 is quickly moving up to the top shelf. I actually massage this in before I apply La Prairie and find that these two eye creams pair really well together. 

brighten eyes, under eye circles

la prairies eye and lip anti-aging

3) Start with a corrector. I use
Bobbi Brown’s Corrector, $24 in Light Bisque. The slightly pink tone counteracts my circles perfectly. I’ve been using this since I was in grade 10. Some people claim that it moves too much, but the trick is you really don’t need much at all. Just a light pat into the pot with your ring finger and then gently dab it over the dark circles. To be honest, there are days when this is all I use.

bobbi brown concealer

4) Next, apply the concealer. This product changes quite frequently for me. I tend to go off what my skin looks and feels like that day. Today, it needs a little extra moisture so I’ll go with my RMS “Un” Cover-Up, $36 in shade 11. The yellow base of shade 11 matches my slightly olive toned skin to a t. This whole line of makeup is organic, all natural, and incredibly hydrating. It has coconut oil, which I love (yep, I’ll use a makeup product with oil as long as it’s pure and natural) and the formula glides beautifully onto the skin. Again, dab onto the ring finger and pat, pat, pat under the eyes until blended.

rms uncover up

rms uncover up

5) The next few steps are to finish off this no-makeup bright eyes look. Use a highlighter. My
favourite highlighter in the whole entire world is RMS’s Living Luminizer, $38. It doesn’t even look like you’re wearing one it absorbs so perfectly into the skin. It’s the key to creating that luminous glow. It’s not sticky, greasy or glittery, “an ultra sheer, glowing, luminizer with a translucent, satin-pearl finish. This highlighter works great on all skin tones, making this a must have beauty product.” Totally. I like to apply this under my brows, on the inner corner of my eyes, from the outer tip of my eyebrow in a C shape to connect with my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, and on my cupid’s bow (those lines above the upper lip). I use my middle finger for this one.

rms living luminizer rms living luminizer highlighter

6) Next, I like to set my under eye area with a loose powder. Just a subtle dusting is usually enough for me. Using a small brush, like my Kevin Aucoin Brush, $40, I gently tap some of Makeup Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder, $34 onto the tip. You want to make sure you only use a small amount and that you apply EVENLY to avoid any nasty camera flashback (you’ve seen those mean photos of celebrities whose makeup artists made that mistake).

makeup forever hd powder

7) Curl your eyelashes. Any old eyelash curler will do, I use the basic Sephora Eyelash Curler, $15 in Amethyst. This will immediately open up your eyes making you look fresh and wide awake (even if you’re far from it).

eyelash curler

8) Apply a good mascara. I’ve got an army of mascaras, each of them designated for a specific makeup look. Right now I’m doing a basic “no makeup” look for the eyes, so a subtle lash-separating one like Lancôme’s Hypnose Mascara, $28. I find this mascara is great for a natural lash while still adding enough volume.

mascara lancome

9) Finish off with some brow love. I am eyebrow obsessed, and truly believe that polishing your eyebrows into powerful and defined lines will completely change your face (in a good feature enriching way). Start by brushing up your brows. Next, you can fill them in using a brow pen, brow powder or brow gel. I like to use Anastasia’s Brow Pen, $21 in Universal Deep. I find a pen gives a more natural look and is easier to apply. Then I do a weird thing where I blend using my Sephora Pro Brow Comb, $15. Then apply a brow gel, like Benefit’s Speed Brow Quick-Set Brow Gel, $18. I like to move everything into place using my eyebrow brush, while leaving the inner bits of my brow lashes sticking up.

eyebrow brush

anastasia brow pen

Et voilà
! Natural bright eyes that give a makeup-free look to avoid both the “I just got punched in the face” and the “I have a cake face” look.

bright eyes


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