Is your concealer creasing under your eyes, drying your eye area and generally just not doing what it's supposed to? This make-up artist trick changed the way I use my concealer, and I'll never apply it the same way again...
If your under-eye bags feel more like a full Louis Vuitton monogrammed travel set of luggage, you're probably accustomed to lashing on layers of concealer like it's going out of fashion. Taking your doe foot applicator, full of product, and sweeping a broad triangle shape under your eye and rubbing or tapping it into your skin with fingers. Then setting it with a pressed powder, practically saying the rosary in the hopes that Thoughts and Prayers will help it stay in place.
If any of this sounds familiar, trust me. Until recently, I was the same way. That was my method. Then I started paying more attention to the way make-up artists I respected (Nikki Make-up, Sir John, Katie Jane Hughes) were approaching concealer, and I noticed some similarities. I took four key things away from observing the pros, and since then, my concealer hasn't given me problems - nor has it aged my eye area unnecessarily.
Less is more
It sounds counterintuitive - you think, SURELY the more product I put on here, the less likely my eye bags will be to break through, right? Wrong, as it turns out. I know, I'm shocked too. Take the applicator, scrape the majority of the product off, and gently apply four small dots of product under the eye on the socket bone. Do not, I repeat, do NOT wipe layers and layers of the stuff on like a windscreen wiper. Unless for some reason that's the look you're going for, in which case, work away, but prepare for that to crack the moment you smile or squint.
Concealing isn't colour correcting
I also realised from observing the artists, that concealer usually goes on after foundation, but colour corrector goes on before. Orange/peach colour correctors have the effect of cancelling any blue tones under the eye, while lilac will brighten the area. If you have severe discolouration under the eye, a corrector used properly will reduce the need for layers and layers of your 'usual' concealer.
Game changer: The right brush
This is the game changer, for me. I always used a flat, little finger nail-sized brush to apply my concealer, and then used my fingers to blend it. That method was fine, at best. Mostly it resulted in me warming the product too much and it moving around instead of being worked into the skin - which is the goal. The ideal brush? A fluffy brush like one you might use for blending. This was what Sir John used to buff in concealer at his recent L'Oréal Paris masterclass, and since then, it's changed the way I apply concealer for the better.
Loose powder only
And finally, the realisation that pressed powder is way too much for the delicate under-eye area has really made a difference to me. When I set my (lightly applied) concealer now, I exclusively use loose powder (Laura Mercier's Translucent Powder, out of interest) and not my Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder like I used to. It's made such a difference.
Concealers I rate (and use regularly):
- NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, €29.50
- Make Up For Ever HD Concealer, €25
- Catrice Liquid Camouflage, €3.95
- L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear, €10.99
- Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer, €12.49