Six Ways to Hide Under-Eye Circles

When it comes to concealing the fact that you haven't slept for the last decade, there are many approaches, but only a few that really work wonders. Here they are.

By Megan Deem
tired eyes

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Prep the area

Image: Baard Lunde/Trunk Archives

“If your skin is dehydrated, no matter how good your concealer is, it’s going to crack,” says Tim Quinn, celebrity makeup artist for Giorgio Armani Beauty. He suggests applying undereye patches, like Lancôme Absolue L’Extrait Ultimate Eye Patch, for 10 minutes to add moisture before doing anything else.

Pick the right texture

“As we get older, less is more,” says L.A. makeup artist Jillian Dempsey. “A very pigmented, thick concealer under the eye might accentuate your wrinkles or even give the illusion of wrinkles you don’t actually have.” Instead, she recommends easy-to-blend, “stretchy” formulas, such as Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer SPF 25. Other makeup artist faves are Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer Hydrate, Surratt Beauty Perfectionniste Concealer Palette, and Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Concealer

Choose the right color

Obviously, you want to brighten the area, but if you go too extreme, you end up with the reverse racoon effect, says Chicago makeup artist Jenny Patinkin. “Half a shade to one shade lighter than your foundation is about right,” she says. “That will help the undereye area look a bit more refreshed, and it won’t be too conspicuously light around your eyes.”

Skip color correctors

“I don’t believe in purple or green concealers,” says makeup artist Troy Surratt, founder of Surratt Beauty. “But there are subtle tricks you can do with concealer undertones that will create optical illusions to diminish darkness and discoloration.” A general rule of thumb: Yellow- or ochre-based shades will minimize red and purple around the eyes. Peachy hues will brighten the entire eye area and lessen the appearance of grey or blue shadows.

Mind your boundaries

According to Patinkin, you need to leave a couple of millimeters of uncovered skin between the top of your concealer and the bottom of your eye. “Otherwise, it makes your eyes look closed up,” she says.

Add blush

“Using a rosy powder blush high on the cheek, directly under the pupil, will help draw attention away from the undereye,” says Quinn, who notes that people can get so swept up in concealing that they remove all traces of color from their face. 

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