We’ve been led to believe that airbrushed undereyes can only be achieved by a high-maintenance beauty ritual or by going under the knife. But time poor Beauticate writer Kristina Zhou, who also happens to be a night owl, was determined to find a concealer that covers all sins. Here, she reveals the simple routine that covers dark circles and eliminates all signs of a sleepless night.

Eye prepping is a must

Without eye cream or an emollient base, your under-eye concealer will age you. The moisturising base will make your under-eye look luminous, soften fine lines, and prevent that dry, crepey texture. I’ve found that the most effective under-eye base is the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour cream. It provides a subtle sheen that plumps up undereye hollows and gives the appearance of a lovely candlelit smoothness. Use only a pea-size amount as excessive product application can make the face appear oily. I love to dab the cream in with a beauty bender, as it produces a lovely, satin finish.

The holy grail concealer

I have experimented with countless undereye concealers and the one concealer that looks airbrushed yet natural is the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer.

The coverage

The undereye concealer is full coverage and heavy duty: only a minimal amount of product is necessary to cover signs of fatigue. This concealer also has a fantastic flattening effect that optically reduces the puffiness of fat pads. Most undereye concealers are not opaque enough to adequately conceal the notoriously difficult blue/purple hue without a corrector. This is pigmented enough to conceal a significant portion of severe darkness, but you may need a peach corrector if your dark circles are in overdrive. If I have pulled an overnighter, I bring out my trusty NYX colour correcting palette and dab the peach colour on my dark circles prior to applying the IT Cosmetics Under Eye Concealer.

The finish & durability

The finish is dewy, which is a rarity among more pigmented concealers, so people who want a matte finish may need to powder. Most under-eye concealers crease on me in the first 15 minutes and the creasing by the end of the day is usually tragic, with fine lines I never even knew existed popping up at rapid pace. While the lasting power is comparatively strong and requires minimal touch ups, it isn’t 100% crease proof.  Because I use an emollient base and refuse to bake my under eyes, minor creases do emerge towards the end of the day, but it isn’t too noticeable.

How you apply it matters

There have been complaints that the under-eye concealer was too thick and difficult to blend. The trick is to warm the concealer between your fingers and avoid the traditional ‘triangle’ application method. Instead, place 3 small dots of the concealer slightly beneath your dark circles and 3 small dots on the actual darkness itself. Let the concealer sit on your skin for a few minutes before patting it in: I find this makes the concealer adhere more cohesively to the skin and it also boosts the coverage.

The ideal tool to blend this under eye concealer is the Beauty Blender. There are differences in the finishes each produce and the black is perfect at smoothing heavier consistencies, whilst still maintaining maximum coverage. If I detect any creasing, I immediately smooth over the line and it’s instantly eradicated.

Be careful of eye creams

Eye creams often tout miracle claims, but sometimes the emollient nature can actually exacerbate under eye puffiness. I try to avoid ultra-nourishing eye creams, as they draw too much water to my undereyes, causing congestion and excessive fluid retention. And the truth is, no matter how fantastic your under-eye concealer is, severe under-eye puffiness is almost impossible to hide!

For this reason, I prefer lighter gel formulas such as Chanel’s Intense Smoothing Hydrating Gel. But even with lighter products, if I slather too much product, puffiness always become amplified. Overloading products on our delicate undereye can lead to irritation and eye swelling. So remember: use a light hand when applying undereye creams – more is not always better.

Story by Kristina Zhou. Holding shot via Instagram @valentinazelyaeva

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